Green twist to centre dedicated to ‘rebel poet’ Nazrul

Kolkata : Reflecting the rebellious tenor of Bengali revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s writings, Nazrul Tirtha, a new green building in this eastern metropolis, has set a benchmark in terms of use of variants of concrete, its architect said Monday.

Inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday, the building, dedicated to the poet, resembles an assortment of cuboid blocks, much like the museums and galleries of the West.

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The structure houses an archive, an audio-visual arena, a library, a reading room and a research centre.

Spread across 1,00,000 square feet in the city’s satellite township New Town, the cultural and educational centre serves as a technology demonstrator for multiple forms of concrete.

It is wrapped in exposed concrete, a rather artsy type of material without any finishing that retains a definitive texture and gives a rugged look. This mirrors the bold works of the bard, the architect said.

Moreover, it is a sustainable construction option as well. The exposed concrete will help keep the interiors cooler.

“This is one of the first buildings to use exposed concrete in the entire structure. The whole building is encapsulated in exposed concrete which acts like a thermal mask,” architect Abin Choudhury of Abin Design Studio told IANS.

“The building looks like a twisted conglomeration of cuboid blocks which essentially gives the impact of his writings,” he said.

In addition, self-compacting concrete (SCC) has been used to build the seven-inch thick walls in the building which is pegged to be gold-rated as per LEED green building certification.

SCC has fluid-like properties which enables it to settle under its own weight and therefore doesn’t require concrete vibrators which can cause hearing damage in workers.

It comes in handy in constructions where large sections need to be placed, like the 16-metre high walls at Nazrul Tirtha.

In another of its forms, black pigmented concrete with inscriptions from Islam’s poems, welcomes visitors at the gigantic front facade.

Jagged lines across the blocks have been designed to let in optimal sunlight that controls the building’s energy consumption, he said.

In keeping with the trend of bio-walls, the open air arena will have a backdrop of vertically stacked rows of plants to give the impression of a green wall, Choudhury said.

The centre, built at a cost of Rs.59 crore, will be ready for the public in another three to four months.