Reading Room

at Sheikh Sarai

The project for a reading room at Sheikh Sarai came up through an idea at the Deepalya Library project. I was working as a volunteer at this lbrary which mainly caters to children with unprivelged backgrounds. In a discussion it came up that inside the community we were operating there were no spaces where adults could socialise, discuss or even read newspapers. We decided to invite them many times to our reading programs but they showed very little interest as the space felt to juvenile to them as they would see playful objects and colours. I decided to lend my architecture skills to the library and came up with an idea for a shoestring communal space based on the concept of adda (adda is a colloquial Hindi word for a gathering spot). I realised that the usual congregation spots for adults were corner tea shops and other such venues that were categorised by ephemeral materials and austere textures. I tried to bring these to the space by using the eternal mudda, a coir stool and reusing and fixing broken and disused furniture from around the site. As a result we were able to pull off redoing the space in under 300 USD which was internally raised. The space is now highly used by adults in the area and they come here to read newspapers and discuss their daily schedules.