The Mewar Complex is intended to resonate with the qualities of the life of the legendary king of Rajasthan, Rana Pratap. Designed to commemorate the brave, frugal and hard life of the Rana, the project also projected his strength. Symbolic of his rebellion, as architects, we resisted the making of the memorials and tourism facilities to become pastiche and clichés of a ‘Rajasthani’ architecture, replete with battle scenes, chattris, walls with crenellations, jharookhas. On the contrary, the textured walls rose like the Rana, battle marked and hardened, rough and strong. Thus, a texture of large and small pieces that resonates with the tones of the hills and mountains around is created. It is reminiscent of the rugged terrain of the battlefield, connects to the local ways of building and involves the local craftsmen, creating a partnership in the making.
The projects were about the landscape, the tension between bringing the landscape into the buildings and taking the buildings out. They were about crafting the architecture out of local materials, raw textures, into the landscape, marking a point and then leaving it to the forces of nature. The built form is an outcome of strong concepts manifested in simple, fluid spaces that form the experience- an experience that oscillates between rough and smooth, inside and outside, manmade and natural, along with all the textures in between. It brings the architecture into an ambiguous middle ground.
The project is a direct experience of nature: the sky in the form of rising walls reaching up and open to sky spaces, the earth from which the project rises, the wind as it is funneled into the building, the sun as it plays a drama of light, shadow and texture and water as it flows. Nature and building unite together to form a weave of experiences recalling the battles of the great warrior whose memorial this building is.
Architect: M/s Minakshi Jain Architects, Ahmedabad
Design team: Vijay Arya - Principal Architect Meghal Arya - Architect Urvi Sheth - Architect