Chandramandapa

2007

The Chandramandapa was established as a tribute to dancer-choreographer Chandralekha. The project included the creation of a new culture centre for Kalarippayattu and the refurbishment of an open-air theatre. The design of the Kalari is a twenty-first-century take on the ancient concept of Kuzhikalari. Its fundamental structural design is based on classical ideas. It is a “kuzhi” or pit dug out of the sand. By its height and size, it belongs to the traditional Kalari orders. After that, it breaks away from the traditional and moves on to adapt to today’s world.

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It is covered with a traditional Kerala roof, whereas traditional training centres are open. To take advantage of the close proximity to the beach and compensate for the lack of air conditioning, the elevated ceiling and the sunken floor level assist in retaining natural coolness. The seating is a set of stone stairs that rise from the floor to just above ground level. The design was created such that no existing trees were harmed. The performance centre avoided the trees as they added to the natural aesthetics of the surroundings and the climate within the campus. Made of timber, stones and tiles, and with provision for improved airflow through the structure, this Kalari adheres to the concept of green and sustainability.