Innovative Designs in Newer Hostel Block in IISc

The scarcity of hostel rooms in IISc seems to be over. Slowly, the “newer hostel complex” the name of which is not yet known, is becoming operational and the first students have moved into it. That gave me a chance to wander around in the block and find some interesting and innovative designs.

For instance, the latch which is suppose to lock the cabinet doors.

In case you lose your keys, any screwdriver will do the job, without damaging the lock. The latch is mounted in a way that if it is latched, it does not cover the plate with the screws. That would usually not be a problem since I do not know anybody using that latch anyway. However students are asked not to lock the doors, since the furniture such as cots and desks, are not built up yet. So all personal belongings are in the cabinet and the room door is left open. On the contrary, the security asks students to lock the doors even in case mother nature calls, due to thefts. 1000 rooms and 1000 times the latch wrongly mounted. Dear carpenter, is it so difficult to use the brain to think for a second?

Have a look at the two images below. Find 10 mistakes.

These rooms are just opposite. However you might have noticed that the space above the cabinet in the second room is just a rock solid wall. The problem here is that the room is around 30 to 40 cm too long. This means that the wall with the room door does not fall in line with the girder supporting the structure. Instead the space between the girder and the door is used to build in a larger window towards the hallway. But due to the girder, neither additional light nor fresh air will find their way into the room.

Since the gap above the cabinet and the girder would be very small (around 15 to 20cm in height), the additional space that is there in the first room has been conveniently walled, sealing something like 1 cubic meter of air behind the wall. Was this intentional by the architect? If yes, then why the differently designed rooms and not the same design for all? Or did the planner wrongly estimate the lengths? That brings me to another thought: For the structural integrity of the building, should not girders always fall in line with walls for support? Maybe someone who is familiar with the subject, can shed some light on it?

But in the end, as usual, no one will care. At least a major issue that was bothering people for years, has been solved and students finally get rooms on campus.

Alexander Fell
(SERC)

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About The Voices team

Like it says, The Voices team, IISc, Bengaluru, India

Posted on May 20, 2012, in Regular issues and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Karthik Srinivasan

    The walls are getting damped after the rains, already. It has just been about a year since the hostel has been built. We have to be careful ourselves, lest some part of the wall/ceilings just falls apart. The authorities should assess the robustness of the structures atleast once a year. They tried making small bunds to stop the water entering the hostel through corridor openings into the main walkway, but it has been largely unsuccessful. Water logs after rains at night, but thanks to regular sweeping, the water loggings may not stink or breed insects.

  2. so are all the students getting rooms now…?

  3. It is a pity that such much anticipated hostels, built after demolishing the 100+ year old blocks, are completely un-planned. In the least, all rooms should be similar, have proper ventilation and lighting, and secure. ]

  4. the latch one was very funny especially when the carpenter repeated that for thousand times 🙂

    nice post!

  5. the latch one was really funny, especially when the carpenter repeated that 1000 times 🙂

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