Ahmedabad India

JSW School of Public Policy, IIM Ahmedabad

The JSW School of Public Policy at the new campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad is designed to reflect the core features of public policy in a democratic society. The distinctive and understated exterior comes alive with the variety of volumes and spaces within. The building encourages interconnection and discussion – the abundant gathering spaces are designed to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to engage and collaborate as well as establish a distinct privacy gradient as one moves through the building.

Starting at the entry on the ground floor, a ‘Forum’ in the form of a double height space serves as a confluence point for students and faculty to meet socially as well as in formal events slated to be held in the space. Programmatically, it serves as an amphitheater, with an innovative glass projection screen for hosting internal functions, debates, lectures and seminars. Moreover, its central location and differentiated palate of materials make it the focal point of the building. Occupying the axis from the entrance to the first-floor library, the Forum encourages gatherings for discussions, interaction and research conversations. At the ground level, the steps leading to the play grounds allow the building to engage with the rest of the campus. 


While transitional spaces are often ignored in institutional buildings, in the JSW School of Public Policy, these play important roles by reinforcing the design principles and objectives, integrated in a central core. Thus, above the forum, is situated a smaller amphitheater that creates alternate spaces for people to converge. Similarly, the circulation routes which weave through these diverse spaces further enhance this experience. The core, connected by a ramp that overlooks the playing field, creates a visually and physically dynamic space for informal interactions. 


From the outside, suggestions of these internal volumes can be glimpsed through a matrix of manually operated louvers that open in various combinations, creating a dynamic pattern of varying exposure to the interior. On the west, the faculty spaces occupy the first floor and two split mezzanine levels while the larger classrooms are situated on the east wing of the building. The facade is dramatically framed by a portal of stainless steel and concrete. The louvers, apart from being an important visual element, are also perforated screens that guide natural ventilation through the building. The wind blows in from the central playing field and out through continuous vertical openings that overlook the landscaped sit-out cafe zone on the ground level and the two external decks on the first floor. The imposing Peltophorum and Neem trees that have long dominated this site, now frame and complement the elevation of the building.