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gur gyan foundation,



Size:  6,500 Sq.ft. Educational Institute


Environmental Technology: Soil Erosion, Tree Preservation, Passive Light/Ventilation/Cooling, Passive Solar Heating/Water Heating, Grey Water Separation, Solar Photo-voltaic Electricity System.

Apostrophe Team: Shivjit Sidhu (Principal Architect), Michael Matthew (Project Architect), Supriya Patil

Structural Engineer: Eng. Ajeet Tyagi


Contractor: Gur Gyan Foundation


The site is a 3 acre plot located in Maddoke village, Punjab. This area is where Lala Lajpat Rai, a leader of the Indian Independence Movement, spent his childhood and he is still highly revered in the area.

The plot is a former wheat field that the family trust has donated for the cause of education and is a typical flat land with a tube well for freshwater supply. The area is typical of Punjab with hot dry summers and cold winters and light monsoon and winter rains.




The Gur Gyan Foundation seeks to create vocational and supplementary education that will benefit the community. This includes short term seminars for farmers, technical courses for youth, language courses, etc. The space is also envisioned as hosting various community functions. The requirement was for 3 classrooms that could accommodate upto 40 people each, a gathering space, amphitheater and support services including faculty office, restrooms and care taker quarters.



The client mandate stated a desire to create spaces that are efficient to operate. Apostrophe A+uD decided to review passive energy design strategies from the design of the Silhouette house. This included;

  • Natural Daylight in all spaces. This was planned so that there would be ambient light in the classrooms without direct solar glare by creating a series of folds and slits along peripheral walls and roofs.

  • Double skin brick walls with air-gap insulation along the Southern facade to prevent solar heat gain.

  • Open circulation corridor to reduce cost. This is placed on the Northern facade to benefit from the natural shading of the building mass on to the corridor.

  • Cross Ventilation is planned in all rooms with control based on apertures on both windward and leeward facades of the room. Rooms are in single file and open on both ends due to the open corridor.

  • Acoustic performance was very important as the classrooms are designed for large gatherings and the budget did not allow for interior treatment to augment acoustics or for electronic amplification. The spaces use a diamond shaped geometry in plan along with varying ceiling heights and exposed structural members to create surfaces for sound diffusion and absorption reducing the necessity for additional acoustic treatment.




The project was oriented towards the existing historic Gurdwara providing a visual frame of reference in the flat and uniform topography of the surrounding farm land. Classrooms and other programmatic elements were aligned along this axis with a slight arc geometry so that each space could take advantage of the solar shadow of the preceding space and also act as a channel for breeze.

The entire structure was further planned so that it expanded into the landscape.




The project is constructed in a typical RCC frame and slab system. The interiors feature simple plaster and paint finish with polished concrete floors.

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