Gallery House in West Bengal
Architecture, Articles

Gallery House in West Bengal

The facade of Gallery House introduces a new sense of architectural expression to the local landscape whilst serving the neighbour-hood community of Bansberia. Originally sited to be a garage to house the neighbouring owners vehicles, the property and its redesigned dwelling now serves as a gathering space and multi-purpose centre on a site area of 330 square metres.
Project
Gallery House
Architecture
Abin Design Studio
POSTED
12.04.2021

Located in India’s West Bengal, the Gallery House by architect Abin Design Studio proudly serves the community of Bansberia in more ways than one, creating a facade that introduces a new sense of architectural expression to the local landscape.

By day, the two-storey concrete building serves as a gallery, gathering space and multipurpose centre, offering the local residents the opportunity to partake in activities ranging from education sessions to yoga classes.

“At night, this space functions as a dormitory for resident staff”, says principal designer Abin Chaudhuri of Abin Design Studio whose client “enjoys a sense of pride and joy of ownership seeing the space put to good use”.

Gallery House in West Bengal

Initially, the designers were briefed by the client of Wall House who procured a parcel of land directly across the street from his home to design a car parking structure that held staff quarters above. However, “we convinced the owner to take this opportunity and think of how it could give back to the community” says Abin.

Inspired by the way the building was coming up, the client decided to let go of his initial requirement of a garage and embraced the suggestions of repurposing the ground floor as a community-focussed facility while the upper floor houses a multipurpose room, a sitting area, a small kitchen and bathrooms. 

Gallery House in West Bengal

Exposed terracotta bricks with ornate veil clad and glazed ceramic blocks define the sinuous facade of the building and its character. Encouraged to maximise the public utility of the building, the design was conceived to extend into the street both visually and physically.

Abin Design Studio teamed up with ceramic master Partha Dasgupta to create intricate patterns across the facade with rejected ceramic blocks that were produced for industrial use by nearby manufacturers as a contemporary expression of the inspiration. 

Gallery House in West Bengal

A decision to introduce another architectural expression to the community saw the building taking cues from Bengal’s terracotta temples, such as the 200-year-old temple of Ananta Basudeva where bricks were procured from a river-side brickfield located nearby. 

As part of a cultural celebration, Bansberia holds a colourful, festive procession along the narrow, winding neighbourhood lanes. In response to this occasion, the building steps down towards the street forming a concrete amphitheatre-like gallery for onlookers to sit, socialise and view the event. 

The concrete stairs spilling from the ground-floor gallery form a gathering spot that contributes to the building’s new-found mission in supporting the neighbourhood and its people, “a humane gesture of giving back to the local community, without disrupting the privacy and security of inner functions” Abin says. 

“The client enjoys a sense of pride and joy of ownership seeing the space put to good use”

Abin Chaudhuri
Founder and Principal architect at Abin Design Studio
Gallery House in West Bengal

“The client enjoys a sense of pride and joy of ownership seeing the space put to good use”

Abin Chaudhuri
Founder and Principal architect at Abin Design Studio
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