Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
All-India Competition Winning Entry for a University Campus in Jammu
Selected out of a two stage all-India competition, the project has been built on the foothills of the mountains which enshrine the caves of Mata Vaishno Devi, a popular hindu pilgrimage destination. The University established in 1999 receives funding from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, an autonomous Board set up in August 1986 under the provisions of The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986 of J&K State Legislature. The University also gets funds from UGC (University Grants Commission). The campus has been designed on two primary axes: the gyanmarg and the bhaktimarg. The gyanmarg, or the path to knowledege, connects the library to the the centre of the campus established by a large court, the panchvati, surrounded by 5 large trees and extends to a meditation area on the other side of the campus. The bhaktimarg connects the same centre to the actual Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in the hills. The architectural character of the buildings recall the profile of the mountains in the background. The buidings on campus were designed to be cooled with earth air tunnels.
PRESENCE OF THE DEITY The clear view of Adhkwari (The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in the hills beyond) from the site and the proximity of the site to the spiritually and culturally rich pilgrimage center. ENVIRONMENTAL REGRADATION A comparison of the old descriptions of the area in and around Katra and Vaishno Devi with the present conditions highlights the extent of environmental degradation. This fact has inspired us to design with natural reversal in mind. The campus should be designed such that the ravages suffered by it can be repaired byjudicious uses of water, stabilising of the soil, water recharge and planting of local vegetation to restore the balance of nature. ENVIRONMENT CONDUSIVE TO LEARNING The creation of an environment conducive to learning demands that proper care is given to the psychological, functional and physical needs of the students.
Evolution of the Design
INTEGRATION OF SITE
- The presence of the Mata's shrine has inspired the formation of the major axis on the site towards Adhkwari.
- Secondary axes have been developed to consolidate and network all the activities.
GORGE AS A MAGNET
Developing the gorge as a socially integrating magnet, ratherthan a physiological divide by creating a number of foci along the gorge:
- A student’s centre, the hub of all the student activity
- An amphitheatre, with its backdrop as the gorge
- Numerous walkways and pavilions along the gorge
Convert the deep gorge existing on site into a lake. This would provide the following environmental benefits:
- Recharging of groundwatertable on site
- Use of surface water runoff, which was otherwise going waste
- Improvement in the microclimate of the site
- Cooling the hot summerwinds, whose direction is over the present gorge.
CONSOLIDATION OF RESIDENTIAL AREA
A more interlocked and comprehensive fabric has been developed creating community spaces and interesting streetscapes
A WHOLESOME PLANNING ATTITUDE
Careful planning and developing has been done to achieve a "COMPLETE CAMPUS” i.e. complete in all aspects and phases