Vallabh Bhawan is the State Secretariat of Madhya Pradesh, located atop the Arera Hill in Bhopal. Flanked by a large lake on one side of the hill and a green expanse on the other, the site for Vallabh Bhawan enjoys views of the natural, scenic beauty of its vicinity. These views are framed by an apparent visual axis created by the Vindhyanchal Bhawan and Satpura Bhawan on either side, with an exquisitely landscaped belt acting as the foreground.
The existing context reflects an amalgamation of modern architecture in the buildings and the traditional chaarbagh style landscaped gardens, commonly seen during the time of the Nawabs of Madhya Pradesh. The design is inspired by the modern interpretation of the turrets, horizontal bands and stepped forms in the architecture around it. The concave, U-shaped form of the structure not only creates an inviting entrance, but also forms a seamless loop between the three primary buildings. Traditional architectural elements like chhatris, jaalis and colonnades have been given a contemporary flavour by using restraint and keeping the forms simple, so that the basic form may express itself. The eye catching sweeping forms of the turrets are not easy to miss. In addition to this, modern elements such as fins, pergolas and solar panels keep the structure protected from the harsh sunlight.
To conclude, the design of Vallabh Bhawan aims to translate the rich cultural fabric of the state and bring it to the global stage using contemporary styles through architecture. This amalgamation of architectural vocabularies married together binds the glory of the past with the aspirations of a forward looking community to create a unique identity that embodies the spirit of the Madhya Pradesh.
Project: Vallabh Bhawan
architect: CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA)
Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
client: Environmental Planning & Coordination Organisation [EPCO] commencement: 2012