naples-based practice made in earth shared with us images of the new music and art center (M.A.C) in the southern town of tiruvannamalai, india, designed and executed in collaboration with the non-profit terre de hommes core trust. part of a larger network of local interventions that make up the ethos of the design firm, the cultural center is the newest and largest addition to the community. the design began as a study of pragmatism, looking at the available materials and local skill labor – which would construct the project – as well as a form that functioned efficiently and maintained an agreeable aesthetic.
all images courtesy of made in earth
concrete quickly proved to be the most economical and workable material that satisfied structural, budgetary, and labor requirements. the resultant footprint consists of a a serpentine wall gradually growing out of the ground and coiling back into itself to cradle a large multi-functional space. the procession through the structure provides a linear wall area which is to be used to hang posters telling the story of the organizations involved in the project and establishes a walkway experience revealing the various layers that make up the building.
in order to incorporate the various levels of unskilled local labor, small concrete blocks of different thicknesses were prefabricated near the site and used as a masonry unit between poured columns creating a semi-permeable wall. reminiscent of the traditional jaali screen walls of india, the construction strategy ensures constant ventilation through the space helping to cool the interior on hot days. a large sloping roof is elevated above the top of the wall shading the entrance to the building as well as the interior room. the screening wall not only allows for the passage of fresh air but also serves to filter the intense direct sunlight into a more comfortable indirect glow casting ever-changing shadows along the ground.
the gradually sloping wall turns into a projecting roof plane following the sinuous nature of the footprint
the cantilevered roof provides ample shade
the exterior walkway is flanked by two layers of the jaali-style concrete wall, creating a procession into the space
a concrete floor in the center space maintains a lower budget and provides the proper groundwork for a multitude of activities
the interior is lit from above and around, filtered through the checkered openings
each block can be stacked uniquely forming walls with variously sized openings
location: tiruvannamalai, tamil nadu, india
area: 430 sqm
made in earth design team: giancarlo artese with flavia scognamillo, alessandro turchi
architecture in india (166 articles)
concrete architecture and design (205 articles)
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