Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

The Azim Premji University is being built on a thirty-six hectares site in the periphery of the Bengaluru metropolitan region. The university is an integral component of a national strategy by the Azim Premji Foundation, a philanthropic organization, to improve primary education in India. The vision is to have a deep, large scale and institutional impact on the quality and equity of primary education in the most challenging regions of India. By partnering with government to engage teachers, teacher educators, school leaders, rural development officials, senior government functionaries and policy makers at the state and the national level to catalyze institutional and policy shifts that impact at the grass root level. The university is carrying out evidence-based research, working with fifty district level institutes and eight state governments. The university has a clear social purpose to make significant contributions towards a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society, through the development of talent and the creation of knowledge. It is doing this by creating socially committed professionals, facilitating better practices, exploring new knowledge and acting as a national resource. Accordingly, the university is running undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education programs.

These visions are realized through degree and diploma programs. In the future as many as twenty thousand students will be on campus, of which sixteen thousand will be residential students, along with their teaching, research and support staff. To facilitate this, a campus is being built composed of student residences, employee residences, dining facilities, sports and recreation facilities, classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, conference rooms, faculty study rooms, an auditorium, art studios, music rooms, an amphitheater, a library, essential utilities and a welcome center. A number of rights-of-ways, reservations, statutory access paths and an existing temple temper the plans’ structure.

The academic area at the entrance to the campus includes the library, auditorium, classrooms, faculty study rooms, laboratories and lecture halls. These activities are linked with each other through a system of covered arcades and courtyards, around and within which various functions are located due their mutual synergies and complementarities. The strategy is to keep the ground level as a vehicle free, pedestrian domain. Walking paths within plazas, under arcades, through enclosed garden courtyards and down a central promenade create kinetic experiences tempered to enhance curiosity, interest and leave visual memories. A hierarchy of social spaces facilitates various kinds of idea exchanges, from one-on-one discussions, to group discussions, debates, lectures and dramas. An individual can find their own place to contemplate, or discover a corner to question a friend. They can sit in a breakout space freely exchanging opinions, criticisms and new ideas. Thus, it is the informal learning spaces that compliment and amplify the formal places. The human mind is wandering and creative, but is also must be focused and analytical; the learning spaces must all reflect this seeming contradiction. These became the explicit and the implicit factors generating the designs.


The master plan evolved over five years of iterations from a very utopian, structured comprehensive plan into a more flexible, ad hoc and incremental pattern. This process was catalyzed as it was realized that many parcels of land integral to the campus could not be acquired; when a new development plan was applied to the site cutting roads into the site and increasing reservations; when it was discovered that an abandoned temple was legally alive and that an ancient right of way cutting the site in half would have to be respected.





LocationBengaluru, Karnataka, India

Built Up AreaPhase I- 2.7 million Square Meters, Phase II- 3.7 million Square Meters

Site Area66.50 Acres



Azim Premji Foundation, Bengaluru

Prime Contractor



Visualizations : Bhargav Khurjekar and Chaitanya Padhye

Design Team

Prof. Christopher Benninger, Nikita Oak, Daraius Choksi, Rahul Sathe, Harsh Manrao, Shivaji Karekar, Deepak Kaw, Sudhaman Arputhavel, Noel Jerald V, Sachin Deo, Gaurav Inamdar,Jasmeet Kaur Jite, Bhushan Pise, Madhu Ambidi, Sundar Bommaji, Pankaj Bhagwatkar, Chaitanya Padhye, Payal Chaudhari, Bhargav Khurjekar, Arnav Mathur, Siddharth Bansal, Vivek Panchal, Nainesh Mutha, Devyani Shekhawat, Ashwathy Ganesh, Dnyaneshwar Gaddamwar, Sampath Suthar, Kunal Rakshit, Shaina Rueben, Alex Wilson, Advait Kulkarni, Sneha Patil and Juzer Furniturewala