Triveni Kala Sangam is an important cultural and arts complex and education center in New Delhi, India. The name ‘Triveni Kala Sangam’ literally means “confluence of arts”. Noted American architect, Joseph Allen Stein, was commissioned to design the multi-purpose complex of art galleries, chamber theatre, library, and classrooms.

Project Name: Triveni Pottery Cafe
Architect Name: Studio Polar

Triveni Pottery Cafe by Studio Polar - Sheet1
©Studio Polar

Designed in the modern architecture style, the complex is noted for its multiple spaces for multiple purposes and use of jail work (stone lattices), which was to become Stein’s hallmark.

The open space behind the amphitheater was previously an open-air sculptural gallery that needed to be revamped and connected to the Triveni Terrace café.

Triveni Pottery Cafe by Studio Polar - Sheet2
©Studio Polar

Space was envisioned as a pottery studio where students can learn the art of pottery, display their work and also sit in the new café. The new café is intended to become a more private hotspot for artists of all disciplines to meet and interact over a cup of tea.

The pottery café derives its inspiration from the material behind most Indian pottery itself, earth. We propose to create several freestanding sculptural walls with strategically placed fenestrations. These walls, although they don’t meet, overlap slightly and conceal the rear portion of the studio which will be used to store material and house the kilns. The space in the front of these earth walls will be used for pottery wheels.

Triveni Pottery Cafe by Studio Polar - Sheet3
©Studio Polar

The entire site is raised slightly with a stepped depression in the middle. The highest level is paved using recycled ceramic tiles while the lowest level is intended to be kept covered with sand. One enters from the main complex, shaded by a stone pergola designed originally by Stein. The café is in direct view upfront while the pottery studio is on the right. The stepped levels in the middle are intended for multiple purposes in line with Stein’s concept. The steps can be used by café goers for a more informal seating arrangement, and it can also be used as platforms to display pottery.

Triveni Pottery Cafe by Studio Polar - Sheet4
©Studio Polar

The café itself is partially shaded by a wood and metal pergola. The trees exist already on site and we chose not to disrupt them, rather we planned our seating around it and tried to maintain a very open circulation.

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