The Ashram for Saint Thiyagaraja

Kakarla Tyagabrahmam or Saint Tyagaraja, also known as Tyāgayya in Telugu, was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music. He was a prolific composer and highly influential in the development of the classical music tradition.

The Ashram , a project envisioned by a great devotee of Saint Tyagaraja and an avid mridhangam artist in the city, Shri Nandayala Ramamoorthy is a humble temple to celebrate and focus the great teachings of the saint and  to reflect on the messages advocated by him through his highly influential music compositions.

THE CHALLENGE

Our biggest challenge was in understanding and teachings of Saint Thyagaraja through his powerful classical renderings. This needed profound understanding of raga, tala, bhava, laya and Bakthi. The challenge was to translate his teachings of life into built scale, rythm and propotions of an ashram

SO WHAT DID WE CONCLUDE?

The challenging brief demanded a humble structure that would double up as a temple and a hall for musical and dance concerts reflecting the simplicity of Saint Thyagarajas teachings. The choice of materials has to confim to simplicity, culture and bhakti, the three most relevant teachings of the saint. We began our design concept that would reflect their strong sense of culture and social life. We also had to draw on a relevant, practical implementation plan for the project to get it done within a tight timeframe.

 Site Analysis I The original site before our intervention.

The site is a 5000sq.ft South facing plot. Seen here is the 30' access road to the ashram

The site is well outlined and offers a huge plate for a design that can be coupled with landcape

 

A small one storied structure that currently functions as the ashram will be used as a back office for the ashram once the main structure comes up.

Our Idea:  Integrating the components of music with the components of architecture.

TALA - SYMBOLISED BY TRADITIONAL INDIAN TEMPLE STONE

Classical Music : Tala is as the strenght of the song, the essence and foundation to a piece that is rendered in strength.

Architecture : The traditional Temple granite personifies this strength in architecture where it has always been symbolic of strong foundation and cultural architecture.

RAGA  - SYMBOLISED BY A FRAMEWORK OF STRUCTURE - CONCRETE BEAMS

Classical Music : RAGA is the framework of the song within which the great beauty of emotions is expressed.

Architecture : The Framework of a structure with intersecting beams and columns is symbolic of a beautiful structure over a stable foundation.

BHAVA - NUANCES - CHOICE OF MATERIALS 

Classical Music : BHAVA is the choices an artist makes within the framework that enhances and adds value and emotion to the song that is rendered. 

Architecture : The BHAVA in a building is essentially a product of the choice of finishing, Whether a simple building looks humble or Luxurious or Opulent completely depends on the choice of the materials

LAYA - THE FINER DETAILS 

Classical Music : LAYA is the expression of skill,  an artist performing with laya is meant to take the listener to another state of mind, Laya influences the listener. 

Architecture : The Laya  a building is the finest details, finishing quality and workmanship that dictates and directs the experience of the user.

Planning : 

 

The planning has 3 components to it. The first level of planning includes a clear rectabgular hall that encloses the holy shirne of saint Thyagaraja. This hall has a capacity of 100 people. 

The linear walls of the hall open into two stages that are used for performances.This is made possible using metal gates and these collapsible gates open the stage for performances.Viewers can enjoy performances either sitting inside the mandapa or outside.