With a rich culture, a legacy of crafts and heritage, Lucknow needed a dedicated platform to encourage its craftsmen and artisans. Also, being the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, it needed a single platform to help promote the culture of crafts of the entire state and of the Awadh region in particular, in a holistic fashion. Designed by Sourabh Gupta from Studio Archom, Awadh Shilpgram was the answer to these needs and gives craftsmen opportunities to elaborate and share, interact and learn, teach and sell their arts and crafts to people and art lovers without the help of middlemen.
Building Name – Avadh Shipgram (Urban Bazaar)
Location – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Architect – Archohm (Principle Architect -Saurabh Gupta)
Design Team – Suboor Ahmad, Jeevan Das, Dhanbeer Rawat
Manufacturers – Carrier, Philips Lighting, Schreder, MARINO, MOON LIGHT HEPER, JOHNSON, Aubrilam, Bajaj, Parryware, Somany, Trilux, Jaguar, KOMPAN
Structural – Lkt Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Electrical – Archohm Consults
Civil – Avas Evam Vikas Parishad
Landscape – Bios Ecology And Art Landscape Architecture
Plumbing – Techno Engineering Consultants
HVAC – ABID HUSSAIN CONSULTANTS
PMC – Avas Evam Vikas Parishad
Client – Avas evam Vikas Parishad
Project Year – August,20, 2016
Awadh Shilpgram is a visual and experiential mélange, typically like Indian urban Bazaars. Its program facilitates activities of leisure, recreation and an indulgence in food and socio- cultural celebrations and encourages shopping that supports livelihoods and keeps alive the legacy of arts and crafts. It houses nearly two-hundred craft shops, craft courts for workshops, an amphitheatre, a food court serving cuisine from different states and other supportive facilities.
The layout of the twenty-acre Awadh Shilpgram has evolved organically from the commercial, cultural, social and leisurely interactions of people. Light, air and circulation through cross-ventilation further added a dimension of comfort to the design, and its articulation has been realised through a contemporary interpretation of traditional elements of arches and Jaalis. The built environment thus is an interpretative collage, a gesture responding to the unique traditional architecture of the Roomi Darwaza and Imambaras.
With nearly two-hundred craft shops of which some are air conditioned, craft courts, a dormitory hostel, an auditorium, and a food court with stalls serving cuisine from different states, Avadh Shilpgram indeed provides generous facilities to visitors and artisans.
From an entrance courtyard, a spiralling structure lined with craft shops leads visitors gradually towards an open plaza at the centre of the curving building.
“An elliptical form enables a smooth corner-free circulation,” explained the architects.
“It narrows down while spiralling inward, and emulates the density and vibrancy of traditional Lucknowi bazaars, which have streets that get progressively narrower.”
The eight-hectare site is located close to a major highway in a rapidly developing area of the Uttar Pradesh region’s capital city.
The area’s historic structures also influenced the design of the campus. In particular, the arches of Agra’s Buland Darwaza – also known as the Gate of Magnificence – informed an arch-lined colonnade flanking the spiralling passage.
The arch, being an important architectural element of the architecture of the city of Lucknow, is introduced as a skin to the inner face of the buildings,” the architects added, “but is given a make-over in a contemporary style with continuous access beneath it.”
Perforated stone jali screens traditionally used to channel cool air into the rooms of Indian buildings are incorporated into the steel frames of the double-height arches, which allow entry to the circulation space at ground-floor level.
The intricate patterns carved into the jalis are based on traditional Chikan embroidery.
The open area at the centre of the complex contains a stepped amphitheatre that incorporates planted beds. A paved ramp provides access to the upper level, which looks down towards the circular stage.
Outside of the main spiral building, a cluster of stone-walled structures with rounded turf-covered roofs provide demonstration areas where artisans can conduct workshops observed by groups seated on benches incorporated into the inner walls.
Elsewhere on the campus is an arc-shaped exhibition hall and a food court that look onto a circular lawn with a fountain at its centre. The main buildings are clad with red Agra sandstone that helps to unify their diverse forms and functions.
The unique concept along with the form, scale, materials and elements that render the architecture give an iconic building to the city of Nawabs and the people of Lucknow.