Developed for the Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Krushi Bhawan in Bhubaneshwar was Highly Commended in the Completed Office Buildings Category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF), held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The largest Architecture & Design convention in the world, the three-day festival brought together over 2000 architects from all over the world for a series of exhibitions, lectures, seminars and tours, exhibiting a total of 534 shortlisted entries across 33 categories, prior to the selection of the winning entries at a live jury.
The design of Krushi Bhawan draws directly from its socio-cultural and environmental context. Expressing a unique visual identity, the distinctive brick façade of the building is inspired by Ikat patterns of Odisha handlooms, created from bricks that use clay in three different colours to represent the geographical diversity of the region. With the workspaces for the State Department and Directorates housed in the upper floors of the building, the ground level has been designed as a free-flowing public space that opens out into a plaza, fully accessible to the citizens and adding to the city’s social infrastructure.
The project is highly sustainable, built almost entirely with materials sourced from the region. It employs passive cooling techniques on principles of adaptive thermal comfort, with only 20% of the building air conditioned. It has rooftop solar power generation and 100 percent of rain water is harvested for recharge and waste water recycling on site.
“The recognition of Krushi Bhawan at an international platform is a testament to the willingness of a Govt agency and a public sector project management agency such as IDCO to go beyond their comfort zone and engage in a new kind of architectural discourse, as it is to the indigenous skill-sets and traditional crafts of Odisha; without the direct participation of these craftsmen, the project could not have been realized in its present form,” said Ambrish Arora, Design Principal at Studio Lotus, the New Delhi based multi-disciplinary practice that designed the complex. Relying almost entirely on local materials, the project brought together about 100 highly-skilled artisans led by Sibanand Bhol of Collective Craft, to create a vibrant and contemporary narrative of traditional Odia craft depicting agricultural folklore and mythological stories, envisioned at an unprecedented architectural scale.
Ambrish Arora at WAF Live Jury
About Studio Lotus
Studio Lotus is multi-disciplinary design practice founded in 2002 – seventeen years later, it is one of the most path-breaking architectural firms in India, with Ambrish Arora, Ankur Choksi, Sidhartha Talwar, Pankhuri Goel and Asha Sairam at the helm as Design Principals. Fostered with a culture of learning and intra-preneurship, the work of the practice is grounded on the principles of Conscious Design, an approach that celebrates local resources, cultural influences, an inclusive process and a keen attention to detail.