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Aastha Kothari


Aastha Kothari curriculum vitae

Personal Data Student of Architecture Surname Name Residential Address City and Pincode State Country Nationality Date of Birth Sex Email id Cellular Number Residential Number

Kothari Aastha 9A, Lands End, 29 D Dungersi rd, Walkeshwar Mumbai- 400006 Maharashtra India Indian 29.04.1991 Female +91 9819517677 +91 2223641784

Aastha Kothari



Dissertation Biomimicry- Embedded Responses in Nature


Downtown Boutique Hotel Perception of a city_Museum Measure Drawing of Menavli_Farmers market + Youth Hostel Extention of Bakery House_Baking Institute Site+X_Vegetable Market + Cafe Working Drawings Light Measure Drawings Jodhpur Edge Condition Ambhibian Summer School_Product Deisign @ Parsons (NYC) My Very Own City Kalaghoda_Canopy


YEAR 5 | Dissertation Biomimicry _ Embedded Responses in Nature BRIEF: It is known that architecture and nature are strongly related. The goal of this dissertation is to demonstrate the ways in which nature can influence design. This is an investigation into Biomimicry and includes the development of a design method. A study of various examples in nature was made.The aim of the research was to understand and realise the use of existing forms of nature in design. Finally, nature is the most efficient designer, with millions of years of practice.

CONCEPT: Architecture has long been inspired by natural forms, where a building may reference a particular organic form yet may exhibit none of the physical advantages that it could lend to an innovation or extension of architectural technology. Alternatively, a building may not refer to an individual organic form yet its function with regard to structure, mechanical or circulatory systems may be a direct result of investigations into natural principles of design and construction. Architecture develops from or utilizes the biological science that it derives inspiration from. The study is looking to that time-tested design for new ideas. The idea is not to imitate nature perfectly, but to use ideas from nature to inspire human solutions. The subject matter I looked at in more depth is the research in dynamic behaviours of biological species and the possible interactions that occur and the forms and behaviours that appear from that exploration. The study looks at how nature responds to different senses and the different responses found in them, and certain re natural elements and settings contributing to fitness or chances for survival and the responses remembered over time. Through a series of adaptive bio-mechanical devices the work should evolve into a responsive and adaptive environment with choreographed movements and patterns and behaviours. The formed biological system performs in synchrony with the surrounding environment and acts as a dynamic and flexible complex entity, a mesh of patterns of relationships and processes that act as an organised whole. The research is based on the responses found in nature. These responses are a reaction to different senses, evolution over a period of time, voluntary or involuntary or a combination of both. Certain natural elements and settings contribute to fittness or chances of survival.

“Can a responsive design approach, that respects and learns from nature, define a set of rules with which we can develop an architecture of the future?�

“can a responsive design approach, that respects and learns from nature, define a set of rules with which we can develop an architecture of the future?� Venus Fly Trap

Boutique Hotel YEAR 4 | Downtown Marine Drive _ Mumbai BRIEF: The site is a 100 X 100 m block located at Marine Drive and Mantralaya. In aid with the context a 45 room outique hotel (10000sq.m.) with an entertainment zone (5000 sq.m.). With the overall subject of designing the future experience cities, the initial goal had therefore been to try to point out some of the parameters used in the interplay between food and architecture to create new food-related experiences.

CONCEPT: The spaces and domains of food are all around us. Eating and drinking are natural preconditions for human survival and constitute a regular ingredient in our daily lives; both in the private sphere of the home and in the public domains of the city.The Hotel will offer a carefully selected gastronomic menu based on the concept of the excellence of seasonal produce and the closeness and authenticity of what is local. It is a gastronomic landmark for gourmands who love the concept. The other functions in the hotel revolving around food are a Detox centre, a herb garden, an open kitchen with a chef lounge and a multipurpose hall.

Section showing the multileveled restraunt,hotel rooms, the open kitchen, poolside and spa

Site Plan N


Plans showing room layouts: STUDIO LOFT SUITE AND PENTHOUSE

Entrance Facade


Archives of food overlooking the restaurant

View of the hotel building with the entertainment sector

First Floor Plan: Open Kitchen Boutique Tasting rooms

Second Floor Plan: Archives and Chef Lounge

Third Floor Plan: Pool and bar Gym Spa Detox Centre

Ground Floor Plan: Gastronomic Restaurants Banquet hall and Bakery The main aim of the hotel was more of a sensual one where as you enter the hotel one starts using his senses. As you enter the smell from the bakery wants you to go further and see what all is around. Small herb gardens throughout the hotel will have s similar experience on the visitor. The restaurants in the hotel are placed such that the guests get a continuous experience.

of the city YEAR 4 | Perception KalaGhoda_Mumbai BRIEF: The project was based on percieveing Mumbai and interpretting it in our way. The cultural dance museums design is based on the porosity I percieved on the Western edge of the city. Varying edge conditions are seen in the city. The edges seen are rigid as well as blurred at places. From mangroves to beaches to buildings and gardens by the sea are present.







The project brief also states that 50 percent of the plot be retained and the museum be built around the Hotel. A constant change in the urban porosity is seen and layers show the transformation of the edges; both natural as well as man made. The natural edges are the mangroves and the beaches, and the manmade edges are the slums and the buildings at marine drive.










Section AA’




Section BB’


Section CC’

Site Plan East Elevation

Revitalisation YEAR 3 | Rural Menavli_India BRIEF:

The project focuses on the understanding of the context of a village. Menavli being a small village in Maharashtra has a history of wadas, ghats and temples. After measure drawing and doccumenting the site, the context and the villages history was studied.


The main aspect of the village was the river that ran through it. The village consits of a number of filters and the filters keep changing in scale. The river is the most open space which opens up into a number of different spaces such as the ghats the temple and the otla. There are lager and smaller filters which lead to release points in the village. There is no begining and an end in, everything is a process which forms loops. PROGRAM: YOUTH HOSTEL, PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY MARKET, ORGANIC RESTAURANT

Site analysis showing the filtering of spaces on site as well as the figure ground.

node points

looping on site


Concept of looping both programs as well as the design

Temple and cremation ground forming a cycle of birth and death.

program distribution street>network>filteration>open space

Plan at 3.0m

Axonometric view

Plan at 4.5m

Plan at 6.0m

Section CC’

Section DD’

House YEAR 3 | Bakery Versova_Mumbai BRIEF:

The Bakery House is a traditionally constructed structure with its current program of a bakery on the ground level and residence on the first level. The project involved retaining 50% of the original structure either in terms of character or physicality and building an extension.


Set in a residential neighbourhood the aim of the project was to redesign the structure to accomodate a baking school and a residence.The concept of the extension was derived from space making volumes which are interconnected.

Existing building plan section and elevations.

Co br vo



Ground Floor Plan

Axonnometric view

First Floor Plan

oncept sketches showing the reaking of spaces and the merging of olumes forming interconnected spaces.

Basement Plan

Section DD’

Section BB’

Second Floor Plan

Roof Plan

+X YEAR 3 | Site SVP Road_Mumbai BRIEF:

Sardar Vallabhai Patel Road is the only East-West link of Mumbai. It starts fom Marinedrive in the West and ends at the Pincess docks in the East. A varying drgree of building typology, progam and density was studied.


After studying SVP Road an interestinterest ing site at Prathna Samaj was taken up. The streets at this site were studied and how they acted. A street is a perspective driven route where there are many layers that are added to a street. The streets are formed in such a way that the seemed to be pulled into the urban mass. There is a transformation of the street during the day due to informal spaces outside shops. These changes are caused due to the vegetable and fruit vendors, signages, retractable roofs and many times due to the cows present on site. The street forms a seamless network which fits into each other. The vendors are present all along the street except for building entraces hence one feels like the street is always being pulled into the urban mass. The aim of the project was give the vendors a formal place where they could sell their produce from and not take over the streets.



Surface Development stage

cafe market


Site study

Axonometric View

YEAR 3 |Working Drawings_Site + X

Ground Floor plan

Section AA’

Detail B

Dectail A sunken slab Section through the toilet

Section through the toilet

Section through mirror

YEAR 2 | Light Vile Parle_Mumbai CONCEPT: The concept is based on the light coming through the apertures fromed by the slums. Two kinds of apertures were studied : the horizontal and the verical. The horizontal apertures tend to form a vitural light roof and the vertical apertures are formed due to uneven spacing of slums and doors and windows. The vertical apertures are not too large and hence bright light comes through them during the day. The apertures can vary from slum to slum due to the placement of the slums

Site plan


Axonometric view Side Elevation

Side Elevation

Slums are represented as blocks and a study of the lanes and by lanes is done. Different orientation of the slums changes the light pattern and the quality of light. Pictures depicting horizontal and verical apertures found in the slums

Drawing YEAR 1 | Measure Jodhpur_India

Axonometric View


Set in the stark landscape of a desert, the reservoir of splendid palaces and regal forts, ‘Jodhpur’, is referred to as the Blue City due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. The measure drawing involved locating and mapping an interesting public-private interface in the blue city of Jodhpur. The mapping of activities through the day, interactions with the residents of the area drawing and doccumentation were the key focus of the exercise. The orange facade of the Singhvi Haveli stands out in the narrow lane of Nauchaukia. The four storeyed Haveli is potpuri of peaceful environmentand cultural aspects with a view of the city.

Street of Nauchaukia in plan with the elevations of the buildings around

A walk through Singhvi Haveli

Ground Plan

First Floor plan

Section BB’

Second Floor plan

Third Floor plan

Fourth Floor plan

Section AA’

Condition YEAR 1 | Edge Mumbai_ Chowpatty Beach


Edge conditions was a project based on the studying the edge conditions of various elements in nature such as Air, Water and Earth and how any two of them coexist. The mapping of these edge conditions had to be done in the city (Mumbai) itself. It was more focused on how the elements in nature exist with one another and how they intrude in each others spaces.


The site chosen was Chowpatty beach and the two elements studied were sea water and sand particles. I started with studying how erosion and deposition of sand particles takes place by the sea water. The lighter sand particles are the ones which are carried by the sea water around and these are the ones which are eroded and deposited on the sea shores. The amount of sand being eroded by the sea has been increasing than the amount of sand particles being deposited and hence the sea shore has less of sand. I further went into studying how there is less water between the denser particles as compared to the fine particles. It was also seen that though there are so many sand particles stacked up together and there is so much pressure the shape of the molecules remains the same.

Erosion Deposition Fine Particles Coarse Particles

Concept models

Wave action

Top View

YEAR 1 | Ambhibian Mumbai_ Priyadarshini Park

high tide


The project was based on making a mechanism which acts as an ambhibian on water. When the sea waves enter the components, due to the weight of the water, the model gets lifted up creating space under it. When the water in the component gets emptied the model comes back to its original position where people can sit.


low tide


The model blurrs the rigid edge of the sea and increases the circulation of people into the sea. It also helps to dilute the density Model of people on


Component motion study

Panoroma of model on site

Intensive Studies YEAR 3 | Summer New School Parsons_New York The brief was to research products and utilitarian objects, examine their uses, study the marketplace, and explore three-dimentional design processes. Working in groups as well as individually, we had to create objects and products designed for use in every day life. The product I indiviually worked on was a collapsable floer pot which is both sustainable and easy to package and transport

figure ground analysis

City YEAR 4 | My Barcelona_Spain

The buildings here present a typical Mumbai usage pattern, with shops and bazaars on ground level and upper residential floors being converted into workshops and residences for the artisans

sundries perfume vegetables

paper flowers

Who occupies the street ??

f p

Parked cars, two whelers and handcarts occupy the street edges whereas the sidewalks are encroached upon by vendors and their temporary sh

fruits pets


living conditions shopping_labourer disrucption



Zaveri Bazaar is a low rise cluster of compact nature with little of no space between two stuctures. The heights of the buildings had no neigh specific relationship to the neighbouring structures. This gives rise to a unique spacial quality with open spaces hradually increasing from bottom to top

Arts Festival YEAR 4 | KalaGhoda KalaGhoda_Mumbai The canopy responds to the festival manifesto of ‘Mumbai dreams: Art to Change’. The design caters to one basic issue - the need for visibility in a visually crowded environment.

The design proposal was a series of translucent angular folded plates that each directs the leaves to channels. These in turn combine and empty into a transparent receptacle that wraps around the trunk. Each of these plates creates a terrain, which the leaves negotiate on their journey to the gathering point.

concept design The main concern related to the construction and material of the canopy was the strength of the tree. Other concers were lightness of the material, transparency, corrosion and availability. Locally available materials were considered.

School YEAR 4 | IAAC_Summer Productive City_Terrawiz BRIEF:

The insertion of the metro brings in fast and easy access to Versova causing a boom in the real estate values. One can thus foresee the commercialization of the residential belt abutting the metro as the residents are more affected by the sound, pollution and traffic than aided by the new mode of transport. It is extremely important to retain the residential typology of the site and thus the project is focused on reformingthe life style of people by redesigning the residential blocks and the pedestrian and vehicular movement in and around. The proposal involves the installation of piezoelectric devices to absorb and tap the sound and vibrations of the metro and convert it into electricity. Bamboo, as a plant that can be grown in the current site conditions and is also a conventional building material, will be grown and used to build social spaces as it absorbs carbon-di-oxide and releases oxygen. The urban farms cultivating bamboo(material), the social spaces(hub of knowledge) and the circulation loops(generating energy from movement), shall forma buffer between the residences and the metro, altering the faรงade-metro offset from 10 meters to around 50 meters. We believe that the buffer will change the quality of air, space and life on site and create better conditions more conducive to living. The redesigned block can thus act as a prototype for the other residential blocks on site and redefine the language of housing typology.


nsertion of the metro into the existing urban fabric and its proximity to the residences along the stretch. Darkness and accumulation of harmful gasses under the metro dispersing into the site.

With the introduction of the metro there will be an increase in the decible levels in and around this stretch. This increase in sound levels will be magnified further by vibrations caused by the running metro along this stretch. Forseeingthe abandonment of these residential typology due to the increase in commercial infrastructure due to the introduction of the metro on this stretch. This proposal aims at redesigning the residential block to fight the problems this stretch will have with this new insert.


Site plan

Material Analysis

Space saving analysis

Parametric model around the building

Program Distribution

Aastha Kothari

aasthakothari91@gmail.com_tel: +919819517677

Undergraduate Portfolio  

Selected works 2009-2013

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