Atam is an apartment complex that includes a youth hostel and a home for the owner’s family. Located in Kota, Rajasthan, the project has a hot and dry climate and took six years to complete. The city of Kota in North India is a training center for students preparing for the IIT Engineering University Entrance Examination in India. Each year, around 200,000 students return to Kuta to spend at least a year attending the courses. During this time they will live in private homes designed specifically for students. These temporary residents dominate the economy of Kuta. Students eager to get into IIT took center stage in Kuta and launched a successful streaming show showing the hardships of their lives here. Although the training center has state-of-the-art facilities like other educational institutions in India, student accommodation is almost completely neglected, with a particular lack of natural light and well-ventilated social spaces. The pass rate of the IIT exam itself is very low, coupled with the lack of comfortable living space, the students will generate enormous psychological pressure. Starting small, Kota Hostel is reinventing the living environment for middle school students in the city.
External view of the building © Surian Dang
Aatam has a mix of residential programmes, which contains hostel rooms for students along with housing for the family who owns the plot. Six years of preparation, the project is located in the dry and hot climate of Kuta, Rajasthan. The city of Kota in North India is a training center to train students to pass the entrance exams to study in the coveted IIT engineering colleges in India. Annually about 200,000 students move to Kuta and spend at least a year in training classes living in private homes designed specifically for student accommodation in the city. Quota’s economy is driven by this temporary population. For the IIT aspirant, Kota takes center stage, so much so that she has produced the popular OTT show that highlights the hassles and tribulations of the aspiring students who live there. While the training centers are as state-of-the-art as any other educational institute in the country, student housing is neglected and devoid of much thought. Natural light, social spaces for ventilation are mostly absent. There is a high risk of failing to pass the IIT exams which can be psychologically oppressive when combined with the harshness or lack of empathetic living spaces. Kuta Inn is a small start in re-imagining the students who live in the city.
▼ Design Generation, Design Generation © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ A sketch of the activities in the building
© Sameep Padora & Associates
The design takes some elements of the traditional Rajasthan residential form, such as vertically divided courtyards, outward-facing balconies and stone perforated parapets, and adapts them to the needs of the students. The row houses around the project form a closed wall along the street, and the lodge forms a sharp contrast with it.
Working with elements of traditional haveli (the form of a Rajasthan house) such as vertically proportioned courtyards, Jharokhas (viewing balconies) and Jali’s stone (perforated screens) the project is a reworking of a haveli form appropriate to the programmatic needs of the students. In stark contrast to the surrounding row house types which together form an impenetrable wall to the street, the Kota hostel opens up, enlivening the street with views of the courtyard and then onto the playground behind the plot.
▼ The building contrasts with the surrounding houses, in contrast to the building and its surroundings © Suryan Dang
The building opens the facade to allow pedestrians on the street to see the inner courtyard and the stadium above, energizing the street space. The common courtyard and patio social space creates a ventilation channel that allows the breeze to pass through the building. A bridge spans the sky over the exposed courtyard, connecting the two wings of the owner’s living unit. In the department, the building structure contains multi-level terraces that become social spaces for students, creating visual connections between the different floors, squares and streets.
▼ Altitude analysis and altimetry © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ Building Type Analysis, Model Diagram © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ Ceiling and Wall Plans © Sameep Padora & Associates
The combination of social spaces from the terraces and patios creates a wind tunnel that allows the breeze to flow through the building. The open courtyard extends to the sky over a bridge that connects the arms of the condominium to its owners. The building structures through the section several terraces for shaded social spaces for students to create a visual connection across the other levels as well as with the street and courtyard.
Graduated look © Surian Dang
The inner courtyard can be seen from the street © Suryan Dang
▼ entrance, visual communication on different platforms, entrance, visual communication between different levels © Suryan Dang
Entrance and balcony details © Suryan Dang
▼ Terrace, balcony © Suryan Dang
▼ Courtyard, Courtyard © Suryandang
around the courtyard | © Suryan Dang
Look at the sky © Suryan Dang
Communication between different levels © Suryan Dang
Passage details of the
corridor © Suryan Dang
Residential interior of the house © Suryan Dang
▼ Ladder and stairs © Suriandang
ر Lily view, Lily view © Surian Danj
▼ Visual analysis, ventilation and sunlight © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ First Floor Plan, Ground Floor Plan © Sameep Padora & Associates
Second Floor Plan © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ Third Floor
Plan Third Floor Plan © Sameep Padora & Associates
Fourth Floor Plan © Sameep Padora & Associates
▼ Section Drawing, Section © Sameep Padora & Associates
Project Name: Aatam Hostel & House
Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates
Completion Date: January 2022
Total Built Area (m2 / ft2 ) : 20,000ft2
Project Location: Kuta, Rajasthan. India Program
: Residential hostels
Design Team: Pami Sheth, Aparna Dreshwar, Akanksha Sharma, Arshita Bandupaday, Kunal Sharma
Graphics: Adnan Kasubhai, Raj Kashaliya, Nikhil Bang, Anand Jain
Structural Consultant: Sameer Sawant
MEP Consultant: ARKK Consulting
Image Credits: Surian Sharma, Kunal Shar