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‘AJA’- attempts to create an intriguing experience by creating an unexpected landscape in a familiar urban setting- Chandigarh. We at Arch.Lab, conceived this project as a space where nature fuses with art, creating a unique environment reflecting the character of the city. The space is also designed to favor interactions, exchanges and relationships, thus making the whole experience more meaningful. ‘Aja’ offers a completely unseen world with a unique blend of nature with architecture. The entire space is sunken to separate it physically and psychologically from the outdoor environment.

Ramp acts as bridge between the two environments, leading to a transition from outdoors to indoors. This takes a person’s body and mind through a journey of our very own – Garden of Herbs, which evokes the senses of sight and smell with its aroma and flavors. Among the multitudinous materials, the most significantly used is Concrete which gives an impression of a monolithic creation. Concrete “The Molten Stone” as often referred by Le Corbusier, is an impeccable choice to give our artistic impressions a permanent physical form fused with life. The freedom of casting concrete in any form was sensitively explored to achieve the desired impact and finishes.

The space is centered around ‘The Community Table’ which summarizes the whole concept of Aja. It also emphasizes on the sense of community and collaboration. The graphic brings to life the story about food, inspiring food lovers to think about its diversity. It also attempts to play with the idea of contemporary urban food culture. Adding warmth to the space is the art of ‘Emerging Blocks’. A whole family of furniture was designed and developed to complement the special character and together create a unique landscape. Most of the elements for ‘Aja’, such as the concrete wall panels, vertical light fixtures and furniture have been fabricated in and around the site keeping in mind the sustainable concept of ‘zero km market’. Garden of Herbs furthermore adds to the concept.

Design: Arch.Lab / Harsimran Singh / Mohit Vij / Taruni Aggarwal / Jasnam Kaur
Photography: Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

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