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AKSHAY MANTRI, 18023478

03 Rationale


ABSTRACT Round three had a study of architects who have presented their manifestoes, theories or ideologies towards architecture in a very rational way, by producing mostly a rule book for good architecture according to them. The intention of these readings was to learn how to rationalise the ideas got from previous rounds so that they can be universal and clear enough to be free of possibility of manipulation. The study this time involved the communal housing project designed by the architect along with his house and his document. This reading resulted into a poem (Search) that directly described what should be the qualities of the architecture of a house, which get translated into a painting quite literally like the first stanza represents first tile placed on the left top corner of the painting, almost like the way we read text in most of the languages today. This painting then translated into architecture which had been designed as a part of a communal housing; a subjective module. A saturation had been experienced which required to be broken after this 1 iteration.


Index 1

Reading Architects

4

2

Poem: Search

6

3

Illustration

8

4

Architectural Design

10

5

Conclusion

17

Bibliography

2


3


Reading Architects

Rubbish

Hassan Fathy

Natural Energy and Vernacul ar Architect ure/Archit ecture for Poor

Gerrit Rietvel d

Hans Ludwig C. JaffĂŠ, De Stijl (1960)/Th e Work of G. Rietveld/ 5th De Stijl Manifesto

Social Housing

Fathy's Home

New Gourna Village

SchrĂśder House

Erasmuslaan 9 Housing Block Utrecht

1888-1964

1900-89

1917-07

Hamlet

Laurie Baker

House

Fisherman's Village

Dat e

Architect Manifesto

Inferences

Do it only if it is necessary. And if it is necessary then means of making it would be around you only, just look for them creatively. Besides this, he sorts of suggests to live around the nature by becoming part of it. He asks you to experience it in all ways like in Hamlet, there is no covered way between dining room building and a bedroom building, asking one to experience the rains. The shear simplicity in design can be seen by use of materials and mechanisms like in built hinges, customised lock system without any keys. He converted the philosophy of truth of his idol MK Gandhi into Architecture by using the minimal vernacular architecture built with a more sensibility eliminating the preconceived notions about the way we should be living and how it defines the classicism. Both the books have been written in his retired period of life, so it is more of a description and a dos' and don'ts' at the end. The crux of his story is to use vernacular architecture with a modern and scientific perspective. Not only these, but all his projects do the same. Even while designing his house he has used his derived form and traditional materials and fenestration appropriate for the region and planned the spaces with functional convenience. He has used his house as a model for others to see what he wants to build for them in Gourna. Here he has identified the plasticity of art and architecture emerged newly and very strongly responded to then flourishing modern art. Through the principal of plasticity, he designed a floor space that can be closed and opened with the help of partitions, both in a house and housing project. The idea of purity and rationality is responded by sharp and clear lines along with white canvas and primary colours.

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UnitĂŠ d'habitation

1883-1969 Akshay:

Interbau Apartment blocks

Bauhaus Manifesto 1926

holiday cabin

Walter Gropius

Gropius House

Five Points towards a New Architect ure 1926/ Towards New Architect ure: Guiding Principles 1920

1887-1965

Le Corbusi er

Here the architect has published two manifestoes, one defining the house as machine with a statement that this machine also has to be beautiful and second one what is modern beautiful. Both his points can be seen in Villa Savoy translated as it is, whereas while designing a house for himself he avoids to use his principles of beauty and prefers to make it only based on the logic and pure functional needs. While responding to social housing, the five principals are used to design the whole apartment building and not one house, here he designed one house as a machine in itself and a spare-part of a bigger machine. Bauhaus seems like an older version of IKEA. The quest was to provide efficient, economic, massively producible houses and furniture with a good craftsmanship. But on the other hand, this movement in totality somehow underestimated the importance of responding to the psychological needs of human beings from their houses and products, which ended up on resulting a ruthless, lifeless and mechanical architecture.

All these architects are the ones who have published their lifetime wisdom in the shortest manner in almost like manual scripts. Some of them are merely just a page long.

Tarquish: Fair enough. I can also see that these people have also been very influential. Some of them have inspired a whole set of generation producing new isms by their names. I can get the universality of their documents. Akshay:

They are really easy to understand and use.

Tarquish: Next reflection then? Do you also have something like do’s and don'ts? Akshay:

No. I have not arrived on it yet. Additionally, it is a very articulated work. I am still collecting my artistic responses to all of this. So, I have a poem only this time as well.

Tarquish: I see.

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Poem: Search

मैं एक घर खोज रहा हु चार दीवारे और एक छत खोज रहा हु मैं वो जगह खोज रहा हु जहा मेरे ख़ुशी का साया मेरे अस्तित्व की रौशनी से जुड़ा हु और ना ही गुलाम हो औरोों की रज़ामोंददयोों का मैं वो दीवारें खोज रहा हु जो कुछ ना कहती हो, खामोशी में अपनी सी लगती हो मेरी सारी कहादनयााँ सुनती हो शब्द तो सारी दु दनया में शोर मचा ही रहे है , मैं एक शाों त जगह खोज रहा हु मैं एक मोंच खोज रहा हु जहा मैं अपने सारे दकरदार झटक पाउ, चाहू तो आइना दे ख पाउ पर ना चाहू तो अाँधेरा कर पाउ मैं एक चौखट खोज रहा हु, जहा अपने सारे सपने खुटी पर टाों ग पाउ चौखट पे दरवाजा तो हो पर ताला ना लगा हो मन की मैं अकेले रहना चाहता हु पर कोई अोंदर झाकना चाहे तो उसे , अोंदर बुला पाउ …

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I am searching for a home Four walls and a roof I am searching for a place Where the shade of my happiness will be warmer than the light of my identity Instead, a servant of others opinions I’m searching for the walls Who does not speak much but feels my own in silence Instead, listens to all my stories I am looking for a place of a peace Words are anyways making noise all over the world Instead, play my own music I am searching for a stage Where I can peel off all my masks I could look into a mirror, but only if I want Instead I could turn off the lights I am searching for a threshold Where I can leave all my goals just like the overcoats Instead bring in the nature The frame should have a door but not a lock Though I want to live alone Instead, I don’t want to be unapproachable…

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Image 1 - Illustration for 'Search' poem.

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Tarquish: Somehow, I am unable to find out the difference between your two poems. It seems you are writing just the same thing in different words, metaphors and ways. Please correct me if I am wrong. Akshay:

Ummm‌ While revisiting my writings and sketches, I can rather see an evolution of one idea, rather than its repetition. Like say for example the idea of timelessness is there from the very first round and so now it is obvious that it will have a place in my manifesto.

Tarquish: May be. I have not gone very deep into them. Besides the architectural designs are different in all the rounds so I think it is alright with me. I don’t think I can judge the art part. It is a very subjective matter. Akshay:

As you wish. (Brings out one more model and keep it on the third circle)

Tarquish: Let me look at this one now.

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Architectural Design The design here in this round is a combination of a set of policies as well as a physical form. The set of policies have been translated into a scheme and design follows it. So, the scheme is an apartment which has common amenities like cycle stand, community garden, amphitheatre and playground on the ground floor and studio on mezzanine. The house that I designed for me is on 1st floor, whereas I am proposing more houses on upper floors, which has the same floor plate but the envelope, the internal layout, the furniture and the windows can be changed as per the user consciously, subconsciously, materialistically and psychologically requirements. Architects role in this will be to give these ideas coming from the user a ground and nothing more. He can act as a catalyst too but only if required to. So, now let’s move on to design and walkthrough the whole alongside these drawings beside. From a very generic lobby, one climbs up the dog-legged staircase whose one flight takes you to the door of the work-place.

Image 2 - Photograph of the model showing the studio part

Image 3 - Photograph of the model showing the house part.

Level 01 – Work Place

Level 02 – House

The door opens up into a double height space with a sight of a diagonal wall which makes the space cosy as well as gives a notion of opening the box. This small intimate space acts as a transition between the work-place and the outer common circulation space.

authoritarian nature coming from its location and orientation.

After surpassing the reception, one enters into a free space like a fabrication workshop, which is directed by its walls

This staircase takes one to a lounge which is basically meant for power naps, salons, movies screenings and relaxation. This lounge also has a huge bay window which creates an intimate corner which invokes the freedom of expression. The other door takes one to the solitude space which is a small bench along the square window. 10


and few machines. Here the furniture directs the circulation, which is very light and flexible in nature. This central studio space teaches one to read almost all the dimensions one requires generally while making drawings and details like double height, mezzanine height, ceiling height, lintel, sill, seating height, etc. This studio packs up with two walls, one punctured by a cube which extends to create a platform which gives one to showcase the current work going on, the inspirations, true scale models, mock-ups, or simply gives a stage for the employees to perform and entertain and have an exchange collectively, the cube is invisible and the edges of it are something that are very incremental and adaptable for any kind of instalments to be done for trying various stuff right from the foundation till, lighting and so on. Another wall is opposite to its adjacent one, it’s a glass wall with a solid puncture piercing into it. This wall carries a story board wall and a long platform that is basically meant to be enriched with rubbish. The undone, half done models, sketches, drawings and all sort of scraps. One turns back and sees a table lighted by diffused light coming from one side. That is the table for the architect. This table can connect with the reception, main door, studio, story board wall, multipurpose space, conference room through visual access and with the gossip corner and the lounge above. There is a knowledge wall behind this architect’s seat and a small set-up for hand-drafting. Next to it is a sliding folding door opening into a conference cum dining room. Pantry, toilet, accounting cum administration room cum store room, all these services are lined up adjacent to this room. The folded metal plate spiral staircase acts as a sculpture and takes all the limelight with grace coming from its intricate appearance and with its

Opposite to this door there is a twin door opens into arts’ studio, which is lit on the floor and ceiling each by a pair of very narrow slits, one at skirting level and one at the top of the wall. This also makes these two walls appear floating. Another doorway from this studio opens onto a bridge that has a glass parapet on one side and solid on the other. This bridge extends into the lobby that leads one to the entry of the house. There is a small bench next to the door offers a space for shopping bags and small talks with neighbours or friends while bidding bye. The door opens and gives a notion that you are in a small box closed by the diagonal wall of furniture which has two punctures, one offers a view of the door from the kitchen and another one offers a small seat. The living room has two windows, one bay window with a seat and another long slit which has an access to a small planter bed. The next space is free flowing kitchen dining space which has various spots to sit down. It is a space that is very vibrant when the family and even the guests are present. Its like few people cooking standing next to the counter, few sitting on the hanging table in the centre, cutting vegetables, one seating on the bar chair making drinks for dinner and few people seating inside the dining pod looking outside from the adjacent full height window. There is a staircase at the back of the dining which does not goes anywhere. It is provided as a possibility if one wants to connect two floor-plates internally as well. There is very tiny vaulted seat almost carved out as a niche in wall and has a circle window. I call it a moon window and the space as solitude space that sees everyone in the house and still remains somewhat unapproachable. The next room is bedroom, which is very simple, lazy and generic in nature. The most of the room is nothing but a raised

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platform for a bedding to be set freely. There is one chair kept in the window which is wicked and teases both who is sitting on it and who is not. The size and the shape of the chair is something that offers a space for one to sit and some excess which inhabits the emptiness. This void creates a longing for intimacy as the space is not sufficient enough for two persons to sit together with a decent distance. The central element in the house is celebrates this same emptiness with a more meditative manner and so as propagates the strength of the void. This is a single curve wall of glass bounded by two columns. The other circular space is the toilet. The toilet is though a perfect circle and has three tiny windows at different heights bringing in light at the different time with different intensity. It is to celebrate the silence which makes one speak.

Image 4 - visual and physical connection diagram of the house. 12


Image 6 - Solitude corner and dining room

Image 5 - Schematic section showing the gossip corner and architect's desk

Image 8 - schematic section of arts' studio

Image 7 – On the right - Interior view from the lounge, showing multipurpose space and the gossip corner. 13


Image 10 - Photograph/montage showing the schematic elevation of the building from roadside. 14


Image 11 - Photograph of model from the window of toilet of the house.

Image 12 - photograph of model showing the whole scheme. 15


Conclusion Tarquish: Well, to be fair I like few spaces and I have got few major concerns with few other spaces. Akshay:

Give me the bad ones first.

Tarquish: Like your place in your work-place is more or less like a place for a watchman or a guardian. Visual access to all the spaces, control over all the spaces. Don’t you think that will never let you work on that desk; you will end up being a manager in an architectural practice? Akshay:

Oh, no that is the paradox architecture is making here. You see the desk is kept in the middle of everything and as a watch point intentionally. I do not want the architect to work in his own corner, that will be like a cabin but without walls. There is a place for him when he wants to be representative and meet people from out of the organization, but when he has to work, I want him to come into the studio and work on the same desks his employees are working. This is how I want it to be democratic.

Tarquish: Okay. I see some other similar conflicts in there. Some of them are very brave moves I would say. Akshay:

Interesting. Which one you found brave?

Tarquish: Putting toilet outside the form and treating it at the face of the building or keeping the building straight approached directly by the road, etc. Akshay:

Thank you for that. I am glad to see how you have changed since our previous meeting. But here, I would like to talk about the learnings from this round.

Tarquish: Yeah sure, though I feel what more could be done here. I mean, I can see how few thoughts have developed and have been used in various ways to create something. I am finding this complete now. Akshay:

Exactly, that is the problem. I have almost reached to a point where the innovation becomes mediocre. I am happy that you like this design but if you see, it has on the edge of mediocrity or towards becoming a normal. Hence, the next thing I would want to do is to retrospect and find my strengths and weaknesses. You know that kind of mathematics.

Tarquish: (With a panicking confused voice) I think you are going a way ahead here. I found this idea of retrospection very unreasonable. Akshay:

By retrospection I meant that as a creative I must keep myself detached to a certain thing that I have made and even learnt while making it, coz the chances of the later designs becoming more redundant and banal because of the preconceived knowledge I acquired from previous designs and their process of evolution. And now not just me even you, as a viewer can see this happening, then I must take a pause and look behind.

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Tarquish: So, are you going to find out what is the takeaway from this whole saga? How do you do that? Akshay:

That’s a good question. I explained the importance of doing it even before, I will not repeat it. Although I would say that the takeaway from it is the understanding of where to start designing, where to stop designing.

Tarquish: So, what is your next round then? Akshay:

Retrospection it is indeed. Architects who have written their manifestoes more or less like an autobiography. Architects who have practiced extensively and wrote a theory about it and then practiced further.

Tarquish: Fair enough, so let’s call it an end for me here then. Akshay:

Oh, not yet. I must show you the result of the revision in all three forms I have been working on.

Tarquish: Poem… painting… architecture… Akshay:

Yes indeed.

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Bibliography 1. BAKER, Elizabeth (2007), The other side of Laurie Baker, D.C. Books, Kottayam 2. FATHY, Hassan & Fathy, Hassan, 1900-. Gourna - a tale of two villages 1973, Architecture for the poor: an experiment in rural Egypt, [2nd ed.], University of Chicago Press, Chicago 3. JENCKS, C., & KROPF, K. (2006). Theories and manifestoes of contemporary architecture. Chichester, England, Wiley-Academy. 4. CORBUSIER, Le (1986), Towards a new architecture Paperback, New York Dover Publications 5. NESBITT, K. (1996). Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965 – 1995. New York. Princeton Architectural Press. 6. SYKES, KRISTA 2010, Constructing a new agenda: architectural theory 1993-2009, 1st ed, Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Image Index Image 1 - Illustration for 'Search' poem. ........................................................................................................ 8 Image 2 - Photograph of the model showing the studio part ....................................................................... 10 Image 3 - Photograph of the model showing the house part. ...................................................................... 10 Image 4 - visual and physical connection diagram of the house. ................................................................ 12 Image 5 - Schematic section showing the gossip corner and architect's desk............................................. 13 Image 6 - Solitude corner and dining room ................................................................................................. 13 Image 7 – On the right - Interior view from the lounge, showing multipurpose space and the gossip corner. ................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Image 8 - schematic section of arts' studio ................................................................................................. 13 Image 9 - Photograph of model showing schematic elevation from roadside. ............................................. 14 Image 10 - Photograph/montage showing the schematic elevation of the building from roadside. .............. 14 Image 11 - Photograph of model from the window of toilet of the house. .................................................... 15 Image 12 - photograph of model showing the whole scheme...................................................................... 15

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