DESIGN RESPONSE
This project encompasses master planning of Capitol Complex, Naya Raipur and designing of legislative assembly which together knit the basic idea of democracy in architecture and form the basis of this research.
Master Plan: Capitol complex, Naya Raipur
The new master plan encourages democracy by providing a myriad of easily accessible public space designed to extend the opportunities for interaction beyond the formal space of legislative chambers.
Previously in a strict geometric orientation towards the legislative assembly, the new layout is less structured, providing a more fluid and inviting space. It allows the surrounding buildings both to complement each other and stand out individually for their architectural character.
The space retain its own distinctiveness and sense of place through its organic structure responding to site condition level change, water features, edge, axis and other elements. Due to angling and forced perspectives when one experiences walking through them creates a unique space for reflection and interaction. Elements such as terrace plaza, water features, and wall markers convey an identity of their own through sound movement and delight whilst also mirroring the Legislative Assembly in the reflecting pool.
A visitor’s approach to the capitol complex begins at public plaza, the centre of the capitol complex. The plaza is a place that stands for democracy and the freedom of speech, the plaza is a place to convene in times of celebration, mourning, activism and demonstration. The first flight of steps rises above the plaza and serves as a place to be heard. Climbing the steps of the plaza is a journey to the heart of democracy in Naya Raipur. The flight of stairs climbs from main street to various level of the building. Ascending is an experience of endeavor and reflection.
In general, solid fencing along the streets and other boundary frontages is discouraged in its place, permeable fencing options are preferable. This shall be mainly through the use of landscape demarcations such as hedges, shrubs or trees. These solutions will contribute to social and built form character of Naya Raipur. More importantly it enhances security through increased interaction and proactive community involvement and responsibility as opposed to perpetuating an individualistic island mentality.

Design response: Legislative Assembly, Naya Raipur
“An Architecture of democracy must be general and popular appeal to universal as well as of specific locale”
Design originated in inquiry, emerging as visual and functional exposition of questions which were asked to people about this building, its place and its meaning from this process which the author believed were the most fundamental starting point of his design.
1. What characterizes a new state capitol in the new century?
2. How will all of us, as citizens, relate in our minds to the new Assembly?
3. How it is going to be fundamentally distinct from other Indian State Assemblies?
The authors design reinvents the iconography of the traditional assembly building. Through analysis and critique of the traditional assembly building diagram, the author has derived a new prototype that can be called as ‘people’s assembly’ – a building that serves the citizens in its composition and its layout, a dignified building that will be approachable , accessible, transparent and welcoming.
In order to appeal the widest possible audience the physical arrangement and appearance of the new assembly building should reflect the people imagination.
A. Debating chamber
Designed to promote community the Assembly will give Naya Raipur a new symbolic center. The most prime element of debating chamber, a unifying space that houses a deck and an umbrella above it. Rising more than 35 meters,
Transparency and accessibility characterize the assembly as civic gathering space, filled with light, warmth and intimacy, encouraging and enabling citizen’s involvement in government happens as multilayered event fully on display.
The curvature and movement of spatial sequence flows with ‘Sansad bhawan’ a symbol for Indian democracy and open itself in a gesture of welcome and connectivity to the people of Chhattisgarh and to the world.

B. The Umbrella (Above the Debating Chamber)
From the time of its invention the basic shape of an umbrella has remained same everywhere around the world and hence its universal shape is a tribute every individual – a shelter protecting every individual
“The government is formed to protect the minorities (and the smallest minority on this earth is individual)” – ayn rand, virtue of selfishness, p-74
Modern architects have explored lanterns, drums and other structures as alternatives to dome, but the essential core idea is still relatively the same – to signify the importance of the building program underneath the dome. With modern technology, domes no longer required being solid, the use of glass allows the architect to engender openness and accessibility.
This further strengthen the author’s concept of transparency, the glass above the debating chamber encourages an interactive human–spatial relationship, at the same time it allows the public full view of the ongoing debate inside the debating chamber from outdoors.
The key design strategy besides allowing light to funnel and illuminate the chamber, it acts as a magnet for pedestrian, attracting them to have a glimpse of the chamber out of curiosity. For those who can penetrate further, the sense of transparency and openness as well as light and lightness, coupled with the activities beneath it which would greatly enlighten the idea of architecture by the people for the people.
C. Integrity
The building will synthesize iconic and contemporary elements to provide Naya Raipur with a celebrated landmark and destination. Building upon the legacies of the Indian assemblies, author proposes a contemporary interpretation of the state house in its organization and form and through its most recognizable icon, the roof. This assembly building will provide a unifying symbol for Chhattisgarh that exudes confidence, transparency and accessibility.
The roof detail signifies the typical construction style of this region which is unique of its kind, particularly found in the village houses, something which local people can relate to (figure 41). The author believes that this will create a sense of belonging among the citizens. Unlike other state assemblies which can only be adorned from a distance due to its rich grandeur architecture style.
D. Plaza (atrium)
‘Atrium is a symbol of gathering place, light, water and often decorated with bright painted walls and mosaic flooring ’ –hollings, p- 46.
Atrium acts as a gathering space for people like in malls. Raipur experience a relative warm climate almost throughout the year so there is a need of some indoor space where light and water can come together and act as gathering space for people like in shopping malls. With dozens of shopping mall in Raipur and few more likely to come up reflects the changing style of raipurians which are getting accustom to mall experience. Therefore author thinks that it would be a great idea to incorporate this feature in the design which will add to the relative experience of the citizens of Raipur
E. Flexible space, no walls
The idea is incorporated into the gallery and press conference area where walls do not exist, whereby moveable partition and a change in floor materials define the space boundary instead of physical brick walls, this allows the spaces to expand and shrink depending on the needs. The same concept is applied to the administrative floor plans, it allows certain spaces to fold and expand depending on the needs.
F. The stairs/ entrance
The Greeks and Romans uses forum as a way of allowing the public to express their views, this enable democracy to flourish throughout the empire, the forum holds a symbolic meaning in democracy, consequently it would be carrying great weight if the core idea is extract and reintroduce into the Assembly, not in the debating chamber but at the entrance of the parliament.
The forum or also known as the entrance as it provides a space for the public to relax, it also acts as a mini forum, a place where people gather and discuss, and a place that enables press conference to be carried out in full public view.
G. Security
To ensure proper security there only two prime entries to the building one for the public and other for staff and ministers with provision of all mechanical devices and adhering to guidelines issued by National Counter Terrorism Security Office and Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (UK).
Knowing well that potential terrorists group could easily crash a car right into the assembly and debating chamber causing massive damage and lose of lives, simple security measures such as elevated plaza not more than 7 risers can potentially prevent or slow down a car from crashing straight into the plaza and into the chamber, additionally, steel bollards dotted around the plaza as stoppers, preventing the vehicle from gathering momentum.
The buildings glazed façade, including terraces, increases visibility both from the square to the building and vice versa, thus aiding surveillance for criminal or terrorist activity.
The design incorporates a number of features to protect people and deter terrorist acts. The ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬Strategic location of the building provides easy service access for deliveries and maximizes the space available for the landscaped park, which is raised on a plinth to prevent direct vehicular access and potential VBIEDs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device).
The outdoor space has clearly defined pathways which allow 355 degree movement to escape the square in the event of an incident, minimizing concentration of people and therefore number of deaths in the event of a PBIED (Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device). The pocket territories act as areas for groups of people to congregate without creating dark places for potential thieves to hide.

H. Democratic wall
The graffiti wall provides a unique image to the capitol complex fostering sense of belongingness among the people. It dilutes the strictness of space where people are free to express themselves. The art work done on graffiti wall get reflected in the pool which describe the image of the society and thus making it peoples space.


I. Signage’s text/ interpretation
To integrate something like inclusive design into the whole planning system, one of the things author looked as a target was signage’s text and interpretation, there are many people in India who don’t have basic literacy and many other with learning disabilities, so there are lot of people who can’t access basic text and what one sees at this project is a lot of pictures used to accompany text so that if you can’t access the words you’ve still got something that can give you some of the message. A step ahead is another system – widget which uses pictograms to have better understanding at the same time being interactive.
The Assembly building embodies democratic values of openness and participation, the idea of openness is exemplified by the transparency of the building. Public spaces are elevated on a slate-clad plinth and cut away to allow daylight to penetrate the Administrative spaces at lower level. A light-weight, umbrella roof shelters both internal and external spaces, pierced by the protruding extension of the Debating Chamber.
A large circular space at the front of the building, the Chamber is defined by the dramatic roof which is drawn down from the roof above to form the enclosure to the deck above. The Assembly also includes exhibition and education spaces, a café, crèche, committee and meeting rooms, press facilities, offices for the principal officers of the Assembly and a Members’ lounge.
The servicing strategy responds to the varying demands of the internal spaces– air-conditioning is supplied in the debating chamber, while the public lobby is naturally ventilated. In this way, the design achieves significant energy savings compared to traditional buildings. Hard and soft landscaping, altogether with a canopy of trees, creates a closure for the Assembly.
The author also proposes a poetry and art workshop, to create messages of goodwill, perhaps in the various languages and arts which altogether resembles India. The best will be chosen, for etching onto one side of the Wall.
In its other guise of the Serpent stretched out wall along the ground, our hosts will be invited to read and touch these messages, whilst their own work and performances will be displayed on the Wall.
The thing which author like the most in this project apart from the umbrella roof and deck is the seating at variable heights and colour coded orientation at each level.

2009

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