The design for the Management Development Institute (MDI) is a landmark in modern architecture that honours the legacy of age-old institutions in the country by adopting a contemporary interpretation of the same, infused with technology and engineered finesse of tomorrow. This vision placed the Institute much ahead of its time. The design for the campus, an area of more than 40 acres and located on the junction of MG Road and National Highway near Gurugram, was devised on principles and design of famous Indian institutions like Vikramshila, Nalanda and Takshila during ancient times. Like many of these historical institutions, the campus’ layout plan follows an axial plan where all major functional elements fall on the primary axis while other facilities are dotted along the secondary axis, branching out of the former. This planning ideology has also helped the functional areas of the campus to be aggregated and arranged within a compact footprint along the major circulation corridors. The main focal points on the primary axis are the academic complex and the students’ hostel wing; the secondary axis bears facilities such as staff and faculty residences, the chairman’s residence, an ancillary block and various club facilities.Since the built footprint was confined to a compact ground area, the majority of the site was left for landscaping. This provided an opportunity of harnessing a huge volume of greenery within the campus. A dense and richly landscaped campus inspired construction of avenues alongside the internal roads and created an environment of serenity and repose, one that is conducive to the holistic development of students’ personalities. The variation between the landscape elements creates a harmonious rhythm, ensuring that the campus exists as a successful reminder of historical education methodologies.The campus was further planned in a way that created different activity zones that could generate public interaction and activity during the course of the day, and also serve as a common space for meeting and recreation of students and faculty members. The landscape design aimed to segregate the open spaces within the whole campus into different public and private zones depending on the functions and activities required, such as academic, residential, recreational, or simply for circulation purposes. It plays a crucial role in bringing balance to the entire campus. The underlying objective was to weave a structural connection between all the elements within the site and unify them as part of one holistic campus design. In this respect, private courts within each block open out through paved pathways into a larger, central open space shared by multiple facilities. This area, in turn, empties itself into the large flowing greenery of the campus, merging gradually with the sprawling golf course in the southwest. This design concept acts as a green buffer, reducing sound and air pollution generated from the vehicular traffic outside the site boundaries. In addition, the abundance of protective foliage canopies in the landscape plan help in keeping the open spaces within the site humidified: comfortable and cool in summers and warm in winters. As a result, the foliage acts as a natural climate controlling factor in the overall design, emphasizing successful accommodation of requirements of the Indian landscape within the planning ideology. In addition, elements such as aangans (shared courtyards) and verandahs help crochet a climate-friendly campus. The courtyards allow the buildings to merge effortlessly with the landscape and facilitate passive ventilation in the surrounding buildings. This helps the areas to act as ‘breathing lungs’ within the built complex of the campus. They are also the defining element of a building’s entryway, which are exquisitely landscaped. Through this interspersed network, these green pockets are able to balance the built and unbuilt volumes of the design. The buildings are double-storeyed blocks, their low-rise stature respecting the horizontality of the ground. Besides this, the buildings are rendered in exposed brickwork that makes them appear as earthly extensions of the ground itself. Bold arches adorn their façades, and their elevation builds a sense of character for the institution’s architecture. Sculptured forms, such as arches, jaalis, coffers and pergolas, reinforce details into the otherwise unostentatious exposed bricks. Arched columns span the entire length of the buildings, introducing a sylvan charm to the campus. The semi-covered corridors act as shared spaces of recreation for students, also easing the movement across different blocks. They act like a double-wall for the buildings, thereby controlling the climate of the rooms during summers and winters. The design of the columns varies in nature, exhibiting finesse in brick as an architectural and engineering building material. Arcaded corridors, which are 6-feet-wide, run all along the periphery of the courtyards. They form an edge between the building and the open space while creating circulation networks that connect the buildings in both the academic complex and the students’ hostels. The Institute’s built structures are seamlessly integrated into the green landscape, with a system of courtyards punctuating the site at different nodes. This is particularly visible in the agglomeration of the academic complex, where a large central court leads onto smaller internal courts, encompassed by academic and administrative facilities. The Architects’ endeavour to emulate the values of a truly collective learning environment has helped develop this specific language of design – one that also evokes a sense of modernity and tradition. MDI remains one of the most revered institutional designs in modern Indian architecture. The approach of bold built forms set amidst a lush, green landscape creates a magical juxtaposition of buildings and open space. It has resulted in a tranquil academic setting within the heart of a city, and is the perfect example of how architecture can shape its own unique environment.