UNStudio designs Bangalore’s Karle Town Centre Masterplan


KTC is a development that aims to define Bangalore locally and inspire the whole of India to ‘lead by example’ when designing future urban destinations. Karle Town Centre, which is currently under construction, enjoys a direct connection to the city’s ring road arterial and expanding metro lines. It is positioned prominently next to the established Manyata Tech Park with scenic views over Nagavara Lake and is designed to act as a natural magnet for people and activities in the urban panorama.

Urban Branding Manual – Counteracting urban stagnation
Urban stagnation is a global problem that extends beyond the confines of India and is evidenced by a continuous decline in central business districts over the last 20 years. The reoccurring question is, how do we attract talent, families and investment back to the heart of these cities? UNStudio in collaboration with Karle Town Centre have created a solution to these challenging issues in the form of an Urban Branding Manual. The Urban Branding Manual, developed by UNStudio for Karle Town Centre, 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 they collectively understand the principles and motivations behind the previous 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. Ben van Berkel: “Traditional masterplans focus on general layout and urban planning. Our Urban Branding Manual on the other hand, concentrates on experience and how to translate this experience into reality.

With a network of specialists – sometimes more than a few hundred people – you need a clear vision and strategy to stay on course over the long duration of the project. The Urban Branding Manual helps the client to realise this ambitious undertaking.”
The Urban Branding Manual for Karle Town Centre is built around three defining pillars:

  • Garden, as the beauty of Bangalore’s lush natural environment deserves to be shared and enjoyed by all, hence it’s colloquial name, ’The Garden City’;
  • Health, because promoting health means a brighter and inspired Indian future;
  • Culture, because of its essential benefit to the core social and economic prosperity of the region.

The Masterplan – Community Oriented Urban Design
KTC is driven functionally by business and commerce, the programme mix provides an inviting and inspiring environment for working, living and entertainment and ensures activity on the site throughout the day and evening for residents, employees and visitors alike. The inclusion of a grand central theatre, event square plazas, elevated retail stages and amphitheater style staircases creates a multitude of small and large meeting points with cultural significance. 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.

The Architecture
The dynamic white volumes painted in UNStudio and Monopol Color’s unique and patented ‘Coolest White’ ultra-durable paint provide a contemporary identity to Karle Town Centre masterplan. In KTC the landscape and architectural language complement each other, from the design of the planter edges, to the architectural features found in the landscape, which merge and blend with the green pockets and roof scapes of the building facades. The interwoven forms, along with the sensitive integration of nature within the architecture, will let visitors know that KTC is Bangalore’s ‘Garden City of the 21st Century’.

Bangalore’s Garden City of the 21st Century
UNStudio, in collaboration with BALJON Landscape Architects, 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. Special attention to the public realm is given in the design by promoting the lake front promenade, 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.).

A resilient and healthy environment
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. Source by UNStudio.

  • Location: Bangalore, India
  • Architect: UNStudio
  • Project Team: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Harlen Miller, Maurizio Papa, Filippo Lodi, and Atira Ariffin, Bianca Dobru, Dana Behrman, Emma Whitehead, Jacques van Wijk, Jung Jae Suh, Maria Zafeiriadou, Pietro Scarpa, Sibilla Bonfanti, Yuntao Xu
  • Landscape: BALJON Landscape Architects, Amsterdam
  • Infrastructure Master Planning: Aurecon, Melbourne
  • Masterplan consultant: Ross Bonthorne, Sydney
  • Status: under construction
  • Building site: 62 acres
  • Building surface: 930.000 – 1.200.000sqm
  • Images: Courtesy of UNStudio

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