vad gumbaj

The biodiversity park sits at the bottom of the urban riverfront in Ahmedabad, a resting place for flora and fauna, a moment of pause, to breathe, in the busy city. The vad gumbaj is inserted inside, growing up out of the flora of the park, and lifting it high for everyone to see. Its profile pushes out into the view of the river when seen from far. It is nestled within the species, and takes advantage of existing landscape.

This is a place for ‘one’ and ‘all’, You who want to meditate and connect to yourself, and everybody else too, who just want to watch the reflections of themselves. At the ground level, the heavy walls of the vad gumbaj separate you from the sounds outside. The immediate space is held in quiet. A plinth at the center holds yoga and meditation, while other people circumambulate, following the etched drawings and sayings on the granite clad internal wall.

The inverted dome, hanging above, draws reflections in of the ground, plants and the river outside, merging them with the reflections of people on the plinth.

Weld mesh screens attached to the steel structure at critical locations create additional shade at crucial points of the day, while the deep ramp is tuned to act as a chhajja to prevent higher sun rays from entering during the warm midday from March to September. In winter, when more sun is desirable, the low altitude angle lets it come in.

A raft on pile foundation supports the two frames and the ring of concrete walls. Two rotated hyperboloid steel frames rise in and outside the walls. The fabricated ramp acts as a brace for the two frames. Rotated trusses structure the upper level and the reflective inverted dome is suspended from them. The post-tensioned concrete slab is poured on top, with the trusses serving also as a structure for the formwork. This system is lightweight, materially economic, and cost efficient.