• Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University
  • Symbiosis University

The Symbiosis University for Applied Sciences situated near the super corridor in the North West part of Indore, intended to expand their campus to include an auditorium, a dining as well as a library facility. Symbiosis, being an institution of high repute, wanted to create an iconic image for their university, one that would befit the name of the institution. The project was entrusted to Shashi Prabhu and Associates to create this new institutional landmark in the city. The project came with its set of challenges. The academic and admin blocks of the campus had already been built, consuming most of the budget allocated to the project. There was, therefore, a serious budget constraint for the design and construction of the auditorium building. Even so, the architects resolved to fulfil the clients’ aspiration of creating an iconic imagery while also ensuring utmost efficiency in its function.

The plot situated to the north east corner of the site, is adjacent to the super corridor. The building was therefore aligned to the road to provide a good vantage point. The structure was designed keeping in mind for it to be viewed from the super corridor. The building designed therefore is visible from a distance of 2kms on the super corridor. The building is oriented in the east-west direction. The layout ensures the use of natural light in the ancillary spaces of the auditorium such as the entrance lobby, the staircase or even the pantry area. The landscape design subtly accentuates the approach road and the building offsets.

The foremost challenge was to devise a form in which the structural members would themselves extend to create a dynamic expression for the building. This would massively help in cutting the costs of the structure. The search for this form combined with the knowledge of the local context led to the discovery of the local ‘palash ‘flower. The palash flower, with its distinctive geometry provided the starting point for the development of the design. The fanning petals of the flower formed the inspiration for creating a structure with fins that appeared to be opening up in succession. The red colour of the flower also complemented the colour of the institutions logo. This helped root the design in the context of the site. The idea was to create these fins in such a manner that they not only form the envelope for the building but also act as the roof itself.

A shell like structure emerged as a result thereof that could segregate the various functions of the auditorium effectively. The fins or layers of the shell helped in breaking down the solid form of the structure making it appear lighter. The structure needed to be light weight and also accommodate the long span of the auditorium without any intermediate support. The envelope was made as a large span steel structure with light weight steel truss members having a standing seam galvanized roof at the top. The trusses were constructed on site with the help of the detail drawings and under the on-site supervision of the architects. The truss flanges were deliberately kept at a distance of 2.5 to 4 metres as the roof was to be extended to become the canopy for the entrance porch. The auditorium with a capacity of 750 has the seating divided on two levels. The balcony accommodating about 200 people is cantilevered to a distance of 6.5 metres.

The building designed deliberately stands out from the rest of the campus with its form and the bold red used in the shell, thereby effectively marking its presence in the eye of the passers-by. The architects have successfully articulated a structurally sound, financially feasible and functionally fluid design for the auditorium.

"We have meticulously strived to make the design a visual wonder, while being a functional delight. We hope that this structure will certainly create a unique identity in Indore and a design statement for this institution."

- Atul Prabhu
Indore, India
Project Size
40,000 Sq.ft.
Project Status
Project Cost
INR 13 Cr.
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Project Management