TEMPLE IN STONE AND LIGHT
Raj West Power Limited
JK AYA 2018 | All India Stone Architecture Award 2016 | Architizer A+ Awards
BUILT UP AREA:
Giving contemporary expression to the traditional Indian temple, the materiality of the Shiv Temple in Barmer, Rajasthan is inspired by the beauty of local stone and rich heritage of stone construction. The design with its strong form, stark quality and dramatic play of light on warm stone seeks to evoke visual and tactile senses in a visitor. Radically new way of using stone structure is intended to achieve beauty not through ornamentation but through usage of stone in its pure form. Structured symbolism of traditional architecture is filtered to evolve a form that represents the contemporary times, which still can achieve a space that can evoke spiritual energy by referring to the roots of symbolic nature of a Shiva temple. The main innovation is in the shikhar of the temple which is supported by a solid dressed stone masonry. Rather than a solid block, the individual components of the shikhar of the temple are offset from each other using interlocking stone blocks with epoxy binder, raining light into the inner sanctum / garbhagriha of the temple. The interlocking stone joinery is employed to let light into the structure during the day and let light out during the night, transforming the temple from day to night, solidly opaque to delicately see through.
It was exciting and daunting to design a temple, to be following the footsteps of master builders and craftsmen who, throughout India’s long history, have created masterpieces of temple architecture. The temple at Barmer, relatively free of complex programmatic burdens, offered the appropriate scale for experimentation and pushing boundaries.