Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan.

The Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, organized by architectural initiative Kaarwan in association with Indian Institute of Architects, has released its winning projects.
Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan. 1The Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, organized by architectural initiative Kaarwan in association with Indian Institute of Architects, has released its winning projects. The challenge was to design innovative isolation cells in Quarantine Facilities to help subdue the effects of the outbreak on existing infrastructure. Students were also asked to show how their design could help the displaced and detained population in the future. 

One of the main reasons for the spread of COVID-19 is the lack of proper infrastructure. Hence, spaces and facilities are needed where isolation of the exposed victim can be carried out since contact tracing is the key to breaking the chain. Hence we must come up with temporary solutions to ensure that suspected victims are isolated in a space that contains cross-contamination and also takes into consideration the mental health effects of solitary confinement. 

The competition aimed at providing implementable solutions that can be adapted as an emergency shelter in the future. Hence, Kaarwan partnered with leading education institutes like School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, AKTU Lucknow, Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture, Pune, School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal and Lovely Professional University, Punjab.

The competition received proposals from all over India and abroad. The competition aimed at not only starting a conversation on the architecture reality of the new normal but also to ascertain students were armed with the knowledge to design post-pandemic. Kaarwan partnered with leading architectural colleges across India, to deliver lectures on different aspects of Quarantine Facility Designing. (The lectures can be viewed free of cost on their social media channels – @kaarwan.india) Participants considered many factors while imagining their proposals like future reuse, upcycling construction waste, new materials and building techniques, using shells of outdated transportation, making it low-cost and impact of the location on the project. Popular industry names such as IA&B Magazine, IIA Journal, ArchitectureLive, Design Detail Magazine, Zingy Homes, DesignWorx Asia also volunteered their contribution to cover this event as Kaarwan’s media and publication partners.

These designs were reviewed by the jury comprising of the president of IIA, Ar Divya Kush, Ar Mala Mohan (Retd ADG, Ministry of Defence), Dr Mahua Mukherjee, Head of Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management and Ar Ashutosh Jha, Founder of Kaarwan. The winning proposals were as follows 

WINNER: Rishab Denis Rodrick, Khush Anand Gupta and Shrey Gupta – Sushant School of Architecture, Gurugram.

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan. 3The COVID-19 pandemic impacts the present and uncertain future. The solution must be applicable to both scenarios. The ‘Pichku’ Quarantine Facility is a prefabricated modular proposal that aims at rapid and dynamic deployment. ‘Pichku’ suggests the compactness of units which expand into efficient spaces. Contamination via ventilation is dealt through antechambers, safe zones, creation of pressure zones for air circulation and filtered discharge. Sanitation waste is discharged to a septic tank to prevent contamination. Units are provided with a visual connection to the lush green exterior. Materiality makes the structure resilient. Combined with a modular interior, it becomes a typology for low-income habitation.



FIRST RUNNER-UP:  Ayush Singh, Archit Seth, Ojasvi Khandelwal and Shubham Dudhoria – School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan. 5A completely modular and flexible facility built of interconnected pods. The modular design allows any flexible layout of the facility to be implemented and the possibility of future reusability. Each pod is a self-sufficient unit consisting of fixed top and bottom panels and the variety of walls can be added on the basis of requirement. The modular form of the facility allows it to be deconstructed and transported to any other location for future reusability.

SECOND RUNNER-UP (shared): Surabhi Mishra, Kamran Ahmad, Aparna Gupta and Lakshita Singh – Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Dr Abdul Kalam Technical

University (FOAP, AKTU)

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan. 7

This design integrates various functional aspects, mobility, user-oriented design simultaneously incorporating fast and easy modification so as to adopt a normal life post-pandemic. ICF outdated coaches have been modified in order to consider practicality, not affecting regular train coaches as well as resulting in easy acceptance of the design. The reason for choosing trains over stations is to provide safety precautions to the public space so that post-pandemic it doesn’t possess any after-effects if not provided proper sanitization. The idea is to look forward to the proposal made by the government and not affecting any particular area of a city since these coaches can be provided at outskirts.

SECOND RUNNER-UP (shared): Aditi Bajpai and Dwij Hirpara, Centre of Environment

Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad (CEPT)

Kaarwan National Design Competition 2020, by Architectural Initiative Karwaan. 9As we struggle to fight the pandemic, the design proposes a feasible, replicable, adaptive and an ecological solution that holistically addresses the issues of the pandemic while also incorporating precaution and mitigation of the prevailing and forthcoming challenges of SARS-CoV-2.

This temporary quarantine facility comprises a range of deployable structures to provide for the rooms and furniture. Located in the airport complex, it has distinguished access for different users. Spaces are organized in ways that minimize contact between patients and the staff, suspected and the confirmed, nurses and the technical staff — to prevent the spread of the virus.


  • Shamita Honawar, Prachi Choudhary, Prachi Deshmukh, – Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture, Pune
  • Kavya Arounane, Vaishnavi Kini – PES University, Bengaluru
  • Anushka Dutta, Khushi Gautam, Divisha Vadehra, Ishita Verma – School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal
  • Faizan Sharief, Ishita Sharma, Dhritiman Kundu, Pradyuman Ksh – Lovely Professional University, Punjab

Overall, the design solutions provided by the students can be easily constructed anywhere at a minimal cost. One of the main reasons for the rapidly increasing COVID cases is the poor sanitary conditions, lack of quarantine infrastructure and the space crunch. The proposed designs could address these problems at a regional and national level and help us flatten the curve in the near future.

Kaarwan is now getting in touch with local and government authorities to help them implement these solutions and make the architecture fraternity’s contribution in the fight against COVID-19.

This competition was not only an attempt to educate young architects about the changing parameters of Architecture but also to inculcate a sense of ownership and belief that they can make a change by playing their small part. In the words of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, “We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations but we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none.”

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