CENTRE FOR LIFE SCIENCES, HEALTH AND MEDICINE

Pune, Maharashtra, India

The Centre for Life Sciences, Health and Medicine is a facility for people who have disabilities related to their rate of physical and intellectual development, where these disabilities are often interrelated. The Centre has prospered finding success where mainstream medical practice has failed. It works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds where the public sector health system is wholly inadequate, and where the private sector is financially out of their reach.

Most patients approaching the Centre are children, brought by their parents who have all but lost hope. The founder of the Centre began his research and medical practice in a slum, in a very poor area of the city in 1968. Applying indigenous and alternative forms of medicine, finding results where mainstream practices had failed.

In the education of his architect the client “de-schooled architecture,” leading to an exploration of the minds and lives of differently abled children. The resulting campus employs village-like lanes to channel breezes; links working interior spaces to exterior play gardens and courts; brings in natural light obviating artificial illumination; opens every corner toward pleasant views and vistas, integrated by verandahs, small arcades and porches. This complex functional program accommodates various treatment rooms, an administration area, and activity zones for the patients, along with a residential quarter for the staff in the upper levels, surrounded by gardens. The composition finds roots in some of the visual experiments that emerged from the Mahindra United World College of India, where angular walls focus and re-orient those moving through spaces. The uniform of the rectangle, and the tyranny of Cartesian thinking, were purposely abandoned. A new order of intersecting and interlocking spaces was established. One space merges as part of another, making it possible to move ‘seamlessly’ through a series of visual and tactile events. While this physical integration is catalyzed by the geometry, the visual experience is very porous; with glass walls transforming atomized physical areas and separate functional compartments, into unified spatial wholes.

LocationPune, Maharashtra, India

Built Up Area1,200 Square Meters

Site Area0.54 Acres

Completion2004

Client

Dr. Gunvant Oswal, Pune

Prime Contractor

Millennium Engineers and Contractors, Pune

Services

Structural Design : Satish Marathe Consulting Engineers, Pune

Landscape Design : CCBA Designs, Pune, Ravi & Varsha Gavandi Landscape Architects Pune and Dr. Gunvant Oswal

MEP Design :  ABB Consultants, Pune

Construction Management : Uday Khairatkar, Pune

Photos

Ramprasad Akkisetti and Deepak Kaw

Design Team

Prof. Christopher Benninger, Deepak Guggari, Daraius Choksi, Sujit Kothiwale and Rahul Sathe

Awards