Landscape Conservation Plan

The pool setting filled with water for reflection of Gandhi Bhawan along with other supportive aspects explained under condition assessment is the most essential requirement for landscape and overall conservation works in Gandhi Bhawan. This is also one of the most challenging proposals. Hence, it has been suggested that in the 1 st phase complete waterproofing of pool be undertaken as per specifications (in drawings). Subsequently the water should be filled in the pool and monitoring be carried out for one year to observe seepage and water retention issues along with its impact on the microclimate. Any further works for implementation may only be carried out after completion of this monitoring.
More detailed proposal for each are is listed below.

Sr. No.
Landscape component
Issue to be addressed
1 Pool base & wall structure Physical deterioration etc. Removal of vegetation/algae etc., sealing of joints, repair work on wall-base junction as per drawings Grade correction is not being suggested due to high possibility of breakage of top layer.
2 Water
  1. Huge volume of water
  2. water conservation & management/
  3. environmental sustainability
  1. May use the medium-filtered (mentioned below) rain water as primary source.
  2. Keep it throughout the year.
  3. Seasonally augment it to compensate evaporation loss from municipal source.
First option is for filling and monitoring through mock-up (as per following plan) the water after complete waterproofing to observe a) evaporation issues b)seepage issues and c) microclimate changes.
After required correction of seepage and monitoring for one year, the alternative option of reducing the depth for environmental sustenance may be reviewed
3 Water Cleanliness of rain water – basic filtration
  1. ONLINE filters can be installed to take of the clean water and remaining waste passed to the drainage line if there is suitable space and without disturbing the aesthetic of the building. (Approx. Cost 1.2 lacs)
  2. If no suitable space for ONLINE filters then strainer can be used with gravels arrangement provided regular cleaning should be done.
4 Water Maintaining clean water round the year and prevent mosquito breeding As detailed out in the proposal below NOTE: We may reduce the number of aerators around the building to allow the water to remain still for better reflection.
5 Water Prevent Algae formation Manual chlorination at a frequency of 2-3 times a week. Operation and Maintenance cost will be approx. Rs. 15000/- per month. Algae is mostly formed in presence of nitrite but algae formation is noticed even with clean water in many swimming pools, hence disinfection is required.
6 Power source for aerators Energy conservation & environmental sustainability Solar powered (preferably floating) aerator system as a concept in principle. The exact locations, solar PV capacity, inverter specification, battery/battery less, pump capacity etc. have to be worked out by the vendor/ or specific consultant.
7 Drainage pit Prevent litter accumulation Drainage pit may be covered with pre-cast concrete grating
8 Water inlets Prevent leakage Cleaning, painting, replacing the valves
1 Roadside stretch Bare earth Plantation of Selection 1 Grass
2 Other areas To keep with original intent Maintain as is - No additional plantation required
Conservation of Exteriors and Interiors

Based on the various surveys and condition assessment of each element carried on site, the conservation plan determines the nature and composition of material and modes of intervention for long-term conservation of each. The assessment of its condition is supported by recommended treatment and prioritization based on the identified issues. Detailed drawings of each area are part of the conservation management plan while the primary points are summarized in Table B on next page. Conditions have been grouped based on severity and level of intervention and priorities for intervention have been identified on this basis as below:

    These include conditions, which require immediate attention, and if left unaddressed or uncorrected, could be a threat to life safety. In addition to the life threat these also include conditions which are could cause the material fabric to disintegrate and result in irreplaceable loss.
  • P2: HIGH
    Conditions that could result in failure of materials and could become severe. These should be addressed after the urgent conditions have been taken care
  • P3: MEDIUM
    Deteriorated conditions that don’t need urgent intervention and can be planned for and appropriate time in the future. If left unaddressed it could lead to a water proofing issue.
  • P4: LOW
    Conditions that have been addressed in the past but still require intervention either due to failure or due to aesthetic concerns
    A treatment necessary to remedy a condition that affects the appearance but not the integrity or performance of the material.

Based on the detailed assessment carried out in Section 5, the treatment for conservation of exterior and interior materials is recommended as below. In a number of cases , it is essential to prepare mock ups before undertaking any treatment to decide the final process. Mock ups for exterior panels have been initiated as part of this plan preparation and few more mock ups are proposed to be conducted before the finalization of this draft plan. The suggested treatments need to be read in conjunction with the drawings for each area/elevation/plan in the Part B of this report. Some sample drawings are also included in this section
    *Denotes where mock-ups required

EXTERIOR- Form and Structure (including roof)
Termite control and Pest control to be carried out in exteriors and interiors at all places



  • Clean all surfaces of exterior gently with sponge and water to remove dust and soiling.
  • Remove small vegetation from the joint s and rep-point the joints.
  • Remove all exiting mortar from the joints around the panels. Clean the joints and then the joints should be re-pointed on all the facades around the panels. This should not be done on the entire building at one time but in small sections on different facades.
  • Insect nests and termite control should be performed on the entire building especially, from behind the panels during repointing as the open joints could help access the back of the panels.

Following should be carried out as per conservation planning drawings and detailed specifications document:

  • Provide pins to re-secure dislodged panels. Fill the holes with patching mortar.*
  • Repair cracks by routing, cleaning and filling with grout/mortar. *
  • For loss, provide a new patch after cleaning the area with patching mortar. *
  • For inappropriate or failing previous repairs, provide new patches after cleaning the area. If the rebar is exposed, it should be cleaned and coated with a corrosion inhibitor.
  • For exposed rebar, clean and coat the rebar then install a new patch


General Notes:

  • Clean all surfaces with gentle detergent and water
  • Clean paint spatter and other deposits from glass surfaces and surrounds
  • Remove all deteriorated putty and install new putty Make all the hardware operable
  • Monitor damaged concrete around doors and windows

Following should be carried out as per conservation planning drawings and detailed specifications document:

  • Provide new glass pane where missing or damaged
  • replace severely damaged door with similar
  • Replace termite damaged sections
  • Replace the damaged wood with new section
  • provide new hardware where damaged or missing
  • Remove inappropriate existing repair material and provide new


General notes

  • Clean and scrub all the terrazzo surfaces to be cleaned with mild detergent
  • Termite control should be carried out
  • Re-point the joints during polishing

Following should be carried out as per conservation planning drawings and detailed specifications document:

  • Repair cracks by routing, cleaning and filling with grout when the floors are polished. *
  • Remove inappropriate existing repair material and provide new to match the existing*
  • Bulging and delaminated surface to be consolidated by injecting/pumping with pressure consolidants on the bulging surface *


General notes:

  • Reinstall all joints

Following should be carried out as per conservation planning drawings and detailed specifications document:

  • Replace damaged red sandstone
  • Reinstall loose stones
  • In long term when this newly laid flooring (from 2011) gets damaged and requires complete replacement then it should be reinstated as per original hand cut sandstone to match original pieces that have been retained by the Institute of Gandhian Studies


General notes

  • Pest control to be carried out for all interior wall surfaces
  • Electrical conduits maybe placed by chasing to be concealed instead of adding to un-sightly superimposed conduits on the wall. These should be documented rigorously to avoid repeated tampering into the surface.
  • Extrinsic deposits to be removed during next painting and maintenance cycle
  • All the plaster defects to be monitored.
  • Cracks to be monitored

Use and Interpretation Plan

Gandhi Bhawan has retained its original use to a large extent serving as an important venue for discussions related to the Institute of the Gandhian Studies.

During the preparation of this Conservation Management Plan, the Gandhi Bhawan auditorium was used extensively to host all workshops and conferences associated with the plan preparation. The University hosts several functions and events at this auditorium throughout the year. However, the conference room and library need to be used to a larger extent. In addition, additionally, interpretation of Gandhi Bhawan and its significance needs to be displayed through expressions such as the original model of Gandhi Bhawan by Pierre Jeanneret, interactive database showing all conducted research on Gandhi Bhawan to visitors and static displays/panels along with signage explaining the significance of each space. More recently, Gandhi Bhawan has observed a greater footfall of national and international visitors along with architecture and art students fascinated with Modernist forms.

The exterior entrance space which is often used for food and beverages in an adhoc manner during an event needs to be relocated across the garden form the entrance to facilitate a better allocation for such activities and to retain the ambience of Gandhi Bhawan. Architect’s Office at PU has already prepared such a plan that may be implemented.

In the interior spaces, most of the furniture and layout is retained. Colour scheme needs to be retained as per original. Furnishings such as blinds/ curtains need to be more sensitive. A detailed use plan along with some proposals is outlined here including a Universal Access Plan developed after survey by a visually impaired intern from DRONAH. Functional and operational aspects such as services and lighting need to be addressed too.

Proposal for Universal Access Plan

The “universal Access Plan” for Gandhi Bhawan Chandigarh ensures the easy navigation within the premises of the building, easy access to the building and the access to all the murals, photographs and paintings within the building. This building not only reminds us of the Gandhian Philosophy but it itself is a wonderful work of Modern architecture. Hence, we will have to make this building accessible for each visitor. In this plan, we will incorporate various solutions, which can make this site universally accessible for all.

Issue: The main access road in front of the building does not have any directional signage to entre in the building. In addition, there is no information signage at the entrance for the visitors to get the overview of site.

Recommendation: Need of Tactile Paths: There should be metal speed bumps on the access road in front of the Gandhi Bhawan, which will work as an indicator for visually impaired visitors if they come alone. This speed bump will let the visitor know that Gandhi Bhawan is just in front of them and they will have to take the right turn to reach the tactile path, which will lead them to the gate. At the main entrance of Gandhi Bhawan, there should be three roots of tactile paths. First, it will go to the left until the water cooler and then turn right from there to reach committee room in between and then lead to the washrooms. This tactile path will also run in both the wash rooms- the ladies and the gents. Another path will run straight to the Auditorium. The third path will run to the right of the main entrance, which will lead the visually impaired visitor to the library. These tactile paths are very important because it is extremely helpful for a blind person to move around. These paths provide easy navigation that helps to walk freely and independently.

Issue: The library does not have any database to find the books for the users. There is no provision of the tactile path, universal access signage within and around the building for the visitor)

Recommendation: Installation of a computer in library: There should be a computer installed in the library with the screen reading softwares (JAWS or NVDA). It is also suggested that some of the important books should be provided in the E format (.docs, .doc, .pdf, e-pup ETC) so that a visually impaired person can also read them with the help of the installed computer and can have the glance of Gandhian philosophies. The installation of a computer with the screen reading software will make the library accessible for every visitor, so if they want to learn or know something they can easily go to the library and refer the prescribed book for it.

Audio Description of the Murals and Photographs: It is recommended that an audio description should be provided of all the Murals and the Photographs of Gandhi so that a blind visitor can feel and understand that how do the photographs look like. If possible we can also provide the tactile paintings of some important photographs which can be touched and felt with a touch of the hands. These paintings can be made like the paintings already there in the National Museum Institute ‘Anubhav Gallery’. These audio/tactile description of the various photographs and the Mural will be extremely helpful a blind visitor to understand them better. The first row seats of the auditorium should be reserved for the physically challenged persons as they will not be able to climb up for the upper rows. Most of the activities take place on the ground floor so it is quite manageable for a physically challenged person to take part in such activities. All the suggestions provided above are extremely essential for Gandhi Bhawan to make this site accessible for every visitor.

Signage Strategy

Considering the need for basic signage for the visitors along with interpretation and universally accessible signage, it is recommended to follow the existing Modernist vocabulary of signage for Gandhi Bhawan that shows embossed letters which also serve well for the visually impaired as well as conform to the modern aesthetics. The letters may be embossed on a stainless steel plate or alternatively may also be fixed directly on wall surface. Some options are presented below and in the drawings section. It is hoped that the signage strategy used for Gandhi Bhawan can be streamlined into the signage strategy for the entire campus.

The signage type needs to include the following:

  1. Directional/ Information Signage – such as ‘Gandhi Bhawan’ existing on the building or on doors of interiors spaces (Library, Conference room)
  2. Interpretation Signage – Signage may have more text to explain the significance/ interpret interiors spaces/ building structure/ mural/artwork etc.
  3. Emergency Signage – specifically requires as part of the risk management plan and need to be of international standards in graphics

Lighting, Infrastructure and Services

Installing state of the art new services and revamping the lighting plan to fit in with present need and use of Gandhi Bhawan is a major challenge in the building.

Following recommendations are outlined for various services based on the assessment:

  1. Electrical conduits maybe replaced by chasing to be concealed instead of adding to unsightly superimposed conduits on the wall. Wall plaster is one layer that has lower significance value and can be compromised for concealing services. However, no such action is feasible in the flooring, which is of higher value. Conduits should be documented rigorously to avoid unnecessary interventions into the wall.
  2. Lighting equivalent to 500 lux is a requirement. Lighting fixtures are of extremely high value as per Modernist style in the interiors hence no new light/fan fixture should be added. Lighting requirement needs to be planned to be covered through increased lux in the existing cove lights. In case of specific are required lights, pedestal lights (such as on stage of auditorium) may be used as per requirement. A lighting plan developed by Architect’s Office, Panjab University is enclosed in the proposed set of drawings along with some additional inputs.
  3. Since the conduits can be placed in the walls, any other service lines (CCTV/speakers/IT) may also be incorporated in the conduits. It is to be noted that placement of any fixture has to be done sensitively. Advanced fixtures, which are more sensitive and smaller/less conspicuous merging with the interiors, are to be used only.
  4. Air-cooling is a major challenge especially in the auditorium space. While a number of options for air conditioning have been explored by the Architect’s Office previously and by the project team during preparation of tis conservation plan, there are limited options for air conditioning that will not result in a deterioration of value. Hence, it is recommended that monitoring of microclimate and temperature/humidity be carried out for 1 year after filling the water in the pool.

Moreover, air circulation through skylight and windows is ensured. Any decision related to air conditioning may only be taken after a complete monitoring with record of temperature and humidity conditions in each exterior and interior space (with the presence of pool water and proper air circulation) in all seasons for 1 year.

Archive Management and Presentation

The original drawings that have been located at the Architect’s Office will be restored by a qualified paper conservator and stored in an appropriate manner after being digitally reproduced. These should be described in their context and be presented to audience in an engaging manner to communicate the significance of Modernist architecture in India and in Chandigarh. The models that have been located will be presented and protected from damage as part of the interpretation strategy for Gandhi Bhawan.

INTACH Conservation Institutes team undertook the condition assessment of architectural drawings in possession of Architecture Department of Punjab University (Chandigarh).These are mostly architectural and engineering drawings on tracing paper.

Risk Management

Risk management guidelines were formulated for Gandhi Bhawan based on the comprehensive risk assessment. These guidelines articulate strategies for mitigating risks and for emergency preparedness and response in case of any disaster.

Mitigation Measures

For Fire Mitigation:-

  • Electrical wiring in the building needs to be upgraded without infringing upon the visual character of the building.
  • Adequate number and quantity of carbon dioxide based fire extinguishers need to be put in place at adequate places in Gandhi Bhawan as per the drawing. These need to be regularly inspected and refilled. ABC type dry powder type extinguisher of 4 Kg each is prescribed for the building.
  • Battery operated Smoke detectors need to be installed in the building especially in the main hall and the library building.
  • Adequate arrangements for water supply need to be made.

For Earthquake Mitigation:

  • Distressed concrete panels should be fixed again taking into account protection from lateral movements during earthquakes.
  • Regular monitoring of cracks need to be carried out
  • All the light fixtures, hangings need to be anchored well so that they do not fall over or collapse in the event of an earthquake.

For mitigation against heavy rainfall:

  • The rainwater and drainage pipes/lines should be regularly cleaned and monitored for any blockage.

For mitigation against theft and vandalism:

  • CCTV Cameras need to be set up at the entrance and in the auditorium and library to monitor the movements against potential theft or vandalism.
  • Adequate number of trained security staff need to be put in place at appropriate locations during special events.
  • Evacuation Routes, Refuge area for People and Temporary Salvage/Storage Areas for Heritage fragments need to be put in place as per the plan.

Essential Equipment for Emergency Response:-

For Search and Rescue:

- Safety Jacket
- Safety Helmet
- Safety Gloves (fire/heat resistant)
- Masks
- Emergency Light / Battery Operated Torches
- Ropes
- CSI Tape (for Cordoning)
- Stretcher
- First Aid Kit (to be identified with the help of a medical professional)

For Salvaging Collections:-

- Aprons
- Illuminated Jackets (for working in the dark)
- Safety Helmets
- Special rubber gloves for handling collections
- Emergency Light/Batter Operated torches
- Foldable Tent (Gazebo)
- Polythene (plastic) Sheets approximately 40 inches wide.
- Masks
- Bubble Wrap
- Plastic baskets
- Blotting paper
- CSI Tape for cordoning

Emergency Team and its Responsibilities:

  • Team consisting of the internal staff of the site, which is supposed to be the first responder to any emergency, so that it does not turn into a bigger disaster.
  • Team-Building and Coordination for effective relief, rescue of visitors / staff and salvage of objects
  • First Few Hours are Crucial.

Key Tasks:

  • To undertake first response actions before external emergency services arrive.
  • To assist external emergency services when they reach the site
  • To undertake key measures to facilitate recovery of the building and objects after external emergency services leave the site

General Guidelines:

  • The staff should be given roles to perform in emergencies according to their expertise in the field they work with proper command structure.
  • The entire staff should know appropriate responses and their roles in an emergency.
  • Each emergency team should divide responsibilities among it and should not concentrate in one activity or location. For example, while some members of collections team may salvage the collections, others may stay back to take care of prepare their temporary storage area. However, the team should be ready to plan for the unexpected.
  • Emergency response should involve activating all emergency teams and services and following necessary procedures by coordinating among various teams.
  • Coordination with nearest fire office, police station, hospital and other line departments should be established beforehand so that they are aware of the shortest route to the site and have sufficient knowledge of the layout of site.
  • The emergency team should hold regular meetings of various team heads for general review the activities and the status of plan. Each team leader should also convene the meeting of its respective team members on regular basis to practice and review the responsibilities of the team.
  • Each emergency team leader should have a back-up in case the designated leader is unable to discharge his or her function due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Procedures should be established for the notification of an emergency, which is understood by all the staff.
  • All the staff members especially the emergency team members should be well versed with all the areas in the site. They should know the main evacuation routes as well as the emergency signage.
  • The staff members also are aware of the areas that are demarcated for refuge as well as temporary storage of salvaged collections.
  • Special public areas should be demarcated for stationing of emergency services such as fire, police and ambulance during an emergency situation.

Such areas should be declared as ‘No Parking Areas’ and easily accessibility to these areas should be ensured all the time.

  • It is crucial that each emergency team member is equipped with wireless device for internal communication. Communication with all the team members should be feasible through mobile. It is important to check their connectivity.
  • Recovery process should commence only when all safety aspects have been taken into consideration following a disaster and when the incident has been declared safe by the proper authorities like police, fire, electricity, building control etc.
  • Response procedures should be for both during and outside business hours, alerting chain of command including other organizational departments e.g. security.

Composition of Emergency Team:

  • Rescue Team
  • Building and Infrastructure Team
  • Administration and Supplies Team
  • Objects Salvage Team
  • Communications Team

Objectives of the Emergency Drill:

  • To identify existing strengths and shortcomings in emergency response in Gandhi Bhawan.
  • To familiarize the participants with the response procedures (actions, duration and sequence and communication channels) and create an emergency team
  • To test proposed emergency preparedness measures (effectiveness of signage, proposed evacuation routes in terms of movement, time needed).
  • To test the emergency communication and coordination with external agencies such as fire, police, hospital, media etc.

Disaster Scenario and Responsibilities of Emergency Team Members :-

A fire breaks out in the library of Gandhi Bhawan at 5 PM of Friday Evening due to electric short circuit, when a function is going on in the auditorium with around 50 people in attendance.

  1. The library staff tries to extinguish the fire but fails to do so as the fire is spreading rapidly due to presence of combustible material (paper, books, furniture). The staff calls the Emergency Team Coordinator (Manish), who then activates all the internal emergency team heads (Rescue, Building & Infrastructure, objects salvage, administration/supplies and communications). He will also call the fire office, police and hospital.
  2. Rescue team will first go to evacuate injured people (in the library and lobby) and other visitors in the auditorium. The people will be brought to the assembly area (park across the road). The injured will be given first aid (by the medical officer of PU)
  3. Building and Infrastructure team will switch off electricity and activate water supply source. Supplies team will provide helmets, jackets, gloves etc. to the rescue team to help with evacuation.
  4. Communications team will help in internal communication and external communication with media and other external agencies like fire office, police, ambulance etc.
  5. Rescue team, Building/infrastructure team and administration/supplies team members will assist fire, police and hospital staff to conduct evacuation, control the fire and provide first aid.
  6. After the fire and police teams declare the end of emergency, building/infrastructure team will make inspection and create access for salvage team to enter and do the operation.
  7. Salvage team enters the building, makes rapid damage assessment (through photographs) for objects damaged by fire and water, prepares plan for salvage, collects supplies from admin/supplies team and moves collections to temporary storage area (next to the fine arts museum), security team will manage the security of access route and temporary storage area. After moving the collections, the salvage team makes documentation and condition mapping as per the format.

Emergency Evacuation Plan

Emergency Contacts would consist of the following:-

  1. Emergency Team Coordinator
  2. Assistant Security Officer (PU) – Head of the Rescue Team
  3. Head of Building and Infrastructure Team
  4. Head of Objects Salvage Team
  5. Head of Communications Team
  6. Chief Medical Officer, PU
  7. Electricity Officer, PU
  8. Water Supply Officer, PU
  9. Fire Tenders, Sector 11, Chandigarh
  10. Police Station, Sector 11, Chandigarh
  11. General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh

Guidelines for Salvage of Heritage Objects:

  • Enter the site only if declared safe
  • Prepare all relevant information before
  • Document the incident
  • Prioritize collections to be salvaged and protected in-situ based on their value and vulnerability.
  • Evacuate only if required and if another space is available
  • Work in pairs, use safety gear
  • Observe minimal intervention
  • Debrief and report