Architecting the future

About Us

About Us

One of the best Architecture colleges in Delhi NCR, GD Goenka offers Bachelors in Architecture through its School of Architecture and Planning. The course provides students with professional education in field of architectural design. Adhering to international standards, the college ensures that students that take up the course have the requisite creative and technical skills to work in the industry, making GD Goenka the preferred choice of students for B. Arch among colleges in Delhi.

A popular choice among the students of Delhi NCR wanting to study architecture, GD Goenka’s School of Architecture and Planning provides comprehensive and effective course for students who wish to specialize in architectural design and is among the top architecture colleges in Delhi. The B. Arch course prepares students in for a career in the professional field of Architecture. During the course, students learn to deal with complex systems and problems, and manage projects using emerging technologies in the field. The course focuses equally on theory and workshop training, and is taught by one of the most experienced faulty among architecture colleges in Delhi NCR. The course itself focuses on the fields of design, humanities, engineering and technology. Students are taught skills that will help them deal with problems faced during the designing and execution of a project, teaching them technical and managerial abilities that will be handy in the field.

Vision and Mission


To create an innovative platform for the study of human habitat through multi-dimensional lenses addressing the four pillars of our pedagogy, namely – Urbanism, Technology, History & Environment.

We seek to engage students of architecture:

  • To be responsive to the natural, technological, cultural, and social environments through the systematic development of an aesthetic attitude, a technical confidence, and critical thinking.
  • By offering a diverse, interdisciplinary and rigorous curriculum led by an accomplished faculty in a clever mix of comprehensive studio and outdoor environment by engaging with citizens’ groups, local community organizations, the private sector, and the profession toward the improvement of the built environment.
  • By providing opportunities to challenge students to develop their abilities in problem solving, creative thinking, and informed decision-making as a focus of their professional education and thereby to nurture a student-centered environment for personal development and professional excellence.
  • By preparing students for leadership roles by educating them in skills and knowledge required to improve the quality of the built environment on both a national and international level, through collaborations and dialogue, in the fields of Architecture, Construction Science, Community Development and Digital Media Arts.

Director’s Message

Role of Architecture
Why architecture?

The UNESCO website gives a very endearing view authored by Jesse Harris – Architecture is the art that provide us the physical environment we live in. It is a deep expression of human civilization in a particular era, and it will endure and outlive us in forms of monuments that future generations will study and strive to understand. To strive to be a part of a profession so important to mankind is a challenge which can’t be ignored. Creating future histories and being an integral part of that ebullient world is exciting and intriguing at the same time.

There are these two worlds we all live in. There’s the world of imagination and then there’s the world of realities. An architect is one who cross-connects between the two, and is capable of addressing the real world while not losing touch with the creative spirit lurking within. The two worlds are continuously in tension with each other and what grows out of this sense of engagement provides the architect with a balanced worldview for representing the society and culture we are a part of.
A good architect is part philosopher, part technologist, part artist and fully human.

Come let’s define the role of architecture for this era.

Vision & Design values

At GDGU SoAP, the overall vision is to provide an open-ended platform for producing thinking architects who have been endowed with skills to be innovative and chart their own path with courage and determination. Empathy, Learn & Share is the trinity of intertwined principles from which our value-system springs. Nurturing communication skills for articulation is of primary importance to us, because what we say and do is always left behind, so tread carefully we must.

Knowledge culture

All knowledge begins with an intrinsic ability to conduct research, and we at GDGU SoAP nurture the student’s capacity for data collection and analysis. Well experienced and devoted in-house full-time faculty trains students in addressing the rigors of the architecture course. Terms of engagement with the students are on a peer-to-peer basis where faculty members are facilitators and not in the age-old relationship of “the teacher” and “the taught”.

For the current & coming years, we plan on engaging with well-known visiting faculty to bring on industry experience through modules and in a continuous process, through their esteemed practices thereby enriching the student’s potential and knowledge base. Ample space and opportunity is bring provided for debates on all issues, some of which are intended influence design assignments in the on-going semester. Students who engage thus, taking critical positions about the environment and our intervention with it, definitely contribute to the growth of knowledge relevant to progress and development. Architects are the shapers of our future and all opportunities are being provided to here to help shape a great one.

Interdisciplinary is another of our initiatives which will start rolling out from the semester starting August 2018. At GDGU we have several allied field specializations in design, engineering, and humanities with whom in-house collaborations are being sought for inculcating a diverse approach among students of architecture and planning.

Student culture

We believe in knowledge as a shared resource and the imparting of values by example rather than by theoretical learning alone. One of the core principles we encourage here is that of team-work and a collaborative approach which shapes students to look at society with empathy which according to us forms the basis of all essential design thinking.

The student selection process is rigorous and we provide excellent opportunities for talented and especially creative individuals to compete for free scholarships (check link for details – ) to encourage the best of the best from all over to come together and form a symbiotically bonded community of highly motivated young people of the world. We believe in preparing the student to the practice of architecture in the real world from the time they enter the portals of GDGU SoAP. This means that the student engages with constructible structures, in a hands-on approach, with an up-to-date inherent knowledge of materials, tools and processes.

Structure of the schools

Currently, we offer BArch, BPlan and MArch degree courses. These courses are structured as per the norms set by our regulatory body, the Council of Architecture. All courses are operated by the norms of best practices and possess a strong ethical backbone. We have a robust infrastructure in place capable of housing students comfortably in a clean and secure environment. Well-appointed workshops and library provides necessary opportunity for design explorations through the process of knowing and doing.

Come join my team and me to explore this exciting world together in a journey of being the change we seek.

Prof. Nirmal Kulkarni
GDGU, School of Architecture and Planning,

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Urban Ethos

Urban villages and informal settlements today in terms of human population occupy a Lion’s share of the burgeoning cities. Studies of Architecture therefore no longer remain within the realm of the singular home or the iconic cultural building. In fact, focus has moved away from the shiny object to explorations of the inadequacy of a complex network of infrastructural and social challenges. To empower students of architecture with the ability to decode the human condition in such heterogenic spaces, we at the School of Architecture & Planning, G D Goenka University, envisioned a project which enabled the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students to share place knowledge. The selected urban village, perched on the south eastern fringe of Delhi, namely Aya Nagar, became the focus area of this study.

Students were divided in groups of different sizes and site visits were conducted wherein by actual engagement with the residents of Aya Nagar, and through the online resources of GREHA, relevant information was gleaned. This data formed the basis of the documentation which examined the multi-layered socio-cultural realities, and is depicted here through graphic representations of different mediums like maps, sketches, drawings, photographs and written matter. The entire exercise was conducted as a vertical studio which brought together students of various grades offering them the opportunity of working together and thereby getting to know each other well. A timeslot in the weekly schedule assured that through presentations and debates a sharing of different experiences came together which would have not been possible otherwise. It was for the first time that an exercise of this type had been undertaken and levels of engagement of students differed across the 3 years to which they belonged. To ensure that the idea of place knowledge becomes contextual, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students placed their respective design projects within this urban milieu.

I take this opportunity of thanking all students and faculty members who took part in this venture and to have made it a success.

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Our new motto is EMPATHIZE: Think Learn Share which led us to study Aya Nagar as a settlement for, of and by the people. The idea was supported by the focus on informal settlements in the UN and other forums as well as numbers which say that the majority of Indian cities live in its informal settlements.

The prevalent paradigm of high-rise developer housing has run into obstacles resulting in a large housing stock of unoccupied units which has slowed down new developments. Government focus on affordable housing for all is one of the paradigm shifts while the conversion of existing stock into rentals, service, paying guest, dormitory is another. Therefore, we are shifting the focus of the housing design studio to respond to the situation and expose the students to an alternative paradigm which is contextually relevant.

The different living options in Aya Nagar catering to the contemporary city dweller like student, single person, nuclear family coexist with traditional joint families allow us to study this phenomenon efficiently. Issues of gender, ethnicity, age, religion and culture impacting the city dweller, especially a recent migrant from rural/traditional environments are on display for study and analysis. The close proximity of diverse inhabitants to each other is the hallmark of urban housing which generates a set of parameters and constraints including binaries of privacy and community. Given its evolutionary nature, housing is explored as a set of experimental options of inhabitants to live in.

  • Community living Taking the community as an indicator, living options are varied and contextual. o Density: The increasing influx of people moving for access to better facilities results in high density pressure on the built-up area. Innovative solutions include experiments in typology, unit design and clustering. o Mixed land use: Without constraints of bye-laws, the complexity and volatility of urbanity and context results in different types coexisting in a fine-tuned balance to maximize space and enhance convenience. o Diversity: Native Gujjar community and migrant people from diverse ethnicities from different parts of India occupy the spatial fabric resulting in a complex set of constraints and opportunities.
Design process

The focus of the studio is on generating possibilities in urban housing for all. This is explored to produce possibilities which may be adaptable to different contexts such that an experimental prototype is generated. Students explore generative bottom-up design process which focuses on the dwelling unit as the basic design unit. Iteration and shape grammar guides the formation of clusters and streets which populate the site as required with contextual parameters. Structure and services are integrated with a focus on efficiency and sustainability.


The student is encouraged to innovate & improvise within parameters of information required for comprehension of design idea.

  • Concept Theme/idea/abstraction/formal/spatial
  • Design development/process Development of design idea
  • Site plan Components, explanation
  • Cluster Plan/section/elevation/view
  • Dwelling unit Plan/section/elevation/view
  • Form Material, solid/void
  • Experiential Sketch/view/model/AV/movie/

The star crossed semester

The background study – the Aya Nagar Bridge project (Ma’am, will we be designing a bridge in Aya Nagar?) was conducted as a vertical studio with 2, 3, 4 year working, hypothetically, together.

The students of fourth year, obviously, reacted adversely to the whole idea of housing in Aya Nagar – why Aya Nagar, we want to build an iconic housing tower in Gurgaon, how will we learn housing, WHY Aya Nagar, we will not work on Aya Nagar, we hate Aya Nagar and the faculty who is making us work on it, why AYA NAGAR and other mundane thoughts were thrown about nonchalantly. So now what?

In the face of adversity and general mayhem during our star crossed semester – the desperate have to carry on. So in the face of stiff opposition, the studio team persevered and engaged and held hands and screamed and begged and threatened and cajoled and laughed and cried…and something started happening. Some of us started staying longer for critiques while others stayed away and watched from the fringes and the discussions on Aya Nagar were no longer acrimonious. The animosity gave way to confusion- the first stage of understanding – and developed into spirited defence of their design solutions – “…but I think the resident of Aya Nagar would want to live like this…” Groans of despair on the announcement of a new submission deadline became less audible and as one of the students complained at the end of the semester that this semester is tough and we are working hard, another quipped “but we just started working.” Nonetheless the doubters went on about why should we “produce” drawings and why so many and what is the point of doing anything when the world is coming to an end in any case…

As in any design studio, some students were successful in understanding the context, others produced an efficient plan, some experimented with radical ideas on design process while others interpreted form and spatial complexities, some were safe while others did not care – so we had a wide cross section of design solutions which was the one of the original aims of the studio. The external jury was the final hurdle to cross. Watching the tongue tied nervousness before the start of jury, the joy of a positive feedback, the grudging admission that the jury was correctly pointing out failures and gaps, the childish glee at the end of a confusing semester, I realized that a critical threshold had been crossed – it will be very difficult to get mad at this lot anymore!

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