Corobrik: SAHRDC Building Puts Face Brick Back In FashionImage courtesy of Anagram Architects Situated in New Delhi, India, the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre has become a striking attraction within the busy city centre thanks to its unconventional face brick façade. Comprised of twirling facets which create rippling brick undulations, the west-facing screen not only acts as a buffer for the noisy street which lies adjacent to it, but it also engages with local pedestrians in a fun and playful way.
Prior to the façade, however, the building appeared blank, monolithic and impervious in form, and thus needed a dynamic structure that would respond to the hustle and bustle of the lively street. Working with a limited budget and plot measuring only 50 square meters, founders of Anagram Architects, Vaibhav Dimri and Madhav Raman, were tasked with the challenge of optimising the space available to them.
In addition to this, they were required to design an office building that would appeal to the young students and scholars from universities in India and abroad that were involved in the SAHRDC’s internship programme. Using face brick as their primary medium, the architects embarked on a mission to emphasise the building material’s optical qualities, as it had unfairly fallen out of fashion in India in recent years.
Through advanced computer modelling techniques, the architects realised that a simple module of rotating bricks would create the kind of visual and textural complexity needed to achieve their design objective of engaging young students. Within a five-week process of innovating masonry techniques on site and devising methods of brick laying through a deep on-site collaboration between the masons and architects, the SAHRDC was constructed. A six-brick module, laid in staggered courses gave the building its distinctive twirling vertical stacks and its undulating surface.Images courtesy of Anagram Architects