This temporary pavilion, designed and built in 6 months, was the first completed work of the office. Brick and mud walls generate a square plan forming a simple multi-level box, through which visitors move in an easy and continuous flow.
The roof of wood umbrellas, covered with handloom cloth, suffused the internal space with an even light.
This exhibition, organised by the Government of India in 1969 to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, was located directly across the road from the Samadhi at Rajghat where he was cremated.
The complex consisted of four pavilions, each commemorating different aspects of the philosophy and teachings of Gandhiji. Conceived as a series of “non-buildings” party dug into the earth, they were structured by a pedestrian path that moves along a shifting axis, through a series of courtyards.
The brief involved preparing the overall concept and Master Plan for the four pavilions, and detailed architectural drawings for two of them.
This museum, an entry in an international competition, is a recall of the Hindustan Lever Pavilion (Delhi, 1961). The epic struggle for Human Rights generates the architectural form-not only in the exterior massing, but also in the powerful and primordial spaces that lie within. Beyond the Great Hall, are located the 4 Theme Pavilions, grouped around the Garden of Contemplation, in a manner which allows visitors to experience these pavilions in the order they prefer.
As one goes though the exhibits, the floor levels of the pavilions are successively raised, symbolizing the gradual ascent of humankind through the centuries. The final release comes at the highest level, as one enters the Garden of Contemplation, with the daylight streaming through the glass roof above-bringing with it the crucial element of hope, so essential to the journey.
The form of these Memorial Gates serves to conjure up the diverse and pluralistic cultures they celebrate. For the deep-structure that underlines their gesture finds resonance in almost every culture: viz., the doorway, or darwaza – a portal signifying entrance and journey. Wonderfully expressive, it allows subtle allusions to the many diverse cultures embodied in these gates.
Thus the circular convex mirror in the center not only serves to anchor the whole composition , but could also be a metaphor for bindu (i.e., the mythical source of all Energy that lies at the heart of Buddhism and Hinduism).
So also the sweeping gesture next to it, reaching out into the sky, seems to evoke the desert landscape and crescent moon of Islam.- and the scattered holes, the islands of the Caribbean.
This Museum of Islamic Art was the winning entry, in a competition involving eight international architects and a jury of Ricardo Legoretta, Fumihiko Maki, Luis Monreal among others
The design is generated by two basic themes: the wall and the courtyard.. This polished red granite wall, mirroring the sea and the sky along the Corniche, modulates in thickness and height along its length. The resulting curve serve both form and function, accommodating various service spaces used by the galleries such as cargo elevators and access to storage facilities. The galleries are flexible, and the pathways offer several alternative routes for visitors to view the exhibition areas in a variety of sequences, all structured by the centrality of the sunken courtyard with the inlaid char bagh.
The wall, climaxing in a recall of the original astronomical instruments developed by Ulugh Bey in Central Asia, pays tribute to the achievements of Islam in science and astronomy, and serves as a platform for visitors to view in the city of Doha.
Maharaja Jai Singh, who built the fabled pink city of Jaipur, was moved by two seemingly conflicting sets of mythic ideas and images. On the one hand there was the ancient Navgraha (the mandala of the nine planets)-and on the other, the newest myths of Science and Progress (e.g., the Jantar Mantar, the astronomical Instruments he constructed to measure, with the greatest possible scientific accuracy, the movement of sun and stars across the skies).
Thus the city of Jaipur, double coded like Jai Singh himself, is truly astonishing for its synthesis of past and future, of the material and metaphysical words. In this, Jai Singh is indeed analogous to another man, born more than two centuries later,, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Guiding the nation after Independence, Nehru wanted to re-discover India’s past whilst simultaneously opening the door to a new future.
Thus this Arts Centre, dedicated to Nehru, is really a metaphor for both men- and for Jaipur itself. Like them and like the city, it is double-coded: a contemporary building based on an archaic notion of the Cosmos:- the very same Navgraha mandala, with one of the squares moved aside , to recall the gesture that created the original plan for Jaipur.
The site for this Art Centre is on a gently sloping hill overlooking the lake in Bhopal. The natural contours of the site have been used to create a series of terraced gardens and sunken courtyards-off which are located a number of cultural facilities, including a museum of Tribal Art, a library of Indian poetry (in all the 17 major languages), galleries for Contemporary Art, workshops for lithography and sculpture, and a studio for an artist-in-residence. Bharat Bhavan also houses a full-fledged theatrical repertoire company and facilities for the performing arts, including the Antarang (indoor auditorium), and the Bhairang (open-air amphitheater), overlooking the lake.
Lighting and ventilation within the building are provided by top lights (from the concrete shells and from slots along the terrace parapets). The openings to the courtyards and terraces have two sets of shutters: the inner ones consisting of a combination of fixed glass and operable panels for light and ventilation; the outer ones consisting of large wooden doors, closed at night for security.
This Crafts Museum, casual and accepting of the artisan’s vernacular, is organized around a central pathway, going from village to temple to palace, a metaphor for the Indian street- in fact, for India herself, where all these different kinds of crafts have always co-existed down the centuries. Walking along this spine, one catches glimpses of the principal exhibits that lie on either side (the Village Court, Darbar Court, etc). One can visit any particular exhibit, or alternately, progress through all the various sections in a continuous sequence.
Towards the end of the sequence, the exhibits gets larger and include fragments of actual buildings-since the crafts of India have always been an essential element of her architecture, Finally, one exists via the roof terraces which form an amphitheater for folk dances, as well as an open-air display for large terracotta horses and other handicrafts.
Less than half of the total floor area of 5500 sq.m is open to the public; the rest of the collection is stored in special areas for the use of the very finest craftsmen who are selected from all over India to come and study these archives. In this manner, a potter from Bengal has the opportunity to examine at first hand the best work of his counterparts in Kerala, at the other end of the country- or for that matter, what his own forebears in Bengal had produced two or three hundred years previously. This is a perspective which has hitherto never been available to traditional Indian craftsmen.
This project is a further development of the themes of the Handloom and Hindustan Lever Pavilions. Here the maze is extended to cover the roof – surfaces as well – so that one enters and goes into, through, and over and out of a large puzzle-box.
The architectural form is deliberately low-key, a “non-building” given scale principally by the flights of stairs (echoing the bathing ghats of the rivers of India) and the effigy of the mythological demon Ravana.
Built for the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Kasturba, the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, was under house arrest in Poona when she died in 1944. This memorial was built on the spot where she was cremated.
Located on the edge of the Agha Khan Gardens, the memorial consists of a gently descending path along a shifting axis, open-to-sky, defined by a series of parallel brick walls, culminating in the Samadhi itself.
At several points along the path there are ramps up to levels from which the surrounding landscape is viewed. The podium created by these terraces houses a modest museum devoted to Kasturba.
The industrial fairs held annually in Delhi provided an extraordinary opportunity for architects to experiment..
This is a variation of the earlier Handloom Pavilion.
The circulation pattern is similar, but the forma has metamorphosed due to the long narrow site, and because of the structural system used: random-folded RCC plates, united in-situ, encasing ramps and platforms below-and creating huge ‘’cannons’’ which set up convection currents of air through the fractured, scaleless spaces.
This memorial is erected in the Sabarmati Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi resided from 1917 to 1930, and from which the started on this historic Salt March to Dandi. Built in homage to the Mahatma, and to propagate his ideas, it houses letters, photographs and other documents which trace the freedom movement launched by Gandhiji.
The materials used in the construction are similar to the other buildings in the ashram: tiled roofs, brick walls, stone floors and wooden doors. The only additions are the RCC channels which act as beams and as rainfall conduits – and which permit additional construction to be added in the future. No glass windows are used anywhere un the building; light and ventilation being provided by openable wooden louvres.
These elements combine to form a pattern of tiled roofs, in a typology analogous to the villages so central to Gandhiji’s thinking. They are grouped in a casual meandering pattern, creating a pathway along which the visitor progresses towards the centrality of the water court.