Perhaps the architecture of a city is the first indication one has of its culture and careful design seems to pervade the built form of Bengaluru perhaps like no other city in India. Not having to deal with baggage of history, nor carrying the burden of being either the National Capital or the Financial Capital allows architects a unique freedom and so the practice in Bengaluru is rich with experiments.
The Bengaluru Architecture Open is our continued effort at experiencing architecture and urban design within the city and to connect practitioners of design with consumers and design enthusiasts. We bring another set of really interesting and carefully curated buildings and urban design projects in Bengaluru.
The projects on the schedule range from three schools that have their own unique takes on the typology of education. The Neev primary school by 100 Hands is a play on the mat building typology where the spaces in between the classrooms like the courtyards and the break-outs become informal learning spaces. A large roof above reinforces the misaligned grid on the ground and mimics the canopy of tree to enable gurukul like learning. While in the Atelier by Biome Environmental Solutions Pvt Ltd the entire project is cocooned under a large roof and the building consists of four classrooms, a studio and a childhood stimulation centre around a central piazza, with filter spaces allowing transition between the rooms and the piazza. What is unique about the approach at the Atelier is that the designers have challenged the notion of permanence of the building and envisioned it to be completely salvageable -from the roof to the partition walls and even the flooring. The Neev Academy by Venkataramanan Associates is formed by two interlocking courtyards that are surrounded by the programs. The interlocking built form is modulated into a series of terraces so that the courtyards are not completely cut off from one another and the modulated mass forms an amphitheater that overlooks the courtyard on one side. The classrooms open into larger spaces thereby facilitating unplanned interaction between students.
The Nirvana Films Office by Shimul Jhaveri Kadri Architects is a unique embodiment of the Maison Domino diagram and then some- flat slabs that extend into infinity and only connected by the staircase that cuts the space while simultaneously connecting the floors effortlessly. Spatial flexibility truly allows the project to break out of the box that is the result of narrow urban plots as well as blurs the divisions of formal and informal programmatic elements and at the same time allows for natural light and ventilation through the building. The same flexibility is embodied in the operable louvers that help shade the large glass façade. The project by Between Spaces is an apt rendition of the design philosophy of the firm – apparent in their name while at the same time an exploration of an all too common typology found in Bangalore. Several suburban houses are getting rebuilt with the owners adding extra capacity to their house to lease either the upper or lower unit. At Between Spaces the separate units are a residence on the lower floor and the architects’ office on the upper two floors. The entire project is then conceived as a set of spaces that flow into one another.
B.One by Cadence architects also deals with a similar suburban context as Between Spaces. Dealing with the dense residential neighbourhood and the busy street in front prompted the architects to conceive an introverted building. Diagrammatically, the program of the house was laid out in the form an ‘H-shaped plan’ that wraps around a courtyard such that each arm of the ‘H’ flanks the courtyard. The open to sky courtyard, becomes the point of interest and activity within the house while the courtyard becomes simultaneously the inside and the outside for the inhabitants.
The final project is the redesign of Church Street by Venkataramanan Associates. Church Street is a complex street housing several entertainment establishments, businesses and residences in the Central Business District and despite its financial importance it was suffering from apathy and disrepair. The design by VA prioritized the area allotted to pedestrians by increasing the pavement and providing additional infrastructure such as garbage bins, streetlights, street furniture, and other services at regular intervals. Services have been moved to the periphery and adequate service chambers along the length minimize disruption due to repairs. But perhaps the most humanizing aspect of the project is the ‘Kasuti’ patterned cobble stones that reduce the scale of the street and act as a traffic calming measure.
With the projects cutting across the spectrum of Residential, Institutional, Commercial and Urban planning we hope to see very interesting and enriching discussions emerge between the architects and the audience. Hope to see a lot of you joining us on the 24th and 25th of March!
KINDLY NOTE: Register for these FREE events at - www.indiaarchopen.com . There will be NO on-site registrations.