Academic Project | Thesis | Individual project
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.
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.
Increases revenue generation
Platform for launching a new product/idea
Promote cross learning
Promote social collaboration
Why this Site?
Emerging IT Hub
Dearth of convention centers in the city
Well connected with neighboring cities
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.
Intermixing different functions to attract different user groups throughout the day and generate an active public realm.
Blurring the boundaries between the outdoors and the indoors, to create a smooth transition from the street to the building and attract more footfall.
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.
Flexible Internal layouts
Strategies for activation of convention centers across the globe
Diversity of uses
Humanizing the scale of built mass
Stimulating the local economy/culture
Interaction of built mass
with the street
Landscaped based approach
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.
Form and Concept
Function placement w.r.t site and surroundings
Public Private Segregation
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
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.
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.
Small business outlets: local handicrafts
Retail stores and food outlets
Convention space: seminars, lectures, product launches, conferences
Exhibition space: Trade fairs/ expos, art galleries
Arranging the blocks along the site edges.
Tying different functions through a stepped podium which acts as the common public space for the users.
Creating 2 axis of movement originating from the major public nodes around the site.
Creating a central spine of movement, while maintaining the N-S orientation of the building blocks
Establishing a hierarchy of open spaces by creating smaller courts which then merge into the larger central open space
Making the central spine more prominent on the site and debulking the convention block by splitting it up.