ELEMENTS THAT MAKE ARCHITECTURE SPIRITUAL
Author: Roksana Chehna
"Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay."
Call it a sanctuary, a haven of rest or simply a home, make it that ethereal place your loved ones will always be rooted to. That’s what we aim to create in every home we have built. Take the clients vision and understand the way they live and the wonderful people they are. Let the first line or curve you draw be a confident translation of their personality, while tapping deeper into your intuition. Building with spirituality is that inextricable link between designing with a philosophical perspective and a spiritual sense of connectedness. In the free flowing spaces that open to a courtyard in a Geoffery Bawa’s home in Colombo or in the dramatic penetration of light through the brick jaalis of a Laurie Baker home, there is an inherent sense of spirituality.
Like any other form of art, architecture is the encompassing integrating vision of a variety of elements and emotions that speak to all our senses. Although, in the grand scheme of things, it is the myriad details make the space spiritually transformational. Dwellings that essentially are conceived to be utilitarian must reflect the inner selves of the family inhabiting them. Through the composition of forms and volumes, patterns and textures, colour and light, this can be achieved.
Architecture is a composition of forms and volumes, a balance of symmetries and proportions. The lucid lines on a paper can eloquently translate into a dynamic work of art or the mundane built without a concern for the materials. Celebrate the materials for what it is. Exposed brick can be as visually appealing as a marble clad wall when applied true to the context of the space. The brick when composed with a kota stone or Spanish ceramic tiles and the straight lines of the wooden furniture can exude warmth. Balance with the fluidity of plants and voila! A Zen like serenity that appeals to the soul is created. Fusing a diversity of indigenous materials during construction whilst using the local craftsmanship, harmonizes the architecture with the place and its people.
INVIGORATING THE SENSES
Most religions and cultures attribute their fundamentals to the elements of nature. Implementing the same in our design, whether unconsciously through Feng Shui and Vastu or consciously merging the architecture with the elements of nature, can establish a connection with the mind. The soufflé of scents that permeate the air from a kitchen window, has an effortless way of stimulating the soul with a smile. Similarly, the earthy scent of natural wood fused with the fragrance emanated from plants whether indoors or outdoors, can uplift the soul subconsciously. A gurgling water cascade, a pond of fishes or a water wall, alleviates stress as it goes on to create a spa like atmosphere. A copper art wall or the metallic chandelier suspended brings in a quotient of luxury to the space. Using the elements of nature can result in an elegant yet cosy refuge, a place where one can dream.
POWER OF LIGHT
Architecture along the lines of Nariman Gandhi pervades a sequestered tranquillity amidst the bustle of a contemporary city. The sensitive use of natural light filtering through the earthy composition of materials, reflect the possibility of dwelling in a philosophical refinement. The subdued simplicity of the materials when juxtaposed with the geometry of spaces along the natural contours yields a sophistication in design. With the sunlight gushing unabashed though the wide windows, altering the play of light and shadow as it bounces off the myriad surfaces of the interior, an ethereal calm is resonated throughout. After all, architecture is the 3-dimensional canvas that is brought to life with the unapologetic use of a colour palette’s hues and shades. Like a vase of bright yellow sunflowers on the centre table that fills you with joy every time you pass by, colours in the form of a floral arrangement, a highlighted wall or an Asian artefact, can uplift spirits, alter moods and reflect personalities. Light alters our perception of the objects in a space. It heightens the sense of luxury or bring in the cosy dose. It is the very essence of our spirituality.
Architecture becomes spiritual and sensual when it reflects the personalities of the residents without making a linear connection with the drawings conceptualized. A balanced symmetry or a provoking geometry of a space, interlaced through colours, light, textures and volumes, stimulate the mind in an emotional progression. This is a design philosophy we consciously work with when designing a coworking office, a charming farmhouse or a luxury residential interior. Every space has a purpose and a voice, which when is not forgotten during the lengthy period of execution, can result in a homogenous design that will uplift people spiritually.