World Building of the Week

Nokha Village Community Centre

Sanjay Puri Architects
1. abril 2024
Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
What were the circumstances of receiving this commission?

We had designed a traditional house in the vicinity of Nokha, Rajasthan. The clients appreciated this house and approached us for the design of a small memorial for their late father.

What makes this project unique?

We could have simply designed a small memorial based on the clients requirements. However, we studied the entire area, which is comprised of 144 small villages, and realized that there were many small schools without libraries. We also determined that there were no planned spaces for the community, no spaces for a music performance or any other form of gathering. Responding to these studies and findings, we convinced the clients to create a library and make a community space for the villagers.

Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
What is the inspiration behind the design of the building?

A sweeping curvilinear volume elegantly loops around the site, creating a dynamic interplay of space and form. This design choice is not merely aesthetic but functional, providing an open north-facing courtyard that serves as the community center’s heart. 

Spanning a modest 9,000 square feet, the center innovatively maximizes its footprint by integrating a rooftop garden. This inclined garden, with two varying slopes, is more than a recreational space: it offers panoramic views of the encompassing desert, inviting the community to gather and engage with their natural surroundings.

Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
How did the site impact the design?

The site impacted the design in multiple ways. The orientation of the open court towards the north; the use of natural sandstone from the vicinity; the earth berm on the east, west, and south to mitigate heat gain; the grass roof to reduce heat — all are climatic responses based on the sun orientation.

To what extent did the owner, client, or future users of the building affect the design?

The building is designed for the future users in every way, with spaces for learning, music performances, talks, and a rooftop garden with views of the surroundings. The building is being visited by over 400 children and adults from all the nearby villages daily for congregations, playing, and studying.

Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
Were there any significant changes from initial design to completion?

There were no changes in the buildings design from the initial concept.

How does the building relate to other projects in your office?

This building senses a larger purpose of giving spaces to a large number of villagers and children who did not have access to such facilities. In this way it serves people who truly need these spaces, and this aspect makes this a more meaningful project as compared to most other projects.

Email interview conducted by John Hill.

Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
Photo © Mr. Vinay Panjwani
Project: Nokha Village Community Centre, 2024
Location; Mulwas, Silwa, Nokha, Bikaner, India
Client: Padam Interiors
Architect: Sanjay Puri Architects
  • Lead Architect: Sanjay Puri
  • Project Team: Omkar Rane, Madhavi Belsare, Arjun Gupta
Interior Design: Sanjay Puri Architects
Structural Consultant: Vijaytech Consultants Pvt. Ltd
Landscape Design: Sanjay Puri Architects
Main Contractor: Jagram Suthar
Drawing © Sanjay Puri Architects
Drawing © Sanjay Puri Architects
Drawing © Sanjay Puri Architects
Drawing © Sanjay Puri Architects

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