The group who were to set up the Byg Brewski on Hennur Bagalur Road in Bengaluru met with a grand vision of recreating the Colosseum, Rome as the largest brew pub in Asia. Once they had a site in hand it of course was a challenge with its dimensions being 120’ x 700’. Of course, it could become a slice of the Colosseum! It took a while to dig deeper and figure out that the idea was not to plagiarise its architecture but to capture the openness, dramatic scale of spectacle for events and its ruined character as a means of creating the ambience.
Not surprising, but only known later, that the vision of the project was of an entrepreneur who had previously owned a pub, directed 3 Kannada hit films and had embarked on a microbrewery business a few years ago. A heady mix of enterprise, visual understanding and who could feel the course of the narrative.
The blessed climate of Bengaluru and its pleasant evenings and beautiful sunsets was a beginning. The elements started coming together. The central area was to be stage for major events (such as the FIFA 2018 final with 3600 guests) and smaller events that could break away into smaller group spaces without isolating from the main. The openness of the central area (even the kitchen which is about 200’ long is never shut – no closure whatsoever – even this has become part of the living spectacle) brings people together much like town squares / community village spaces / an oasis (in the urban terror of the famous Bengaluru traffic) – somewhat making notions that are subconsciously felt as familiar.
Levels played an important role as the joy of being part of this public space / place (though privately owned – alas that that’s the only way we seem to be getting anywhere with the making of public space that has officially vanished since the last few decades). Different levels created the dynamics of an organically evolved place for people to spend times with family, friends and loved ones, over food, beer, music, events and joy. As night descends the place transforms itself under the dark limitless sky. The lighting brings another level of magic to the place with its warmth and greeter sense of enclosure in the darkness.
Many materials were recycled from old Mangalore tiles, stones from the site and surrounding including the boulders from the adjoining sites etc which would bring together a place made of pieces of the not too ancient past and bring bout the feel of a much longer presence.
The large water body drown the sound of the traffic and its cascading waters (which reuse rain water that is harvested) brings motion and life to the place beyond the mirth of the happiness of the drinks and the food.
Set in Bengaluru a city that is perhaps one of the fastest growing cities of opportunity (50% plus of the population of the city of 12 million plus is migrants from around the country who have come here in the last 4 decades) the place-ness of being here has its own unique condition. The use of varied collage of structural systems like the deck sheet slabs, jack arched panel slab, steel framing, rcc framed beams and slabs etc – a deliberate collage brings the aspect of its heritage to a short but adequately old ambiance of comfort.
The arched steel frame pavilion with lower deck level of seating is inspired from the older structures of the Mysuru Palace – of putting the delicateness, amongst the ruin like character, brings in the contract of the rugged and the fine. The rugged mix of the stone, brick, tiles, arched stones, niches etc all set with the ancient method of lime mortar.
The amphitheatre becomes a wonderful place for being the spectacle without being intruded and the spectator at the same time. The steps are cleared for large events for people to spread and enjoy the events and the company. Overlooking the cascading water and the different levels of the seating (the building is fragmented / staggering outline that dissipates its outer linear rectangular plan as it faces the central area that no longer feels like a large unlived space but a community inhabited space) the steps play different roles as does the bridge across the water to seat at major events and so on.
The success of the place shall grow with the green-scape overcoming the ruined character of the place. And it shall no longer have walls / defined ends but only soft edges and the distinction between the two shall no longer be discernible.
Educated at CEPT Ahmedabad, the principal architects Nisha Mathew Ghosh and Soumitro Ghosh set up the firm- ‘Mathew and Ghosh Architects’ on partnership in 1995. The city is a PROJECT IN PROGRESS and so are institutions of public / private / individual nature including the home; typically a process of evolution. The wide spectrum of projects that the firm has been involved with straddle all the above types of projects; our Studio has been a SPACE TO IDEATE about the present and the promise of responsible stewardship in design for the future. The reflexive practice considers that the core intellectual strength of ideation and positioning is the necessary ingredient for good design. It carries a compassionate approach to the multiplicity of the organism of the city, its energy and its people. We believe that buildings are more than the sum total of functions and the physical materials / space created. They are GENERATORS OF MEMORY.