Karle Town Centre
Karle Town Centre
Bangalore, India, 2016 - Present
Karle Town Centre is our masterplan design for a new innovation tech campus in the heart of Bangalore's thriving Tech Hub. Due to the large number of information technology companies based in the city, Bangalore finds itself at the epicenter of rapid growth. Karle Town Centre (KTC), as part of that growth, is a development that aims to define Bangalore locally and inspire the whole of India to ‘lead by example’ when designing future urban destinations. Designed around three defining pillars: Health, Culture and Garden, KTC is currently under construction along the Nagavara Lake, enjoying a direct connection to the city’s ring road and expanding metro lines. Positioned next to the established Manyata Tech Park, KTC is designed to act as a natural magnet for people and activities across Bangalore's tech scene.
In KTC the landscape and architectural language complement each other, together shaping the urban environment across all scales, from the design of the planter edges, to the architectural features found in the landscape, which merge with the green pockets and roof scapes of the building facades. The interwoven forms, along with the sensitive integration of nature within the architecture, communicates to visitors that KTC is Bangalore’s ‘Garden City of the 21st Century’. The dynamic white volumes across the masterplan, painted in UNStudio and Monopol Color’s unique and patented ‘Coolest White’ ultra-durable paint provide a contemporary identity to KTC.
Urban Branding Manual
Counteracting urban stagnation
Urban stagnation is a global problem that extends beyond India, shown by a continuous decline in central business districts over the last 20 years. This issue poses the recurring question: how do we attract talent, families and investment back to the heart of these cities? UNStudio in collaboration with KTC have 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 Branding 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 there is a collective understanding of the principles and motivations behind 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.
The Urban Branding Manual for Karle Town Centre is built around three defining pillars. The first pillar, Garden, encourages the beauty of Bangalore’s lush natural environment, and promotes a collective and shared experience of Bangalore's colloquial name, ’The Garden City’. The second pillar, Health, is based on promoting health within the urban landscape as a brighter and inspired Indian future. The final pillar, Culture, focuses on the crucial benefits that culture can offer to the core social and economic prosperity of the region.
Community Oriented Urban Design
India is one of the most diverse yet distinct cultural regions in the world, and as such, the KTC Masterplan understands the importance of capturing the country’s broader identity. The inclusion of a grand central theatre, event square plazas, elevated retail stages and amphitheater style staircases creates a multitude of smaller and larger meeting points, and encourage culture to thrive. The design of the KTC masterplan focuses on the cultural perception of health, security, connectivity and scale, while respecting deeply rooted Indian traditions and beliefs. While security is highly prioritised, the design of the urban plan reflects an open and inviting campus; a place where people can garner a new impression of India.
The masterplan is highly permeable for both pedestrians and vehicles, seamlessly blending the two. A system of streets transition smoothly into designated drop-off points, while underground roads reduce congestion, thus ensuring minimal transport time and facilitating noise reduction. By connecting multiple destinations together in a green and shaded environment with limited vehicular traffic, the masterplan encourages pedestrian movement while offering respite from an otherwise bustling urban context.
Typical large-scale masterplans are hindered by slow growth and stagnation due to their lengthy construction and development phasing, sometimes requiring decades before completion. UNStudio aims to avoid this by turning each building and plot into its own thriving urban microcosm. Whilst KTC is driven functionally by business and commerce, the mixed-use programme across the masterplan provides an inviting and inspiring environment for working, living and entertainment, ensuring activity on the site throughout the day and evening for residents, employees and visitors.
Bangalore’s Garden City of the 21st Century
A resilient and healthy environment
The design of the KTC masterplan aims to enhance the quality of urban life for Karle Town Centre’s occupants, while preserving and enhancing the green character of Bangalore.
UNStudio, in collaboration with BALJON Landscape Architects from Amsterdam, envision a sustainable and resilient landscape plan that is linked to the concept of the garden as a place of leisure and relaxation. The plan takes the historic reputation of Bangalore as a ‘Garden City’ into the 21st century. Karle Town Centre presents an opportunity to shape a place that is known locally, yet is a symbol of progress globally. Special attention to the public realm is given in the design by promoting the lake front promenade, providing adequate streetscape and avenue vegetation, the implementation of semi-public vegetative sky gardens throughout the architecture, and promoting an integrated design of all urban elements (seating, lighting, biking route paving, bollards, etc.). Sustainable strategies and User Dataset Collection Technology are the bedrock of a resilient and healthy environment. 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 Bangalore’s air from fine particulates that have been lifted from the soil. Large underground water retention zones are used for the irrigation of onsite vegetation and the storage and treatment of grey water use.