Amongst the medley of sounds and colours of nature, a manmade structure stands divergent against the backdrop; a serene, airy, shaded space lifted above the earth. The space in contrast is controlled and confined. A space for clarity and reflection. Atop the hill a view is framed, a chosen horizon on which to set the mind’s eye and embrace one’s surroundings: calm, introspection within nature.
Designed as a meditative space and place of reflection, the pavilion is aligned to the moon rise and was built as part of the 60th National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA) India convention. Started in 1957, NASA India is a platform which was created to allow the knowledge of architecture to be spread amongst students with varied backgrounds. Each year the convention changes location from state to state, each time bringing together over 4000 students from all over India to participate in a 5-day agenda of competitions, workshops, seminars and talks.
This year’s convention took place at DC school of Architecture located among the hills of Vagamon in the southern state of Kerala. Known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters which lead up into the hillsides and mountains whose slopes support tea, coffee and spice plantation, Kerala made the perfect backdrop to this year’s theme of ‘Reflection’.
Acting as a visual and emotional bridge between the user and the context, the Open Box Project, reflection is intended to create a spatial experience of calm, serenity and self introspection through the simplicity of the design and framed views to the context which is surrounding. The space extends to invite gatherings, and provide shelter from wind. A space not just for meditation, but concentration and contemplation. Completed in 3 days by a team of 30 students and 4 tutors, the pavilion is constructed from locally sourced azobe timber which gives the structure tones of red that complement the colour of the local soil.
The workshop is part of a series by TOPB, a collaborative platform which focuses on design and build workshops, aimed at exploring alternate design processes and architectural solutions to social-economic and cultural issues