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Earlier design projects

Practice, Research and Advancement in South Asian Design and Architecture (PRASADA) has been involved in a number of design and consultancy projects in the UK.

Shri Venkateshwara Temple, Oldbury, United Kingdom

This project, the first purpose-built south Indian temple in Britain, was granted £3.3 million by the Millennium Commission.

The outside of the Shri Venkateshwara Temple from above showing the main building and trees in the background
Shri Venkateshwara Temple of the United Kingdom.

Professor Adam Hardy first became involved in the project in 1998, while the Temple Trust was looking for a suitable site. Practice, Research and Advancement in South Asian Design and Architecture (PRASADA) acted as architectural consultant throughout the early stages of design, working at different times with Associated Architects and Carl Bro Associates, as well as with Sthapati K. Dakshinamoorthy who has been responsible for the shrines and the inner gopura.

An ordering principle for the site was the pattern of concentric enclosures seen in the 'temple cities' of south India. Although here, most of the 'walls' would be landscaping features incorporating paths and changes of level. The 800 m2 main temple constitutes the central 'courtyard', roofed over, with the towers of shrines within appearing above, surrounded by roof lights, through which they would be visible from inside the building.

The Shri Venkateshwara Temple is now open and provides a spiritual centre for Hinduism in that area of the UK.

Find out more about the Temple and community.

Multi-faith Prayer Room at Leicester Royal Infirmary

In 1997 PRASADA was commissioned to design a multi-faith prayer room at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The room would provide the hospital with a place of prayer/contemplation/meditation/spiritual replenishment for people of various faiths, both patients and visitors.

The brief was to convert an internal store room. An anteroom, with washing cubicles, would lead to a principal space with a 'side chapel'. In the main space, eight columns would define an octagonal 'building within a building', where a raised ceiling, the largest of four such elements, would form a kind of three-dimensional yantra. The aim of the design was to achieve an architectural imagery that would be widely evocative - archetypal even. Symbolic resonance would be achieved through painting and clay ornaments, some of which - although the project was never built - were made by students from the Leicester School of Architecure.

Related publication

Adam Hardy (1997). "Religious Architecture and the Creative Process", Architecture + Design, vol. 14 (No 6), Nov.-Dec. 1997. New Delhi.

Consultancy to Birmingham City Council for regeneration of Sparkbrook

A row of gree street pillars with a red temple motif on the side.
Street furniture, designed by PRASDADA as part of a regeneration project in Sparbrook, Birmingham.

The Ladypool Road area of Sparkbrook in Birmingham is renowned for its 'Balti' restaurants. Balti, of Kashmiri origin, has become Birmingham's national dish. An improvement programme for the area was carried out, funded partly by the European Regional Development Fund, under its URBAN programme.

PRASADA first prepared design ideas for a public consultation exercise, followed by a report for Birmingham City Council on 'imagery and identity' for the area. Based on the theme of 'playful pavilions' proposals ranged from buildings and architectural elements to graphics, including the design of a logo. Most recently, PRASADA was commissioned to design street furniture and paving patterns.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London

A feasibility study for the expansion and refurbishment of the Bhavan, one of Britain's principal centres for Indian culture, was carried out by PRASADA in 1999.

Temple and Community Centre for Hindu Cultural Trust Centre, Hounslow

PRASADA gained planning permission for its design for this temple complex in 2000, and the foundation stone-laying ceremony took place on 19 November that year.

Entrance and ancillary facilities were planned in a separate pavilion at the front of the building, with steps leading up to the temple itself, to sit over a partly sunken community hall, treated as a podium. As in traditional Hindu temple architecture, each element, whether functional or ornamental, is seen as a microcosm of the whole. Typified in the complex form of the copper-clad spires, the whole is seen as a combination of shrines and images of shrines, giving a unity which runs from the scale of the building itself to the miniature scale of ornament and detail.

A strategy was developed for the continuing enrichment of the building through works of art and craftsmanship, inside and outside. The first phases of construction is complete and the Laxmi Narayan Temple is now functioning.

Find out more about the Laxmi Narayan Temple.

Shree Krishna Temple, West Bromwich

Initial designs for this temple were produced by Adam Hardy with graduate students from the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture, in a project that was a forerunner of the approach followed in the Collaborative Design Project of PRASADA's MA in South Asian Arts.

Publications

Adam Hardy (1993). "Architectural History and Ways of Seeing" in Architecture + Design, vol. 10 (No 4), July-Aug. 1993, pp 20-25. New Delhi.

Adam Hardy (1993). "Architectural History and Ways of Seeing" in Hardy, Adam with Teymur, Necdet (ed.) (1997). Architectural History and the Studio, pp. 187-207. London: Press. ISBN 0-946160-05-8.

Adam Hardy (1996). "A Tale of Two Temples", Architecture + Design, vol. 8 (No 4), July-Aug. 1996, pp 72-77. New Delhi.

Mughal pavilion in Small Heath Park, Birmingham (BBC)

Two archways in a covered pavillion that is painted yellow and red.
Mughal pavilion in Small Heath Park, Birmingham.

PRASADA was invited by the BBC to take part in the creation of a "Moghul Garden" in Small Heath Park, Birmingham, for Charlie Dimmock's TV programme "Charlie's Garden Army".

Students from the PRASADA MA course worked with Professor Adam Hardy on the design and decoration of three pavilions, and appeared in the programme when it was broadcast in August 2000.

The main pavilion stood on the central axis of the garden, as its focal point. Unfortunately it was burnt down by arsonists. A related project in Birmingham was PRASADA's designs for street furniture and paving in the "balti zone" of Sparkbrook, for the City Council.