Vedhant Maharaj


Kirsten Doerman
Mpho Matsipa



Located along the banks of the sacred river Ganga in Varanasi, India, YANTRA explores the junction of water purification infrastructure with uses of the everyday to create a space of cultural tradition and infrastructural progress.
The built form employs a combination of different technologies, from the mechanized and scientific to natural systems; from large charcoal gabion filtration walls to molecular water laboratories,
bridging across a multiplicity of ecological and cultural undertones, in order to treat the polluted water.
The space is programmed in accordance with the daily rituals and requirements of water in the city and explores the culturally sensitive articulations of designing water infrastructures into sacred landscapes.
The philosophy of “big but gentle” was employed in the design to create a strong urban gesture whilst being acutely conscious of the human experience. As the monsoon causes the water level on the banks to rise, the building responds both spatially and systematically creating an annual narrative, rendering the architecture nearly invisible at times and reappearing as levels drop.