Rakennustieto is publishing now for the seventh time a monograph on the work of the architect awarded the international Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award. The 2012 winner is Indian architect Bijoy Jain, who together with his office Studio Mumbai Architects combine excellently traditional craftwork and architecture using meagre resources.
Bijoy Jain founded Studio Mumbai in 1995. It is a community of skilled carpenters, craftsmen and architects, who design, build and maintain the buildings in a collective dialogue. A working community of over one hundred professionals has developed a working method based on materials research, mock-ups and drawings, combining traditional craftsmanship with architecture that uses very few resources. The work of Studio Mumbai is characterised by social responsibility for the working community, mutual respect for people representing different religions and cultures, as well applying principles of ecological construction. Bijoy Jain’s efforts to coordinate culture-bound values, traditional working methods and modern life with the requirements of architecture are manifested in Studio Mumbai’s work. Wooden beams from demolished buildings take on a new life as the building blocks of architecture. Alongside recycled teak and mahogany, carpenters work with local laurel wood.
The book presents Studio Mumbai Work-Place and six buildings constructed during the period 2003–2011: five residential buildings built in the tropical state of Maharashtra, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, and a resort in the Himalayan Mountains. The sites presented include the Reading Room in connection with the Studio Mumbai Work-Place, Palmyra House, House on Pali Hill, Tara House, Copper House II and Leti 360 resort. Bijouy Jain’s accompanying essay and an interview of master carpenter Jeevaram Suthar give a fascinating view to the tradition that made possible the nature-respecting, deeply humane approach to architecture that Studio Mumbai presents.
“The carpenters are young, they are 25 to 36, but they come from a 500 year-long lineage, and now, when they select the timber, they check the grain and how it will be cut. This potential for structure, space and material depends on how one understands the forest, the tree and what lies latent within them.”
008 Naming the Winner
016 Studio Mumbai Work-Place
024 Reading Room
030 Palmyra House
046 House on Pali Hill
056 Leti 360 Resort
070 Tara House
078 Copper House II
Publisher: Wood in Culture Association
Publishing Company: Rakennustieto
Format: 220 mm x 240 mm, softback with folds