Creating Designs With Light

Shailesh Devi


A facade of black that reflects its light within.

Nasik, the ancient city that stands as the pilgrim center in Maharashtra, is home to sacred structures and stories that revolve around it. Moving past its lush green landscape and vast farming pursuits, one comes across a fine architectural specimen in the form of the Maruti Mandir. Sitting in the heart of Kalvan, a small village in Nasik, is the all-black stone temple spearheaded by Within N Without Architects. What was once a battered down structure now holds a sturdy place in the village. Maruti Temple has been an integral part of the socio-cultural and spiritual life of the locals. It serves as an affordable and accessible component of their daily lives.

The team at Within N without deconstructed the old structure to pave the path for this classic new complex. Set in all- black stone, the team envisioned the project to stand out from its context. Reconstruction of a religious structure from scratch whilst keeping in mind not just the architectural aspects but also the religious and spiritual relevance of the structure is always a mammoth task. Internally, smart use of natural light can be seen throughout the structure. In a way the architects have induced an intricate play of light and shadows to create designs within the building to add to the calmness already emanating from the temple. The symphony of design is evolved out of several concerns such as addressing the diverse user groups effectively, creating design composition with judicious selection of elements in their appropriate form, scale and proportions and considering the social relations, interactions and movements of people as a vital aspect of the design and layout of the complex.