Jali-wrapped Bangalore naturopathy centre acts as a retreat in a ‘tight urban site’

by Luke Cloherty | 16 Aug 2018

In among the busy, loud and polluted streets of Bangalore, one might think it would be hard to find solace and practice wellness routines. However, the architects behind Navyas Naturopathy Centre have been undeterred, creating an antithetical haven in which medicinal plants, softer dynamics and a general sense of calm pervades.

Set in the heart of Bangalore, Navyas Naturopathy Centre brings a range of wellness offerings to the surrounding populace. Beyond its inner operations, however, and of note herein, is the building itself.

Its facade has been conceived as a “living skin” around the structure and is an interpretation of a traditional jali screen, which is embedded with a layer of curated medicinal plants. The jali screen has been used traditionally in Indian architecture to help lower temperatures through allowing air into its perforations.

Cadence Architects, who designed the centre, said: “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 reimagined 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.”

Cadence noted that a challenge in design was that the jali had to be constructed out of ferroconcrete – presumably, but unconfirmed, due to its rigid form once set – so that the complex pattern the architects desired could be achieved. Another big challenge for them, though, was the location of the site.

“The client brief was to design a naturopathy centre with a yoga hall in a tight urban site,” the architects said. “The fact that the centre was meant for therapy and wellness but had to be designed in a busy, noisy, polluted node in the city was the challenge.”

The architects noticed a large cannonball tree near to the site, however, and took their inspiration from this defiant natural uprising in otherwise gritty urban conditions.

“What struck us most when we visited the location was the presence of a huge cannonball tree – a sacred tree by many accounts – which defined the character of the site,” the architects noted.

“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.”

Bangalore  Navyas Naturopathy Centre  Cadence Architects 
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