The Maya Somaiya Library, Kopargaon, designed by Sameep Padora & Associates has won this year’s Brick Award under “Building outside the box” category. Under this category innovative projects are recognised and SMA’s project has won the award for use of bricks and its unconventional design.
The Maya Somaiya Library – a radical new building for the Shri Sharda English Medium School at Kopargaon, Maharashtra – occupies a narrow strip of land between existing school buildings, farmland and an electricity sub-station. The site might seem unpromising, yet here Sameep Padora and his Mumbai studio have shaped a balletic building that appears to grow naturally and sinuously from the ground. It rises in fluid form to span a single space library before curving back to the ground again.
The complex form of the roof is made and shaped by three layers of shallow – 32 milimeter – brick tiles. Held in compression, these form lightweight vaults proving how adventurous contemporary design can be realized in simple and locally sourced materials.
The compound curves of this graceful structure have been made possible through a Swiss 3D computer modeling process that has adapted the Tile Arch System patented by Rafael Guastavino in Spain and the United States, and thin-shell structures of the Uruguayan architect Eladio Dieste. Designed with the aid of computers and yet hand-crafted, the library treads a fine, calligraphic line between technological wizardry and a sense of what is natural.
“The innovative part of this project I think is the way you can use it like a building and also you can use it in a way it interests children to learn,” said Mette Kynne Frandsen, the jury member commenting on the highlights of the project.
Sameep Padora & Associates is a Mumbai based design studio that engages with research, collaborations and collective models of practice not as isolated individual formats but as symbiotic streams feeding into each other.
The Brick Award is an international established award and presents outstanding brick architecture from all around the world. For more than one decade now, Wienerberger AG has been hosting the international Brick Award every two years, providing a stage for excellent brick architecture and its architects.