Krushi Bhawan | 150 Local Artisans Come Together to Craft a Civic Building in India, by Studio Lotus

KrushiBhawan is a facility developed for Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment; the 130,000 sq.ft administrative centre has been designed as an office for a team of nearly 600 people, in addition to accommodating spaces for community engagement and learning. - Studio Lotus

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Krushi Bhawan | 150 Local Artisans Come Together to Craft a Civic Building in India, by Studio Lotus 2

 

KrushiBhawan, Bhubaneshwar

A Government Facility that Re-imagines the Relationship Between the State and its People.

KrushiBhawan is a facility developed for Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment; the 130,000 sq.ft administrative centre has been designed as an office for a team of nearly 600 people, in addition to accommodating spaces for community engagement and learning.

KrushiBhawan is located in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital of Odisha; home to multiple agrarian communities, the state is the third largest contributor to India’s grain supply. The new campus sits adjacent to the old ministry office with several ancillary structures of power in the vicinity, such as the Police Commissionerate Building and the State Guest House.

 

 

The Programme & Planning Principles

KrushiBhawan was originally planned as a purely administrative space; Studio Lotus took a cue from Königsberger‘s original vision for Bhubaneswar where he saw the Capitol Complex with a host of government offices becoming “a lively point of public life”. Thus, the architects’ suggestion to include public functions and community spaces to create a building that would add to the city’s social infrastructure was willingly embraced by the Clients. This attempt to include the building into the public domain has been achieved by designing the Ground floor as a free-flowing public space that opens out into a Plaza, which is an extension of the street. Congruent to the project objective, the ground floor comprises of a learning centre, a gallery, an auditorium, a library, and training rooms. Similarly the roof top has been designed to house urban farming exhibits and demonstration of agricultural best practices.

 

 

The offices for the State department and Directorates – which require restricted access – have been placed on the first, second and third floors. This allows the offices to be secured off, making it possible to keep most of the other facilities open to public even on holidays. Through exhibitions, workshops, haats (weekly markets), lectures and school visits, these public spaces become a hub for imparting skills and sharing knowledge that engage diverse sections of the city’s population.

 

 

As befits the climatic conditions of the region, the design scheme for KrushiBhawan consists of a central courtyard that opens through a series of colonnades into the Public Plaza. The Public Plaza consists of a garden with native Flora, featuring an informal amphitheatre and a pond that cools the forecourt. The primary entrance pathway is lined by laterite lattices and trees, and performs multiple functions – from a common area for employees to congregate in and eat together during lunch hour, to a place for hosting small gatherings.

The ground floor, thus, functions as a public node that turns the traditionally austere image of government facilities into one that is welcoming, inclusive and collectively owned.

 

 

Skillsets Integrated and Materiality

The distinct visual identity of KrushiBhawan has been derived from regional materials and vernacular narratives, expressed in a manner that is responsive to the local climate.

Over 100 highly-skilled artisans have come together to create a vibrant and contemporary narrative of traditional Odia craft depicting agricultural folklore and mythological stories, envisioned at an unprecedented architectural scale. For instance, the tribal craft of dhokra (cast metal craft) has been adapted to make light fixtures that wrap around the ground floor columns, as well as metal screens that line the building corridors. The pedestal level and North Wing use locally-sourced laterite and khondalitestone. Hand-carved khondalite lattices provide a sense of enclosure to the Central Court. Similarly, agricultural motifs have been displayed across the building through a variety of craft techniques – such as the bas-relief carvings in laterite along the Public Plaza, which depict ripe paddy crops illustrated in the OdiaPattachitra (cloth-based scroll paintings) style. In the Central Court, a Crop Calendar has been created on a stone inlay floor, which displays the harvesting cycles for the most prevalent crops in Odia farmlands.

The upper floors of KrushiBhawan feature a distinctive brick façade inspired by Ikat patterns of Odisha handlooms, created using clay in three different colours that represent the geographical diversity of the region. This brick-louvered screen wraps around the building like a second skin.

 

 

Sustainability Measures

Indigenous passive design strategies contribute to the sustainability parameters of the building. The courtyard morphology and the inclusion of a stilt level aid optimal air circulation through the building, whereas the low window-to-wall ratio and deeply recessed windows and balconies help lower heat gain. The building profile along the Central Court is characterized by staggered masses which enables self-shading and blocks direct glare. The use of locally-sourced materials has also lowered the carbon footprint of the construction process. The façade has been designed to ensure 100% daylit internal spaces. Further, a double-skin facade strategy has been put in place at the complex, which consists of DGU on all external fenestration with louvers and sill projections that act as shading devices – a system that reduces heat gain to 40% by regulating ingress of sunlight.

Bhubaneswar experiences significant drops in night temperatures through the year. Taking this into consideration, a simple Night-Purging system has been devised for cooling and ventilation. Through this mechanism, cool air gets pulled into the building through the northern façade when temperatures drop at night, by means of a custom designed ‘low-tech’ damper system. The high thermal mass of the building traps the ‘coolth’ and becomes a ‘coolth’ exchanger with the surrounding air in the day, when outside temperatures are higher. Consequently, the building achieves high thermal comfort for its users while cutting down the need for air-conditioning via HVAC systems to only 20% of the built spaces.

Other interventions include solar panels on the terrace, on-site rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment, and an anaerobic bio-digestive solid waste management system which generates compost and fertigation water for the landscape.

KrushiBhawan transcends the typical closed office campus morphology by integrating governmental functions with direct community engagement and education. Through a meticulously developed spatial programme, the complex brings the Odia farmers and the citizens of Bhubaneswar into the fold and facilitates their interaction and collaboration. It thus seeks to present with its design and building process a model of frugal innovation that celebrates culture, seeks to include the neighbourhood and is highly sustainable and relevant to what countries such as India need. It also serves as an example of how the government can become a key patron of regional crafts, and sustain the communities and economies built around them.

KrushiBhawan thus seeks to embody the idea of truly inclusive architecture – created for the people, built by the people, and expressive of their collective cultural identity.

 

Sketches – 

 

 

Animation-

 

 

 

Diagrams –

 

 

Drawings –

 

 

 

Videos –

 

 

 

Project Facts –

Typology: Institutional (Government Administrative Centre)

Name of Project: Krushi Bhawan

Location: Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Address: Unit 4, Keshari Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha – 01

Name of Client: State Government of Odisha (Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment)

Design Firm: Studio Lotus

Design Team: Ambrish Arora, Sidhartha Talwar, Raman Vig, Sachin Dabas

Site Area:2 acres

Built-Up Area: 1,30,000sq.ft

Start Date: 2013

Completion Date: 20th September 2018

Photographer: Sergio Ghetti, Andre Fanthome

Tags :

Share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

“Afghani, the wind is called Afghani” Mulling over Afghanistan in 2006 from just across the militarised border in Uzbekistan By Peeyush Sekhsaria | Design Dalda

“Afghani, the wind is called Afghani” Mulling over Afghanistan in 2006 from just across the militarised border in Uzbekistan by Design Dalda

At Tashkent, the Uzbekistan capital we board an amazing Soviet era YAK 40 (Yakoliv) for Termez. The plane smells of Vodka and has a public bus feel to it. No need to be careful about overhead luggage falling on to your heads, the Yak 40 has its total luggage space (both hand and check in baggage) at the back. You enter in from the tail. The pilot enters from the back after all passengers have boarded, you stand up in respect and sit down only after he has taken to his cabin. – Design Dalda

Read More »
Community Canvas, at Nashik, Maharashtra, India, by pk_iNCEPTiON | Ar. Pooja Khairnar

Community Canvas, at Nashik, Maharashtra, India, by pk_iNCEPTiON | Ar. Pooja Khairnar

A story starts long back with the visionary teacher; he developed a unique teaching method for the underprivileged students of a rural school at Sawarpada village. It is a primary school for 40 students with two teachers who held classes in one hexagonal room for past 10 years. As lack of resources, they discovered a way to use walls, floors & even the existing trees. – Pooja Khairnar

Read More »
Terraced Residential Highrise, at Nallurhalli Road, Siddhapura, Bangalore, by CnT Architects

Terraced Residential Highrise, at Nallurhalli Road, Siddhapura, Bangalore, by CnT Architects

Project called for design of group housing comprising of units of multiple sizes catering to various income group, sizes ranging from 1200 to 2400 sqft. We started with a vision of creating architecture for the community wellbeing and active lifestyle in a holistic way. This was achieved by creating a central public space energized by play areas, swimming pool, party spaces, gaming zones, lounges, dance floors etc, – CnT Architects

Read More »
Kamala Cafe, Experiential journey in Nature’s bliss, by Studio Praxis, Ahmedabad, India

Kamala Cafe, Experiential journey in Nature’s bliss, by Studio Praxis

Maneesh Kumar is the founder, principal architect, and designer at Studio Praxis since 2012. Architect Arthur Duff joined Studio Praxis as the partner in 2017. We are concerned with developing architecture, interior, landscape, furniture, and product design solutions of consequence through the mediums of design, advocacy, research, and documentation. – Studio Praxis

Read More »

Subscribe to Architecture and Design Updates