The Story of Space and Transitions
Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.
If you can dream it, you can make it so.
– Belva Davis
Trading traffic for trees
From living dreams with the children, in a Centre located in a packed, residential area in South Bangalore, to exploring expanses of space in a gated community in Nelamangala, it has indeed been a long journey for the Snehadhara Foundation family, literally and metaphorically.
The new campus of Snehadhara Foundation is accommodating of many more dreams and discussion spaces that will try to understand – in action – what inclusion and independence truly mean. The architects of the space had initially conceptualised the new space as a small hamlet of spaces each having its own experiential quality in terms of shape, size, volume, orientation, light, ventilation and views etc. The campus expressed its own shape rather differently as they started developing it, however. They wondered if they could make a building that would inspire curiosity in the children and adults inhabiting it, about how things are made and buildings constructed. What if the space could create openings for the inhabitants to feel, observe and intuitively understand techniques and materials showcased? They aspired to offer the people using these buildings a different world from what they experienced in the city that was dominated by contemporary slab-and-frame concrete structures with aluminium glass curtain walls or plastic windows.
Lower carbon footprint
Desiring to embrace a construction process with lower carbon footprint, the architects adopted alternative construction methods. Every block used in construction was made by hand from the mud excavated while building the large rainwater harvesting tank. Many such ecologically tuned in techniques have resulted in a campus, an alternative learning facility that comes from a pedagogy of very different education models and philosophy.
The transition into space and openness can be as daunting as it is exciting however. From being within the walls of home, the children and adults have taken a leap towards embracing the wall free spaces that the new Centre attempts to offer in abundance. They are taking on the challenge of finding stronger worlds of care, empathy and compassion in a vibrant but unfamiliar space. From being used to an overnighter programme once a month to spending two nights every week at the new Campus, the Snehadhara people have set out to find new rhythms of exploring learning in a brand new space, designed exactly towards opening out such exciting explorations.
Bringing Intent alive
Each of the spaces designed reflect, it seems, the intent and approach of the Foundation. From the spacious kitchen and dining area to the activity rooms to the amphitheatre-like arts and performance arena to the wall-free corridors – the design aligns with the openness and depth of the programmes on offer in the space. There’s plenty of room here for light and learning!