Thursday, June 05, 2014

WHERE ARCHITECTS LIVE - Part 2


This is part 2 of a 4-post series. See the previous post here.

Bijoy Jain's (or Studio Mumbai's) Mumbai was particularly important for me, understandably. Not often is an Indian architect put alongside such revered company. As I walked up the entrance stairs, I wondered what version of India we would see here. The familiar busy sounds of our 'maximum city' reached me first, and I could see two enclosures in the middle of a rectangular room.
One was swathed in White netting and the other ran videos reflecting the true nature of Mumbai. Stretched across the long parallel walls were images of trees, most notably a banyan tree, and slender pools of water ran alongside on the floor. This last element recurs in much of Jain's design work, and he says, "My relationship with water is absolute".
A video plays on one wall, capturing his connection to nature, his special association with a stonemason, and the essence of his surroundings - a mix of old buildings, new spaces and a tropical environment. "What matters (of a house)", he says, "is not ownership, but the ability to live with care, the ethics of living." The White central enclosure had two pairs of earphones. Calming, almost spiritual music shut me off from the sounds of the city.
This is post 2 of a 4-post series. See the next post here.
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