Since the early ages when mankind evolved to possess the skill of communication, art has always been used to express ideas and feelings of a person. Architecture is the tool available to an architect to physically manifest his brain-child, an artwork of his mind, and showcase it to the best of his abilities for others to experience and enjoy. It is an amalgamation of science and artwork which isn’t merely for viewing pleasure but also provides the social benefit of being a functional space and a shelter for different people of the society. India being a land of many cultures, ethnicities, topologies and environmental contexts has birthed a lot of architects who believe in providing varied visual experiences to the people.
Here are some of the artistic works by creative architects in India –
1. Lotus temple, Delhi
This picturesque temple of the Bahá’í faith designed by architect Fariborz Sahba derives its concept from the form of a blooming lotus which plays an important role as a religious symbol. Thin concrete shells make the petals of this lotus which embraces a double-layered interior dome in the main complex. To complete the image, this structure resting on a podium is surrounded by nine reflecting pools that have the appearance of floating leaves of a lotus while also helping the ventilation of the building.
2. KYMF clinic, Bangalore
Built to function as a 30- bedded dialysis center in 2015, this structure has a striking presence with an ancient South Indian Temple adjacent to it. The smooth white façade of the building with the look of a folded fabric, allows light to permeate through it to the wards inside the building to create a sense of peace and tranquility similar to that felt in a temple.
3. Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai
This building is a replica of the ShweDagon Pagoda of Myanmar and is influenced by the ‘Stupas’ of Buddhist architecture prevalent in ancient India. The beacon-like gilded structure almost as tall as 30 stories, houses the largest pillar-less stone dome. Besides the main building, two smaller pagodas each 60 ft high are constructed with one of them containing individual cells for meditators to practice Vipassana.
4. Volontariat Home for Homeless Children, Puducherry
This social project by architect Anupama Kundoo housing 15 children and 5 foster parents uses non-traditional materials for its construction- urban waste including bicycle parts, glass bottles, and old teacups to reduce cost. These egg-shaped domes of varied shapes, clad with mosaic designs are aesthetically unique as well as structurally stable load-bearing houses.
5. Amdavad Ni Gufa, Ahmedabad
Built below the ground level, Amdavad Ni Gufa is designed by architect B.V. Doshi to showcase the artwork of renowned Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain. The underground structure consists of interconnected caves with the roof made up of different sized domes to create a space with spotlighting provided by snout-like openings in these domes. The interior undulating walls, doorways, and other features are painted with vibrant motifs of humans and animals to resemble cave paintings of ancient times by the artist.
6. Infosys Campus, Pune
The Infosys Phase-2 campus in Pune designed by Architect Hafeez Contractor became the largest campus to receive the LEED platinum certification. The futuristic design of the main building with its elliptical glass facade resembles a spaceship, creating a dynamic presence suitable for an office of the IT field.
7. Center for Development Studies, Ulloor
Designed by award-winning architect Laurie Baker, this building is a work of art that resembles the architectural style unique to Kerala with the use of brickwork, its scale, form, and roofs with Mangalore tiles. The architect’s signature style is seen in this structure as well, with the use of false ‘jali’ screen walls to provide ample ventilation and heat insulation. The exposed brickwork, red oxide floors, winding walls, exposed granite slabs, and lattice screens give the place an earthy and grounded atmosphere.
8. Bombay Art Society, Mumbai
This organic building designed by architect Sanjay Puri mirrors the European expressionist style of architecture through its four-storeyed abstract form. A clear distinction between the public and private spaces is made through the use of separate entrance and vertical circulation. This structure housing three art galleries are made to look like one continuous form of white molded clay with glass facades to break the monotony.
9. Shree Cement, Jaipur
The Shree Cement Building designed by architect Sanjay Puri distinctly stands out from the traditional architectural style of Jaipur. With the city having a desert climate and to have a 3D elevation, the modified ‘jali’ panels made up of concrete and with LED lighting systems, were used as a façade of the building.
10. South Asian Human Rights Documentation Center, New Delhi
Completed in 2005, the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Center (SAHRDC) was designed by Anagram architects in a tightly plotted locality of south Delhi. Hence, a visual barrier is provided to the building in the form of an external façade wall with undulating brickwork. While allowing privacy and ventilation to the office, this façade also engages with the street through its fenestrations and playful surface.