October 1, 2018 - Sameep Padora & Associates
 - Maya Somaiya (Sharda) Library
e-flux Architecture
October 1, 2018
October 1, 2018

Sameep Padora & Associates


sP+A, Maya Somaiya (Sharda) Library, 2018. Photo: Edmund Sunmer. 

Maya Somaiya (Sharda) Library

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The site chosen for this small addition of a children’s library within a school in rural Maharashtra, was a sliver between existing buildings and the school boundary; a site that almost implied a long building footprint to adjust the program for the chosen site.
 Referencing the almost intuitive impulse that children have towards landscape over a building we imagined the library building to be a formal extension of the ground plane.

On our first visit to the site it was interesting to see Geodesic structures built by an engineer for a few of the school buildings, we were somewhat encouraged by this to pursue a project that followed from a construction intelligence. We hence parsed through several possible material configurations ranging from concrete shells to brick vaults for building this "architectural landscape."

We grew interested by the material efficiencies of the Catalan tile vault from the sixteenth century, it’s use by Gustavino in the early nineteenth century and finally the incredible details from the work of Eladio Dieste from the mid-twentieth century. While working with the specific site condition we used Rhino Vault developed by the Block Research Group at the ETH to articulate a pure compression form for the project.
The construction technology for the project also makes a case to re-examine the age-old binaries of the global and local as being in opposition. The regional or the local within the South Asian paradigm typically manifests within strict formal constraints of the style in memory. This is often at the expense of material efficiencies.
Our effort to search for a material and construction efficiency in brick tile looked to leverage the networks of knowledge that our practices are situated in, allowing us to enrich the regional or local through the extended capacities of the global.
In using principles ranging from the Catalan Tile Vaulting sytem to the compression ring detail from the work of Eladio Dieste in Uruguay, to using a form finding software plug -in made in Switzerland the library is a resultant of not only lessons learnt from various geographic locations but also various lessons through time/history.

Project Maya Somaiya (Sharda) Library
Client Somaiya Vidyavihar

Location Kopergaon, Maharashtra, India
Architects Sameep Padora & Associates
 (sP+a)
Design Team Vami Sheth, Aparna Dhareshwar, Manasi Punde, Archita Banerjee
Year of Completion 2018

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