Hampi Art Labs: Blending Architecture with Landscape
Situated near South India’s Hampi UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hampi Art Labs stands as a testament to architectural brilliance, seamlessly blending with its natural surroundings. Designed by Indian architect Sameep Padora, this world-class arts center mimics the contours of the nearby Tungabhadra River, harmonizing with both its content and context.
Spread across 18 acres of pristine land, the Hampi Art Labs offer a diverse range of facilities, including exhibition spaces, studios, workshops for ceramics and printmaking, gardens, residency apartments, and a café. Founded by Sangita Jindal and Tarini Jindal Handa of Indian conglomerate JSW, this center serves as a hub for creativity and artistic expression.
For Padora, it was essential to approach the project with sensitivity, considering the rich history and cultural significance of the Hampi region. Once the capital of the Vijayanagara empire, Hampi boasts a wealth of architectural marvels dating back to the 14th century. Despite facing invasions and destruction, many structures have endured, standing as a testament to the city’s glorious past.
When conceptualizing the Hampi Art Labs, Padora faced a crucial decision: whether to draw inspiration from the historic architecture or the rugged landscape. Ultimately, he chose the latter, aiming to contextualize the new building within the enduring features of the region. “It was important to contextualize the new build to what had endured over the centuries, not what hadn’t,” explains Padora.
The result is a modern masterpiece that undulates with the natural terrain, echoing the contours of the Tungabhadra River. Its sculptural proportions exude a sense of lightness, seamlessly integrating with the surrounding landscape of rugged hills and granite boulders.
In a land steeped in history and natural beauty, the Hampi Art Labs stand as a beacon of architectural innovation and cultural enrichment. With its thoughtful design and harmonious integration with the environment, this arts center is poised to inspire creativity and awe for generations to come.