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Algorithms behind visibility optimization of Bharat Mandapam: 7000 seater Convention Centre for G20.

How algorithms and computational design aided in optimization of 7000 seater Convention Center hosting the G20 Summit in New Delhi?

Technology has served as the cornerstone of numerous architectural and engineering marvels, often in various capacities. Some technologies are prominently integrated into the structure, while others work quietly behind the scenes. rat[LAB] Studio is proud to be associated with working on Bharat Mandapam with Arcop Associates as computational designers using Algorithms for optimization of 7000 seater convention center. Here, we offer a unique glimpse into the algorithms and design technologies that underpinned the optimization of the seating in this world-class convention center hosting the highly anticipated G20 summit in New Delhi, India.

The challenge to optimize & test the seating of 3000 & 4000-seater in individual, & combined scenarios, was approached by creating a bespoke tool by rat[LAB] Studio. This tool aided in testing, optimising & designing the seating in various combinations as envisioned by Principal Architects - Arcop Associates Pvt Ltd. rat[LAB] - Research in Architecture and Technology, a cutting-edge technology-centric design consultancy was brought in onboard as Computational Design Consultants specific for testing & optimization of Visibility Analysis required for a large capacity convention center auditorium. This required a tool creation through a set of algorithms and was a computationally challenging task.

Image Source // NDTV article by Akhilesh Sharma- Pics: Delhi's Pragati Maidan Complex Gets A Swanky Look Ahead Of G20 Meet

Combining state-of-the-art infrastructure with timeless artistic expressions, the recently unveiled International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) stands proudly within the rejuvenated Pragati Maidan compound. This prestigious location has been chosen as the site for the upcoming G-20 Summit in September, and the IECC is poised to emerge as India's most expansive and remarkable destination for conferences and exhibitions. This avant-garde facility not only symbolizes the harmonious convergence of modernity and tradition but also exemplifies India's commitment to hosting world-class events.

The honor of unveiling the IECC fell to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated it on July 26, 2023, underscoring the national significance of this achievement. This symbolic event not only signifies the official opening of an extraordinary facility but also resonates with India's broader commitment to progress, inclusivity, and the harmonious coexistence of tradition and modernity.

The redesigned Pragati Maidan, covering over 4,000,000 square feet of built-up area, features a convention center that is set to become one of India's largest, boasting a combined capacity of 13,500. The Amphitheatre stands as one of the largest single-gathering spaces, accommodating up to 3,000 attendees. Additionally, the new area will house a plenary hall and a multipurpose hall, each with seating capacities of 3,000 and 4,000, respectively. Mechanical walls in this space can be moved aside to accommodate 7,000 people. Furthermore, the IECC includes two auditoriums capable of hosting 900 and 600 people, respectively.

Image Source // NDTV Article by Akhilesh Sharma- Pics: Delhi's Pragati Maidan Complex Gets A Swanky Look Ahead Of G20 Meet

This state-of-the-art facility is a testament to the transformative power of computational processes and algorithmic approaches in creating cutting-edge architectural masterpieces. This achievement centres on a groundbreaking visibility tool, crafted through advanced computational methods, to enhance seating arrangements for an unmatched attendee experience at the stage and screens. Spearheaded by rat[LAB] Studio, a visionary technology-centric architecture firm, these approaches have revolutionized architecture's conceptualization, conception, optimization, and construction, setting new efficiency and accuracy standards. This signifies the development of a cohesive relationship between technology and design. It's achieved through computational design and generative strategies.

Through its research and technology driven design ,it optimizes views, creating an unparalleled event atmosphere. Working on the various parameters that might affect the experience of any individual at any given seat, the tool works in a way to provide overall analysis of how to optimize the experience of the stage and centre at every given seat.

Image Source // Glimpses of computational design process creating the algorithm for custom visibility analysis tool.

Computation Tool Development by rat[LAB] Studio ( // Architectural Design by ARCOP Associates Pvt Ltd (

Image Source // Article from Architectural Digest - Pragati Maidan: The revamped design brings to life the largest convention centre in India

Conceptualization and Ideation:

With computational design tools at their disposal, architects can rapidly generate and explore an extensive range of design options. These speeds up the ideation phase and allows for a more informed decision-making process. In the case of the New Delhi convention centre, by factoring in multiple variables and parameters simultaneously , it helped explore numerous seating arrangements and configurations to find the best solution for the unique design challenges presented by the project that maximize capacity without compromising on the attendee's experience.

Image Source // Article from Architectural Digest - Pragati Maidan: The revamped design brings to life the largest convention centre in India

The rise of computational design has opened the door to a realm of unprecedented opportunities. Through the utilization of sophisticated algorithms and computing prowess, architects can effectively dissect and manage extensive datasets, enabling the inception of data-informed design choices and inventive approaches to problem-solving. In generative design, algorithms are used to produce a huge number of design options based on predetermined criteria. AI-driven simulations look at things like lighting, airflow, and energy efficiency to help with sustainable design which can push the envelope of design, streamline processes, and produce buildings that are aesthetically pleasing, more efficient, and sustainable.

Recognizing the potential of computational design in reshaping convention center architecture and by combining these technologies, the team harnessed its capabilities to create an innovative visibility tool. This tool not only reimagined the convention center experience but also addressed the intricate obstacles related to seating optimization.

Harnessing the capabilities of computational design, the conception of a 7000-seater convention centre underwent a remarkable transformation. This advancement revolutionized the optimization of spatial utilization, seating arrangements, and acoustics through the application of parametric modelling. By enabling real-time simulations of crucial factors such as lighting, ventilation, and crowd dynamics, the design ensured not only comfort but also safety. Data-driven insights further guided decisions regarding layout, signage, and accessibility, fostering seamless user experiences. Additionally, the utilization of rapid prototyping played a pivotal role in refining intricate architectural elements, while virtual reality simulations provided stakeholders with a tangible glimpse into the envisioned final space. In essence, this innovative approach to computational design empowered the creation of a multifunctional and aesthetically pleasing convention centre that not only meets modern standards but also conserves valuable resources and time.

The Visibility Tool: An Algorithmic and Computational Marvel

When crafting a convention centre, the central priority revolves around ensuring optimal viewing experiences for every attendee, defying common misconceptions. To tackle this challenge head-on, an innovative visibility tool was developed, relying on algorithmic computations and computational simulations. This tool considers multiple critical factors, encompassing sightlines, viewing angles, and screen visibility, to meticulously generate the most effective seating arrangement conceivable.

Distinguished by its capacity to create seating layouts that offer superior views for most guests, the program extensively analyses an abundance of data. This analysis is aimed at identifying prime seating locations that guarantee clear sightlines to the main stage. This pioneering approach substantially enhances the overall event experience, elevating both satisfaction and engagement levels among attendees.

Image Source // Glimpses of computational design process creating the algorithm for custom visibility analysis tool.

Computation Tool Development by rat[LAB] Studio ( // Architectural Design by ARCOP Associates Pvt Ltd (

Image Source // Glimpses of computational design process creating the algorithm for custom visibility analysis tool.

Computation Tool Development by rat[LAB] Studio ( // Architectural Design by ARCOP Associates Pvt Ltd (

Within the shifting architectural realm, the Visibility Tool serves as a testament to how computational design can reshape and redefine traditional norms in convention center architecture. This significant advancement showcases the fusion of innovation and technology, marking the emergence of a fresh era where convention venues are deliberately designed as immersive spaces, ensuring remarkable encounters for every participant.

Image Source // Arcop Associates Pvt Ltd (Project Architects): Redevelopment of Pragati maidan into integrated exhibition cum convention centre( IECC), New Delhi

Image Source // Case Study example of sightline analysis (Marshall Day Acoustics)

Image Source // Featured article in Hindustan Times -G20 Summit venue ITPO complex at Pragati Maidan to be inaugurated on July 26: Details By Shishir Gupta

The Algorithmic Approach:

Through the utilization of a sophisticated algorithm, the visibility tool scrutinizes data extracted from 3D models depicting the convention center's structure, seating arrangements, as well as the precise positions of stages and screens. This innovative tool takes into consideration a multitude of variables, including the preferences of the audience in terms of viewing, the spatial dimensions of the area, and the strategic alignment of stages and screens. By processing this extensive pool of information, the algorithm crafts an optimized seating configuration that strategically enhances visibility while skillfully minimizing any potential obstructions.

The challenge lay in orchestrating a seating arrangement that not only met the project's ambitious capacity but also catered to the diverse needs of an array of events and presentations. The task was further compounded by the need to adhere to stringent guidelines governing sightlines, accessibility, and audience comfort. Traditional approaches struggled to strike this intricate balance, necessitating a departure from conventional methodologies.

To surmount these hurdles ,This algorithmic approach heralds a profound transformation in the realm of convention center design, employing intelligent analysis and iterative refinement of spatial layouts, seating placements, and the fluid dynamics of the space. It factors in a wide array of elements, ranging from acoustics and sightlines to accessibility, all in the pursuit of a superlative user experience. This approach empowers the creation of designs that are both adaptable and responsive, capable of seamlessly adapting to diverse contexts and the varied needs of users.

Incorporating real-time simulations, this method further refines crucial components such as lighting, ventilation, and energy efficiency, ensuring a meticulous level of detail. The beauty of this methodology lies in its agility to swiftly adapt for multifunctionality and scalability, catering to an array of requirements with ease. By harnessing the prowess of computational technology, the convention center’s layout, aesthetics, and functionality are meticulously honed to perfection, culminating in an avant-garde, versatile, and inspirational space that effortlessly aligns with contemporary architectural and experiential standards.

Assessment of each seat's visibility using site lines:

Embarking on the Assessment of Each Seat's Visibility through Sightlines, this endeavor delves into the intricate interplay of architecture and perception within the context of the project. By meticulously scrutinizing the sightlines from each seat, this assessment unravels a critical dimension of the design's efficacy, shedding light on how advanced computational tools are harnessed to ensure a seamless and captivating experience for every attendee.

The Computational Approach: A Paradigm Shift in Architectural Design

Computational simulations played a crucial role in validating and refining the seating arrangement, which bears noteworthy significance. The visibility tool orchestrates simulations that effectively replicate diverse scenarios, encompassing scenarios like crowded halls, modifications to stage setups, and the visibility of screens during various presentations.

The convention center's inception stands as a testament to a profound leap in architectural methodology, powered by computational techniques. This transformative approach fine-tunes every facet, spanning seating configurations, acoustics, energy efficiency, and structural integrity, all curated through advanced algorithms and state-of-the-art software. This method propels decision-making by capitalizing on parametric modeling, swift prototyping, and real-time simulations. The ultimate outcome emerges as a convention center that seamlessly amalgamates aesthetics, utility, and sustainability, heralding a new era of design potential and giving rise to an iconic and versatile venue tailored for a spectrum of events and experiences.

This project epitomizes the pivotal paradigm shift that's sweeping through contemporary architectural design. Rooted in the remarkable capabilities of computational technology, this transformative shift resonates as a response to evolving aesthetics, advancing technology, and shifting societal benchmarks. It includes significant departures from conventional procedures as a result of technological developments, evolving aesthetics, and shifting societal standards. It marks a profound departure from conventional methods, fuelled by the fusion of computational prowess and creative vision, resulting in a design landscape that holds unprecedented potential.


Sightline / Visibility Analysis: METHODOLOGY

Pseudo Code / Algorithm

Step 1: Parametric Modelling

In the initial phase, a parametric modeling process is undertaken, resulting in the creation of a 3D surface patch measuring 10m x 1.25m. This meticulously designed surface is positioned at the center of the stage, elevated by 1m above the Finished Floor Level in strict alignment with the provided directives. The parametric modeling endeavor involves the construction of a comprehensive and precise 3D model that accurately represents the specified parameters.

Within this 3D model, seats are integrated with great attention to detail. Each seat, defined by a unique geometry comprising a Cylinder and Sphere, is meticulously positioned so that its center aligns with the front of the Sphere. The surface patch, serving as the canvas for seat arrangement, is methodically divided into an adaptable 11x4 grid pattern, resulting in 44 points designated for seating placement. This parametric grid layout has inherent flexibility to accommodate future modifications.

This pivotal step forms the bedrock for subsequent stages of the project, priming the design for further refinement and development while consistently adhering to the stipulated guidelines. This early stage of parametric modeling establishes a robust foundation, setting the course for the project's evolution and enhancement in the subsequent phases.

Step 2: Visibility Set up

Advancing to the second phase, the focus shifts to the Visibility Setup procedure. The objective here revolves around establishing unobstructed lines of sight from each individual represented in the human body models to the designated 44 points positioned on the surface grid. This task involves creating a total count of Lines of Sight equivalent to the product of the number of seats and 44.

This endeavour involves utilizing the human body models themselves as potential "obstacles." This is achieved through the implementation of collision tests, where all sightlines originating from the human body representations are examined for potential interactions with these obstructions.

Following the execution of the collision algorithm, the resulting data undergoes a systematic categorization process. This categorization serves to construct a comprehensive roster of values, encompassing two primary classifications: the count of sightlines that intersect with the obstructions and the count of sightlines that maintain a clear and unobstructed trajectory toward the stage or screen vicinity.

This method ensures the accumulation of a detailed dataset, systematically organized into categories that offer insights into the effectiveness of sightlines. Through meticulous data organization, the objective is to pinpoint and quantify the number of sightlines encountering obstacles versus those that remain unhindered.

This strategic data categorization contributes significantly to the overall optimization of visibility. This meticulous approach plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless audience experience, where sightlines are optimized to their fullest potential.

Step 3: Data Sorting & Analysis

Moving into the next phase, the attention turns to Data Sorting & Analysis. The collected data is methodically organized into separate lists, enabling a systematic approach to calculation. This categorization is instrumental in determining the proportion of sightlines that remain unobstructed and those encountering obstacles for each individual seating position. This procedure yields invaluable insights into the quality of sightlines across diverse vantage points.

For clarity and precision, each seating number is associated with a specific percentage value. These percentage values then play a pivotal role in segmenting the data into five distinct sections. Each section comprises an exact enumeration of seats along with their corresponding percentage values. To enhance visual comprehension, a distinctive range of color values is assigned to each of these categorized lists. This visual encoding simplifies the interpretation of data, providing an insightful understanding of sightline quality across the seating arrangement.

Step 4 : Integrate the Analysed data

The subsequent stage entails the integration of the analyzed data back into the 3D model. The assimilated data is aligned with their corresponding categories and accompanied by associated percentage values and color codes, in adherence to a predefined legend. In this phase, the human figure or seat representatives within the 3D model undergo a transformation to visually embody the color-coded material representation.

Upon its finalization, the resultant 3D model becomes enriched with a visual representation that vividly depicts the categorized data. To cater to practical utility, the completed 3D model is exported in the form of high-resolution JPEG images. Furthermore, the interlinked seat numbers and their respective percentage data are compiled into a structured Excel sheet format, ensuring easily accessible and well-organized documentation.

This cumulative progression, spanning from the initial data analysis and categorization to its seamless integration into the 3D model, culminates in the creation of illuminating visual depictions and comprehensive data records. These outcomes play a pivotal role in steering decision-making and offer a lucid comprehension of the intricacies of visibility dynamics within the conceptualized space.

Enhanced Accuracy and Performance

The accuracy of computational simulations ensures that design decisions are based on concrete data rather than subjective assumptions. This leads to a higher level of performance in the finished architectural product. In the case of the New Delhi convention centre, the visibility tool's simulations ensured that sightlines and screen visibility were fine-tuned to perfection, delivering an outstanding experience for every attendee.

For an optimal design of the Pragati Maidan Convention Centre, a comprehensive strategy is vital. Employ advanced simulation tools like computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) to intricately model interactions. Calibrate parameters through real-world measurements for simulations that faithfully mimic actual conditions. Incorporate various physics simulations for an accurate representation of complex system dynamics.

Leverage high-performance clusters and parallel computing to expedite simulations without compromising precision. Implement simulations iteratively to refine design choices through an iterative approach. This meticulous methodology ensures the creation of the Pragati Maidan Convention Centre with due emphasis on energy efficiency, occupant well-being, and overall efficacy. Moreover, it streamlines processes for continuous enhancement.

The Pragati Maidan Convention Centre, an impressive 7000-seat establishment situated in New Delhi, stands as a remarkable testament to the transformative influence of computational design and algorithmic methodologies within the realm of architecture. This architectural masterpiece vividly exemplifies how state-of-the-art technologies are actively redefining the very essence of architectural innovation.

Central to this visionary undertaking lies rat[LAB] Studio's pioneering visibility tool—a revolutionary creation that vividly underscores the immense possibilities offered by computational design and generative strategies. This tool serves as a guiding light, illuminating the trajectory toward a future wherein concepts, optimization, and construction processes seamlessly converge, yielding unparalleled efficiency and precision.

Through the fusion of computational processes, the convention centre embodies a harmonious fusion of aesthetics, and functionality. The intricate and meticulously crafted models facilitated by the algorithms empower construction teams with an unparalleled wealth of insights. This, in turn, not only minimizes errors but also fosters a collaborative atmosphere among a diverse array of stakeholders, spanning architects, engineers, and beyond.

As technology undergoes swift evolution, the Pragati Maidan Convention Centre emerges as a herald of what lies ahead. A future brimming with awe-inspiring architectural marvels is envisioned, redefining our interaction with spaces by offering immersive encounters that seamlessly merge the tangible and digital domains. This captivating evolution in architecture underscores the boundless potential intrinsic to computational design, promising to reshape the very landscapes of our built environment in ways that currently exist only in the realm of imagination. This trajectory promises a profound impact, forever altering the way we experience and engage with the spaces around us.


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