Monday, 30th October 2017

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Gujarat to shape Nitish dream - Modi-land company to design Nalanda varsity campus

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  • Published 7.05.13

Beating six foreign companies and one from the country, a firm from Narendra Modi’s state on Monday bagged the project to design and construct the Nalanda University campus at Rajgir.

The university, a dream project of chief minister Nitish Kumar, had organised an architectural design competition to choose the master plan and architectural design for the proposed campus.

An expert jury picked the Ahmedabad-based Vastu Shilpa Consultants as the winner of the contest. The firm’s lead architect is B.V. Doshi, senior partner and founder.

The expert jury which chose the consultant comprised four architects of international eminence — Liu Thai Ker, formerly chief town planner for Singapore, Osamu Ishiyama of Waseda University, Tokyo, Li Xiaodong of Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Neelkanth Chhaya of CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

Other members of the jury were JD(U) Rajya Sabha member and former IAS officer N.K. Singh, economist Lord Meghnad Desai, both members of the Nalanda University governing board, and Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal.

Though the university officials refused to divulge details of the selected design, they maintained that the winning firm was picked up for “its conceptual planning, clarity of thought and ability to take forward the vision of Nalanda”.

According to officials, there were eight pre-qualified architects or architectural firms, all of whom submitted drawings and models as sought through a comprehensive Design Competition Dossier.

The jury met over two days — Sunday and Monday — to view, discuss and assess the eight proposals.

Some of the issues considered by the jury while assessing the entries were the possibility for future expansion, functional relationship between various components of the university and the manner in which each of the schemes addressed the issues of sustainability.

The university had launched its design competition on November 21 last year for preparing the master plan of the sprawling campus and the architectural design of buildings and facilities that will come up as part of Phase-I of the project.

Set to come up on 450 acres in Rajgir, about 10km from the site of the ruins of the ancient seat of learning, the upcoming university will have schools in historical studies, Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative religion, international relations and peace studies, among others.