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Breathing Architecture

The Energy and Resources Institute, Nashik, India

Nowadays, buildings are being designed in one country to be built in another, regardless of climate, culture or tradition differences. Most such “international” buildings are made of “international” materials, and have an artificially controlled indoor climate. They can therefore be sited anywhere in the world, but they belong nowhere. The primary aim of the thesis is to create awareness that mechanical methods to control

the ambient temperature provide only temporary solutions, at the same time consume plenty of natural and artificial resources. Breathing architecture gives an insight as to how architectural synthesis induced by air, its movement, and natural ventilation, enables a building to “breathe” and easily adapt and adjust as per the micro climate of a place.

I. Introduction


2. Site A city with a strong cultural and historical pretext, Nashik is developing at an alarming rate to become a metropolitan city of the country. It therefore becomes increasingly important to create a platform to educate.

To create awareness regarding the benefits of natural ventilation and sustainible building strategies. A Research Institute, acts as a threshold connecting the traditional methods of building, with modern technology.


3. Ground Level Plan The Research Institute opens on to the river edge, creating a public plaza for the city bluring boundaries between the institute and the city. All spaces are enclosed within courtyards overlooking the river, with natural ventilition and passive cooling strategies creating comfortable indoor environment for the habitants.


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01. Entry Plaza 02. Reception 03. Administration area 04. Dining are 05. Classrooms 06. Laboratories 07. Washrooms 08. Offices 09. Exhibition area 10. Riverside public place 11. Auditorium

4. Section Multiple volumes within the institute along with the porosity of the materials, allows air to percolate through the spaces.


The entrance verandah flanked by natural water body, gives a sense of lightness to the structure and reflects the nature while framing the architecture around.

Oriented along the prevailing wind direction, the connecting spine not only physically connects the spaces within the institute, but also acts as a wind tunnel.


6. First Level Plan The upper level of the building has been oriented such that each block in enclosed within a courtyard that overlooks the river. The multipurpose spaces within the complex are double height allowing ample amount of light and air to seep in.




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12. Meeting rooms 13. Seminar halls 14. Wash rooms 15. Classrooms 16. Laboratories 17. Library 07. Washrooms 18. Offices

7. Section The established heirarchy of spaces is such that public and private spaces always have a visual connection, unfolding the various layers of the built and unbuilt form.


Openings at different levels connects the inside and outside maintaining the privacy of the space.

Common areas acts as central nodes fostering interaction and exchange of ideas, with an inspiring play with light and shadow.


9. Terrace Level Plan Terrace gardens help insulate the structure, act as spill over spaces for the institute, at the same time helps alter the micro climate of the building.

10. Section Visual connections with the nature outside, opens the doors of architecture to nature.


Every classroom has been provided with an outdoor space, fostering learning under trees, which has always been a part of the Indian traditions.

Water and Steps are the valuale elements of the indian culture encouraging interaction among individuals. It has always been a space for celebrations.


Nature through Architecture Convention center, Nashik, India

India‘s aggressive push toward ‘Make in India’ has created huge scope for manufacturer, dealers and agents to participate in Nation Building. To promote, encourage and facilitate opportunities for the people in the same trade and interest, the state government has reserved a plot as measuring 25,883 sq.m for a Convention Center.

A Convention Center in an Urban Setting, which is actually a breather in the city, an Institute that works on the principle of 3 A’s, Adapts, Adjusts and Associates, which means it will it will adapt to the people and climate of the city, it will adjust amidst its surrounding, not stand there like an alien looking setting and associate with the place as a whole.

1. Site The allotted site being in the outskirts of the main city area, surrounded by farmlands and villages, helped to create awareness about development among all, at the same design it becomes extremely important to adapt to a sensitive design approach, the architecture submerges in the context.

2. Design process


Spatial Composition

Central Axis

Wind Tunnels


3. Ground Level Plan The primary idea is to create something that blends in the natural landscape, a building that fits, a building that is invisible, a building that is local, almost like building a non-building.


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01. Entrance 02. Restaurant 03. Kitchen 04. Ball room 05. Auditorium

06. Congregation place 07. Admin & business center 08. Amphitheatre 09. Staff & guest room

4. Section The overall massing, proportions of the building responds and adapts to the strong context and creates a sense of belonging.


Veranda and threshold play a very important role in Indian architecture, as they foster interaction with the exteriors.

Use of natural and local building material, helps establish emotional connections with the surrounding.


6. Upper Level Plan Green courtyards between spaces, act as spill overs allowing adequate light to seep in.



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01. Roof top dining 02. Ball room 03. Auditorium 04. Offices

7. Section Provision of skylights in the roof, not only helps in enhancing the light quality but also aids in establishing connections with the surroundings.


The central connecting spine with its nodes, that is open to the people, truly makes the building an institute for sharing information.

Creating shade is most important aspect of design which also helps to provide extra space for functions to take place. Spaces that are well shaded extremely important design features for a hot and dry climate.


Architecture for Soul Research project, Mumbai

Without consciously looking at our surroundings we survive in them with all our senses. In some places, the outer, communal world only makes us feel exhausted and unwell. In some places we feel a trapped statistic, not a valued member of society, in others, buildings tower over us with menace. Today the architecture around us is reduced to something very abstract and superficial; it is

reduced to height of the building, square meter area of the building, material of the building. Architecture for the soul is an insight into the premise that our physical environment has the ability to elicit different emotions upon us. The sensual experience of a space, gives that spaces a prominent presence in the built environment, which connects with us, stays with us and associates with us.





Space of Belief

Sai Spiritual centre, Trichy

Temples have had an enduring ideological significance in the Indian culture and traditions. The client brief is to design a contemporary Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu, India, a symbolic house , a seat and a body of god. Being contemporary and modern in design, the salient architectural design elements of a temple have been symbolically represented, with proportions and scales prevalent in ancient temples. Situated along the banks of a canal, in Trichy,

a small farming village in Tamil Nadu, this temple would also function as a people’s people, foresting social gathering all year round. The temple complex extends till the canal, with a series of steps reaching out to the water. The complex comprises of 3 primary components main temple, prayer/meditation hall and guest rooms. The scope also includes restoration work of an existing priest house adjoining the temple.

1. Site The site is bordered by lush green rice farms and coconut plantations.

2. Concept Sketches

Sketches by mindspace


3. Axonometric view The view shows how play with the volumes with skylights of different proportions, enhance the light quality of the temple.


4. Rendered view of the temple from entrance.


5. Site Photographs

6. Site Photographs


7. Main Prayer Hall Working Drawings

Ground Level Plan not to scale


First Level Plan not to scale


8. Site Photographs


9. Working Drawings- Gopuram Elevation

South Elevation- Gopuram

North Elevation- Gopuram

10. Site Photographs


11. Working Drawings- Gopuram Section

12. Site Photograph


13. Working Drawings- Gopuram Plans


Learning admist Nature

Skill Development Center, Vizag

One of the leading pharmaceutical company in India, DRL, has an ambition to provide employment opportunities to the local population and thus aid in the economic growth of the nation. Thereby originated an idea for building a Skill Development center, as institute that trains and provides a learning platform for students,

who seek to build their future in the pharmaceutical industry. It is therefore, inevitable to creates campus which demonstrates, simplicity, sustainability,Where one learns in the open atmosphere, that resonates with nature, a place that will motivate young minds.

1. Site The center in therefore conceived as a campus with low rise developments, blending with the landscape. Using local material and craftsmanship, the design incorporates sustainable features, to make the project more diverse.

2. Design Process


3. Axonometric View The orientation of the masses is such that the in-between spaces act as dense courtyards. The introduction of green mounds along the southern edge not only acts as an insulation layer from the heat, but also adds a parallel layer to the circulation corridor.


4. Site Photographs


Connecting ramps have been introduced along the mounds that takes one to the residential unit.

A central axis connecting the end of the buildings, enhance the layered experiences while one travels through the structure.


6. Working Drawing- Academic Block Ground Level Plan

7. Working Drawing- Academic Block Section


View from the entrance showing how there is very thin line between the interior and the exterior.

View from the north showing the open space between the masses that also act extended spill over spaces.


9. Working Drawing- Residential Block Ground Level

10. Working Drawing- Residential Block Section


View of the residential unit from the north side.

Courtyard inside the residential unit adds a lot warmth to the habitable space.


12. Working Drawing- Dining Block Ground Level Plan

13. Working Drawing- Dining Block Terrace Level Plan


View from south side overlooking the dining block.

Entrances to the spaces, have been designed with buffer spaces, that maintain privacy at the same time allow social interaction among students.


15. Working Drawing- Workshop Block First Level Plan

16. Working Drawing- Workshop Block Second Level Plan

17. Site Photographs


18. Working Drawing- Metal Staircase Details

19. Working Drawing- Flooring Details

20. Site Photographs


Living with Nature Residence, Pune

The residence is situated in of the largest and greenest gated community in the city of Pune, India. The design brief is to house a family of 4 in an area of 12,500 sq.ft. The design for the house is simple, minimalist where the interior work complements the architecture, without

disturbing the harmony of spaces, but instead complementing it. The arrangement of the furniture, texture of the finishes, lighting of the spaces, enhances the surreal comfort and timelessness of the house.

1. Site The existing trees on site have been retained and used as axial points, around the house is designed.

2. Plan of the House Water has been used as an important to element to establish relations between the interior and exterior, as well within the interiors spaces. It adds calmness to the spaces, and enhances the reflective quality of the interiors. The external facade of the house is clad in granite, which seamlessly flows through the interiors spaces, along with wood that adds warmth to the design.



3. Axonometric view The axonometric view, shows the volumetric proportions of different functions, and how these interact with each other overlooking the centrally situated water body.


4. Formal Living Layout The formal living room is flanked by a step out deck on one side and a water body on the other. The seating has two different clusters that enhances the usability of the space maintaining connections to the outdoor landscape.

Part Plan of Formal Living Area Not to Scale

View of the formal living area from the entrance, almost merging with the adjoining landscape.

5. Informal Living Layout The informal living room has more casual seating arrangements, where the intimate family can congregate with glimpses of the water feature overlooking the outdoor deck.

Part Plan of Informal Living Area Not to Scale

View from North-west side showing the character and different features of space.

6. Site Photographs


7. Dining Area Layout The dining area is open on all sides, with an extended outdoor dining for formal functions. The interiors of the space, has been kept very minimal, so they do not over power and go with the look and feel of the house and its surrounding.

Part Plan of Dining Area Not to Scale

View showing the lightness and simplicity of the dining area. The material of the furniture and the design, create a strong peaceful colour palette for the house.

8. Bar and Water side Seating Layout The bar directly over looks the central water body and an outdoor courtyard, such that the family can use the edge of the water for rejuvenating. Murals in the stone have been engraved in this area to increase the porosity of the stone.

Part Plan of Bar & Waterside Area Not to Scale

Seating near bar area gives the sense of belonging at the edge of the water.



10. Master Bedroom Layout A different language has been introduced for the design of the master bedroom. The wall panels behind the bed have been clad in elegant leather, polished concrete with brass strips. The wooden flooring breaks away from the raw stone flooring at the lower levels, enhancing the warmth of the resting room.

Part Plan of Master Bedroom Not to Scale

View of the master bedroom from the outdoor courtyard.

11. Daughter’s Bedroom Layout The design for this bedroom breaks ways from the language of the other rooms in the house, with the flooring from the common spaces continuing inside, turning over a raised platform that becomes the bed.

Part Plan of Daughter’s Bedroom Not to Scale

Bedroom has very Indian character as it allows flexibilty in terms of use.

12. Site Photographs


13. Wooden Skylight Detail

Reflected ceiling plan


The skylight designed using rubber wood panels is the central attraction of the house which sits on central water body, acting like a natural chandelier of the space. The different panels with perforation and angles are arranged that adequate lights seeps into the interiors of the space.


14. Wooden Panel Detail near Skylight To be aligned to the C channel edge

Addition of masonry/RCC/plaster to align with the C channel edge of the first floor


Skylight to be dropped by 100mm from the bottom of the false ceiling



12mm Groove between rubber wood panels






12mm Groove between rubber wood panels

Paper joint between vertical joints

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Stone Cladding on the wall


12 mm thk Rubber Wood Cladding


19 mm thk Ply Wood Panelling 35mm thk Aluminium framework

EQ 2400

230mm thk Wall



Stone Cladding on the wall

Rubber wood cladding projected down (Refer Section)

15. Typical full height Door Detail without Lintel

Only vertical grooves to be below and above the window opening. Rest to be paper joints for vertical joints.

16. Views of Toilets



Profile for Hitesh Tamkhane

Architectural Portfolio- Hitesh Tamkhane