Carving Niches out of Spaces: Department of Planning and Architecture

Carving Niches out of Spaces: Department of Planning and Architecture

Debabrata Malik | Jun 10, 2019

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Julia Morgan, an American architect had rightfully said ‘Architecture is visual art and buildings speak for themselves’. Likewise, the Department of Planning and Architecture and its achievements speak for itself. The Department of Planning and Architecture started its journey at NIT Rourkela, back in 2013. The department aims at instilling creativity in young minds and is one of those departments which value aesthetics a lot. Architecture involves integrating art with science to create marvellous buildings which set them apart from the ordinary ones. There are several aspects of architecture and planning taught to students such as sustainability, the history of architecture and design principles among others.

The department offers Bachelors of Architecture, a 5-year undergraduate course and doctoral programmes (PhD) in Housing and Urban & Regional Planning. The department is also planning to introduce the post-graduate programme in urban and regional planning. The number of seats in the B.Arch programme of the department is 20, with 10 seats reserved under home-state quota. The counselling is done by JoSAA and the students are expected to get good ranks in Jee Mains Paper 2 for securing a seat in the branch. The doctoral programmes’ admission process is conducted by the institute itself.

The department works with the objective of amalgamating the aesthetics and technology together into a piece of art, in a creative way, not only to fulfil the societal need of shelter and to solve the infrastructure problem but also to take care of the emerging concern of energy and environmental issues. The department also provides multidisciplinary research and teaching programmes in the field of architecture and planning. The faculty consists of 10 creative and hardworking professors who strive to teach students the various aspects of architecture. They have diverse research interests and conduct basic and applied research in the area of Sustainable Architecture, Energy Efficient Architecture, Green Architecture, Acoustics, Illumination, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Urban Planning, Transportation Planning, Infrastructure Planning, Environmental Planning and Housing among others.

The department, housed in the TIIR building, boasts of 5 studios and computer labs which have advanced visualization and drafting software such as AutoCAD and SketchUp among others. The department also conducts a model–making a workshop to offer hands-on experience to students and has a departmental library with more than 700 books related to the subject. The visual arts laboratory, the materials laboratory and the building energy lab enhance students’ knowledge and practical skills of budding architects.

The Head of Department Prof. Dr Basudatta Sarkar, talking about the department and its plans, said:

We are hoping to get some more faculty members after the upcoming recruitment. We are also planning to organize various workshops, guest lectures etc for the benefits of the students.

The department encourages and aids students to take up internships after 2nd and 3rd years so that they get an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and the corporate culture early on. The department has also played host to national level events like ZONASA in 2016 which brought together architecture students from all over the region.

The future seems bright as the department moves ever onward in terms of creativity, innovation and facilities. The department strives to achieve excellence and to nurture students go on to turn a dull space into a cool, modern niche. The first batch passed out in 2018 and it is a big milestone for the department as its students go on to prestigious institutes such as School of Planning and Architecture(SPAs), IITs, IIMs, NID, foreign universities and esteemed companies as they carry on the legacy of NIT Rourkela and flourish wherever they go.

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