One Tree Hill Community Hall, designed by Samira Rathod Design Atelier (SRDA) in village Byrasandra, TamilNadu with a team of local craftsmen from within the region is a triumph of light airy stone architecture flanked by mesmerizing landscape of marigold fields and peasantry abodes.
Enhanced by the natural beauty of the place reverberating with the community’s stories, Byrasandra now has a building which is made for its people, by its people. This gives them an immense sense of ownership for what they can call their own.
The project was commissioned in 2015 on the request of an Harvard alumnus octogenarian HRS Rao who had returned to his roots in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, India, after living in the US for years. Out of altruistic love for the place, he felt passionately for the village and was clear in his intent of making a building that was in memory of his ancestors and would benefit his people.
The site, located two hours from Bangalore airport, boasts breathtaking landscapes flanked by granite-rich terrain, granite quarries, and the village’s adobe houses, bustling with life and marigold fields, which provide a rich visual and textural cue.
The building now stands as a monument that would last for many years as a living memory of the relationship of a man to his land, of nostalgia, and give an identity to the people it’s built for.
The entire stonework has been done by a team of local Muslim craftsmen who are from within the region. The entire team has stuck around from cutting the first piece of stone to the very last finishing piece. This has given all a great sense of teamwork, a personal connection, and pride in the work undertaken.
The community hall is designed to be a shared space, providing a point of pride and identity for the villagers. Its visual prominence in the landscape makes it an unmistakable landmark. The building encourages community gatherings and celebrations, fostering a sense of ownership and pride among the villagers.
The building’s plan draws inspiration from traditional Indian temple architecture, featuring a central hall and an outdoor area for various community activities. SRDA’s design philosophy unfolds gradually, with interstitial spaces and sensory brilliance.
It’s just a matter of time when the building will be abuzz with social gatherings, fests and cultural programs organised by the village people.