I chose Public Library as my thesis topic. A ‘case’ which is not ‘commonly’ found in and around my city and even if one is lucky enough to find one, it would not be an architectural marvel for sure. In thesis one feels like to put all the effort or rather all the knowledge gained religiously in one building/structure/site. (This should have been done in all semesters though, I regret). Thus, I really wanted to know ‘how to do a case study’? With the regular help of my faculty I got to know about the book ‘Design with Nature’ (also available in libary and the final year students must have got the same through book bank). In one go – very hard to understand but another great book to dig into – this book helped me open the conventional blockages that I had in my mind. Although it was different, as far as the context is concerned, it still provided me with a path to follow. Also, the previous Urban Design studio had an important role to play in understanding ‘how to extract things from the ‘case’ which would help you design on later stage.
So, while working on my Thesis, I started with the ‘literature’ part of the study (which began months before the thesis semester). I started ‘snipping’ all the libraries that I would come across while surfing on net. Because of this exercise only, by the time I entered my thesis sem, I had a bunch of 40 ‘good’ libraries with me. Studying all of them very carefully, I kept the conceptually good and contemporary ones in the primary list. I wanted this much from the ‘literature studies’. For the second category, the ‘live’ cases, due to lack of good cases around I settled with the ones which were easily accessible – one in delhi and two in mumbai. These were also, very old, and had good context in them, didnt primarily look like a library but they were such where one could study the ‘human behavior’ (very important aspect of a case study) very well. While visiting these buildings I kept myself away from the ‘general’ findings (like plan dimensions, layout, furniture, etc.), instead tried to look beyond what the case could offer me.
A general walk around the premises, which allowed me to notice the scale of the space; a look at the placement of furniture; a brief look at the zoning and then, the most important – what makes the building different from others? Then an attempt to put all these aspects in ‘graphics’ so that I have a ‘graphical guide’ with me before I start designing.
Same was attempted with Jawahar Kala Kendra, which had nothing to do with my thesis but the built form in itself was so inspiring that I really tried to design intimate spaces like the ones provided in JKK.
The next step after the physical study was to ‘compare’ all the cases, sorting out the positives and negatives and thus preparing a set of ‘guidelines’ out of them.
All these steps and the process fetched me appreciations from jury members (also Yatin Pandya Sir), which made me believe that sharing this might help you guys too.