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A New Innovation Tech Campus Karle Town Centre Masterplan, Bengaluru
By: Ben van Berkel
According to economists, we are currently living in the ‘Indian Century’, and Bengaluru – with its moniker as the Silicon Valley of India, due to a large number of information technology companies based in the city – finds itself at the epicenter of this rapid growth. Within this thriving tech hub, UNStudio has designed the new Karle Town Centre (KTC), while UNSense – the arch tech company founded by UNStudio – is collaborating with Karle Infra to curate the use of sensorial technologies throughout the masterplan. KTC is a development that aims to define Bengaluru locally and inspire the whole of India to ‘lead by example’ when designing future urban destinations.
KTC, which is currently under construction, enjoys a direct connection to the city’s ring road arterial and expanding metro lines. It is positioned prominently next to the established Manyata Tech Park with scenic views over Nagavara Lake and is designed to act as a natural magnet for people and activities in the urban panorama.
Urban stagnation is a global problem that extends beyond the confines of India and is evidenced by a continuous decline in central business districts over the last 20 years. The recurring question is, how do we attract talent, families and investment back to the heart of these cities? UNStudio in collaboration with KTC has created a solution to these challenging issues in the form of an Urban Branding Manual.
The Urban Branding Manual, developed by UNStudio for KTC, analyses the detailed components of the design with a quantitative selective process. The manual explains the design intentions and requirements and is conceived as a tool which can help facilitate the design intentions of the client, engineers, architects, and urban planners so that they collectively understand the principles and motivations behind the previous choices and requirements. This manual serves as a safeguard for the integrity of the design and assures that the urban vision is executed properly over the extended course of its life.
Ben van Berkel, the founder of UNStudio, says, “Traditional masterplans focus on the general layout and urban planning. Our Urban Branding Manual, on the other hand, concentrates on experience and how to translate this experience into reality.
With a network of specialists – sometimes more than a few hundred people – you need a clear vision and strategy to stay on course over the long duration of the project. The Urban Branding Manual helps the client to realise this ambitious undertaking.”
The Urban Branding Manual for KTC is built around three defining pillars:
Garden, as the beauty of Bengaluru’s lush natural environment, deserves to be shared and enjoyed by all, hence it’s a colloquial name, ’The Garden City’;
Health, because promoting health means a brighter and inspired Indian future;
Culture, because of its essential benefit to the core social and economic prosperity of the region.
KTC: Karle Theater Entry
KTC Bengaluru’s architecture emerges from the dense green canopy as a series of branded contemporary buildings that will define the city’s skyline. The dynamic white volumes painted in UNStudio and Monopol Color’s unique and patented ‘Coolest White’ ultra-durable paint provides a contemporary identity to KTC masterplan.
In KTC, the landscape and architectural language complement each other and together shape the elements of the urban environment at all scales, from the design of the planter edges to the architectural features found in the landscape, which merge and blend with the green pockets and roofscapes of the building façades. The interwoven forms, along with the sensitive integration of nature within the architecture, will let visitors know that KTC is Bengaluru’s ‘Garden City of the 21st Century’.
A Resilent & Healthy Environment
Sustainable strategies and User Dataset Collection Technology are the bedrock of a resilient and healthy environment. The UNStudio’s design maximises passive design techniques, capitalising on natural daylight and prevailing wind direction. The vegetative integration strategy of KTC controls heat gain through thermal buffering, reduces unwanted wind and filters Bengaluru’s air from fine particulates that have been lifted from the soil. Large underground water retention zones are used for the irrigation of on-site vegetation and the storage and treatment of gray water use.
UNSense, the arch tech company founded by UNStudio, is collaborating with Karle Infra to curate the use of sensorial technologies throughout the masterplan in an effort to make the built environment more responsive and healthy, by tailoring the environmental controls to the users physical, mental and social wellbeing through user dataset collection.
A view of Karle Plaza
Project: Karle Town Centre Masterplan Location: Bengaluru Architect:UNStudio (Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Harlen Miller, Maurizio Papa, Filippo Lodi, and Atira Ariffin, Bianca Dobru, Dana Behrman, Emma Whitehead, Jacques van Wijk, Jung Jae Suh, Maria Zafeiriadou, Pietro Scarpa, Sibilla Bonfanti, Yuntao Xu) Landscape:BALJON Landscape Architects, Amsterdam Infrastructure master planning:Aurecon, Melbourne Masterplan consultant: Ross Bonthorne, Sydney
Ben van Berkel
Ben van Berkel studied architecture at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Architectural Association in London, receiving the AA Diploma with Honours in 1987. In 1988 Ben Van Berkel and Caroline Bos founded the UNStudio which is an international architectural design studio specialising in architecture, urban development and infrastructural projects. UNStudio Architectural Sustainability Platform engages all UNStudio projects from the early phases in order to ensure that the correct choices are made and that the office’s high sustainable standards remain an integral part of the design process. They make sure that sustainable knowledge and conclusions directly inform the design decisions. This involves both active and passive design tools, which have a recognisable effect on the design of the building, product or urban plan. The ASP is committed to the promotion and practice of sustainable design. The Architectural Sustainability Platform is continually involved in the development of new tools for an improved design process. Together with the application of the many international environmental regulations and an in-house assessment toolkit, new sustainable assets are created.