Project Name – Pagoda Cottages at Pyramid Valley International
Location – Bangalore, Karnataka
Client – The Pyramid Spiritual Trust
Architect – Bharathi Prem Associates
About the Architect – Bharathi Prem did her B.Arch from UVCE, Bengaluru, in the year 1995 and also a LEED AP from USGBC. Bharathi Prem (BPA) Associates was started by Bharathi Prem and Prem Kumar in the year 2000. BPA is a small controlled practice, designing, residential, commercial, institutional, hospitality projects, which is characterized by certain quality, material integrity, with a spiritual essence. It nurtures the wide variety and scales of its projects and is not defined by a particular genre, but being harmonious with the surroundings as well as the users.
Design Approach – We strongly believe in realizing more than a building, we to create a space, a destination capturing the spiritual essence of the place. Our philosophy is to create simple harmonious buildings for the user and the surroundings, with a very humane approach.
We play music that nobody can hear; it is frozen music, to be peaceful and happy, to be in harmony with the surroundings, making the dreams a reality. Our music is frozen in the form of structure, volume, scale, creating a blend with space and nature.
We enjoy the process of stitching the building to its surroundings by articulating and ensuring that there is always a connection with the ground and have a continuous dialogue with the each other. We also believe that sustainable design is never an option but a basic pre-requisite for the right design. We try to create a perfect harmony, a symphony between space and matter, an extension of the character, belief thus making a relationship with the surroundings and the elements an extension of his consciousness, expression of freedom. We connect harmoniously various elements with his dreams and vision, create a blend between wood and mud, stone and steel, glass and granite.
Materials Used – Overview of the materials used throughout the site –
- Exposed bricks
- Ferro-cement slab
- Shabad stone
- Sadarahalli stones
- Bamboo poles
The material palette ranges from wire-cut bricks, shahbad stones for flooring and locally available granite. Ferro-cement slabs are used reinforcing the sense of simplicity, devoid of anything pretentious. The deliberate use of raw and rustic materials for the interiors and exteriors is an attempt to express the materials in their truest forms.
Introduction – Pyramid Valley international is a serene spiritual centre in 28 acres of land located amidst hillocks and tree. This beautiful, serene, tranquil campus invokes instinctive calmness and serenity with a large meditation pyramid. This pyramid attracts visitors from all over the world. To accommodate these visitors, various facilities are constructed. One such facility is the Pagoda styled cottages.
Architecture – The cottages are designed such that they dictate sheer simplicity. The architecture treads very lightly on the ground on which these cottages sit, bringing into focus the minimalism of the structures. Even though the architecture is simplistic, the cottages are comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. An attempt has been done to reinterpret the strong traditional Pagoda style structure in a contemporary style, which is reminiscent of ideologies in spirituality and Zen. Highlighting the pyramid was one of the basic guideline considered while designing.
Design – The cottages are as simple and basic as can be. It provides the guests all the essential amenities that would be required. Each block has two cottages shared by a common wall. The two blocks are separated by a landscaped garden. The cottages are designed so as to be let out individually as 8 rooms during peak seasons, maximising the facility’s capacity to accommodate guests.
The spaces within the cottages are done up modestly with a soaking pond, against walls of exposed bricks. There is a large window facing and framing the pyramid, maintaining it as the focal point. Each cottage has a semi closed verandah, bedroom, a living area, a kitchenette and two toilets. The verandah is an ingenious design that helps to keep the cottages comfortable even during summer season. It provides as an efficient buffer for the summer heat. The verandah also facilitates introspective time for the meditator, looking out into the scenic greenery and the pyramid in the distance. Split level ventilation and double height spaces that support conventional current, makes these cottages independent of artificial air-conditioning. The roof does not serve only as a visual treat to the eyes, but also adds to the character and ventilation of the cottages.
Landscape – The court in between the two cottages is designed as a dry and green space. This area is inspired from the Yin and Yang principle of spirituality in accordance to the basic design fabric revolving across the site. The yin and yang pattern is manicured in the landscaped area. The green grass and white pebbles help creating the effect of yin and yang. Stepping stones interspersed with grass is a refreshing change from the raw appeal of the exposed brick walls. Also, bamboo poles are used to define the court area from the cottage space.