The Chennai campus for the Footwear Design and Development Institute is located on the pristine shores of the Chembarambakkam Lake. Exploiting the visually-appealing site context, an ingenious masterplan was crafted to maximise the panorama of the water body. The complex, which is raised atop columns and is interconnected through a series of bridges, functions as one cohesive unit, featuring a thoughtful circulation pattern, in symphony with integrated pockets of landscape elements. The buildings, through their light form and openness to nature, encourage social engagement and knowledge-sharing. Following the principles of climate-responsive design, the buildings utilize the sea breeze to facilitate thermal comfort, whilst aiding the learning experience. In its form, function and materiality, the FDDI institute lays the foundation for an energetic institutional body, embodying informed strategy-making with creative intuition.