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Community Center Maheshwar Fort

Madhya Pradesh, India
1 of 7Architects Web

This community centre in the Maheshwar Fort houses a small library, a crèche, a clinic for a visiting doctor, and a courtyard for community gatherings, plays, lectures, film screenings, and the occasional wedding. The building is transparent so as to make its activities a part of the street, and yet it creates a sense of scale and centredness within itself through a balance of solid and void. The built form evolved organically and was laid-out directly on the ground during the very first site visit. The plan forms a narrow building wrapping around the existing trees. A scaled model was also immediately made from clay to communicate design decisions to all stakeholders in the community.

The construction technology was kept to a basic, integrating existing site levels, local building skills and local materials. Detailed construction drawings were issued so as to enable the continuous up-gradation of the building in the future while preserving its architectural character. The continued use of these construction details also ensured that the traditional skills of the masons and craftsmen (such as the potter making clay roof tiles) could evolve in a contemporary setting and these skills could be applied to other buildings that they built. The project was nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Today, the building is being used as a cafe for tourists.

Maheshwar Fort