6:30 am in Odisha, in the east part of the country, feels like 9 am. It's a peculiar time, a paradox in a country with a single time zone that might be more suited to its central regions. But here, in the east, the morning light arrives prematurely. It's a time I relish, a brief respite before the routine of construction activity begins. The eastern sun bathes the construction site with a light that belongs to a time well into the workday, painting a surreal picture—a place suffused with the decadence of an abandoned ruin. It's a scene that prompts contemplation, sparking reflections on the parallels between the architectural journey and the inevitability of aging.
The Java Ira hotel is a project that has gone on longer than usual. The construction site is a tangible representation of the passage of time. While the architect ages and matures, the design's blueprint remains frozen in an eternal youth. Like friends, they meet from time to time during scheduled site visits, and while one ages, the other stays the same. Their meetings are a blend of anticipation and joy yet tinged with a sense of melancholy. There is a discovery that though paths might not have diverged, the gap between relative positions widens with every visit. Decisions that once quickened the heart now surface as fond memories of a different time and place. The relationship, in the end, is more like that of a parent and their child. You are looking at your younger self through the mirror of your work. The project presents many moments of surprise and satisfaction alongside moments where the older self wants to lean in and whisper words of advice. There are also aspects that escaped your notice, and you start looking at your younger self from angles you missed earlier.
In this continuous dance between concrete and contemplation, with the sun ascending over Odisha's horizon, the Java Ira hotel embodies the intricate interplay of time, design, and the evolving relationship between the architects and their creation. The morning light, borrowed from the future, illuminates not just the construction site but also these musings on concrete and time.