Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes Facade
Exterior Facade | Courtesy of Shaan Patel

Completed in 2021, the Bopal Civic Center project designed by Shaan Patel was an opportunity to provide an alternative form of public infrastructure for students that lack a quiet secluded space in their homes, combining amenities with an unprogrammed undercroft.

Bopal Civic Center Technical Information

The facade is a tapestry formed by a simple arrangement of brick courses. This gives it a striking presence while still being highly economical in its construction. The language of the facade continues into the floor of the undercroft. Much like the upper floors that look inward, the ground floor acts like a tray, with high perimeter walls enclosing landscape patches on three sides of the building.

– Shaan Patel

Bopal Civic Centre Photographs

Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes approach
Exterior Facade | Courtesy of Shaan Patel
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes Structure
Courtesy of Shaan Patel
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes Patio
Courtesy of Shaan Patel
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes brick
Student at the Bopal Civic Center
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes studio
Reading Rooms
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes class
Reading Rooms

Text by the Architects

This project is situated in the rapidly expanding periphery of Ahmedabad. The site belongs to the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), for which the brief was to design a civic center with reading rooms for students from the neighborhood. These students often lack a quiet secluded space to study in their homes. The project was an opportunity to use a small plot to provide an alternative form of public infrastructure, combining amenities with an unprogrammed undercroft.

The Bopal Civic Centre is a free-standing volume nestled within a set of intimate streets and clusters of low-cost housing. It is a compact block with a crisp form compared to the buildings around it. Its proportions are intentionally low and horizontal to establish a stoic presence in its haphazard surroundings.

The building holds two identical reading spaces with a simple rectangular plan. A generous top-lit stairwell cuts through the building connecting these spaces to the public entrance on the ground floor. Each floor has rows of tables in the centre of the plan with a passage that wraps around the building. These spaces intentionally look inward with minimal views of the outside. The two spaces offer slightly different environments in the way they are lit. The first floor is lit with a frosted glass strip around the perimeter. The second floor is lit with clerestory windows closer to the center of the building. This gives both the floors a gentle diffused glow of natural light throughout the day.

Bopal Civic Centre Facade

Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes exterior
Bopal Civic Centre Facade
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes cornice
Courtesy of Shaan Patel

The facade is a tapestry formed by a simple arrangement of brick courses. This gives it a striking presence while still being highly economical in its construction. The language of the facade continues into the floor of the undercroft. Much like the upper floors that look inward, the ground floor acts like a tray, with high perimeter walls enclosing landscape patches on three sides of the building. This forms a kind of shaded refuge, often used as a recreational space for senior citizens from the neighborhood. As a shaded open space with no particular designated use, it leaves itself open to be appropriated differently in the future.

Bopal Civic Centre Plans

Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes Ground Floor Plan
Floor Plan | Courtesy of Shaan Patel
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes South Elevation
Elevation | Courtesy of Shaan Patel
Bopal Civic Centre Ahmedabad Shaan Patel ArchEyes Section
Section | Courtesy of Shaan Patel

About Shaan Patel 

Shaan Patel is an architect and designer based in Ahmedabad who graduated from the Architectural Association (AA) in London. In conjunction with HCP DPM, he currently leads a design studio that engages with projects at various scales. He has previously worked at Caruso St John Architects, Mooradian Studio, and 6a Architects

Cite this article: "Bopal Civic Center in Ahmedabad / Shaan Patel " in ArchEyes, June 28, 2022, https://archeyes.com/bopal-civic-center-in-ahmedabad-shaan-patel/.