ATREE

a research and learning centre

“An ideal work environment would be one that the user relates to, that stimulates required interaction between users and creates highly motivated individuals.” The design has been evolved after a series of discussions and interaction with all concerned with ATREE. After initial Soil investigation and Contour survey we discovered that the upper portion of the land is a sheet rock and the lower portion which is about seven and a half feet lower is a soft soil. Based on this information we decided to go for a semi basement spanning half the length of the building. Hence from the lower end we have a service entry from where you can enter the basement. The basement being partially over ground level will be naturally light and ventilated. One can park in the basement and walk up to the ground floor or take the elevator to any of the above four floors. The basement will also house some services like the electrical and power room, rainwater harvesting tanks, facilities for drivers and house keeping staff. Also part of the library which is accessed internally is in the basement.

The ground floor entrance from the south east side leads you into a reception and lobby area, which has a small landscaped sky lit courtyard. The Auditorium which is designed as a multipurpose space can accommodate up to 100 people. This space has access from the outside towards the east side. The area outside is landscaped to act as a spill over space in between seminars or conferences. On can also go up to a terrace on the first floor, which has smaller lecture room. As one walks through the verandah along the courtyard you are be able to see the entire building from within, with all its angular walls, bridges across the courtyard, a occasional view to the outside, the balconies and verandahs with people moving back and forth in various floor levels.atree-courtyardThe Library has been divided into two inter connected space on levels with an under ground for archives.

It is a flexible space left to the imagination of the librarian to make optimum use for display and encourage interest in areas of research. Mostly people will browse and borrow books and read them at there desk or workplace.Towards the western side are the labs. The Eco informatics and Databases to the right and the GIS and Map room to the left. The Genetics, Chemistry and Soil labs are place together. The Insect museum and Herbarium are to the far right. There is a terrace over looking the south west side of the land. Beside this is a staircase which leads you to the first floor which has the workspace for the research fellows and their assistants. The east side is the rooms for the directors and admin assistanatree-inner-courtts with a board room and a lecture room.

The second and third floor is mainly workspace for research fellows and their assistants. The workspaces have a visual link with walls only two and a half to four feet high the rest either open or have glass wherever sound privacy is required. This give a feel like being in a greenhouse and all the spaces have a connection to the open courtyard within and also the land around outside.The Fourth floor or the terrace has the Café with pantry and kitchen. It also has a Gym and exercise room and also a recreation lounge with entertainment facility. The Dining area consists of a large semi covered space with a view towards the lake. Towards the south side we plan to have a terrace garden with pergolas, shade nets, creepers and lots of plants. This will keep the building cool in summer and will be a nice place to relax or take a break from work.

The rest rooms for men and women is in the north east on all four floors. The courtyards are covered with skylights and can be either shade nets or creepers in some places. This is mainly to control the lashing rain accomplished with wind. The courtyard helps to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter. It also provides for natural ventilation system, in which fresh air is drawn into the rooms and stale air is exhausted out through wind driven out through the side vents in the central roof skylight. The building will also have solar atree-walkwayspanels on the roof as a power source in future. The building materials used are non toxic and all natural material are used in their natural form, texture and colour. The main structure of the building is a RCC frame with columns and beams with infill walls of cement blocks and terracotta hollow bricks. Local rough Granite is also used for some walls The doors and windows are of sustainable timber as far as possible. The floors are terrazzo using black and grey chips. Polished kota in the rest rooms and kitchen. The interiors are plastered walls with a relief of brick exposed in the corridors. The external walls are plastered with a mud finatree-entranceish to contrast with the brick and concrete.

The Rainwater is harvested in underground tanks, the remaining is recharged in to the ground through percolation wells. The Gray water from the wash basins, showers, kitchen etc will be recycled for use in the garden. Special filters are used for the labs which produce toxic chemicals in traces. The Black water or Sewage is connected to a DEWATS sewage treatment plant and water that come out is used for landscaping.Solid waste management will involve sorting of garbage, composting of kitchen waste and recycling of paper and glass. All toxic waste produced such as toner ink, cartridges, batteries, film etc is segregated from the others and disposed separately. The landscape and trees that we have planted in the land have a functional and aesthetic purpose. The courtyard has a rock garden a water body and a stream flowing through with fish and butterflies to complete the ecological cycle.

                                       Project Fact File:

  • Project: ATREE research and learning facility for 150 people.
  • Location : Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Bangalore
  • Client: ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment)
  • Architects: GoodEarth Bangalore ( earlier House of Consultants)
  • Design team: Jeeth, Snehal Gada.
  • Project Area: Land 19,000 sqft Building 38,000 sqft
  • Civil Contractors: Mr Ashok Naidu, Magnum Constructions.
  • Structural Design: Mr R V Achari, Shilpi Design.
  • Project Cost: Rs 400 lakhs      Completion of project: 2009