Site Area: 20.1 acres
Architects: Archohm
Year of completion: 2016

About the project:

A craft is a type of employment that demands specialized skills. In historical contexts, particularly those relevant to Medieval and earlier history, the term is frequently attributed to those engaged in small-scale production of goods. The name of the project, “Awadh Shilpgram,” indicates the territory that I must cover to uncover handicrafts. The geographical expanse of the Awdh region from ancient times to the present is shown, and it has several sorts of handicrafts that are listed. The project will be a public space, thus architecture, cuisine, and entertainment will be important.

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Aerial view of Avadh Shilpgram_©andre-j-fanthome

The state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) is proud of its own distinctive culture and crafts. Uttar Pradesh’s arts and crafts are well-known not only in India but around the world. Uttar Pradesh has long been at the forefront of handicrafts, from silk saris to earthen pottery, carpet weaving to chikankari embroidery. As a result, several dedicated platforms – such as holograms and craft bazaars – have been formed in big cities and small towns near cultural and business centres to help advance these disappearing traditions.

Facilities and policies have been implemented to encourage craftsmen and artisans to earn a living and pass on their talents. 

Aim of the project:

This project aims to provide places with shapes and purposes to encourage the growth of Uttar Pradesh‘s traditional crafts. On its premises, an art and craft gallery showcases a diverse range of handcraft products/artefacts based on time-honoured Uttar Pradesh craft traditions. The Craft Gallery’s fundamental premise is education, and it highlights Uttar Pradesh’s craft heritage as well as indigenous handcraft manufacturing processes. Aside from the handicraft and shopping attraction, there will be an ecological park where tourists can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the hamlet. It will be a very good mix of water, natural spaces, and walking paths along the water body. 

As a result, it will be a really attractive place between major cities where you can enjoy shopping as well as engage with nature and feel the whole range of traditional villages in the Awadh region. In Uttar Pradesh, there are numerous handicraft promotion organizations. They range in scope and scale from private to semi-government to government. However, they lack appropriate space that properly recognizes the production, promotion, and display of crafts. The proposal has chosen traditional architectural elements to reflect the essence of a rural hamlet settlement.

Traditional Indian architecture of Avadh Shilpgram

Archohm set up Awadh Shilpgram to include around 200 shops dedicated to crafts from the region and beyond, in addition to craft courts for hosting workshops, an amphitheatre, an exhibition hall, and a food court.

A spiralling edifice dotted with craft businesses leads visitors progressively from an entrance courtyard to an open plaza at the centre of the curving complex.

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collage of forms of different structures_©andre-j-fanthome

Free flow form of a building

During the planning phase, the layout of the twenty-acre Awadh Shilpgram evolved naturally from people’s business, cultural, social, and recreational activities. The hologram unfolds in a circular flow, one after the other, to expand the experience and reveal the unique program housed by the form. An elliptical design allows for corner-free travel; it narrows down while spiralling inward, replicating the density and vitality of yesteryear’s Lucknowi Bazaars; bazaars with progressively narrowing streets. The physical environment is an interpretive collage, a tribute to the particular traditional architecture of the Roomi Darwaza and Imambaras. Adequate daylighting and proper air circulation through cross-ventilation contribute to the comfort aspect of the design.  Its articulation has been realized using a modern interpretation of traditional arches and Jaalis components.

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Elliptical form of the building_©andre-j-fanthome

Arched narratives

The arch, an important part of Lucknow‘s architecture, is introduced as a skin to the inner face of the buildings. It is given a make-over in a modern manner while yet allowing ongoing access beneath it. These folded arches, a modern variation on the Roomi Darwazaa, provide the impression of the renowned doorway when viewed from the side.

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Arched walkway_©andre-j-fanthome
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perforated jali_©andre-j-fanthome

An independent structure is designed to appear to be interconnected. Each arch offers access to the corridor on the ground floor. The zigzag form of jaali arches is derived by changing the fundamental lines of traditional Mughal arches from which one can walk through in the corridors; the double height nature allows one to enjoy the great sensation of arches as in the Buland Darwaza in Agra. The steel frame is encased with Red Agra sandstone in a Jaali pattern, with designs inspired by the renowned Lucknowi embroidery art called Chikankari.

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shops showing green roofs_©andre-j-fanthome

Site plan of Avadh Shilpgram

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Site plan of Avadh Shilpgram_©andre-j-fanthome

Ground floor plan of Avadh Shilpgram

Avadh Shilpgram provides visitors and craftsmen with almost 200 craft shops, some of which are air-conditioned, craft courts, a dormitory hostel, an auditorium, and a food court with vendors providing cuisine from several states.

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Ground floor plan of Avadh Shilpgram_©andre-j-fanthome

First-floor plan of Avadh Shilpgram

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First floor plan of Avadh Shilpgram_©andre-j-fanthome

Sections of Avadh Shilpgram

First-floor plan of Avadh Shilpgram_©andre-j-fanthome



Architecture fascinates me. With a desire to explore how science and technology can be used to improve the performance of buildings both socially and environmentally, architecture has brought out the dichotomy of my personality allowing me to engage both on the practical aspect of profession as well as the research and writing part.