MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio

MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio

MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Exterior Photography, Facade

Context/Location – Bangalore in Southern India is thriving with micro campuses from several universities. Among them is the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), an 80-acre campus on the city’s outskirts. The campus is planned for over 12000 students from varied technology, art & sciences fields. A legacy of more than 60 years, MAHE is synonymous with excellence in education. Nestled in the core of this campus, MARC (Auditorium & Food Court) emanates from its role as the central focal point of the bustling academic hub. The building caters to the diverse and growing campus needs and is designed to support multiple activities and thrive in its setting.

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MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Interior Photography

The Design Framework—The design program included two distinct facilities: a food court spanning two (lower) levels and a 1,200-seater Auditorium positioned above. A rectangular soft enclosure of a plaza was planned around the building, increasing the visual footprint. The outdoor plaza, with its optical conundrum, extended the interiors seamlessly. These plazas, featuring multiple use points, are planned as outdoor food courts and open congregation spaces for various casual and organized campus activities. 

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MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Interior Photography

People, Movement & Transitional Spaces – The core philosophy of the structure was to create a dynamic and engaging experience, enhancing the sense of place and fostering social interaction. Integrating outdoor and indoor spaces ensured a cohesive connection between the primary activities. As one crosses through the plaza, the spatial threshold disappears. The floor levels are planned to ensure ease of movement. The food court levels are half-sunken to establish a direct connection with the outdoor food court. A diverging set of ramps, exposed on the outer edge, provides direct access to the user at the auditorium level, ensuring seamless accessibility and flow. The movement of the users is carefully choreographed, taking into consideration the specific needs of both the service-intensive and high-traffic area areas. The transitional spaces at the auditorium level with open lobbies and decks face the plaza and create an element of relief.

MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Interior Photography, Table, Beam
MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Interior Photography, Windows, Beam, Column

Layers & Patterns – Spatial interchange is explored through multiple layers converging around the central circular form of the Auditorium. The central core functions like a magnet, with open plazas around expanding its field. The Auditorium, with its impressive diameter of 52 meters, stands as a symbol of prominence within the design, anchoring the entire complex’s spatial dynamics. Rendered in steel, the metal framework is anchored to the roof trusses that support the composite roof, ensuring structural integrity and stability. The contrast between the robust framework and enclosing form is accentuated by the concentric rings of hues of orange. This visual juxtaposition highlights the structure’s architectural prominence and reinforces its identity as a vibrant hub within the campus environment.

MARC Auditorium / The Purple Ink Studio - Exterior Photography
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Spatial Interiors – Rather than reinforcing boundaries in architecture and Interiors, the design focuses on removing more than it adds. The Auditorium is planned to have outdoor spaces for the lobbies and decks, as well as a VIP Gallery for the events. The design language continues in the interiors with a strategic mix of materials. A sense of continuity is observed from the outside in. To heighten the sense of drama, a single shape is manipulated by creating different patterns in the interiors. The hues of the orange are organized as patterns in rafters, and the gradients of the chair vanish from the corners and make the form respond to its exteriors. Acoustical panels form the backdrop for the rafters, which cater to the sound insulation. The ceiling, with its concentric light detail, contributes to the overall character of the space. The design of the MARC exemplifies new-age thinking, enriching the user experience and creating a dynamic and inspiring environment that reflects the aspirations of a growing institute.


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