Ranthambore National Park is located 140 km southeast of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport for the flyers. It lies at the edge of a plateau and is bounded by the Banas River in the north, and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambore fortress, which lies within the park. A home of 70 tigers & thousands of other animal species, the park attracts lot of domestic & international tourists because of it’s flora & fauna.
The visitor center for this national park needed to have a site NET zero design for an information area (around 500 sqft) with exhibition spaces to accommodate 50 people (around 3,000 sqft), an auditorium for the documentaries (25 people), a restaurant/cafe for 50-60 people (with kitchen & amenities – around 2,500 sqft), ticket booth & related office spaces (around 250 sqft) and vista points/decks along with other basic amenities.
Local materials & construction techniques were encouraged to make project more Eco-friendly with more emphasis to make the project a high performance design. Analysis like energy calculations, water usage reduction strategies, daylight analysis and on-site energy generation were asked to understand the thermal, visual and user comfort along with project feasibility. The energy simulation academy (TESA) also encouraged participants to experiment with the limits of architecture & building science.
The jury members short-listed the schemes that show a high degree of creativeness & detailed analysis, as long as it was justified. Jury decided the winners on 3 aspects: architecture design (35%), building science analysis & concepts (45%), efficient presentation/explanation (20%).
The winners are:
1st prize ($1,500): Team SHUNYA
2nd prize ($1,000): Team OCULUS
3rd prize ($500): Team MARKAL
1st Prize Entry
Project Name: THE MOUND
Team members: Ramakrishna Shenoy, Akhil Jaikishan, Abhishek Krishnan and Surbhi Saran
Read more about Team SHUNYA and their project THE MOUND HERE.
Team Commentary: The simple stroke of the geometric circle inscribes its self within the landscape in such a way that it fortifies itself as the centrally prominent built form.It also tends to dual itself as a subscriber to the surroundings, and this is achieved by the earth berms that envelope the information center, thus inspiring the idea of calling it THE MOUND. These attributes are dictated by the contemporary interpretation of the chattries, courtyards, stepped wells and pavilions that are significant components of the architectural vocabulary of Rajasthan.
2nd Prize Entry
Project Name: EVAPORATIVE COOLER
Team members: Kristofer Diao, Deepak V and Leanna Sintiaoni
Team Commentary: The vernacular+modern design project is a very simple box design that reduces the energy consumption significantly (30 kWh/sqm/year) by using passive strategies: shading devices, pargolas, Chhatris and local construction techniques. The use of pond water through evaporative cooler takes care of 100% cooling load, and also maintain a comfortable humidity level within user spaces. There is no compromise observed in terms of visual and thermal comfort, and the project was able to achieve net-zero status through on-site renewable energy generation.
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3rd Prize Entry
Project Name: THE ZERO
Team members: Jasvinder Lal, Riddhi Chatterjee and Swapnil Jain
Read more about Team MARKAL and their project THE ZERO HERE.
Team Commentary: The project task to design a visitor center at Ranthambore National Park implementing the Net- Zero concept was challenging and unique in its own way. The Net- Zero concept essentially means that a building is self- sustainable in terms of energy, water and waste. This is conventionally achieved by balancing out the energy consumption in the building by renewable energy generated within the project site. The architecture design has the most to contribute to reach the Net- Zero goals. The architect has hence enhanced the utilization of passive architecture techniques to achieve daylighting in the occupied spaces, natural ventilation and maximize the South façade roof area so that adequate solar panel installations can be made. A “cobweb” design principle was found most suitable to reach the efficiency goals that the team was targeting. Energy targets were achieved by incorporating Energy Conservation Measures in the building envelope, HVAC and lighting systems.