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PROJECT TEAM:

Client: Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF)
Design Architect: CRAB Studio
Executive Architect: CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA)
Performance Consultant: ARUP
Daylight & Sustainability: Max Fordham
Stone Engineering: Webb Yates Engineers

AWARDS:
2023 WAF Future Project Culture Award Shortlisted
2023 WAXF Building Technology Award

 

 

 

 

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As well as responding to the particularities of each site, part of CRAB’s ethos is to make use of local materials and skills to capture the character of a place in a sustainable way. The project’s location on a former quartzite quarry means that there is a rich source of immediate materials with no embodied energy. CRAB is currently working with Webb Yates Engineers to devise ways of using the quartzite in sustainable and innovative ways, from the external waffle circulation to coffer slabs.

Indian stone will also feature in a number of the vessels’ façades, expressed in distinct ways to create visual interest across the complex. Heritage craft techniques will also be used throughout, including perforated metalwork screens for dappled shading, and glazed ceramic elements.

The project addresses the current lack of large-scale cultural spaces in Delhi. At the heart of CRAB’s ambition is the desire to create an exciting, inspiring and welcoming centre, attracting all types of visitors to enjoy a new public space in New Delhi, even if they have had no previous experience with the arts.

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CLIENT: Serendipity Arts Foundation

LOCATION: New Delhi, India

COLLABORATOR: C P Kukreja Architects

CRAB Studio is Design Architect for the BRIJ, a 1.4 million sq ft cultural centre in New Delhi for the Serendipity Arts Foundation. Located on the site of a former quartzite quarry and surrounded on two sides by the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, the scheme will include facilities for the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts as well as a new arts academy. The BRIJ cultural centre will promote interactions between artists and audiences in an immersive environment that inspires visitors to engage with the arts on a deeper level.

CRAB’s design comprises six curved ‘vessels’ hovering above a waffle grid reminiscent of archaeological digs and historic Indian Charbagh gardens. The waffle is an organising strategy that encapsulates the memory of the site’s topography whilst thickening the ground plane with three layers of circulation. The open top of the waffle allows for views and enjoyment in winter. The bottom of the waffle is sheltered but not fully enclosed, creating shaded routes for use in hot or rainy weather. The basement route is a fully conditioned passage that allows access to all parts of the site in all weather. The vessels themselves respond to the extremes of New Delhi’s climate, with protective walls to the south and west and more open faces to the north and east. The spaces in between the vessels generate opportunities for programming and impromptu gatherings.

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