BRIJ Cultural Center, art all around
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BRIJ Cultural Center, art all around

The center was designed to attract visitors with a habitat of lush greenery and an innovative architectural style

Crab Studio | CP Kukreja Architects

BRIJ Cultural Center, art all around
By Editorial Staff -

The winning project of the 2023 edition of the World Architecture Festival Awards in the Building Technology category is a cultural center designed by CRAB Studio in collaboration with CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA). Sustainability, principles of passive architecture, and a close connection with the cultural and geological history of the territory secured the award for the BRIJ Cultural Center, which will be built on a former quartzite quarry near Aravalli Biodiversity Park in New Delhi. The center will host facilities created for the Serendipity Arts Foundation, dedicated to every type of cultural and artistic expression: from cooking to literature, from visual to performative art.

 

A ”waffle grid” with a common base

BRIJ Cultural Centre, CRAB Studio, concept model Courtesy of CRAB Studio

A giant structure of about 130,000 sq m, open to all: the traditional Charbagh Gardens were the inspiration behind the project. Typical of the Persian and Indo-Persian regions, the gardens were arranged as green quadrilaterals, subdivided in smaller portions by small artificial waterways and pleasant walkways.

The project is composed of a single large plate from which imposing volumes emerge, like vessels on a marine surface, with curved and rounded shapes. The plate – the “waffle grid”, as the architects call it – is structured according to different layers, just like the overlapping layers that compose this dessert, allowing circulation and experimentation through various levels of the Center.  The surface level creates a green connective tissue linking the six pavilions, with pathways shaded by the lush vegetation that put the different architectures in communication. Below this, a covered but not fully enclosed walkway provides a path safe from the elements during the most humid months. Further below this, the basement path allows passage throughout the entire site with a completely closed and air-conditioned walkway. 

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A facility to bring people closer to art

BRIJ Cultural Centre, CRAB Studio, sketches Courtesy of CRAB Studio

The BRIJ Cultural Center was designed to address the lack of cultural and art-dedicated spaces in the city of Delhi. With this in mind, the project was conceived with the common desire to bring people closer to this world, with an attractive and futuristic structure, capable of intriguing even those less accustomed to frequenting places dedicated to culture. To this end, the project’s captivating architectural language was crucial, from the soft and curving forms to the use of local materials – particularly the quartzite found in abundance on the building site – to the craft techniques belonging to the local cultural heritage that create decorative patterns, shadings, and wall facings. The quartzite and other natural Indian stones, along with glazed ceramics and portions of pierced metal, compose the facades of six buildings. The unifying element of the project is the luxurious green landscape of the exteriors, arranged according to different scales and functions, used both for the complex and as a public park for the city.

 

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Credits

Location: New Delhi, India
Completion: ongoing
Built-Up Area: 130.000 m2
Architect: CRAB Studio 
Executive Architect: CP Kukreja Architects

Rendering by and courtesy of CRAB Studio

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