St. Xavier’s Technical Institute , Sevasi, Baroda 1968
This Jesuit vocational training campus is among Hasmukh Patel’s most memorable projects. Clusters of hostels, workshops, classrooms and administrative buildings have been oriented for optimal breeze and shade and staggered to minimise transmission of noise and to enclose different scales of public space. It remains a beautiful campus, grown into its surroundings, but is actually best remembered for the ingenuity of its construction system. Like Newman Hall, this campus was constructed by Br. Martín Araquistáin SJ. He wanted to try using Spanish pre-cast construction technology in this project. Small hollow blocks and five types of modular ‘T’ shaped beams were pre-cast on site. Only the longest spanning beams were cast in-situ. The brick was also all made on site with great attention to quality. This attitude was unusual at this time when the quality of much of the local material was either simply accepted or often celebrated for its rough aesthetic qualities. Patel and Br. Martin pursued a different ambition, chasing perfection in construction.