Architecture – Abin Design Studio completed Gallery House, a two-storey building hosting multiple cultural and recreational spaces for the community of Brisberia, India. Initially, the building was supposed to host a garage with staff quarters above, but “we convinced the owner to use this opportunity for doing a lot more and think of how it could give back to the community,” says the studio’s founder Abin Chaudhuri to Archipanic. “Encouraged to maximise the public utility of this building, its design was conceived to extend into the street, both visually and physically.”
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Exposed brick masonry walls inlaid with ceramic blocks define the building’s character. The studio teamed up with ceramic master Partha Dasgupta to create intricate patterns on the facade. Rejected ceramic blocks produced for industrial use were collected while terracotta bricks were procured from a river-side brickfield located nearby.
“Inspired by the way the building was coming up, the client decided to let go of his initial requirement of a garage and embraced the suggestions of re-purposing the ground floor has a community hall while the upper floor houses a multipurpose-room, a sitting area and a pantry.”
The multipurpose-room was to be used primarily for providing tuition classes and yoga sessions to the local community. At night, this space functions as a dormitory for resident staff. The client enjoys a sense of pride and joy of ownership, seeing the space put to good use.
Every year Bansberia holds a festive procession along the narrow, winding neighborhood lanes as a part of a cultural celebration. Reciprocating this, the building steps down towards the street, forming a gallery for the onlookers to sit, who gather at the street-side during this event.
Through judicious planning and play of voids in volume, the building’s integral space was shared with the neighborhood people as a humane gesture of giving back to the local community without disrupting the privacy and security of inner functions.
All photos by Edmund Sumner – Courtesy of Abin Design Studio.