Ashoka University / Perkins Eastman

Ashoka University

Haryana, India
Ashoka University is a philanthropic initiative to create a multidisciplinary institution of higher education. Perkins Eastman designed the master plan for the new campus as well as its buildings and infrastructure. The campus is located in Sonipat in the State of Haryana approximately 20 km from Delhi. The 25 acre campus is a part of a government conceived Rajiv Gandhi Education City, which is home to several other institutions. Designed for approximately 4,500 students, with 50,000 sm/538,000 sf for academic space and 50,000 sm/538,000 sf for residential uses, the campus plan is a combination of Indian aesthetics with a contemporary and global institutional design, reflecting the ideology behind Ashoka. The campus not only provides world-class facilities for students and faculty, but also encourages adequate out-of-class discussions and meetings, thereby increasing the vibrancy of campus life.

The overall campus organizational concept is based on two concentric rings. The inner ring contains the academic buildings surrounding a central axial academic quadrangle. These buildings have ground floor arcades so that students can move from building to building in shade, protected from the rain. The buildings are low in height in order to ease flow between classes as well as to maintain a collegiate atmosphere. This inner ring is wrapped by an outer ring of student and faculty housing. The outer ring is comprised of several smaller courtyard clusters that create smaller scaled spaces ideal for the residential environment. This organizational strategy of two concentric rings brings residential and academic life adjacent to each other rather than in distinct precincts. This is intentional in striving for a vibrant campus where learning is part of everyone’s all day experience both formally and informally. Sustainability is a major focus of the design with outdoor corridors, natural ventilation, the use of jail sun shades, and other passive features in addition to more technically advanced strategies.

The University is set up in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and capitalizes on the latter’s expertise in curriculum design and delivery.