Project Name: Yogashaala
Authors: Thumbimpressions LLP


A new, column-free canopy extension for an existing structure is imagined in an eloquent combination of bamboo lengths and steel joinery creating a floating roof for the practice of yoga and other congregations. Bamboo, a versatile, affordable, and accessible resource in the tropics has found extensive use in India’s traditional building typologies. Still, the material has limited and niche presence in contemporary architecture with a few exceptions often deemed experimental and progressive. 

In this project, bamboo assumes a role of a mainstream building material and a simple task of spanning an open space, which one can imagine could be executed quite effortlessly in other popular materials such as steel, is rendered a poetic quality through a thoughtful, innovative and yet, restrained use of bamboo in a structural and an architectural parti. The exquisitely designed joinery in steel enhances the potential of bamboo and the seeming complexity of opposing curves aids the resolution of forces in a fine equilibrium. This simple idea of negating forces also benefits from the modularity and repetition, bringing the act of architecture down to the essential idea. 

Beyond the tenets of the structural expression, the resultant space itself has a fine quality of lightness and shelter. The structure, while being expressive, does not negate the spatial demands and complements the existing building as a natural, effortless, extension. The use of bamboo and steel is pragmatic and refrains from both, romanticising or fetishising a material. The scale of deployment and resolution makes stronger case for consideration of bamboo in the mainstream. 

The use of bamboo, and the detail it demands, is integral to the realisation and enjoyment of space. The ecology of a design-build practice, when engaged in a deep exploration of a material occasionally generates a fine example; however, if this information is institutionalised within the practice, the conceived projects influence the knowledge ecosystem and conventional wisdom beyond the practice and therefore, the Yogashaala by Thumbimpressions LLP is a Citation Project in The Merit List.

Images & Drawings: courtesy Thumbimpressions LLP; Photographs: © Nikhil Patel

Leave a Reply