Rukmini Arangam

2018

Kalakshetra Campus, a centre for artistic endeavours in Chennai, lost the bamboo and thatched structure of Rukmini Arangam to a cyclone. It was founded in 1936 by visionary Rukmini Devi Arundale with the purpose of imparting the true spirit of art to the young. Now, the theatre has been redesigned by increasing the area and the height of the structure. The objective of the renovation project was to retain the look and feel of the older building and enhance it further to meet its current requirements and withstand future calamities.

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But, the conservation of the roof using thatch was unrealisable as school buildings with thatch roofs have been banned in Tamil Nadu. Thus, a new sloping roof with steel truss, Monier roof tile and calcium silicate board ceiling is provided. A ribbon of clerestory windows is given to bring in light. Two entry points are present on the side walls to avoid crowding in the building. The existing columns on the façade are encased in random rubble masonry and the audience's vision has been improved by upgrading the older stage.