The Street for Students

Taking cue from old streets of Mathura in India where this project is located, Sanjay Puri Architects creates organic spaces in this 800-room students’ hostel complex.

The Street, designed by Mumbai, India–based Sanjay Puri Architects, is a 211,000-square-foot, 800-unit student housing complex on the campus of GLA University in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India. The designers put to advantage a wedge-shaped site between repetitive blocks site that would otherwise be a hinderance to design and created a complex of radially aligned five linear blocks informed by the organic spaces and expressions of traditional Indian cities. These complexes which was completed in the early a year ago was the winner of the 2018 Residential Architect Design Awards / Student Housing / Award.

The architects create what they call a “discernable identity” for the project by marking each student room with a distinctive angular bay window that faces north to capture daylight (and heat) in the winter months and limit heat gain for the remaining eight months of the year, when the average area temperature is above 30 C (86 F). Louvers in each window provide sun shading while permitting natural ventilation, which is enhanced by openings at the corridor for each room. Overall natural air circulation is further encouraged by openings at regular intervals in each block, where the form shifts in plan. These irregular parts of the floor plan are filled with breakout spaces that provide natural light into the double-loaded corridors. These factors create an energy-efficient-building minimising heat gain in response to the climate which has average temperature in excess of 300 c for 8 months of the year when the sun is in the Southern Hemisphere. Due to the ‘north-facing windows’ sunlight is facilitated inside the rooms throughout the year.

“The orientation of all the buildings are done with a view of generating large north facing garden areas overlooking a vast playground towards the north. In addition, each hostel room is punctuated with a wedge-shaped bay window oriented towards the north and the playground,” says Sanjay Puri, Chief Architect of the project.

Designed as a four-floor-high, five-linear blocks, the built spaces snake across a wedge-shaped site twisting and turning along their length. Sitting adjacent to repetitive hostel blocks on the east and west these new hostels within a large university campus create individual spaces with a discernible identity in each part of the layout.

Two focal areas are created at the ends of the linear buildings to house cafeterias, games rooms and gymnasium opening into the north facing gardens and terraces. Each of the public spaces are large volumes with 20’ high ceilings.

The organic layout of the buildings characterises each space within the site. Colour accentuates different blocks and facilitates within. Each block is differently colorued along with the internal face of the bay windows of the hostel in bright colors to create an identity.

Rain water harvesting and water recycling and usage of solar panels additionally make the project more energy efficient along with the orientation and facilitation of natural ventilation.

The Street is contextual to the climate and the orientation of the site, thus creating varied experiences and changing perceptions of space in each part of the six-acre site.


Project Details

Project: The Street, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India

Client: Ganeshi Lal Agrawal University

Architect: Sanjay Puri Architects, Mumbai, India . Sanjay Puri (principal architect); Ishveen Bhasin (senior project architect)

Interior Designer: Sanjay Puri Architects

Mechanical Engineer: Epsilon Engineering

Structural Engineer: Padaria Associates Structural Consultants

Electrical Engineer: Epsilon Engineering

Civil Engineer: Padaria Consultants Structural Consultants

Construction Manager: Bajaj Infrastructure Development Co.

General Contractor: M&M Builders and Contractors

Landscape Architect: Sanjay Puri Architects

Lighting Designer: Sanjay Puri Architects

Size: 215,000 square feet

Site Area: 6 acres

Built Up Area: 2,11,000 sq.ft.

Total No. Of Units:

  • 5 Wings comprising of 800 Single Hostel Rooms
  • 2 Cafeterias/ Dining Halls with Kitchen
  • 2 Games Rooms/ Gyms
  • 2 Support Staff Dorm Rooms (25 people capacity)