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CRAB Studio Reveals Design for the BRIJ Cultural Centre Project in New Delhi, India

Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham’s CRAB Studio has unveiled the design for a new cultural center to be constructed in New DelhiIndia. Located on the site of a former quartzite quarry, the BRIJ offers facilities for the visual, performing, literary, and culinary arts as well as a new arts academy. The scheme, aiming to promote interactions between artists and audiences via an immersive environment, is designed by CRAB Studio, now led by Gavin Robotham, and CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA) as Executive Architect.

The project hopes to address the lack of large-scale cultural spaces in Delhi and to help engage all types of visitors, regardless of their previous experience with the arts. To manage this, CRAB has envisioned six curved ‘vessels’ hovering above a waffle grid, reminiscent of historic Indian Charbagh gardens. The grid organizes the site’s topography and the layers of circulation, creating sheltered routes for use in hot or rainy weather, while a fully conditioned underground passage allows access to all parts of the site in all weather.

Inside, the vessels house offices and residential facilities, galleries, teaching spaces, a library, museum and theatre auditoria as well as ancillary functions, cafes, and restaurants. The mixed functional distribution of spaces was created to encourage the cross-pollination of ideas. Additionally, workshops and artisanal villages are envisioned at the lower levels to allow visitors a glimpse into the different scales of craft and fabrication.

In response to New Delhi’s climate, the vessels all incorporate passive principles into their design, providing shaded space beneath the buildings to allow visitors to explore each vessel. Protective walls to the south and west of the site protect the area against sun heat, while more open facades to the north and east open up the spaces for natural light and ventilation. The exterior spaces, including the entrance plaza, are also designed to weave together the vessels and create a new park for the city. Their design allows for informal performances, seating, and play. Additionally, kitchen gardens enable local vegetables and herbs to be grown and used on-site, and a conservation garden is integrated on top of the library vessel.

CRAB currently collaborates with Webb Yates Engineers to devise sustainable and innovative ways of using quartzite from the nearby quarry, prioritizing locally sourced materials. Heritage craft techniques are also planned to be employed, including perforated metalwork screens for dappled shading, and glazed ceramic elements.

CRAB Studio, the office co-founded by Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham, has designed numerous recognizable projects, including the Abedian School of Architecture in Australia and the Departments Of Law And Central Administration in Vienna, Austria. British architect, professor, and writer Sir Peter Cook has been a pivotal figure within the global architectural world as one of the founding members of the avant-garde group Archigram.

Source : archdaily.com