Located in Rajasthan, India, amidst the arid landscapes of the Nokha district, the Nokha Village Community Centre, is a project that not only serves as a community hub for the 144 villages in the district but also as a memorial for Padmaramji Kularia, envisioned by his family.
The Nokha Village Community Centre emerges from the desert environment with a striking presence. Its main architectural feature, a sweeping curvilinear volume, elegantly loops around the site, creating a dynamic interplay of space and form. This design choice is not merely aesthetic but functional, providing an open north-facing courtyard that serves as the community center’s heart.
Spanning a modest 9,000 square feet, the center innovatively maximizes its footprint by integrating a rooftop garden. This inclined garden, with two varying slopes, is more than a recreational space; it offers panoramic views of the encompassing desert, inviting the community to gather and engage with their natural surroundings. Below this verdant expanse lies a thoughtful composition of spaces designed to cater to different community needs—a museum dedicated to the local culture and a digital library for children, addressing the lack of educational facilities in the area.
The building’s southern façade along with most of the eastern & western sides is thoughtfully enveloped in a grass-covered earth berm, a strategic response to the challenging desert climate where temperatures soar between 35 to 40°C for most of the year. This, along with the natural sandstone screens that adorn the elliptical library, showcases a deep respect for traditional Rajasthani architecture while serving a practical purpose. The screens, sourced from the immediate area, anchor the building in its context and significantly reduce heat gain, creating mesmerizing shadow patterns that change throughout the day.
The garden on the roof is created as a relief from the surrounding avid desert and is watered using recycled water from the adjacent owners house.
Gardens are a rare sight in this area with only a few large private homes who can afford to maintain them. This green roof is accessible to everyone with children & adult villagers using it joyously.
The slopes are gentle with a ratio of 1:20 allowing the ease of walking or running up towards the viewing platform atop.
Central to the community center’s design is its commitment to sustainability. The rooftop gardens, stone screens, and strategic landscaping work collectively to mitigate heat gain, enhancing energy efficiency. Moreover, the project’s sustainability ethos extends beyond its design to its construction, emphasizing rainwater harvesting, water recycling, and the use of local materials and craftsmanship. This approach ensures that the building sits gently on its desert landscape and supports the local economy.
The Nokha Village Community Centre is a vibrant hub for all age groups, providing a space for music, talks, and social interaction. The project exemplifies how thoughtful architecture can create expansive community spaces without a large footprint, with a built-up area of 9,000 square feet generating 5 times more usable space, including a 27,000-square-foot open auditorium.

2022

2024

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Lead Architect: Ar. Sanjay Puri
Design Team – Omkar Rane, Madhavi Belsare, Arjun Gupta

Nokha Village Community Centre by SANJAY PURI ARCHITECTS in India won the WA Award Cycle 47. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

poster
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Vinay Panjwani

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