301 Ashoka Plaza
Masab Tank, Hyderabad
TS 500004

+91 40 23307134
+91 97041 66630
+91 94944 54393


Shanti Sarovar

The types of projects architects encounter have an extraordinary range. While we work on plenty of residential buildings and interior works, we are sometimes asked to find solutions to uncommon — and highly interesting problems, such as: how to turn a recently operational stone–quarry into a community space.

That was the challenge leveled at Urban Arts when the "Prajapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya" organisation approached us to design their South–India headquarters on a 30+ acre site in Gachibowli, Hyderabad.
On-going Project
An Ecological Approach

The site is an example of damaged Landscape due to extensive stone and mud quarrying. The first aim was to heal the earth's wounds by developing a "Green Campus" utilising eco-friendly & ecological measures, which would have about 70% of site-area allotted to urban forestry, gardens, man-made lakes and recreational facilities including meditation. A massive program of plantation, landscape development and restoration became a central part of the project.

While a portion of the land had to be covered up with the client's program requirements & landscape development, since the site had a sprinkling of uniquely positioned large boulders — which are characteristic of Hyderabad's landscape (now rapidly disappearing) — every effort was made at the planning stage to preserve these. A judicious use of low-lying land is made throughout the project.

Any loose rubble found on the site was crushed & used in place of river-sand in the mixture for the RCC frame structures, as well as for laying the internal pathways & road infrastructure.

Rather then fill-up the quarry with waste & landfill – which, besides flattening the topographic uniqueness of the site, would also have been a immense cost-overhead — we chose to build in, over, and around the large boulders, precipices & the newly–exposed rocky landscape — keeping its sharp cliffs and quarried-in water ponds intact.

Some of the exposed edges & deep ravines of the old quarry remain, while the rest are blanketed with new soil and plant-cover added to begin the soil remediation process for nature’s rehabilitation upon a site that has seen many years of heavy quarrying and industrial usage. The existing ravines provide adequate potential for harnessing wind and solar energy in future.

Below are a few concept sketches, design drawings, and photographs from the on-going site–works.

A Serene & Meditative Place

The largest quarry pit has been converted into an artificial lake. Seasonal rainwater flows from the surrounding hills and finds its home here. It supplies the dry site with the necessary nourishment, humidity & cooling. It is a paradisaical site, in which the summer-roasted campus buildings comfortably sit year-round.

"Shanti Sarovar" is a highly site-specific solution. While not every client has the same rocky cliffs-and-valleys, many projects come with their own set of up-and-down constraints, which we try to convert into opportune qualities.
Sketch of Boulders Over Meditation Cave — Shanti Sarovar
Sketch of Auditorium Wall
Sketch of Auditorium Wall
Sketch of Proposed Reception Block
Sketch of Proposed Reception Block
Conference Block - Front
Conference Block - Front
Conference Block - Courtyard
Conference Block - Courtyard
Upon completion, the campus will provide state-of-the-art facilities for spiritual learning & Rajayoga meditation, with the following components:
  • Main Entrance
  • Reception Block with Information Counter, Administrative facilities, Book Shop, etc
  • Conference Block:
    • Offices & Staff-rooms
    • Training Halls – 125 capacity – (8 halls)
    • Seminar Halls – 250 capacity – (2 halls)
    • Library & Reading Room
  • Auditorium – 3500 Capacity
  • Art Gallery & Museum
  • Meditation Hall – 100 Capacity
  • Dining/Kitchen – 2000 Capacity
  • Dispensary with In-patient Beds
  • Accommodation for Trainees – 114 rooms – 465 beds
  • Accommodation for Senior Rajyoginis – 4 suit rooms
  • Accommodation for VVIP’s – 8 suit rooms
  • Accommodation for Senior Brothers – 6 suit rooms
  • Accommodation for Senior Sisters – 6 suit rooms
  • Accommodation for Faculty Members & Connected Staff – 90 rooms – 180 beds
  • Accommodation for Jr. Brothers & Sisters – 90 rooms – 180 beds
  • Technician's Station
  • Solar Park
  • Water Treatment Plant with 1st Artificial Lake
  • Electrical substation & Power House
  • Open Air Theater for 8,000 Spectators
  • Overhead Water Tanks
  • Ample Parking
  • Children’s Educational Park
  • Baba’s Cottages
  • A Peace Park with 2nd Artificial Lake
  • Viewing Point / Pavilion
  • Jogger’s Trail and Pathways
  • Major Check–Dams
  • A Bridge Over a Large Quarry Ravine
Plan of Proposed Reception Hall
Plan of Proposed Reception Hall
Drawing of Proposed Art Gallery & Museum
Plan of Proposed Art Gallery & Museum
Section through Proposed Reception Hall: Shanti Sarovar
Section through Proposed Reception Hall — Shanti Sarovar