architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding

architecture brio has completed part of an artist retreat in india that seeks to create resilient cultural infrastructure in a world threatened by climate change. the project is located on a coastal plot facing the mumbai peninsula with the city’s skyline visible across the bay. during monsoon season the land floods, an event that is happening more often and with more intensity as a result of rising sea levels. the project explores solutions for building in remote, coastal areas by using materials and construction techniques that have a minimal impact on fragile ecosystems.

architecture brio mumbai artist retreat
image by randhir singh | main image by edmund sumner

 

 

the project forms part of a larger masterplan that will eventually include multiple outdoor spaces for working, relaxing, and contemplation. by starting with the artist workshop, the retreat can start to organize events and workshops on its premises. located on a low lying coconut palm plantation near a beach, the site of the ‘mumbai artist retreat’ suffers from saline ground water in summer months. in order to replenish the ground water table with sweet water, a water harvesting pond in the middle of the site recharges the ground water table. architecture brio decided to raise the building off the ground and support it on boulders that were leftover from another project the firm completed nearby.

architecture brio mumbai artist retreat
image by randhir singh

 

 

rather than supporting the building, the heavy boulders act more as anchors to hold the structure in place. the architects explain that the concept is loosely based on the ‘ambalama’, places constructed for pilgrims, traders, and travelers to rest, meet, and share stories in sri lanka. the buildings are typically sited on a modest rock outcrop, an island within a sea of paddy fields.

architecture brio mumbai artist retreat
image by randhir singh

 

 

conceived as a ‘tropical shed’, the artist workshop comprises two pyramid-shaped roofs that are each topped with skylights. meanwhile, an adjacent store room with screen printing equipment creates an additional loft with a workspace on top of it. while the stilts, columns, and beams are made from galvanized steel, the roof structure is built from V-shaped bamboo beams. solar panels have been integrated into the skylights, which can be opened in order to encourage a natural flow of air.

architecture brio mumbai artist retreat
image by edmund sumner

 

 

as the project had to be as flexible as possible, movable wall panels — which keep out rain and direct sunlight — can connect to each modular bay of columns, allowing the spaces to be modified as required. consequently, the artists workshop can be used as a single large workshop, multiple simultaneous workshops, or even an exhibition space. see other projects by architecture brio on designboom here, including a rebuilt beach house.

architecture brio mumbai artist retreat
image by randhir singh

brio-mumbai-artist-retreat-alibag-india-designboom-1800b

image by edmund sumner

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by edmund sumner

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by edmund sumner

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by randhir singh

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by randhir singh

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by randhir singh

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by edmund sumner

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by edmund sumner

architecture brio elevates mumbai artist retreat on boulders to protect it from flooding
image by randhir singh

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: mumbai artist retreat
location: alibag, india
year: 2019
type: cultural, landscape, educational
themes: sustainability, context, bamboo roof, solar energy, typology
status: complete
size: 150 sqm / 1,615 sqf
program: artist retreat

 

architect: architecture brio
project team: shefali balwani + robert verrijt, sakshi minocha, neethi dorairaju, shivani mehta
contractor: unique concrete technologies
bamboo contractor: unique concrete technologies
bamboo advisor/supplier: vinja constructions
structural engineer: girish wadhwa
bamboo structural engineer: manjunath & co.
PMC: sila group
solar panels supplier: M-ujala solar tech
photography: randhir singh, edmund sumner

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