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BM Institute of Mental Health and Balghar School Complex (Restoration and Refurbishment), Ahmedabad 2015

The BM Institute of Mental Health (BMI) and Balghar School are located on Ashram Road in Ahmedabad. The road separates the institutes into two campuses- the first, an institute for children with special needs and the second, a nursery that later evolved into a primary school. Gautam Sarabhai designed the two campuses in the 1960s as a significant contribution to the modern architectural heritage of the 20th century. 

In 2015, HCP undertook the refurbishment of both campuses to address their need for expansion and improved facilities. The intent to refurbish in a way that retains its architectural value and conserves its modern heritage was met through tactful additions and restorations to existing spaces, carefully responding to their materiality and architectural expression. The interventions made in the campuses aimed to be sensitive to the primary users of the building, retaining the familiarity of simple and calm spaces of the original design.

The Baku Bhai Ni Pol building in BMI was restored by refurbishing the peeling plaster, reinstalling the floors with levelled surfaces, along with the construction of a new dining block that provided a larger and open gathering space. In Balghar, a steel deck was constructed to create additional classroom spaces at a mezzanine level. Also, a wooden dog-legged staircase built in a unique system of structures, was adeptly restored, retaining its original form. Parts of the campus that were earlier abandoned were put back to use.

HCP’s approach to conservation as a practice in design puts function and life back into these structures by upgrading them to meet the contemporary requirements, thereby placing users and activities at the centre of design.

Built-up Area: 7200 Sqm
Status: Built

 

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