South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) sits on a tiny piece of land on a busy street, with its long wall facing the sun. Anagram Architects used a traditional technique to keep it a little cooler and quieter: They constructed a brick Jaali screen that acts as a double skin to shade the building. They also got a quality and complexity in the masonry that I didn't think one could get in a building made by hand any more.
This buffer bay also acts like a breathing thermal barrier along the sun facing side. By situating the staircase and toilet stack in this bay, the internal workspaces are protected. The porosity of the wall ensures that the buffer bay is well ventilated and yet shaded so as to reduce the amount of heat transmitted to the workspaces. A six brick module is laid in staggered courses that create twirling vertical stacks and an undulating surface.
The construction of the screen wall was a result of a five-week process of learning and un-learning masonry techniques on site. From verification of plumbness to the structural bonding of the brick courses, methods of brick laying were devised through a deep on-site collaboration between the masons and the architects. This single repeating brick module creates a visually complex pattern in the manner of traditional South Asian brise soleils.