Featuring a series of sunken vaults sheathed in china mosaic, Balkrishna Doshi's own studio, Sangath, has a small grassy terraced amphitheatre and flowing water details.
The architecture is considered to fully describe the legendary architect.
Sangath is a complete combination of Doshi's architectural themes from his previous work including complex interiors and structures, ambiguous edges, vaults and terraces.
Upon entering the complex, one immediately sees the silhouette of a vault lingering behind an exterior wall and a slight view of the interior is present through a small break in the surface.
As the path turns alongside the elevated garden walls, the vaults begin to recede into the background above the grassy amphitheatre, water channels and gardens in the foreground.
The reflecting ponds capture the vaults in still water making the entrance apparent. It lies at the end of an angled approach to the vaults.
The main entry takes the visitor a few steps down into the vault and an ascending flight of stairs in a three story height. Proceeding through the small corridor by Doshi's office and into the main drafting hall, the ceiling plane reflects how Doshi interlocks multi height spaces and creates compression and release between them.
The underside of the vault in the main drafting room is finished with a textured concrete that dispersed natural light into the space. At the end of the hall lies the opening seen from the site entrance and one regains their sense of place along the main axis.
Sangath also expresses Balkrishna Doshi's desire for a connection between nature and the individual.
The overall form exaggerates the details of nature with its rolling mounds, cave-like spaces, terraced land, playful water channels, and reflective surfaces.
Storm water in funnelled through the site by the slick, round vaults and water troughs.
The sunken interior spaces are insulated by clay within the structure. Heat from the sun is reduced by grassy mounds and the white reflective china mosaic that covers each vault.
Natural light is also filtered into the interior spaces during the day, while the moon is reflected in the ponds and across the china mosaics at night.
Sangath holds connections to India's culture with layout resembling a temple, which develops a series of stages into a final platform while the form loosely imitates the boldness of a stupa.
Other references to modern styles are also apparent with the Le Corbusier ear shaped pool; amphitheatre steps resembling those by Aalto and Wright; Gaudi's broken china mosaic; and a water feature similar to that of Kahn's Salk Institute.
Information and Image Courtesy: sangath.org
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