Gallery House

Project Name: Gallery House
Authors: Abin Design Studio


Built on a privately-owned land through private funding and patronage, this small intervention attempts to create a community space in a residential neighbourhood through architectural and programmatic imagination. By enabling a seamless transition between the street and the building, this space, originally destined to be a parking structure, opens up to the messy urbanity in the immediate context. The involvement of the architects in programming and design of the building enriches its spatial expression. 

Historically, streets in India have had a dominant public function. They served as collective open spaces with engaging connections with the built and cultural fabric around. However, modern planning norms and the interiorised imagination of private space, within the confines of compound walls, have diminished this essential aspect of architecture in the city. In contrast, here is an expressive architectural construct in its formal and material qualities drawing in the street and inviting pedestrians to engage with the steps, the façade and further, with the space within. 

An exciting architecture for events, meetings, camps and other community uses, the building represents the qualities of good urban architecture at a small scale. It activates the street by its presence, enhances its public quality and addresses the functional obligations without being overtly specific. The building is finely detailed and works eloquently as a scheme and an experience. 

Much of privately funded architecture one encounters lies in the private domain: an indulgent personal realm that seeks a refuge from messy public engagement. This project, in contrast, is offered by the patrons and imagined by the architects to be a small, vibrant civic space inviting the community through gestures of space, form and material, creating in its wake, a new model for private patronage in intimate public domains and therefore, the Gallery House by Abin Design Studio is a Citation project in The Merit List.

Images & Drawings: courtesy Abin Design Studio; Photographs: © Edmund Sumner, Abin Chaudhuri

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