India, with a population of over one billion projected for the year 2000, boasts the third largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world, yet 30% of the population are illiterate. C.I.E.T. (Central Institute of Educational Technology) has the mandate to promote the use of educational technology, mass media in particular, to improve and promulgate education in the country linked to INSAT, the Indian Satellite programme. Instigated in 1985, C.I.E.T. operated from a converted building prior to the construction of the current facilities. The new Institute was conceived as a school for communications fully-equipped to contemporary professional standards.
Two inter-linked courtyards form the heart of the complex one serves as the entrance area, and the second, larger courtyard serves as an open-air multi-purpose gathering space and television studio. Upper level terraces overlook the courtyard, each with decreasing floor area. These fluctuating circulation passages are interspersed with small balconies and occasional chatris -parasols which modulate the light and provide shade and viewing platforms as well as outdoor work spaces. The existing tree accentuates the role of this focal point space. The rationalist plan based on a 5 x 10 m grid, is expressed on façade through the structure, providing a monumental, public aspect to the building and the necessary coherent order on which otherwise spontaneous elements are hung. Locally cut sandstone, among the cheapest of building materials in the region, is used in a manner which reinforces this theme. Red sandstone is used as infill, with a white sandstone face to express the concrete floor slab at each level.