India’s architecture constantly associates itself with its theory, deriving from its roots, depending on its strong heritage. But we seem to be inching towards an impending end of our rich culture and its vitality. With structures deteriorating and becoming inaccessible to the public, it becomes even more important to work towards our heritage, in a manner conducive to making our citizens aware and cradled in its arms. A significant example of this is the condition of the stepwells in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Having played an important role in community building, cultural interpolation, and improving flora and fauna, it becomes important to preserve the essence, both tangible and intangible; of structures this magnificent.
In the past few years, India has moved closer to creating a stronger footprint in the world of architecture, with its efforts being recognized internationally. In the age of flourishing architecture, the Oval aims to add to this movement, while providing a heartfelt ode to its lineage. In addition to an impactful, historical message, its modern interpretation and sustainable approach put it at a recognizable advantage. Hoping to radiate magnificence, the Oval aims to accelerate India’s journey towards the limelight.
Taking inspiration from the very basis of these stepwells, the design creates a fluent play of levels. Instead of just being a vast, visual element, these levels help divide the ample space into multiple functions, without giving a feeling of enclosure. The design offers multiple experiences to the public, through various functions and levels. The sheer multiplicity of these functions and the grandeur offered by these experiences make the design a strong contender for increasing tourism, exponentially. The presence of spaces like the museum and galleries assures a prowess for financial growth and cultural opportunities. The form of the design creates interesting frustum-like curves, providing an interesting canvas for light and sound shows, a booming industry in the current world. Designed keeping the modern intricacies in mind, the design of The Oval warrants timelessness, making it a poetic marvel.
Designed, solely keeping its public in mind, Oval provides a multitude of avenues, to highlight our history, social context and cultural richness. These include open, gathering spaces like the Open-air theatre and courtyard, museums and gallery spaces, eye catchers like the sky viewing deck and inner stepwell seating, and a cafeteria. The central glass lift is provided as a viewing element for 360-degree dynamic view of the vertical vista. The design offers a soothing material palette while attempting to amalgamate the traditional effect of sandstone along with water and the modern interpretation of concrete and green architecture. The usage of water and greens further helps elevate the experience and the atmosphere.
The Oval stepwell is a delicate effort to revive our heritage, with an intriguing and eclectic touch, to garner a bigger audience. Truly enchanted by the architecture of ancient stepwells, this design aims to reincarnate its presence, with a modern touch and widen the horizons for tourism in India, while strengthening the roots of its heritage.