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04 Retrospective


Round four had a study of architects who have derived their manifestoes, theories or ideologies towards architecture by being retrospective about their own past creations. The purpose of this round was to understand how to look back and analyse your own work to improve and be relevant. To do that it was important to understand how does even that impacted on their later practice as well and to do that two projects (mostly houses), one from the time earlier than the book and one after the book published along with the book apparently. The result helped to understand how important it is to do retrospection and what could be the reason and way of this retrospection. The retrospection done during this project suggested ‘deconstruction’ is needed. This deconstruction of the previous designs gets informed by the poetry and the painting instead of the already present theories. The final design for the project along with a conclusion in the form of definition of architecture had come in realisation and works as a semi colon in this spiral process which seems endless or at least goes with one till 1 the grave.

Index 2

Reading Architects



Poem: Answers






Architectural Design









Bjarke Ingels

Yes, is More

David Chippe rfield

Theoretic al Practice

Hoxton Press, London

Own house and studio in London

1974 till today 1953 till today

Later projects

Dortheavej Residence, Copenhagen




Reading Architects Inferences

The very physical representation of this manifesto is an attempt to make it look like a graphical comic book, where architect put himself as a protagonist. But it ends up being a project catalogue except his introduction chapter and an interview provided at the end. Through these chapters he suggests to change the people instead of manipulating world. His successful attempt of doing this can be seen through his project. His radical and critical approach strengthen by latest technology could be seen by the use of materials and amenities provisions. Also, not only through project, also from his business model where he attempts to democratises architecture and make the architects role more powerful by bringing in the concept of self-driven projects. 'We created architecture, so therefore we can recreate it, change it, evolve it' his optimistic nature could be seen through this statement. The small book insists about the use of models in designing and the importance of materials and light in architecture. The house and the housing, both insists about the solidity of masses and the impact of light on those solid surfaces. The architect rejects the images created by modernism and rises his architecture with the simplification of ideas by using simple forms and adds complexity into it by the materials, intelligent joinery and intricate detailing. His theory uses his key projects to emphasis one by one on all these three factors. His use of natural colours of stones and metals used for cladding the facades, making its aesthetics universal and the comment about modernism and critical regionalism is making his theory universal for the contemporary architecture.


Aldo Rossi

An Analogic al Architect ure


Spittelau Viaducts University of Toronto Graduate House, Toronto

Her Apartment

La Vista, Netherlands

The ethics of building

1943 till today

Mario Botta

Monte Amiata Housing/Gallaratese Housing, Milan

1944 till today


Sixth Street House

Connect ed Isolation

House at Riva San Vitale


Rossi House

Random ness versus Arbitrarin ess


Zaha Hadid

The lady here describes what we should do and her architecture reflects how we should do that. Through her earlier published article, she talks about how our lives and lifestyles has changed and through this manifesto she suggests how we should respond them. Her process starts with her comments about context and program which results into theory, then it comes to her instinct which gets confirm from her paintings and then her houses are the more or less projects of her paintings. The architect here uses his house as a manifesto in itself and then wrote about it. So, this is another way round process. The findings from this then applied in his further projects made for clients. His prime philosophy of pluralism is visible in all his projects where his intention is not only to make his building look good but to make the street look good. The book, which very crisply covers all his wisdom in just three lectures written alongside his free hand sketches, the house for friends and the elderly housing, all of them are presented in very strong and rigid forms. As this autobiography cum manifesto is published long after designing these both projects, we will see the projects first and then the theory. The architect has used his sites and pure forms with as less means and alterations as possible and said in his theory that give only as much as needed. Both theory and design see an ultimate resemblance here. The work of architecture and theory run simultaneously and continuously in an architect's life. Architecture of Villa Ai Ronchi is highly influenced by Adolf Loos's theory which can be called as anti-ornamentalist or reductionist, resulted into a sort of emotionally dry and bare architecture. Whereas, after almost a decade, Aldo published his own manifesto as a part of his book Architecture of the City, and build the rest two projects discussed here after that which has got his poetic and 'analogical' (metaphysical) essence, making his architecture live and more expressive. Here, firstly he has derived his own theory after evaluating and experimenting with others theories and then for translating his theory into architecture, he uses all the basic architectural elements to speak through it by using newer style of composition and treatment.


Charles Correa

A Place in Shade

Louis I Kahn

Order Is

Kormangalam House

Gobhai House, Golwad

Oser House

Students’ housing in Ahmedabad, India

1931 till today 1930-2015 1901-1974

Diamond Island New Urban Quarter, Vietnam (unbuilt)

The Island Nation Aesthetic

Kaijima House

Arata Isozaki

The houses that Arata has built are almost in a series and evaluated sequentially just like Eisenman's 10 houses, where his architecture starts from modernism and then become more of his own style of architecture. His own articulated architecture is dependent on his theory of rejection of being under any overarching foreign idea and so he goes on by tearing, fragmentation and reassembling elements for the creation. So, the crux could be said as understanding one thing, using it and then knowing all the problems in it and rejecting it to create his own, and for that the method chosen is to form a discord with the context. Correa uses his whole life, right from his childhood memories to justify why he designed certain things in certain way. He describes his notion of cities as a civilian first and then talks about it as an architect, mostly rising questions or highlighting the problems and then goes back to the civilian to grab the simplest solutions he could get. His whole range is covered alongside his essays including the Navi Mumbai planning and the small exhibition pavilion which he did in his early years of career, concluding one element of his idea of architecture and then in the end, as a conclusion he speaks about his expectations giving his readers hint for how to use his manifesto to either create their own or create architecture. Similarly, his house is like that, giving the most obvious and simple solutions and tracing his memories of living in a traditional Goan houses in his younger age. Here he is approaching towards being humble towards site, materials and form that logically he could think of from the problem he has got. Creating everything with a certain pattern and rhythm, almost like frozen music brings a sense of spirituality. He describes the range of order in architecture by using them differently in all three projects; his house has a very regular order formed by the same size windows placed at equal intervals, clients' house has openings in equal proportions and size but composed vertically opposite to each other and the student’s dorms are planned on perfect grid with a L-shaped unit forming courtyards.


The Future of Architect ure

Taliesin West


Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture of a house is quite impossible to consider the building as one thing, its furnishings another and its setting and environment still another. All these things should participate in the spirit of design which is meant to provide a desirable dwelling space that is expressive, beautiful and intimately related to modern living.

Tarquish: Wow! This one has a lot of legends and popular architects. You know, I was a bit unsatisfied with the previous charts as they all included those architects who have been known for their exotic or distinct architecture, I could not see any real influence of them on general public or other design disciplines for that matter as such. They all might also be very good and also have produced some really great work but they were always marginal except the few included in this list like BIG and Charles Correa, FLW. These people are quite known to others as well at least in their relative territory. Akshay:

It is because all of these have taken the initiative by understanding the responsibilities of their discipline and pushed the boundaries. Also, isn’t it needed at this moment?

Tarquish: Of course! after that self-destructive mode of yours, I am happy to see you studying these people who for their whole life believed in this profession. Akshay:

Oh well, hold on there, I have not been destructive enough before. To be honest I was talking about the limitations of the profession and I was not actually tearing anything apart. So, before I tell you about the conclusion I got from this round, I want you to be calm and take a seat and try to be chill.

Tarquish: Come on! After all of this you still want to me to be more patient. I think I can take anything after the spherical house hanging on a thin wall and toilet without door. Akshay:

Anyways. All of these architects have practiced and evolved a theory out of it and then moved ahead and ripped their own theories apart and got out of their shells and grown more. Most of them apparently even got a privilege to design multiple houses for themselves or their closed ones. This indicated me a way to look back at my previous rounds. What I am going to do next is to revisit all my previous designs and ideologies and break them to the ground.

Tarquish: And how will you do that? Are you going to use deconstruction theories? Will not that be an influence then? Akshay:

No. You took a wrong turn there. I definitely am going to deconstruct whatever I have created so far but not going to use the popular Deconstructivism theory of Derrida. Although few architects have done that successfully, it does not seem relevant and reasonable to use it in the context of my own house. Hence, I am going to find out my own way of 7

deconstruction by looking into myself. By my poetry and my painting. This will also help you to compare everything and see the evolution of thought throughout the process along with the development of process which you have already seen in the beginning. I hope this will help you to complete the circle in your mind and re-read it.


Poem: Answers

मैं क्या हु , घर क्या है , ये सवाल क्या है , इस सवाल का जवाब क्या है ? मैं शिव घर छलावा , सवाल िव , और इस सवाल का जवाब िुन्य है .

सुख क्या है , दु ख क्या है , िुन्य क्या है , इस झगड़े की वजह क्या है ? सुख इक झूठ , दु ख इक झूठ , िुन्य प्रकृशि और इस झगड़े की वजह अस्थिरिा है .

अस्थिरिा क्या है प्रकृशि क्या है दु शिया क्या है इस दु शिया के मािी क्या है ? अस्थिरिा कशविा, प्रकृशि आत्मा का दर्पण, दु शिया इक बुलबुला और इस दु शिया के मािी अिशगिि मोह है .

कशविा क्या है आत्मा क्या है मोह क्या है इस सब का सच क्या है , वास्तशवकिा क्या है ? कशविा इक गशणि , आत्मा अिाम , मोह प्रर्ंच , और वास्तशवकिा शमथ्या है


What is I What is home What is this question What is the answer to this question? I is nothing Home is illusion Question is material The answer is nirvana. What is happiness What is sadness What is nirvana What is the reason of this struggle? Happiness is a lie Sadness is a lie Nirvana is nature The reason is uncertainty. What is uncertainty What is nature What is this world What are the terms of this world? Art is uncertainty Reflection of soul is nature World is a bubble The terms of this world are its delusions. What is art What is life What is this delusion What is truth and what is reality? Art is calculation Soul is nameless Life is formless Delusion is colourless Reality is the paradox.


Image 1-Visual translation of the original 'Answers' poem.


Architectural Design The following design is cube of 4m x 4m x 4m with steardy strong white lime plastered walls with a glass sphere on the top piercing in by a meter. The cube has three small (300mm x 300mm) punctures at different levels. The northen face of has one door assymetrically placed on the square wall, which opens to a tree. The tree is planted in a pit which has height till seating level. Ideally and essentially the cube is empty except the tree and the light, but in the adjacent drawings a tentative furniture plan is given which is to denote the sufficiency of the space with respect to functionality. Even in that hypothetical scenario, the cube has no internal walls or partitions. The purity of forms remains intact.

Image 2 - Rendered image of the view of The Absolute House.


Section through Tree Pit

0m Plan



Image 5 – Photograph of model showing the Northern side of The Absolute House.

Image 4 - Photograph of model showing the roof plan of The Absolute House

Image 6 - Photograph of model of The Absolute House 14

Conclusion Tarquish: Ohh! So, after all of this what you are proposing is just a cube. This tiny piece of nothing. Are you sure about this? Akshay:

It is not just a cube. The deconstruction of previous three designs gave me pure forms they were made up of. It is actually a pretty simple mathematics. Those designs were already made out of deconstructing and manipulating the pure most forms i.e. cube and sphere. Hence when I re-deconstructed them, I got the pure forms back. Also, I just have not deconstructed the form, I deconstructed the whole havoc of designing a house and living in it in certain ways which society so far has derived. I deconstructed that and reached to purity which is not shameful of any human act and treats everything equally.

Tarquish: Treating everything equally! Really! Why do you need architecture for that then? Why don’t you instead go and live in a cave? Caves give you all the freedom. Additionally, it can also be termed as deconstruction of contemporary architecture. Akshay:

Don’t get me wrong. It is not. It will be rejection of architecture rather not deconstruction. Caves have informed our architecture long ago, not anymore. What I have derived here is informed by my previous houses and experiences of living in the contemporary civilization. And moreover, you must look at how did I reach to this. The cube is drafted by my own dimensions, my very body. The drawings I produced are describing how does the very size and shape came out.

Tarquish: Well, I am still not convinced. Instead I am confused now. Tell me what do you mean by ‘architecture’, what is your definition of ‘architecture’? Akshay:

I saw that coming, the most daunting, intriguing and the oldest question which I will have to carry till my grave. You know as they say ‘once an architect, always be an architect.’

Tarquish: Cut the crap and tell me the current answer you have. (he shouts) Akshay:

Architecture to me is rhythm and reason. And I believe the contemporary architecture must respond and accommodate the tangible and intangible, memory and thought, logic and irrational as both are responsible for what we are. This contemporary architecture is not an object, it is an entity which should be objectified as per the subject and context with a sensitivity which does not let the entity in it vanish. There will be endless means of doing this which will be defined by the time, technology and the most importantly history. These means will become metaphors after the realization of this architecture.

(Akshay gets up from his place while talking and starts to walk in one direction. As he passes the path gets illuminated by the sun coming from the window. Tarquish is sitting against the window in a way that he is creating a shadow on the floor which is getting elongated.) 15

Tarquish: (In a numb voice while slowly walking behind him) What did you learn about ‘the house’ then, what do you expect from it? Akshay:

Oh, house. I just could culminate what a place called home should do for me. We all are on our journey in the life, home should add one more dimension to our journey. Like we all move in time in a line and architecture of a home should give us a chance to move in a continuous circle going in and getting out simultaneously. This will help the person know himself better and that will make him stronger for the world outside the home. All the designs I did attempts to achieve this.

Tarquish: And do you think that this process of yours is sufficient for delivering such house? I mean you attempted to and I am nobody to say that you did that successfully or not. But if you are going to do that again, it clearly means that you did not achieve this, isn’t it? Akshay:

Definitely not. This is what I learnt out of it. I learnt how it requires to be broken periodically. When I was doing each round, I was finding the limitation and the scope of the process simultaneously. Lastly, what I found is that one cannot put these things in a matrix and use it. Algorithms have failed during modernism and then post modernism, eventually. The moment when the requirement of deconstruction rises, is when the scope and limitation of the process becomes the same. If you ask me whether I want to use this process again and do more rounds, I would say no to that since it has reached to its saturation. The linearity has started to become a limitation.

Tarquish: Wait, wait. What do you mean by deconstruction? I know we have talked about this just an hour ago but the way you concluded the definition of architecture can you define the deconstruction as well? Akshay:

Alright. Deconstruction to me is to break something in a way that its material remains usable, unlike destruction. In my case I used deconstruction for the forms and the program but the substance which I had collected from previous rounds, the reasons behind certain spaces being in certain ways remains the same. The meaning becomes purer and does not get changed. One has to be very sensitive and sensible while deconstructing.

Tarquish: So, what’s next then? How are you going to deconstruct this ‘process’? Akshay:

I don’t know that yet and that’s the fun. Sorry, but can you please leave me alone here for a while. We will meet later some time.

(Both gets silent. And Tarquish turns around and look where they have reached. It is almost like a dawn and they are on a beach. The sand is surprisingly dry and the sea is not far away. The waves seem like they have lost the flow and the wind seem like it has lost the control)


Image 7 - Sketch of Scene 06


Bibliography BIG Bjarke Ingels Group & Ingels, Bjarke, (editor.) & Dansk arkitekturcenter (2010), Yes is more: an archicomic on architectural evolution, Evergreen, Koln, Germany BOTTA, Mario 1997, Ethik des bauens = The ethics of building, Birkhäuser, Basel; Boston CHIPPERFIELD, David 1994, Theoretical practice, Artemis, London 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 HIMMELBLAU, Coop & Noever, Peter, 1941- & Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst & Vienna Architecture Conference (1992: Vienna, Austria) (1993), The End of architecture? documents and manifestos: Vienna Architecture Conference, Prestel; London: Thames & Hudson [distributor], Munich JENCKS, C., & KROPF, K. (2006). Theories and manifestoes of contemporary architecture. Chichester, England, Wiley-Academy. JOHNSON, Philip & Lewis, Hilary, 1962- & O'Connor, John T. (John Timothy) 1994, Philip Johnson: the architect in his own words, Rizzoli, New York NESBITT, K. (1996). Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965 – 1995. New York. Princeton Architectural Press. SYKES, KRISTA (2010), Constructing a new agenda: architectural theory 1993-2009, 1st ed, Princeton Architectural Press, New York WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd (2005), Frank Lloyd Wright: an autobiography, Pomegranate, San Francisco

Image Index Image 1-Visual translation of the original 'Answers' poem. ........................................................................... 1 Image 2 - Rendered image of the view of The Absolute House. ................................................................... 1 Image 3 - View of Absolute House ................................................................................................................ 1 Image 4 - Photograph of model showing the roof plan of The Absolute House ............................................. 1 Image 5 – Photograph of model showing the Northern side of The Absolute House. .................................... 1 Image 6 - Photograph of model of The Absolute House................................................................................ 1 Image 7 - Sketch of Scene 06....................................................................................................................... 1


Profile for akshay rajendraji mantri

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