Abin Design Studio creates terracotta brick community center in Bansberia


Architecture studio Abin Design Studio has built a small multi-functional community center in the town of Bansberia, in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Informed by the terracotta temples found in West Bengal, the two-story center is designed to provide a variety of flexible spaces for the local Bansberia community as well as a dormitory for staff.

Abin Design Studio built a community center in Bansberia

Abin Design Studio designed the community center for the owner of the nearby Wall House, who also commissioned the studio to create a concrete and glass lattice temple.

The owner wanted to build a garage, but was convinced by the founder of Abin Design Studio, Abin Chaudhuri, from the area, to initially create a facility for the community on the upper floor. As the work progressed, he agreed to hand over the majority of the building to community functions.

Community Center in Bansberia by Abin Design Studio
The two-story building was originally intended as a garage

“My client was looking for a garage and a dormitory for the staff, and after purchasing this land, he asked me to design it,” Chaudhuri told Dezeen.

“As a son of Bansberia, I understood that there was a need for a community center, so I tried to convince him to create a community center, which he also partially accepted,” said he continued. “There was a lot of talk and he finally agreed to make this community center for the local people.”

The facades are made of a mixture of brick and terracotta
The brick masonry walls are inlaid with ceramic blocks

The concrete-frame building is clad in exposed brick masonry walls inlaid with ceramic blocks rejected by their manufacturer and locally produced terracotta bricks.

Abin Design Studio collaborated with ceramic designer Partha Dasgupta to create the varied facade finishes inspired by a local terracotta temple.

Community center in Bansberia
Masonry was informed by a historic temple

“The 200-year-old terracotta temple of Ananta Basudeva is one of Bansberia’s best treasures,” Chaudhuri explained.

“It is an absolutely brilliant baked-brick work comprising mythological stories that have fascinated us from childhood,” he continued. “This facade is a tribute to this treasure and to this heritage.”

Bansberia Community Center
A large staircase leads to the community center

An open staircase, designed to help connect with the street, leads to the first floor community hall and the building’s roof terraces.

“The steps at the front of the center were a request from locals to be a gallery to see the celebration of multiple local processions and festivals – for which the area is famous,” Chaudhuri explained.

Community room designed by Abin Design Studio
The community room on the first floor is used for classes and yoga classes

The first floor also contains the staff dormitories, the toilet and bathroom and a small kitchen.

Below, most of the ground floor of the building is occupied by a large community hall in a space accessible from the street and originally designed as the garage.

Community room designed by Abin Design Studio
The ground floor is a community hall

Abin Design Studio is a Kolkata-based architecture studio that was established by Chaudhuri in 2005. The studio previously designed a concrete Hindu temple which was featured in a film by architectural photographer Edmund Sumner.

The photograph is by Edmond Sumner.

Project credits:

Principal designer: Abin Chaudhuri
Design team: Sohomdeep Sinha Roy, Qurratul Ain Maryam
Structure: Soma kazi
Project coordinator: Debjit Samanta, Debkishor Das, Dipankar Mondal
Ceramic artist: Partha Dasgupta


Joseph E. Golightly