Studio Lotus is a multi-disciplinary firm that emphasizes equally on interior design as well as architecture. It is based in New Delhi. In 2002, the practice was found by three friends Ambrish Arora, Ankur Choksi, and Sidhartha Talwar. Studio Lotus basis its’ design on the local design practices with the collaboration of vernacular material, context, and innovation. The firm has been emphasizing environmentally friendly designs, and understanding, therefore, of indigenous history and local context, in terms of both skill and material, is critical. They’ve been successful in receiving awards and importance in journals and publications like Domus, Architecture Review, Architectural Digest, and Forbes India.
An Introduction :
They were the designers of Krushi Bhawan in Orissa, which is now being appreciated worldwide unveiling the efforts and study of context alongside the material being a vital inference to any construction. The project has spaces as requested by the client, programmatically a learning centre, auditorium, training rooms, a garden, and a public plaza. The roof has a refreshing context of ‘Urban Farming’.
Thought Manifestation :
The initial thought was to build it for the government purpose, which would be used by the officials and the staff. Later, A point was made to create a public plaza, since there was a huge land of 1,30,000 sq. m. The built is on stilts, which makes a pathway for the pedestrians across the street, entering the institute in the public plaza. The public plaza has distinctively made a place for the people it welcomes them through the well-designed landscaping, and seating spaces.
Facade Design and Concept :
Facade design is based on the topography of the region, and the various colours on the facade are complementing the regional colours found there. With the design team working closely with local consultants and craftsmen, the project promotes sensitization to local materials and looks at new ways of integrating craft in a contemporary environment.
The building is crafted and woven in the integration of the craftsmen, their contribution of craft, the facade speaks through the design about the local narrative of the place, and the inside-outside spaces create a beautiful amalgamation of breathing and working spaces together.
The khondalite was carved by hand to create lattices around the central courtyard, which has a stone inlay floor that displays a yearly calendar according to the crops. Odisha is the third-largest supplier of grain in India.
There is a whole lotus pond to cool the temperature, a central plaza that pleases the people to enter inside the building. It also has a theater. The entrance is a pavilion with columnades, shaded trees, and sculptures which serves as shaded corridor as well as eating and space for the employees.
The built space is made such that it creates mutual shading, thus creating a shaded pavement for the pedestrians. This also helps infrequent use of such passages as sitting spaces.
While the ground floor is for the public, for security reasons and privacy, the offices and administrative rooms have been placed on the upper floor, i.e. first, second, and third. While the plan has been more welcoming to the public on the ground floor, the staircases for upper floor is such that only staff is allowed to access it regularly. The upper floors of Krushi Bhawan feature a distinctive brick façade inspired by Ikat patterns of Odisha handlooms.
Sustainability measures :
Current designers need to look in the brighter light towards sustainability and the environment as it is the need of the hour. Thus, the use of locally-sourced materials has also lowered the carbon footprint of the construction process. The low window-to-wall ratio has also helped in reducing the mechanic ventilation type—the central courtyard through the staggered planning, creating a play of shadow and shade. A 100% daylit strategy was also introduced while using fenestrations, louvres, and sills as the primary source of shade while the sun falls directly. Bhubaneswar experiences significant drops in night temperatures through the year. Taking this into consideration, a simple Night-Purging system has been devised for cooling and ventilation.
It has been created as one of it’s structure in such a place, while giving the comfort of inclusive architecture in all aspects such as facade, material, landscape, and design.