The historic well in question was built about three hundred years back using ‘Lahori bricks’ – a special variety of flat cakes that were prevalent in western India. When discovered, the well was completely silted and the place around was full of acacia overgrowth.
Eduwik Architecture Excellence Awards 2022
Second Award | Institutional (Built)
Project Name: Design of a Small Shrine and a Public Space and Rejuvenation and Public Space Intervention for a Village Well
Project Category: Institutional
Studio Name: Studio Matter
Design Team: Nimish Salekar, Ruturaj Parikh
Site Area: Shrine: 20 Sq. M, Well: 65 Sq. M
Location: Asaon Village, Siwan, Bihar
Photography Credits: Studio Matter
Other Credits: Studio Matter
The design process involved careful restoration, de-silting and recharge of the well along with the articulation of a small commemorative public space to protect and create awareness about the water body. The set of steps and retaining structures, apart from protecting the well also serve as a place for the community to gather around through the day.
Under the patronage of the local care-taker family, a small shrine in the village of Asaon had much cultural significance for the village. A plinth with a deity, the original street-side shrine was redesigned keeping the deity intact and by enclosing the sacred place with a brick Jaali screen. Keeping the expression secular and by refraining from using any religious iconography, the new shrine and the public space are designed in monolithic brick.
The steps integrate the community centre next-door and enable the creation of a small urban space for the community to gather, children to play and elderly to rest.