The Student hostel forms part of the large campus of a newly established University, located in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, India.


The project is located in a context over-determined by state patronage, characterized as it is even today by limited construction technologies and a spartan budget. The design approach therefore consciously engages with the architectural legacy of Indian Modern Masters – a successful negotiation of tropical climates, creative exploitation of limited resources and a concern with the production of social spaces. Yet it departs from this praxis significantly in its playful manipulation of form and structure, which together re-imagine the existing paradigm of concrete frame building in the region.

"So what are ways of putting mass-bound things together?"
"So what are ways of putting mass-bound things together?" © DCOOP

Generated from a graphical diagram of lines – first multiplied, then spatialized and transformed through a series of actions – the Hostel is a collage of spaces, volumes, and materials. The design involves assembling the rooms into simple rectangular blocks comprising five rooms each, allowing for the control of volumes and scale. The spatial vocabulary and generative components evolve out of the dynamic action of these modular blocks; the resultant architecture is an assembled kit-of-parts where each block ‘swivels’, ‘hollows’, ‘slides’, or ‘stacks’ and plugs-in to a central public spine. These actions lend dynamism to the structure, juxtaposing it against the weighted forms of Indian Modernism.