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Global race for Nalanda design

Nine firms would rub shoulders with one another to emerge winner in the design competition of Nalanda University — the final hurdle on the path to lap up the prestigious job of designing the varsity.

The names of the successful firms were declared on Tuesday. The varsity had received 79 entries, showing interest to design the university.

A four-member committee headed by Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal selected the firms. The three other members of the committee were former additional director-general of CPWD R.K. Kakar, Kulbhushan Jain of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore-based architect K. Jaisim.

“The selection of firms was done on the basis of criteria given in details when the university had sought expression of interest from architects/firms willing to take part in the design competition, Sabharwal told The Telegraph on Tuesday over phone.

“A detailed dossier of the concept of the university campus would be provided to the selected firms within a week and the selection for final design of the university campus would be completed latest in three months,” she said.

An international jury would make the final selection of the design. The jury members’ name has not been finalised yet. “We are waiting for consent from some of the members who are likely to be part of the jury. Once these formalities are completed, the names would be brought under public domain,” Sabharwal said, adding that the process was likely to be completed within a week.

She said one thing was certain that the jury would have more architects than experts from other fields. Located around 90km southeast of the city and around 10km from the ruins of the old Nalanda University site, the new varsity would come up at Rajgir on a 446-acre plot. The buildings of the university would be designed on the concept of “net zero” energy consumption. It means that there would be provision for producing the energy the university would need.


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