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Academic Project | Thesis | Individual project



Project Description

Architectural designer

Individual project




Adobe Photoshop

The project aimed at re-imagining convention centers into hotspots for collaboration and community engagement in the context of Mohali, a booming city for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism. 



Punjab, India


Spatial Design


Experience Design

January 2021- May 2021

Mixed-Use Convention Centre

Why do we need to activate convention centers as hotspots for public interaction?

Convention centers form an integral part of the fabric and civic identity of our towns and cities. Due to their ability to accommodate large inflow capacities at a single time, they have an important role to play in facilitating community participation and cohesion.

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Increases revenue generation

Promote collaboration

Platform for launching a new product/idea

Promote cross learning

Promote social collaboration

Why this Site?

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Emerging IT Hub

Dearth of convention centers in the city

Well connected with neighboring cities

Thesis Proposition

The thesis aims at creating a mixed use development intended to transform a functionally driven sizeable convention center into a microcosm of public realm, that facilitates community participation and social interaction, hence turning these spaces into effective third places of the city.


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Intermixing different functions to attract different user groups throughout the day and generate an active public realm.

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Blurring the boundaries between the outdoors and the indoors, to create a smooth transition from the street to the building and attract more footfall.

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To promote cross learning and networking through enhanced social interaction

Research and Learnings

Essentials for a successful convention center

After analyzing the existing convention centers built around the world, I narrowed down to 3 main considerations to keep in mind in order to design an efficient convention center.

Visual Connection

Flexible Internal layouts

Access/ movement

Strategies for activation of convention centers across the globe

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Diversity of uses

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Humanizing the scale of built mass

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Stimulating the local economy/culture

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Active Facades: 

Interaction of built mass

with the street

Landscaped based approach

Socially Inclusive

Case Study Analysis

A mix of 3 convention centers of scale and functions similar as that of the project site were analyzed on a defined set of parameters to understand what works and what doesn't for the design of convention centers.

Evaluation Parameters

Spatial Character

Form and Concept


Function placement w.r.t site and surroundings

Open spaces

Public Private Segregation

Movement Systems

Vehicular movement

Pedestrian movement

Volumetric expression

Volumetric response

Integration of functions vertically



Private Public segregation


Creating central plazas as activity nodes which also direct the pedestrian flow


Merging outdoors with the indoors 


Keeping public functions as low height blocks, surrounded by high rise hotel and office buildings for maximum visibility of the public functions.

Site Analysis- Design Inferences

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More private functions can be placed on the site edges where the noise levels are less.

Building should be oriented in the direction of wind- The prevailing wind direction is from SW to NE direction

Only one access road flanks the site limiting the access points to the site. Retail, hotel and offices can abut this edge for easy servicing and public access.

Longer face of the building should face north to get maximum diffused light.

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The site edges adjacent to the Airport road and the university, expose these to high pedestrian footfall. The other 2 edges of the site abut the boundary walls of an industrial plot and INFOSYS campus, away from high footfall. Relatively less public functions can be placed here.

A cluster of trees exist at the core of the site, the open space thus created can be used as an interactive space to maximize the interaction within the site.

The 2nd major green is formed at one of the quieter site edges and thus, can be utilized as an extended outdoor space for workshops and exhibitions.

Site Analysis- Design Inferences

After studying the site and its surrounding context, the potential user groups were identified which were then used to understand what functions can be incorporated in the design that would attract these different types of user groups.

Potential Users

College students

Local residents

Village population




Young adults/working


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Small business outlets: local handicrafts

Retail stores and food outlets

Hospitality facilities

Convention space: seminars, lectures, product launches, conferences

Exhibition space: Trade fairs/ expos, art galleries

Training lab

Design Development

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Arranging the blocks along the site edges. 

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Tying different functions through a stepped podium which acts as the common public space for the users.

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Creating 2 axis of movement originating from the major public nodes around the site.

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Creating a central spine of movement, while maintaining the N-S orientation of the building blocks

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Establishing a hierarchy of open spaces by creating smaller courts which then merge into the larger central open space

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Making the central spine more prominent on the site and debulking the convention block by splitting it up.

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Final Design
Form Development

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Built Form

Building around greens

Tilting towards north

Establishing hierarchy of greens

Central axis for movement

Porous built form 

Generating shaded greens

Cascading built forms

3D Zoning 


Design Concepts

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Activated Public realm on the ground floor

Achieved by sprinkling public functions throughout the site.

Multiple spill out zones on upper floors

Creation of activity nodes

Breakout terraces for different activities to foster interaction between different users

Opening up the pedestrian paths into plazas which become nodes for public gathering and public activities. This helps to direct the pedestrian flow throughout the site.

Connectivity of spaces

Walkable roofs connect the ground to the upper floors, making the built form iconic and the spaces more user friendly and playful at the same time.

Site Plan

Hotel Block

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View of the Hotel

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Convention Block

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View: Connection of convention Centre and Hotel

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View of Convention Centre: Built and Open Spaces

Office and Auditorium Block

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View of the Office and Retail Block

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My Learnings

Working on this project, I got to handle the contextual research, analysis, and design development single-handedly.

This project was a good way for me to conduct self-directed background research and contextual analysis. Research played an important role, since it shed light on the prevalent issues on the site as well as the potential opportunities that I could make use of through my design. 

As I translated the different user needs and my learnings from the site analysis and background research, I had to think of how different functions connected with each other to develop a smooth user flow through the site.  Thus, I had to work on multiple design iterations, and take constant feedback in order to achieve that. 

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