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‘LAGAAV’ means connection. Here it is seen as a connection with the forgotten legacy of one’s heritage. It is a skill development institute that encourages the local students of all ages to practice their Local art and cultural prowess by hand, even in the age of mass- producing machines.
Imagine a horizon, stretching eternally. Now place a vertical on the horizon that contradicts yet pacifies the horizontal nature. Similarly, ‘Lagaav’ becomes a visual marker on the completely barren site of Basni lachhan, Jodhpur. The intervention hits the eye even from afar as its walls form multiple layers that unfold on the site. One can only witness the intervention in parts and the connection of these parts forms a journey as one moves along. Depending upon the users and the desired destinations, multiple journeys entwine- some overlap and some even diverse themselves. All these journeys are bound together by a common element which is the wall. The wall chooses to cease structurally where there is an encounter with a function and then becomes a part of the function. The built of the wall represents the local context and thus the connection with it tightly bounds throughout the course of any journey.
The intervention chooses to follow Gandhi’s concept of community bonding. Gandhi’s principles have always had an impact on the education system and now have even translated to architecture. There is a sense of privacy for every function until the wall converges again to create a common ground for play, leading to event possibilities even after the working hours of the skill development institute.
The author strongly suggests that ‘Gandhian’ necessarily need not be about the form but should stay true in its function. Thereby an effort is made to keep spaces open and connecting for exchange of thought and ideas of one skill to another. The institute is always kept energized by the movements of bodies making and breaking paths through the porous and permeable wall. Furthermore, the sense of belonging to one’s native place is observed, as during the night the educational premise translates to imitate the culture of the local markets. This also enables revenue generation and keeps the system of working self-sustained. The incubation centre accommodates researchers and people of interest for a specific duration to stay on site and to gain an experience through dialogues and interactions with the localities. Hence, the theory of time, space and architecture is to generate slow and fast spaces in order which leads to a spontaneous rise of events.
As one wanders into the intervention, be it a local, visitor, incubation researcher or a primary user, they blend in between the contrast of the intervention and the historical context. Being inspired from Tschumi’s deconstructivism principles, the programme and architecture become one- sometimes ‘bodies violating spaces’ and at times ‘spaces violating bodies.
The programme’s intention is to make the intervention a host infected by the parasite- the local users. At other times, the intervention becomes a parasite itself, using the hosts to create and understand more of its culture.
The Radha- Krishna temple is the only constant witness of the many transformations that the site has gone through. The idea behind choosing a contrast style of architecture to the existing is to cherish history without having an analogy to the past.
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