Renga Bashyam
Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
Thiyagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai

Veedu – Documentation of the spatial evolutions and cultural activities of thiru Thiruvarangam house(1906-present) at Madurai. The house has gone through renovations and additions at different periods due to the need of more private spaces as the family grew, but certain portions remain untinged for 115 years. Location of the house in the urban fabric contributes in engaging the inmates in various religious and cultural activities. This house stretches across the urban block connecting and accessing the two lanes and remains a hotspot during these major festivals like Chithirai thiruvizha, Astami chaparam etc.

The crowd concentration and movement varies according to the festival protocol. Madurai has many festivals around the year and the major ones that influence the locality are shown in the maps. In the building level, it has multifunctional spaces and different volumes, supporting the activities at present. It was once Sivagangai Zamindhar’s mansion(Sivagangai, a village near Madurai) to engage his guests in Madurai. It had a central common hall with cooking space and private rooms for the guests. It is a load bearing ,wall to wall house with madras terrace roof. So the possibility of opening in the rear walls is nil.

The light is brought in through light shelves in the central hall. The inner spaces are darker due to the absence of windows. Separate spaces for women are near the central courtyard. The scared space in the front remains untouched for 115years without renovations. The large halls on the front and back portion engages family functions thus pooling in family members from various cities.

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