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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Temple in Stone and Light in Barmer, India by spacematters

 
June 7th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: spacematters

India has a glorious history of temple architecture. The desert state of Rajasthan, where the temple is located, has an equally diverse and refined heritage of buildings set in an unforgiving climatic zone. Given this legacy, to design a contemporary Hindu temple set in the sand dunes of Rajasthan has been an enormous challenge.

The temple during the day, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The temple during the day, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

  • Architects: spacematters
  • Project: Temple in Stone and Light
  • Location:  Barmer, Rajasthan, India
  • Photography: Akash Kumar Das
  • Client:  JSW Raj West Power Ltd
  • Structural Design
    • Sanjeev Aggarwal – Ace Designs
    • Kulwinder Singh – Design Roots
  • Design Team: Anand Lakhani, Juhi Mehta, Rishi Suman, Adarsh Saravanan,Sneha Kathi, Waseem Ahmad
  • Design Lead: Amritha Ballal, Suditya Sinha
  • Project Management: RWPL – Civil Works Department
  • Executing Agency:  KS Constructions
  • Built-up area: 138 SQM
  • Plot area: 4360 SQM
  • Date of commencement of construction: April 2014
  • Date of completion of project: Phase 1 – March 2016

The final form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The final form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Lord Shiva, to whom this temple is dedicated, dwells in paradoxes and apparent dualities. In Hindu scriptures and mythology he manifests as both – the Preserver and the Destroyer. In unison with goddess Shakti, he transcends the duality of the masculine and feminine principle. Like other such perceived dualities, masculinity and femininity are often approached as a continuum rather than a binary in Indian philosophy and mythology. This symbolism needed to be translated into evocative spatial clues to deliver this project. The architecture of the temple combines the heavy materiality of the stone with the lightness of the form, where the solid looking stone exterior dissolves as the night dawns and transforms into a delicate lantern in the dunes. During the day, light filters into the sanctum of the temple. At night, light turns the temple inside-out, extending an invitation to those outside while rewarding those within. This gesture also subtly seeks to illuminate the need for inclusion in contemporary religious spaces, which still tend exclude based on old age biases of gender, class, caste or orientation.

The temple at night, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The temple at night, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Shiv Mandir , Barmer The temple is constructed almost entirely with local stone, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Shiv Mandir , Barmer The temple is constructed almost entirely with local stone, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The state of Rajasthan is known world over as the source of stone and stone craftsmanship. We sought to celebrate this heritage. The local Jaisalmer Yellow Sandstone was our choice of stone – its glowing surface reflects that golden desert sun that is strongly associated with Rajasthan. The yellow sandstone gives the temple an appearance of having risen from the surrounding sands. The pure compression structure is reveals through each course and component that forms the superstructure. The design – with its strong form, stark quality and play of light on warm stone – seeks to evoke visual and tactile senses of the worshiper. The stainless steel ‘shikhara’ or the peak atop the golden stone, catches the light during sunrise and sunset and also celebrates the legacy of the organization that commissioned this building. At different times of the day, from different directions, the temple is heavy and light, solid and translucent, valid and void, past and present.

The solid looking stone exterior during the day dissolves as the night falls and light from inside transforms the heavy stone temple into a delicate lantern like structure, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The solid looking stone exterior during the day dissolves as the night falls and light from inside transforms the heavy stone temple into a delicate lantern like structure, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Moonlight, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Moonlight, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Stone and water, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Stone and water, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Stone and sound, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Stone and sound, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Rather than a solid block, the individual components of the shikhar of the temple are offset from each other, raining light into the inner sanctum or the garbagriha of the temple, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Rather than a solid block, the individual components of the shikhar of the temple are offset from each other, raining light into the inner sanctum or the garbagriha of the temple, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

God lies in details - The detail of the filial, or the Vedika from below (1), Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

God lies in details – The detail of the filial, or the Vedika from below (1), Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The structural symbolism of traditional temple architecture was filtered to evolve the form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

The structural symbolism of traditional temple architecture was filtered to evolve the form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Man and machine. And the temple taking form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Man and machine. And the temple taking form, Image Courtesy © Akash Kumar Das

Massive stone slabs on stone pegs form the Shikar of the temple, Image Courtesy © spacematters

Massive stone slabs on stone pegs form the Shikar of the temple, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SITE PLAN, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SITE PLAN, Image Courtesy © spacematters

LONGITUDINAL SECTION THROUGH THE TEMPLE COMPLEX, Image Courtesy © spacematters

LONGITUDINAL SECTION THROUGH THE TEMPLE COMPLEX, Image Courtesy © spacematters

TRANSVERSE SECTION THROUGH THE TEMPLE COMPLEX, Image Courtesy © spacematters

TRANSVERSE SECTION THROUGH THE TEMPLE COMPLEX, Image Courtesy © spacematters

STONE FLOORING LAYOUT, Image Courtesy © spacematters

STONE FLOORING LAYOUT, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SECTION THROUGH TEMPLE, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SECTION THROUGH TEMPLE, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SHIKARA DETAIL, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SHIKARA DETAIL, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SCHEDULE OF STONE MASONRY, Image Courtesy © spacematters

SCHEDULE OF STONE MASONRY, Image Courtesy © spacematters

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