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ARCHITECT : Upal Ghosh
Sanskriti Kendra is a symbol of Sanskriti's involvement in activities relating to art, craft, literature, the performing arts, and social work. Although diverse on the surface, these activities are different facets of a single vibrant culture rooted in Indian soil but universal in its outlook. Sanskriti Kendra is, thus, a manifestation of Sanskriti's philosophy of looking at apparently different facets as parts of a larger organic whole. It is a cultural centre where artists and sculptors, writers and musicians, and village craftsmen, practise their arts in tranquil surroundings that engage the mind with the imagery of the idyllic pastoral countryside with its manmade interventions. Sanskriti Pratishthan, is an Indian not-for-profit cultural organization that helps cultivate an environment for preservation and promotion of India's artistic and cultural resources. The buildings are semi-rustic in appearance, with ample space between them for strolling or catching a breath of fresh air- but not so far apart as to engender a sense of isolation. The grounds, filled with a profusion of trees, present a picture of seemingly organic growth. Anand Gram, as the complex is called, is just that - a village that makes the visitor happy. Sanskriti Pratishthan, is an Indian not-for-profit cultural organization that helps cultivate an environment for preservation and promotion of India's artistic and cultural resources.
PEACEFUL NATURAL ENVIRONMENT FOR ARTISTS
ORIGIN Sanskriti Kendra, set up by Sanskriti Pratishthan and inaugurated on 31st January 1993. Sanskriti literally means 'the process of cultivating', the foundation has been working towards cultivating an environment for the preservation and development of the artistic and cultural resources not only of India but of the world as a whole. The belief in the positive function of culture as a universal and unifying force is intrinsic to sanskriti. Sanskriti has grown organically and embraced a wider variety of activities and creative endeavors not only from India but all over the world. As an institute its watchword is to conserve and perpetuate a tradition that is vital and vibrant, as ancient as it is contemporary, as beautiful as it is functional, as elegant as it is simple and as Indian as it is universal. Sanskriti is rooted in the soil of life and its inexorable and intrinsic sense of beauty. Its faith is in culture as a catalyst and as part of everyday life and not as an exclusive ivory tower concept. O.P.Jain , a resident of Delhi and a long time collector of antiquities, had a barren seven acre space of land in the outskirts of Delhi's mehrauli-gurgaon road. He planned to transform this plot into a space for artists to work and exchange their ideas. For this project, he chose his long time friend and architect Upal Ghosh ( Ghosh had previously designed Jain s family home). Ghosh proposed bringing shantiniketan to Delhi , creating an idyllic village that would have a flowing river and trees for artists to work under, just as Tagore had envisaged years ago. A special feature of the plan is meandering rainwater channel Ghosh devised, which becomes the focal point of the complex. Over the years many extensions were built with its growing popularity and importance. An unconventional auditorium and a meditation centre are also in the pipeline. The importance of the complex lies in its honest formulation of creating a natural, rural environment where architectural expression emphasizes restraint over exuberance. CONCEPT ARCHITECT : Upal Ghosh A living, creative complex, the Kendra is intended to provide temporary residential and working space to both traditional and contemporary artists and craftspersons and in doing so, it aims to promote interaction between the two. Thus the complex includes in addition to two museums, an open-air auditorium, conference hall and studio apartments. For rural craftspersons, a separate cluster of huts with individual cooking facilities provided. All spaces are scattered in a manner of a village dwelling. Over two thousand trees were planted across the plot with a banyan tree at the entrance. Professor Mohammad Shaheer was responsible for the landscape architecture of the complex.
LOCATION : ANANDGRAM QUTAB ( MEHRAULI) The Sanskriti Kendra is located at anandgram, in the qutab mehrauli on the outskirts of Delhi. The Kendra is spread over 3 hectares in the foot hills of the aravalli range. Located amidst farmhouses, the peaceful environments is idyllic for the creative activities at the Kendra. ACCESSIBILITY The Kendra is accessible from mehrauli-gurgaon road. The India Gandhi international airport is located 12 km from the sanskriti Kendra and new Delhi railway station or the old Delhi railway station, are about 20 km from the Kendra.
BUILT VS OPEN Architect says The complex manifestation of built form in a warm climate, where between closed-box and open to sky, there lies in a whole continuum of zones, with varying definitions and varying degrees of protection. One steps out of the box to lend oneself in a verandah from which one moves into a courtyard and then under a tree, and beyond onto a terrace covered by a bamboo pergola, and then perhaps back onto a balcony and so on. The boundaries between these zones are not formal and sharply demarcated, but easy and amorphous. Subtle modulations of light, of the quality of ambient air, register each transitions on our senses CIRCULATION AND MOVEMENT Movement patterns are very clear Service road runs on the periphery of the site. DISTRIBUTION OF SPACES 1. Public spaces like museums & office-the governing body comes first with entry. 2. Sitting spaces comes next having a little bit privacy by planting trees. 3. Workspaces : Studios and dormitories- a very personal spaces are away from the public spaces to avoid any kind of distaction allowing artists to work with concentration in a very natural & fresh environment. 4. Services like laundry, washing are placed at the end of the site away from public movement along the service road.
Landscape supervised by landscape architect Mohammad Shaheer. The Kendra being spread over 3 hectares on the foothills of the aravalli range, landscape is thus recognized as focal to the scheme. No activity that would disturb the basic character of the land was undertaken. Landscape elements A judicious mix of formality and informality, both in plant and hard landscape. Geometric forms, pavements, paths and hedges intersperse the lawns, vans, and the Nahar and the meandering parks. Approximately two thousand trees have been planted to predominate the complex. The rainwater drainage channel that runs down the center, and existing clumps of trees become the major structuring elements of the layout plan. The rainwater channel has been converted into a linear water body (The Nahar). This starts from a semi-circular pool fed by water attention pond, passed under a couple of foot A WOODEN PIGEON HOUSE bridges, washes up the steps of Ghats on either sided, and ends at the Manch. Excess water is run off through FROM GUJARAT a by pass drain.
BY-PASS DRAIN THE RAINWATER DRAINAGE CHANNEL
KUND NEAR THE TEXTILE MUSEUM
WATER POND PROVIDING SERENE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE STUDIOS
DISTRIBUTION OF THE ACTIVITIES
The baithak is the common room of the Kendra, housing facilities such as the dining room, conference room, library, computer room and office. A twostoreyed structure, it is internally connected, both visually and physically by a double height covered court with steps so configured that they can be used as tiered seating during conferences, etc. FLOW OF SPACES : The building can be entered from various levels. Except the office and the library, all other spaces flow into each other giving the interior a very open feeling. OFFICE AT HIGHER LVL : In keeping with its supervisory role the office has been strategically placed at a higher level overlooking the entire complex. PLAY WITH LEVELS : The architect has also played with levels within the building maintaining smooth movement horizontally as well as vertically.
UPPER GROUND FLOOR LOWER GROUND FLOOR CONFERENCE HALL WINDOW IN THE OFFICE HAVING ENTRANCE VIEW FOR HAVING CONTOL THE OFFICE LOCATED AT PRIME LOCATION AT A HIGHER LEVEL AND HAVING WINOWS AT ALL THE SIDES TO HAVE CONTROL OVER THE SITE THE OTHER WINDOW HAVING VIEW OF OTHER PART OF THE SITE
ALL THE AREAS ARE PLACED ALONG THE SOUTH SIDE AS TO HAVE ADVANTAGE OF SUN AS THE SUN DIRECTLY ENTERS THE ROOM THROUGHOUT THE DAY IN WINTERS . THE BUILDING IS MADE KEEPING IN MIND GREEN ARCHITECTURE TO HAVE MORE OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT - FRESH AIR TO BREATHE IN AND MORE OF NATURAL LIGHTING. BUILDING IS PLANNED IN A STAGGERED FORM TO HAVE MUTUAL SHADING FOLLOWING GREEN PRINCIPLES.
HAVELI This is the residence of O.P.Jain, the moving force behind the organization, the plan is based on six and a half overlapping squares with intersecting pyramidal roofs. The dining, living, bedroom and the kitchen are arranged around an aangan (courtyard). The most striking feature is the meticulously restored old entrance door from Rajasthan from where one gets the first glimpse of the aangan - a perfect square patch of green with an equally geometric rectangle of water along one side. STUDIOS There are eight studios in two blocks placed along the Nahar where participants with an urban background can live and work. The units are small and simple but provide a variety of spaces, both indoor and outdoor. These are located away from other built forms that allows artists to concentrate on their work.
GREEN ARCHITECTURE WORKSPACE AND THE LIVING AREAS GET NORTH LIGHT AS NORTH SIDE GETS ONLY LIGHT THROUGHOUT THE DAY WITHOUT ANY HEAT SO IT IS COOLER. BEDROOMS , DINING-KITCHEN AND THE SITTING AREAS ALONG WITH A SEPARATE PERSONAL GARDEN ARE FACING SOUTH SIDE , THUS GET MORE SUN(HEAT & LIGHT) IN WINTERS AND LESSER IN SUMMERS.
STUDIOS ARE LOCATED IN THE CALM AREA SURROUNDED BY GREENERY AND AWAY FROM ANY BUILT FORM TO MAINTAIN PRIVACY AND PROVIDING ENVIRONMENT TO CONCENTRATE. WATER BODY NEARBY ADD TO ITS BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT.
The Sanskriti - Delhi Blue Ceramic center the only one of its kind in India - plays host to diverse ceramic activities and interactions, both national and international. The programs offered include residencies, classes, interactive workshops for ceramicists, talks, slide shows, firings and demonstrations. Facilities at the Ceramic Centre The ceramic centre is well equipped with the following types of wheels and furnaces: 8 Kick wheels, 2 Painters wheels, 1 Electric wheel, 1 Wood Furnace, 2 Gas Furnaces
The Kendra incorporates two museums the sanskriti museum of India terra-cotta and the Sanskriti museum of everyday art. These, the most public of all the spaces, needed special attention for clarity of movements. The layout of spaces is such that a visitor moves from one exhibit to the next without repeating any.
MUSEUM OF INDIAN TERRA-COTTA
A series of modular units, have been arranged around landscaped courtyards. GOOD PLAY WITH TRANSTION OF SPACES : The module, square in plan, has been used in various forms sometimes as just a platform, a room without roof, a room with roof but no walls, and sometimes totally enclosed with regular doors and windows . The roof is always pyramidal as it suits the square plan and blends well with the scale and rural setting. A majority of terracotta belonged to open and semiopen environments.
From the common earthen pot that stores drinking water to giantsized cultic equestrian figures of rural Tamil deities of the Aiyyanar cult, terracotta art occupies a central position in Indian life and culture. Having had their existence always outside the rigid and binding rules and regulations of the shilpshastras or the constituted Hindu canons governing artistic expression, terracotta art enjoys tremendous freedom in imagination and conception. Sanskriti found it somewhat intriguing that in spite of their widespread usage, antiquity, artistic merit and cultural significance, terracotta objects have not been systematically collected.
MUSEUM OF EVERYDAY ART
Situated at the Sanskriti Kendra, Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art is a rich repository of about 2 000 objects of everyday life of traditional India which show some sign of excellence in craftsmanship, conception, design or ingenuity of pratical device. The collection includes folk and tribal sacred images, accessories for rituals, lamps, incense burners, writing Materials, women's toiletries, weights and measures, ovens and tongs, locks and latches, apparatus for opium and cannabis, vessels, children's accessories and kitchen implements. The museum of everyday art is housed in a building sunk partly below ground and its roof is effectively used a outdoor exhibition terraces for the terra-cotta museum.
THE MUSEUM OF EVRYDAY ART SUNK PARLTY BELOW GROUND BY 1500 M.
TYPES OF DISPLAY
ENTRANCE TEXTILE MUSEUM IS HAVING FULLY ENCLOSED DISPLAY SYSTEM FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MATERIAL. THE TERRACE OF THE EVERYDAY ART MUSEUM SERVES AS THE DISPLAY AREA FOR MUSEUM OF INDIAN TERACOTTA .
KEPT IN STAINLESS STEEL DISPLAY BOARDSWITH GLASS TO LOOK THROUGH.
THE ARCHITECT UPAL GHOSH TOOK HIS VISUAL CUES FROM RURAL ARCHITECTURE BUT WANTED THE BUILDINGS TO BE PRACTICAL AND LONG LASTING. HE THEREFORE CHOSE CEMENT THAT WAS MADE TO LOOK LIKE MUD BRICKS WITH PYRAMIDAL TERRACOTTA TILED ROOFS TUHS PROVIDING A DESIGN THAT COULD BE REPLICATED EASILY.
Building exhibits a perfect example of an environment suitable for a cultural setting. A building designed in the landscape, with the built form complementing the natural landform. Spaces are well articulated and the movement pattern provides a good experience to the visitors as he walks from open to sky to semi-covered courts and finally into a covered space. The building holds a deserted look as the craftsmen are not generally seen at work. One would say that all the environment lacks are the people. People hold a lot of importance; their presence not only enhances the festive environment but also encourages the craftsmen displaying the work.