Selected Entries 2019

Krishti – A Cultural Retreat

Swornava Guha
Manipal School of Architecture and Planning | Karnataka

The island Majuli, ‘the cultural capital’ of Assam, the abode of authentic Assamese culture portrayed by the tribes, is the world’s largest river island, and is in the tentative list of being declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The island has faced severe threats of erosion leading to disappearance of land in the past 50 years. On the contrary, the region has immense potential for the development of tourism and tourism related facilities owing to the natural beauty, culture, tradition and festivals. The thesis 1- Dissertation had resulted in certain infrastructure recommendations for the development of tourism on the island, and the proposal of a cluster development program for the cottage industries for the overall development of the sector.
The thesis design for an ‘Eco museum’ as a cultural retreat, portraying the cultural heritage in Majuli, Assam aims to become an example to other villages in the area of the benefits of a self-sustaining community. A master-plan design of the proposed site would incorporate the important features which have been highlighted in previous research on the cottage industries of the region, and devise housing solutions, bamboo construction techniques that are familiar to the locals for their easy maintenance and function.
The Study on the villages of the island Majuli concluded with an area prone to annual flooding and refugees whose major source of income is pottery, and fishing. With an idea of development of the unique yet stagnant pottery community of the region, a thorough study of the village center- comprising of 31 households has been done for intervention of a flood resilient tourism facility keeping the local community as its integral part.
‘Krishti’- (meaning ‘culture’ in Assamese) is proposed with an idea of not only preserving the cultural heritage but also as a holistic approach to the design of the first museum in Majuli, Assam, thus depicting a bosom relation to this year’s theme of the forum- “Identity in Architecture”.