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Nokha Village Community Centre, India by Sanjay Puri Architects

Project name:
Nokha Village Community Centre
Architecture firm:
Sanjay Puri Architects
Mulwas , Silwa, Nokha, Bikaner, 334803, Rajasthan, India
Vinay Panjwani
Principal architect:
Sanjay Puri
Design team:
Omkar Rane, Madhavi Belsare, Arjun Gupta
Interior design:
Sanjay Puri Architects
Built area:
13000 ft²
Site area:
Design year:
April 2022
Completion year:
February 2024
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Vijaytech Consultants Pvt. Ltd
Environmental & MEP:
Sanjay Puri Architects
Tools used:
Jagram Suthar
USD 10,85,816
Padam Interiors
Cultural › Community Center

SANJAY PURI ARCHITECTS present the Nokha Village Community Centre, located in the desert region of Nokha in Rajasthan, India. The sweeping curvilinear volume rises up from the northeastern corner, looping around the site and rising up on the northwest corner to create a north facing open courtyard.

The brief of the clients was to create a memorial for their father, Padmaramji Kularia. Nokha is a district in Rajasthan that encompasses 144 small villages. Studies of the vicinity and the current facilities in the village schools and the village areas fueled the need to create a community centre for all age groups.

The main spiral building of 9,000sqft becomes an inclined garden with two varying slopes, allowing it to be used for recreation and gatherings, and offering views of the surrounding desert landscape from the rooftop. 

Beneath the garden, at the lower eastern side, there is a small museum with a children’s digital library on the higher western side. The southern side is enveloped in a grass covered earth berm to mitigate heat gain in response to the desert climate, where temperatures of 35 to 40°C are common for 8 months annually. The building forms an open courtyard with an amphitheatre to provide a space for music performances, talks, and social interaction.

The ovoid library is sheathed in natural sandstone screens derived from traditional architecture in Rajasthan, with the stone being sourced from the immediate surrounding area.

These screens reduce the heat gain and create different shadow patterns throughout the day. The library serves all the village schools in the region, most of which do not have libraries of their own. The museum is lit indirectly by scooped recesses within the roof garden berms.

To facilitate the servicing of large gatherings, a linear amenity block housing, cafeteria, toilets, stores, and parking flanks the entrance at the northern side.

The rooftop gardens, the stone screens, the north facing courtyard, and southern grass berm collectively reduce the heat gain, rendering the spaces energy efficient. Rainwater harvesting and water recycling make the building and its construction sustainable, using local craftsmen and contract labor with materials available in the region.

A building with a built up area of only 9,000sqft (810 sqm) generates a 9,000sqft rooftop garden and a 27,000sqft open auditorium and, in addition to the enclosed spaces, generates usable space that is four times more than the built space.

About Sanjay Puri Architects

Sanjay Puri Architects have been listed in Archdaily’s list of Top 100 architects worldwide and in the WA UK top 100 architectural firms, as well as the Architizer New York’s top 130 architecture firms in the world.

The firm has won over 450 awards, including 300 International design awards, including the CDA 2023 Paris Best residential project worldwide, The LOOP Design Awards Best Large Architectural Firm, The Best Completed Building – Production Energy & Logistics in the World Architecture Festival, Singapore 2023, The Best Housing Project worldwide in the World Architecture Festival, Lisbon 2022, and the LEAF Awards London, Best interior project 2021.

The firm, under founding partners Sanjay Puri & Nina Puri, has won architectural projects in Australia, Spain, Montenegro, UAE, Oman, and Dallas (USA), and is currently involved in the design of projects in 36 Indian cities.

Sanjay has been on the jury of the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Singapore, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Lisbon, being the first Indian architect to be on the jury. Sanjay has also been a judge for The Architectural Review Awards, UK, Dezeen Awards, UK, The Plan Awards, Italy, Inde Awards, Australia, and has been a speaker at several international and national conventions. Sanjay is also a registered member of the RIBA, UK, Society of American Registered Architects (SARA, New York), Indian Institute of Architecture (IIA), and Indian Institute of Interior Designers(IIID), and has been a part of the Heritage Conservation Committee, New Delhi.

With a current firm strength of 90, evolving design solutions that are contextual and sustainable, and creating spaces that explore spatial perceptions with new design directions, forms the essence of the firm’s design philosophy.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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