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The Unexplored Architecture of Sanjay Puri

Any work of architecture can be sublime, sacred, and spiritually uplifting – even if it is not meant to be a place of worship. This is a less understood, and a much lesser discussed aspect of Sanjay Puri’s architecture.

A contemporary architect widely known for his abstractions and modulations of traditional typologies Sanjay also shares ideas for sacred spaces from his portfolio. This photo-essay includes images that showcase transcendental spaces from the smorgasbord of the architect’s projects.

When architecture gets imbued with nuances of a higher sense of being, one sees a characteristic transformative quality to the space. For instance, organic architecture expounds the transcendentalist belief that nature is sacred and becoming one with nature leads the way to the divine. The use of natural materials such as wood and stone, supports the idea of being one with nature. Similarly, certain spaces are spiritually transformative by design – regardless of their ideology or guiding philosophy. Such spaces evoke a sense of wonder, awe, or contemplation.

Domes, spires, arches, and such other built elements along with high ceilings, tall windows, light, colours and forms are tools that can be manipulated to create environments that invoke spirituality. Architecture thus forms a connection with the higher powers and enables a spiritual experience for the users of the space. Expert use of these tools of aesthetics gives rise to spaces with an inherent sense of transcendence that leads people to contemplate their spirituality and their higher self.

Of course, not all architects are able to infuse this quality into the spaces they design. Also, there is no universal rule or theory that defines spirituality in built space; or no logic or equation that suggests methods of enabling spaces to be spiritual.  But some architects just get it right, almost effortlessly.  Sanjay Puri is one such.

Text : Ar. Roopa Sabnis Pinge

Images : Procured from the architect

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