The Bharata Kalakshetram is a Koothambalam at the Kalakshetra Chennai campus, originally designed by Shri Appukuttan Nair. Koothambalam, in Kerala, refers to a temple theatre that is a closed hall used to perform the traditional art forms. Shri Appukuttan Nair created the theatre with a two-tiered facade using his extensive understanding of the traditional architecture of Kerala. The auditorium, constructed according to the ideas of Natya Shastra, is a delightful platform for dancers, leaving the musicians and spectators exhilarated. Our firm was involved in the refurbishment of the theatre. The project, which began with the controversy, was primarily aimed at upgrading the temple theatre for contemporary use.
The Kalakshetra Foundation intended to update the historic and charming Koothambalam with hi-tech acoustics and lighting to keep up with the changing times. The serpentine profile of the ‘charupadi’ (inclined step) in dark and light shades of timber adds a visually interesting element to the facade. Stone sculptures of wheels, horses, elephants, railings and dwarapalakas, crafted by expert sculptors, were included in the design of the koothambalam.