The client brief was to design a naturopathy center with a yoga hall in a tight urban site. The fact that the center was meant for therapy and wellness but had to be designed in a busy, noisy, polluted node in the city was the challenge. What struck us most when we visited the location was the presence of a huge Canon Ball tree (a sacred tree by many accounts) , which defined the character of the site. The site was also flanked by a very busy road which forms an important artery in the city’s road network. These two characteristics helped us formulate the generative diagram for the conception of the project. We decided to conceive the plan such that the building weaves around the existing tree not just physically but also phenomenally in a way that it becomes part of the experience. The second important stand taken was to wrap most of the building with a thick layer of green along with a modern interpretation of traditional jail screen. The yoga hall was then conceived to be on the terrace with a column free space away from the noise of the streets.
Living skin – The idea of the jali with green was twofold. The jali screen would enable us to cut down the harsh sound from the street traffic and the general humdrum of the city. It would also cut the harsh light that would infiltrate the interiors. The traditional Jali was re-imagined in a contemporary pattern to form a light ephemeral veil for the interiors. We infused life into this jali buy juxtaposing it with a layer of curated medicinal plants. The plants protected by the jali not only help in therapeutic purposes but also help create a soft ambience in the interior. The jali was constructed out of ferro-concrete to enable the complex pattern desired.
Programmatic Disposition – The ground floor has the reception along with waiting area for the patients. The consultation rooms, labs and pharmacy work around the waiting area. We also included an organic restaurant along with a kitchen at this level which encourages general well being. The floors on top are comprised of therapy rooms with various treatments along with rooms and suites for in-patients. These spaces open up to the strip of green screened by the jali. An atrium cuts through the building to connect the various floors both visually and spatially. The Yoga hall was positioned on the terrace along with the garden as spillover area.