Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

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Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

Photographer Edmund Sumner has sent us his pictures of a temple by Mumbai studio Sameep Padora & Associates.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

Called Shiv Temple, the project involved simplifying a traditional temple design by removing the usual decoration but maintaining symbolic elements.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

A wood-clad frame wraps around one corner marking the entrance, while the interior is illuminated by a skylight.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

The temple was constructed by the villagers using local stone from a quarry near the site.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

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Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

The information below is from Sameep Padora & Associates:


Designed in dialogue with the priest and the people from surrounding villages the temple design is a collaborative effort.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

Built through ‘Shramdaan’ (self build) by the villagers, this temple was constructed on a shoestring budget, using a local stone as a primary building block because of its availability from a quarry within 200 meters from the temple site.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

The stone’s natural patina seems to confer age, as if the temple had always existed... before inhabitation.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

In realizing the temple design in close consultation with the temple priest & the villagers, we attempted to sieve out through discussion & sketches the decorative components from the symbolic. Adhering to the planning logic of traditional temple architecture, the form of the temple chosen evokes in memory, the traditional shikhara temple silhouette.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

Only embellishments integral to the essence of temple architecture in memory actually appear in the finished temple.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

The heavy foliage of trees along the site edge demarcate an outdoor room, which become the traditional ‘mandapa’ (pillared hall), a room with trees as walls and sky the roof.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora & Associates

The path to the temple winds in between white oak trees till two free-standing basalt stone walls embedded in the landscape create pause as well as direct a person onto the East-West axis on which the garbagriha / inner sanctum lies.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora and Associates

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Entry to the sanctum is through an exaggerated threshold space which in turn frames the outside landscape for the inside.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora and Associates

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Stepped seating on the southern edge of the site negotiates steep contours while transforming the purely religious space into a socio-cultural one used for festival & gatherings.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora and Associates

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Religious Iconography in the form of statues of the holy cow, Nandi and Lord Vishnu’s avatar as a turtle become installations in the landscape and hence find their positions in a natural setting of the metaphoric sky-roofed mandapa.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora and Associates

Click above for larger image

The ashtadhaatu (8 metal composite) temple kalash (finial) is held in place by a frame which also anchors a skylight to allow light to penetrate the inner sanctum/garbagriha.

Shiv Temple by Sameep Padora and Associates

Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates Design Team: Sameep Padora, Minal Modak, Vinay Mathias
Documentation: Viresh Mhatre, Anushka Contractor, Maansi Hathiwala, Prajish Vinayak


See also:

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  • ayushj

    in my opinion, sacrilege of a scared form.

  • peeween

    the evolution diagram is slightly cheesy, otherwise totally overwhelmed by this grand, big project (on a metaphysic level)

  • http://thinkloke.blogspot.com/ Juan Manuel Loke

    I think the proportions between the interior and semi-covered area are not very good. I do not think there is a new typology as drawing attempts to prove evolution, but I think as an architectural object is powerful, simple and modern (not to mention the story).

  • justin

    @Juan Manuel Loke–

    New typology? The project is cleverly working within a preexisting typology. the diagram explaining this could have been better, but the intent is clear. this is a tremendous project, one that is significantly better than the teahouse projects we have seen coming out of asia on this website.

  • Gautama

    Hindu temple with corner entrance! Hindu temple meets contemporary modern! > Double thumbs up. Using 'dialogue' with gullible villagers and a lone temple priest to justify this > thumbs down. And, ahem, evolution!!! The form is like a million other hindu temples..

  • ID_1108

    i love the modern adaptation to a temple. the clean details in itself creates an experience. the large lawns adds to the tranquility of the space. a very good use of landscape and climatic conditions.

  • edward

    My ignorance of Hinduism precludes me from commenting.

  • jeb

    removing the original decorum? that´s something we did in the sixties! and sth. we deeply regret!
    i disapprove. as ajoushj said, sacriledge.
    in three years, this look will look wary. hindu temples have looked great for centuries.

  • http://www.deezen.com manish

    "less is more"

  • Anuj

    As opposed to the mindless concrete copies of traditional temples that one sees all over India, I find this project beautiful in it’s response to site and context and through it’s sensitive articulation with landscape feels almost sacred. As far as the ‘gullible villagers’ go I don’t see what theyve been cheated out of, I would rather have this original take on a temple in my ancestral village than the cheap concrete imatation built there. Great work!

  • QiuT

    nice, nice!! like dragon quest's houses!!

  • indra

    Wonder what the traditional Vaastu Pandits may have to say about this!
    Most temples have Vaastu principles applied and respected.

  • Kushal S

    Nice Work…trying to be different..

    But wud have been great if wood clads were substituted by stone ya earthy material itself…..as for now it makes little missmatch…with great shiv shikhara, nice form of design though..

    although NICE work !!

  • Jayshree Misra

    Nice and tranquil. The design and surroundings bring a sense of meditative quality to the whole place. The only jarring feature is the wood-clad frame at the entrance – looks scandinavian for some reason to me !

  • Bane Lim

    Just wished some elements of sacred geometry was employed in the plan layout of the temple in its grounds. Traditionally a vastu purusha mandala would have been used and the bindu in the centre would have been emphasized. This modern contemporary expression is certainly innovative and daring but somehow lacks the sense of place and subtle qualities that truly sacred architecture evinces from users and visitors to it. The vital ritual of circumambulation around the whole shrine seems incomplete.

    Less is less!