Matthew White

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 1) BA(Hons)

Kashibai Life Library, Nagpur, India
The Kashibai Life Library was inspired by the intense experiences of dynamic cultural rhythms of its location. The concept ‘tree of life’ was inspired by ancient writings, Hindu craft, a love of nature and a tree being an allusion to the purpose of a library to nurture growth and knowledge.
A pattern of concentric tree rings is laid over the site to reveal an interesting geometric relationship with the orthogonal grid of the Hindu temples and inform the plan of the new library.
In a corner of the site, the temple to knowledge, a stone drum synonymous with the neighbouring historic structures. A solitary elm tree stands in the central courtyard, the walls of which celebrate the notion of growth as the structure opens up to the heavens. The library also addresses the bustling Shukrawari Road to inspire passers-by and invite people in through its permeable layout.
The programme addresses the needs of the local community through its services. The tree and cremation pyre are juxtaposed to each other, the rings of the plan enveloping the latter. A contrast from ashes to life communicated through the language of the forms and materials.