Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Christopher Charles Benninger Architects
Lonavla, India
Project Year


Research Facilities
A. Ramprasad Naidu

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Christopher Charles Benninger Architects as Architects

The Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) near Mumbai was established by Executive Ship Management (ESM) Singapore, to fulfill its new vision of an industry driven by environmental protection, safety and efficiency. Realizing that it must drive this mission through human resources it embarked on the creation of a sophisticated, state of the art, world class green campus where the full range of pre-sea and post-sea studies can be imparted. Like ships floating upon a vast undulating sea, the sculpturesque buildings appear to float on the grass lawns. Steel and glass were employed to give the cadets a taste of sea life where existence is in a machine called a ship! At the campus, which was completed in 2007, housing 400 cadets, energy efficiency begins to walk the talk with the campus producing 90 KW of energy through its photovoltaic panels, which lend unique character to facades whose appearance is driven by efficiency and not fashions! Photovoltaic cells, both translucent and opaque, became modern-day Indian ‘jaalis,’ allowing in natural light while blocking heat via the three hundred feet long photovoltaic solar wall in the Maritime Workshop; Asia’s longest, it produces 90 KW daily! Operable glass on the north façade brings in natural light, giving the testing equipment and machinery all-round illumination and ventilation. The Administration Building cleverly exploits northern light through its wavy glass atrium wall, while generating electricity through the grand photovoltaic south-facing façade that produces 30 KW. The structure is made of two walls, like a ship, that fall apart in the middle and then rejoin back in the end. The long Sudents Hostel structure, which is a Two hundred and fifty meters long, glides over the grass ocean, like a catamaran in full wind! 400 cadets and post-sea officers are accommodated within five “ships” anchored at either end by the Auditorium (South) and the Catering Center (north). Aluminum louvers keep the bright sun off of the fenestration and the three Dining Halls are glass prisms facing north, with protective cladded concrete walls to the South and West. The interiors are cast-in-place concrete murals. This long ship floats above the Infinite Corridor, which acts as a covered walkway. Vertical stair silos moor this lofty structure to the site, like ship moorings in a port. The Academic Building is a composition of fourteen large classrooms, with cladded walls to the south and louvered glass. The large lineal atrium connects them all into one composition, with pointed, ship-like porches at either end. All buildings have natural illumination, cutting consumption of non-renewable energy. Solar panels provide the entire heated water requirement, using circular hot water tanks held above the circular stairs. These seemingly frivolous shapes are integrated within a functional system of water management. The 82 feet tall central tank is vertically divided into four stages, with the raw bore well water progressively purified as it reaches the topmost tank, from where it is gravity distributed to the entire campus. Aluminum louvers in the Hostel and curved Academic Building allow natural ventilation and day light, while blocking India’s fierce sun, acting as a passive air conditioning system. Two bio-sewerage treatment plants recycle grey water to gardens and water sinks. Compost banks produce organic fertilizer. Innovative water management makes the campus “water self-sufficient”! Eighty-percent of its water is re-cycled. Ground and rain water is harvested via catchment canals circling the campus, which is then stored within the two acre pond, which is the home of the “Ship-in-Campus;” an eight storied slice of a real ship allowing actual, instead of virtual, training. The Ship includes a desalination plant, sewerage treatment plant, generators, full scale engine, air-conditioning plants and fire safety systems, as well as tanker pumps. Fire prevention, life-boat operations and under-water sea operations are taught here. Put in the words of Tata BP Solar CEO, “SIMS is a unique project and an engineering marvel, becoming the take home lesson for young cadets stepping into the world of sailing, who will determine the quality and the culture of the maritime industry in future years”. This post-modern ensemble of statuesque objects, floating on a green sea carpet, are held into a visual pattern by the landmark water tower, axial pathways, River Indryani, NH-4, and the directional movement of the objects in space.

Product Specifications
HunterDouglas IndiaManufacturers
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