PROJECT: Sangath Vastu Shilpa Consultants
ARCHITECT: Balkrishna V Doshi
LOCATION: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
The architect and urban planner Balkrishna V. Doshi is one of the most recognized and influential architects of India. But beyond that, their cultural theories and philosophical teachings have placed in a prominent position in the international scene.
The Sangath complex built on the periphery of Ahmedabad, Drive-in Road. Ahmedabad known as Karnavati or Amdavad is the largest city of Gujarat state
“Sangath”, the name given to the complex, means “move together through participation”. Its purpose goes beyond designing homes or offices. Moreover, it covers a wide range of activities including research by the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation, funded by the company Doshi, experimentation in arts and crafts, and studying various technologies of construction or as the architect likes to define… “exploration artistic, social and humanistic dimensions of technology”.
“Sangath” is a powerful architectural manifestation of an independent and original, creative Indian architecture. It is the rediscovery of traditional and local in harmony with the place, with people, and with their past elements.
DESIGNING AND PLANNING:
The dominant architectural forms in the complex are vaulted, obtained from a combination of local traditions and materials with historical examples culturally prefigured such as temples or traditional headgear Hindus.
Sangath buildings complex consists of a set of domes and flat roofs at different heights and different angles juxtaposed to occupy an area of 473 mt. sq. within 2.425 mt. sq. fully walled rectangular field. The building complex built around a large courtyard terrace, which acts as the main entrance. Some of the buildings have sunk below ground level to certain ceilings whereas the domes rise only to eye level.
A small void at the main entrance from where someone can feel the gleams of the whole building gallery. Where some passing through the main entrance, the visitor down some stairs into a room covered by a dome, and the option to climb a flight of stairs to a height of three levels or consequently go through a small hallway to the office of Doshi is present with main drafting room. Finally, in this part of the building, the ceiling plane rises to create enclaves of multiple heights, complementing and releasing between them.
The bottom of the vault in the hall of writing topped with concrete where natural light scatters in space. In the end, thereof an opening that can be appreciated from the entry site visitor makes sense to recover its location along the main axis.
The design studios seen in a double-height volume topped by two domes. In addition, this includes a space with a flat roof that allows natural light until the end of the vaulted areas.
One result of the reintroduction of traditional values is the outdoor amphitheater used for conferences and other meetings.
With the help of a mobile formwork vault “Sangath” constructed with hollow clay tiles embedded in the walls.
Firstly, the outer skin covered with tiles fragmented pieces of waste material from a manufacturer.
Doshi used this traditional technique not only to reduce the heat inside the building but also as an important element of the methodology in the use of waste material.
Moreover, Sangath hopes Balkrishna Doshi to create a connection between nature and the individual. Further, its general form exaggerates the details of nature with its rolling hills, spaces such as caves, terraced land, and water channels with reflective surfaces, which recalls the Salk Institute of Louis Khan.
The structural system is based on poles and combined beams with reinforced concrete slabs. In the recesses of the vaults of the upper floors, iron, and concrete used with high insulation materials such as filling with brickwork. Firstly, the facades covered with tiles or cement and plaster.
Secondly, the interiors characterized by their different shapes and light in different directions. Also, the decor is based on building materials, with the exhibition of prints formwork in concrete ceilings, contrasting with the soft and smooth concrete floor rust-colored red. All materials and 60% of the workforce were local.
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