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The Lalit Suri Hospitality School, a history of local materials, vernacular techniques, and native labour


Education  /  Completed

Located in Faridabad, in the suburbs of the National Capital Region (NCR) of New Delhi, The Hospitality Institute is a cutting-edge school that imparts education in the service of luxury hospitality. Our brief stipulated a design for a sustainable campus that would be set within a modest institutional framework and prepare students for a future in the Indian hospitality trade. From the outset, we prioritised the use of local materials, vernacular techniques, and native labour. This environmental consciousness extended to our design strategy that ensured that each space has a duality of purpose - firstly in its educational avatar and secondly, as a setting conducive to the experience of luxury hospitality. All rooms are multiples of a single optimized bay module. This modular approach to planning enhanced the flexibility and multiplicity of spaces and operations. Open areas are designed to work as spill-over spaces, thus encouraging interaction among the occupants. Cafeterias are converted to F&B outlets, where the students eat and simultaneously learn service. The kitchens are designed to enable students to cook and practice their service skills. The entire hostel accommodation is built in a hotel format, where public gathering spaces are designed to be serviced like congregational spaces within hotels. This flexibility in space-function is reflected across the entire project. On its northern edge, the site abuts an existing large cluster of Neem trees with thick foliage. Our design was based around the protection of these beautiful tree clusters, and their integration within the overall design. The built form actively engages and intertwines with the tree clusters by moving back and forth as required. The landscape and the building levels respect the natural slope of the site, while the height of the building is kept low giving it a pedestrian friendly human scale and allowing for the seamless integration of the ‘green’ and ‘built’. The Neem grove has been used to shade the open and semi-open spaces in front of the building. Therefore, the circulation spaces are shaded, and 100% naturally ventilated, to enhance fresh flow of air across the central spine. Landscaped courtyards enhance cross-movement of fresh air within the building. Cavity walls, terrace gardens, and cantilevered projections help in reducing heat gain within the building. Furthermore, materiality and affordability were addressed by selecting exposed brickwork as a singular material for the entire project due to cost sensitivity. These locally sourced bricks give a sense of permanence, have low maintenance, provide psychological comfort and a sense of security to the inhabitants. Brick as a material is also easily accessible from within the 500 km radius of this project because soil of this region is high in clay content. The simple exposed brick facades with low wall window ratios were used as a physical barrier that filtered in 30% of outdoor light. Undulations in the facade enable the exterior walls to shade themselves, while the overhangs prevent direct sunlight from entering the space, thereby working concurrently to reduce heat gain. This institutional project incorporates different forms and levels of fenestrations, thus revealing interesting gaps within the building envelope and reinventing the Indian tradition of the Jaali (lattice screen) and Jharokha (oriel window). Light-wells, courtyard planning, thermal buffering and Jaalis lead to the creation of a conducive microclimate, reducing mechanical energy dependencies, optimizing resource consumption, and imparting a timeless character to the building. Our passive design strategies have resulted in a 7-10℃ reduction in perceptible temperature within the premises. Additionally, the building is partially below the ground level, and this helps in achieving better accessibility and thermal banking. The built form also acts as a buffer against the main road, thus reducing noise within the campus. The greenery of the Neem grove further percolates into the building interiors and internal courts are formed. This creates the ‘courtyard effect’, which along with 100% natural ventilation, and evaporative cooling, brings down the effective temperature by as much as 15 degrees. Moreover, the use of rainwater harvesting pits and collection wells, to supplement freshwater requirement, resulted in a 30% reduction in water consumption throughout the year. On the other hand, passive methods of cooling and heating resulted in an EPI (energy performance index) of ≤58 kWh/sq.m./yr., compared to the ECBC benchmark of 90 kWh/sq.m./yr. There is a 50% reduction in heat gain through cavity walls & screen wall sections, which ultimately resulted in a 35% reduction in energy consumption. The incorporation of these passive design strategies, along with environmentally conscious materials, has resulted in an institutional campus that is net-zero on energy and water. The Hospitality Institute will serve as an archetype in the coming decades, as multifunctional spaces and outdoor co-learning will become the norm in the wake of the pandemic.


 New Delhi
 Lalit Suri Educational and Charitable Trust
 19670 mq
 Manit Rastogi, Sonali Rastogi, Alok Decruz
 Rajasthan Décor
 RSM Consultants and Apostle Studio
 Pranav Kareer


Established by Sonali and Manit Rastogi in 1996, Morphogenesis has developed an architectural language which is contextual and climatically sensitive. Our works are rooted in the cultural, social, and economic conditions of the region. We have successfully created exemplars that consume 50-70% lesser energy than established green rating benchmarks, without incurring any additional cost. Optimization of all resources is a pre-requisite to our architecture and this has conservatively resulted in over 9 million sq.m. of built environment benefitting over 5,60,000 inhabitants, while also saving 22 billion litres of freshwater, 4.1 billion kW/hr of energy and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 3.3 billion kg. Morphogenesis has copyrighted its design process S.O.U.L.©2019, an acronym for Sustainable, Optimized, Unique, and Liveable. The firm has won over 120 international and national awards, along with 900+ publications.0


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