December 2012

Page 1

VOL 26 (4)

DEC 2012

` 200



Case-Study Houses Proposals from the ResidenceNEXT Workshop in Thrissur, Kerala


City-Centric + Research-Driven

Ton Venhoeven of the Dutch design studio VenhoevenCS talks about the diverse portfolio of his firm, his concerns in an increasingly global world and his involvement with the Delhi 2050 initiative in India. Image: courtesy VenhoevenCS


on Venhoeven (Apeldoorn, 1954) is the founder/architect of VenhoevenCS and the National Government advisor on Infrastructure. He established VenhoevenCS in Amsterdam in 1998. In his position as the Government advisor, he advises the Dutch government on complex infrastructural projects and sustainable urban developments. Ton Venhoeven graduated in architecture and development (Cum Laude) at the Technical University in Delft.

IA&B: Tell us about VenhoevenCS. With a diverse, multilateral portfolio, how do you see your practice in context of contemporary architecture? TV: With the knowledge of the environmentalists from the seventies and eighties, architects in that period were very aware of the many challenges facing society. Some of those architects, involved in teaching at avant-garde architectural schools and universities, turned towards very unconventional, sometimes even spectacular architectural designs, or rather manifestos, often accompanied by difficult explanatory texts. Almost all formal trends we see today originated from that revolutionary period, but in the current wave of ‘starchitecture’, most of the original critical content seems to be lost. Personally, I think we do not need those manifestos anymore, let alone their formal echoes. I think that by now the global peoples are very aware of the many challenges society is facing. Architecture, dealing with challenges of real life, working with people on the ground, combined with scientific institutions, governments and companies, seems to me to be the most relevant way of dealing with this change. In an integrated approach of all relevant aspects of life, it is important to learn from each other. This, for me, results in a continuous and evolutionary process of architectural learning.

IA&B: You have invested heavily in architecture and urbanism research. How does that substantiate your work as a designer? TV: Architecture has a larger responsibility towards society: plans we design and propose will exist for decades – and probably longer. If you do not invest in research relating to how our society is developing, about what the important issues and dilemmas are, you cannot create sustainable designs, since they would be outdated or obsolete within a couple of years. I am very interested in history and theory of architecture and urban planning. I cannot imagine how to design without this knowledge. For me, the development of culture can be traced in books, ruins and architectural artefacts. Especially in this period where we have to reinvent our culture due to the many simultaneous crises, we can learn a lot from the way our ancestors overcame cultural, economic and environmental challenges. They discovered architectural solutions for water management, food production, Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

mobility issues, the influence of trade on the development of culture, the defence systems...everything. IA&B: The Netherlands is a very different country – economically, structurally, culturally – as compared to India. What is your understanding of the Indian context, especially in reference to your involvement with initiatives like the Delhi 2050? TV: I know that India is very different from The Netherlands, but when I first came to India, I also recognised many elements we share. To me, it seems that India, with its many religions, is the source of many ideas that are still influential today, both in the East with Hinduism, Buddhism and in the West with Islam and Christianity. Paradoxically, working and travelling in India, I learnt a lot about my own culture and the different ways we were connected throughout history. At the same time, I see rapid change taking place and a strong desire among large groups of people, especially the younger generations, to profit from the opportunities of current economic development, technical and cultural exchange. Exchange between India and The Netherlands can help both countries to overcome the challenges we are facing and this becomes culturally rewarding at the same time.

Jan Schaefer Bridge in Amsterdam.

let’s partner IA&B: ‘Sustainability’ is an abused term. In lieu of the global propaganda, can you tell us about the commitment of VenhoevenCS towards sustainable architecture? How do you interpret the term? TV: You are right. Sustainability can be used for all sorts of greenwashing, like a ‘green development’ in the middle of nowhere that can only be reached by car. For me, looking at the bigger picture is a key to all our endeavours in the field of sustainability. How to turn a region of 20 to 100 million people into an urban conurbation that is sustainable in the long run? This question is crucial, not only for urban areas, but for the world as a whole. I think this is not only possible, but if we succeed, it will also be the solution to all current environmental challenges. The solutions will include sustainable economic development, water management, metropolitan agriculture, multimodal mobility, housing, power generation, health care, cultural life and facilities - the lot. All this, combined with a good quality of healthy life. To tackle the problems, it is not necessary to turn each individual architectural object into a showcase of sustainability, but it helps if new and old buildings and neighbourhoods save on energy and other resources. This can be achieved by the promotion of pedestrian traffic through compact urbanism and high-quality urban spaces, by making use of urban air currents for ventilation and to prevent Heat Island effects, by energy-efficient building skins, natural lighting, etc. The way buildings are connected to all kinds of well-functioning networks of different scales is crucial. Such networks include sustainable mobility, water and power, but also social, cultural and economic networks. If a building temporarily needs some extra energy, it is good if this can be generated nearby; for example by solar cells on a neighbour’s roof, because it is cheap and you don’t lose energy in transportation. Sewage water can be cleaned and infiltrated in the soil at the neighbourhood level if the right networks are in place. Making use of optimised advantages of scale is crucial. Exchanges in the smaller networks take away a lot of pressure from the mid-sized and larger infrastructures. Many small power generators together also create a very cheap, resilient and sustainable power supply on the large scale. This way, the large-scale infrastructures function as a back-up system. This way, they can be much smaller, which makes it easier to turn also these into sustainable services. The same goes for water, waste and other resources. IA&B: Your work is highly acclaimed. The portfolio of VenhoevenCS includes projects ranging from temporary installations to master plans of significant importance. Can you inform us about the ‘process’ or the ‘method’ that is common to all these endeavours? TV: Collaboration is key to all our projects. To start with, we study the assignment and all the information we can get about the physical, economic, social and cultural context. After that, we think of the team needed and the amount of openness of the design process. This depends a great deal on the type of commission, the experience required, the location - for example, a specific location in India. Also, sometimes the client wants to have a very strong role or the involvement of people in the community; that may be crucial. Then we start working. In the case of architecture and urban planning, this means producing different models or scenario’s that organise program, networks, location, light penetration, in different ways, all depending on the requirements. Here, we use typological comparisons, inspirations from different cultural sources, but elaborating the models also requires craftsmanship and unorthodox ideas. Inputs from the client, experts


and the community are used to select and develop some of the competing models. Again, these are evaluated, improved, tested and - through an evolutionary process of improvement and selection - one is elaborated to its final status. All goes very rapidly; say within four weeks we produce most of the conceptual framework. All together the preliminary design does not take more than six to eight weeks. After that, all is elaboration. IA&B: Your architecture is functionally and formally disciplined. You have designed for programs of various scales and complexities. Please tell us about your most significant project(s). TV: I am tempted to mention the last project as the most significant, but maybe this is only because it is top-of-mind. However, I think the extended school for Leiden Noord is a very important project because of its social and cultural relevance for the problems of this time. The project contains four primary schools for four different religious groups, a community centre, youth centre, library, sports hall, nursery, healthcare centre, computer room and a multifunctional entrance hall. Next to that, there are apartments for demented elderly, mentally handicapped children, low-income apartments and normal apartments. The project is not really one building, but more a piece of the city in the city. If all goes well, it will function as a cultural centre and social condenser. The project is conceived as an acupunctural treatment for one of the poorer neighbourhoods of the city of Leiden in Holland. In this project, all kinds of issues that are relevant for society are integrated in the architectural design: improving the quality of public space, mixing functions, increasing density and proximity between people, enabling encounters between different ethnic and age groups; in short, improving the quality of community life in the city. The construction of the extended school in Leiden will be finalised in January next year. Other projects in which we developed such themes as quality of public space, slow traffic, improving social tissue, healthy city, reuse and low carbon, were the Jan Schaefer Bridge in the Amsterdam Docklands, swimming pool and leisure centre Sportplaza Mercator, extended school Forum’t Zand and the master plan for Expo 2017 in Liège, Belgium.

Sportplaza Mercator.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


City of Liège, Belgium - Master plan for 2017 Expo.

IA&B: Can you inform us on your involvement with India? What are the primary agendas? TV: Introduction of long-term planning in India is the first goal we share with our Indian partners. Through long-term planning, many of today’s pressing issues can be solved, provided the right strategies are implemented. But starting some key projects immediately is also essential to learn, gain support and develop momentum. Such projects can be economic and spatial development around infrastructural nodes, slum development with integrated approach of social, economic, infrastructural and spatial issues. A combination of public space development and decentralised water treatment and infiltration would also be a good key project. All this also requires an excellent communication strategy. IA&B: As a professional, can you tell us about your opinion on the work culture – especially in design – in India. How has it been working in an absolutely different world? TV: In the discourse of designers, I recognised a combined focus on social, cultural and environmental issues. Design itself seems to be focussed on product development for especially the emerging middle class. I had a steep learning curve trying to understand all; the cultural particularities, the legal possibilities, the different people and organisations I met, and I am still learning. During this period, I found out that there are not only large regional and cultural differences, but - maybe more important - big differences in language and habits between generations, businessmen, civil servants, scientists, people from the neighbourhood and between those educated in India and those who studied abroad. In all those groups, I met a lot of fascinating people with whom I would like to collaborate with in the coming years. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Forum’t Zand.

Villa Vonk exterior.

VOL 26 (4) | DEC 2012 | ` 200 | MUMBAI RNI Registration No. 46976/87, ISSN 0971-5509 INDIAN ARCHITECT AND BUILDER


LET’S PARTNER City-Centric + Research-Driven


In conversation with IA&B, Ton Venhoeven of the Dutch design studio VenhoevenCS elaborates on his transdisciplinary practice, the larger responsibility that architecture should initiate towards society and his involvement with the Delhi 2050 initiative in India.

Chairman: Jasu Shah Printer, Publisher & Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah Chief Executive Officer: Hemant Shetty


CURRENT Au courant updates on events, exhibitions, competitions and news.


Assistant Editors: Maanasi Hattangadi, Ruturaj Parikh Writers: Rashmi Naicker (Online), Sharmila Chakravorty, Shalmali Wagle Editorial Co-ordinator: Parikshit Vivekanand Design Team: Mansi Chikani, Prasenjit Bhowmick, Kenneth Menezes Event Management Team: Abhay Dalvi, Abhijeet Mirashi Subscription: Dilip Parab Production Team: V Raj Misquitta (Head), Prakash Nerkar, Arun Madye


Objects and details designed for architectural settings from across the globe.


Head Office:

The restructuring proposal for Tulja Bhavani Temple Precinct by Studio MADe


brings together the extant fragmented composition of the precinct by

Brand Manager: Sudhanshu Nagar E-mail:

Delhi: Preeti Singh / Manu Raj Singhal 803, Chiranjeev Tower, No 43, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110 019 Tel: 011 2623 5332, Fax: 011 2642 7404, E-mail:,

streamlining movement and amenities.


Chennai / Coimbatore: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: 09833104834, E-mail:

Neev Amberwood Neev Amberwood, a redevelopment project aims to offer a calm and connected oasis amidst the chaotic and space-starved city of Mumbai.


POST EVENT ResidenceNEXT Reportage from a workshop on the future of residence design organised by IIA Thrissur and Architects’ Club Thrissur over three days in September 2012.

Gujarat: Parvez Memon Mobile: 09769758712, Email: Bengaluru/ Hyderabad: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: 09833104834, E-mail:

CONSTRUCTION BRIEF Tulja Bhavani Temple Precinct Restructuring

JMPL, 210, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91 -22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635

MARKETING TEAM & OFFICES Mumbai Parvez Memon 210, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91 -22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635 Email:



FOCUS CASE-STUDY HOUSES 7 proposals from 7 teams – each led by a senior architect – on a unique, green,

Kolkata: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: 09833104834, E-mail:

corner site in Thrissur, Kerala for a single-family residence.

Pune: Parvez Memon Mobile: 09769758712, Email:

Printed & Published by Maulik Jasubhai Shah on behalf of Jasubhai Media Pvt. Ltd (JMPL), 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Printed at M.B.Graphics, B-28 Shri Ram Industrial Estate, ZG.D.Ambekar Marg, Wadala, Mumbai 400031and Published from Mumbai - 3rd Floor, Taj Building, , 210, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah, 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Indian Architect & Builder: (ISSN 0971-5509), RNI No 46976/87, is a JMPL monthly publication. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or any other language is strictly prohibited. We welcome articles, but do not accept responsibility for contributions lost in the mail.


House 1 – Bijoy Ramachandran + Team


House 2 – Dominic Dube + Team


House 3 – Kevin Mark Low + Team


House 4 – Madhura Prematillekke + Team


House 5 – Rafiq Azam + Team


House 6 – Rajesh Renganathan + Team


House 7 – Shilpa Ranade + Team


ART Abstracted Realism Light and versatile in functionality, Ban by multinational architectural practice


Orproject, was designed as a pavilion for Beijing Design Week 2012 following the principles of the sculptural structure of a flower.


YOUNG DESIGNERS ‘12 ARCHITECTURE Beyond the ordinary With silently connected spaces and visual surprises contained within, the Shetty Residence by Deepa Shetty of Research Design Office is thoughtfully curated as a contemporary response to its inhabitants’ needs in a suburban extension of Bengaluru.


INTERIORS ORIENTAL ZENITH A symbol of renewal and visual delight, the o2 Spa is formalised as a material expression of serenity at the Novotel Hotel in Hyderabad, designed by Vistaar Associates.


SPACE FRAMES What Happens in Varanasi… In this edition of Space Frames curated by Dr. Mathew, Madishetty Manasa explores life in Varanasi and the crucial connections it has with the ‘ghats’ on the river.

Co v e

Printed & Published by Maulik Jasubhai Shah on behalf of Jasubhai Media Pvt. Ltd (JMPL), 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021. Printed at M.B.Graphics, B-28, Shri Ram Industrial Estate, ZG.D.Ambekar Marg, Wadala, Mumbai 400031and Published from Mumbai - 3rd Floor, Taj Building, 210, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah, 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021. Indian Architect & Builder: (ISSN 0971-5509), RNI No 46976/87, is a JMPL monthly publication. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or any other language is strictly prohibited. We welcome articles, but do not accept responsibility for contributions lost in the mail.


, dran eNEX T n a h ac nc Ram , Reside y o j Bi der e : © a m Le a g a Im Te



ARCH PHOTOGRAPHY - Erotic Architecture


Category Type Deadline

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International Open to all January 20, 2013

‘Erotic’ and ‘Architecture’ are two words that have not shared common space of interest often, but that does not mean they should not be linked together. This photo-competition welcomes change in one’s usual perception of space and surrounding buildings, constructions, bridges and other places and spaces that give stimulus to erotic associations. Erotic architecture does not mean only obvious suggestive forms resembling human body parts. The competition demands work presenting combinations of spatial qualities, materials, rhythms and atmospheres which, in specific combination, could be considered erotic. Photos with human interaction are welcome, but architecture should play the primary role in the composition. For further information, log on to: Web:

Bike Base Trimo Urban Crash 2013 Category Type Deadline

International Open to Students January 31, 2013

International Open to Students February 1, 2013

120 HOURS is an independent competition organised by students on a voluntary, non-profit basis without the involvement of the school administration. The organising committee of 120 HOURS is recruited from the student masses of the three main architecture schools in Norway - BAS, AHO and NTNU. The competition is open for international students. 120 HOURS aims to offer fresh ideas on relevant architectural topics while giving students a voice in the current architectural discourse. 120 HOURS is expected to be a fun, challenging competition for students to participate in, and will give students a relevant ‘first encounter’ with architectural competitions. For further information, log on to: Web:

Collider Activity Centre Category Type Deadline

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International Open to all February 15, 2013

The Bike Base Trimo Urban Crash 2013 is a competition for students to design a unique public venue, a Bike Service and Coffee Shop called the Bike Base, executed with Trimo materials, applying the paradigm of modular architecture in the aspect of self-sufficiency and sustainability. The winning project will be erected on a designated plot donated by the city of Ljubljana. Trimo Urban Crash is a competition for undergraduate/diploma students of architecture and design. The competition will award the best project with its permanent realisation on location, while the author receives a summer school at the AA School in London, UK. The finalists will be awarded with a place in the study trip and workshop in Slovenia and representation in the catalogue.

If there is a quality that unites successful people, it is their energy. Most often, successful people are active people: those that love action, risk, and new opportunities; those that create value. Walltopia are expected to build for them the Collider Activity Centre – a place that gathers all active people and offers unlimited combinations of sports, rest and networking. The scope of the competition is the development of an architectural project and schematic design for the “Collider Activity Centre” according to the available project assignment and supplementary materials on the website. The competition is open, international and one-stage. The international jury will nominate and award five projects. The promoter will choose one of them, with whom a contract will be signed for execution of construction drawings.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web:

Flat Lot Competition

TIA - Tianjin International Airport

Category Type Deadline


: : :

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: International : Open to all : January 31, 2013

Category Type Deadline

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International Open to all February 15, 2013

The American Institute of Architects – Flint and Flint Public Art Project announces its first annual Flat Lot Competition, a programme to design and build a temporary summer pavilion in the central parking lot in downtown Flint. The Flat Lot Competition is hoping to seek proposals that will design and build an innovative temporary structure that provides shelter, shade, and seating for a wide range of public events, defines space within the lot, and demonstrates the capacity of contemporary architectural form-making to transform space and captivate the public imagination – all while occupying no more than eight parking spaces during normal business hours.

China is rapidly becoming a very sought-after tourist destination and the government is investing in the construction of new airports. AWR; Architecture Workshop in Rome; for this very reason, proposed the design of a new air terminal at Tianjin that can increase the reception capacity of the old airport by launching a competition. The design process for this competition must be observed especially by climatic and environmental aspects of the area to explore issues related to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of such works.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web:

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012



Inside Outside Mega Show Indore

BuildMat 2013

Date Venue

Date Venue

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January 11-13, 2013 Indore, India

Inside Outside Mega Show Indore is an event focussed on interior decoration, furniture, furnishing as well as building and construction industries. Organised by Business India Exhibitions, this premier exhibition serves as a platform for national and international exhibitors to launch their innovative products and interact with their target customers. Since its inception in the year 1988, the Inside Outside Mega Show exhibition has extended its exhibition centres regularly. The audience at the Inside Outside Mega Show Indore 2013 will have opportunity to network with key players in the industry and gather information about the latest design, products and services. For further information, log on to:

: :

February 7-10, 2013 Coimbatore, India

BuildMat 2013 is a trade show focussed on construction and interior design industry in India. The trade fair is expected to be attended by professionals from around the industry such as architects, engineers, builders and all those related to the construction industry on a common platform. The BuildMat International Construction and Interior Fair are also expected to provide an excellent opportunity to meet and share knowledge with progressive-minded manufacturers, technology providers, innovators and solution providers. BuildMat 2013 is expected to enable the participants to demonstrate their cutting-edge products, technologies and services to qualified buyers and key decision-makers from the construction sector, and establish successful business links in the regional and global construction market. For further information, log on to:

Call For Papers - From Tehran to Tahrir: Redefining Web: Public Space Delhi Wood 2013 Date Venue

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February 1, 2013 Philadelphia, USA

The Center for Global Communication Studies and its Iran Media Programme have inititated a call for papers with an aim to reconceptualise “public space,” in the 21 st century, drawing on potential shifts influenced by the events of the Arab Spring and the contested Iranian election of 2009. The workshop will have Iran as a focus, but locates changes in a comparative context, both temporally and geographically. This event is sponsored by the Iran Media Programme at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. The Iran Media Programme is a collaborative network designed to enhance the understanding of Iran’s media ecology. The goal is to strengthen a global network of media scholars and practitioners working on Iran-related topics. For further information, contact: Email:

ATMOS 5: Ecology and Design


Date Venue

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February 7- 9, 2013 Winnipeg, Canada

Date Venue

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February 23-26, 2013 New Delhi, India

Delhi Wood 2013 is a trade exhibition for woodworking machinery, tools, fittings, accessories, raw materials and products in India. The show is expected to provide an excellent platform to the exhibitors to display their products and services to the qualified trade attendees. It is expected to provide an opportunity to the professionals from the woodworking industry to meet, know more about the latest products and to gather information about the growth of the industry. In its third edition, Delhi Wood 2013 will be attended by exhibitors and woodworking entrepreneurs from South East Asia on a common platform to explore new business opportunities in the Indian woodworking market. For further information, log on to: Web:

361° Conference: Architecture of Purpose Date Venue

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March 6-8, 2013 Mumbai, India

The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada’s annual symposium, ATMOSPHERE (ATMOS) intends to explore issues that are intangible and overlooked in design, planning and architecture, those difficult to pin down, document, or record with conventional instruments and methodologies. In 2013, ATMOS 5 still maintains its principles with a broader focus on Ecology and Design. The forum will chart diverse paths at work to inform and inspire new directions in practice and education of Ecology and Design. ATMOS 5 also intends to scrutinise abstract propasals which they have received on ecology in design pedagogy, practice, history and theory, technology and material used and project reflections in ecological context.

As one of the oldest and the most respected design forums in India, the 361° Design Conference is an initiative by Indian Architect & Builder to create a truly relevant dialogue on architecture. In its sixth edition, the conference will host individuals who lead the thought and practice of architecture and, as an extension, design, in the world. Over past five versions, the conference has established a thought-exchange programme with its presentations and discussions, thus chronicling a multitude of ideas and innovations that have had a significant impact on our habitat. This edition of the 361° Conference aims to elaborate on Architecture of Purpose, based around concepts like identity, expression, value and desire, amongst a variety of other concepts.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web:

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Winners of 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice Announced The Chicago Architectural Club comprising of Karla Sierralta and Brian Strawn, also the co-presidents of the Chicago Architectural Club, led the event which witnessed three winners out of 71 new visionary proposals for Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. The Chicago Architectural Club had partnered with AIA Chicago and the Chicago Architectural Foundation for the initiative. 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice was a single-stage, international, design ideas competition that asked for alternative solutions for one of Chicago’s most architecturally significant modern buildings, Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. The first place went to designers Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta who claim that the buildings are sleeping and you should go wake them up, the second place went to designers Noel Turgeon and Natalya Egon who represent the subject Superimpositions: Prentice as additive icon. The third place went to designers James Wild with Lauren Haras, Katherine Lee, Andres Lemus, Tom Marquardt, Pedro Melis, Saman Moayer, Kerry Rutz, Katelyn Smith, and Ashley Wendela whose concept was based on the subject Bridging Prentice. A total of 81 new visions for Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital were collected and are on display in the companion exhibit “Reconsidering an Icon” at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Lecture Hall.

Małopolska Garden of Arts Named Best Architecture in Krakow, Poland The newly opened cultural arts centre complex “Małopolski Ogród Sztuki” or the “Małopolska Garden of Arts” in Krakow, Poland, has been selected for the Prof. J. Bogdanowski Prize 2012 for the best architecture realised in Krakow. Designed by Ingarden & Ewý Architects, this new cultural institution houses a performing and media arts centre, as well as a mediatheque. The Małopolska Garden of Arts is a cross between two institutions: the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre and the Malopolska Voivodeship Library. The new hall – operates as a studio theatre, conference room, concert hall, and venue for banquets and exhibitions – holds retractable stages for 300 people. Honing the form, the architects focussed on interaction with the future recipients, which is why the entire spatial form is symbolic from the openwork roofing raised over the garden from the side of Rajska Street which doubles up as a transport gateway from the stage out onto the street.


Six Projects to Receive 2013 SEED Award for Excellence in Public-Interest Design Winners of the 2013 SEED Award for Excellence in Public-Interest Design were announced. SEED Awards recognise excellence in social, economic, and environmental design, and represent the collaborations needed to create truly sustainable projects and change in the world. Six projects were selected out of 65 submitted from 21 countries worldwide. The six projects are the Maa-Bara: Catalyzing Economic Change & Food Security by Designing Decentralised Aquaponics production, the SAGE: Affordable Green Modular Classrooms, the Rosa F. Keller Building, Firm Foundation, Sudan Jalle School and the Puyallup Longhouse. All of these projects maintained a space which made significant impact in all the communal, inexpensive and ecological aspects of design. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

current Two Projects Share First Place at 2012 Cleveland Design Competition - Transforming the Bridge The Cleveland Design Competition announced the winners of its 2012 edition, Transforming. The brief called for design ideas that would transform the abandoned lower deck of Cleveland’s Detroit-Superior Bridge into a dynamic public space, performance venue, and pedestrian experience high above the Cuyahoga River. After much inspection of this year’s best submissions, the jury unanimously decided to combine the 1 st and 2 nd place prize awards and award two first-place winners. The jurors also selected a 3 rd place, as well as seven honorable mentions. Archilier Architecture’s Bridgewalk is about making connections. Not just a landmark structure, the Detroit-Superior Bridge is one of Cleveland’s most important urban ligaments. The Bridgewalk transforms and enlivens this vital connective tissue by inhabiting it with a variety of activities that have been planned year-round.

Seven Teams Shortlisted for New Art-Themed Park at West Kowloon Cultural District The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced a shortlist of seven design teams that have been invited to submit technical proposals for the development of Hong Kong’s first art-themed park, 14 hectares of landscaped public space for arts and culture at the West Kowloon Cultural District, by the waterfront in Kowloon. The seven shortlisted design teams are Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau and VOGT Landscape, Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man with Grimshaw, West 8 and ACLA, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with Olin and Urbanus, Grant Associates, Wilkinson Eyre and WSP, Gustafson Porter, Michel Desvigne Paysagiste and Foster + Partners, Hargreaves Associates with Ennead Architects and finally James Corner Field Operations. The designers are challenged to maximise the greening opportunities involved and integrate innovative green ideas in their park design with keeping basic elements in loop like free space, the freespace theatre, music box, outdoor stage, lawn and art pavilions.

Zaha Hadid Wins New National Stadium Japan Competition Zaha Hadid was among the eleven finalists in the international design competition for the New National Stadium Japan in Tokyo, and it has been announced that the entry by Zaha Hadid Architects was selected as the overall competition winner. Jury Chair Tadao Ando remarked at the entry to be one of the most dynamic and futuristic design that embodies the message Japan would like to convey to the rest of the world. The winning entry was selected out of tough line-up of other well-known finalists, such as SANAA, Toyo Ito, UNStudio, Populous, and Cox Architecture. The stadium is scheduled for completion in 2018, and if Japan is selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games, it will be used as the primary venue for both, the 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The stadium is already slated to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and will also be offered as a venue for the FIFA World Cup. Apart from athletic events the stadium hopes to host concerts by world-renowned entertainers, and a wide range of other cultural and artistic events.


Uruguayan designer Claudio Sibille’s uniquely styled Ese Chair embodies functionality with irregular design. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




Text compiled by: Parikshit Vivekanand Photography: courtesy Claudio Sibille


he Ese Chair has an unusual look not because of its artistic form of expression but because of its responsive functionality. Design is not just art, and therefore as a designer Claudio Sibille had to put prime importance on the functionality of the chair. Its unique design made it look fresh and young, but it still chose to serve the basic purpose of a product which is hard to accomplish. Art is to design what physics is to technology. Design is a discipline that gathers many aspects of this and puts them all together in an object. The Ese chair was the result of such thought towards design. As eccentric as it seems, the shape of the rocking chair takes the shape of a symmetrical alphabet ‘S’. Design is rational, art is passionate. They are two separate things, no matter how connected they may be, and it is the intent of the creator that distinguishes the two disciplines. This project, amongst the many others under Claudio’s belt, was quite characteristic, since the solution of the problem came only after the shape started to appear. It was kind of a backward project in which the form gave shape to the solution, the design started with a basic circle. After much play and addition of lines, these tangential leakages of the circle became prominent and clear. The resultant figure appeared to become the arm rests of a chair as well as the legs. The circle became the back and seats of the rocking chair. Since the shape is a perfect S, it won’t change when you rotate it 180 degrees, thus keeping its shape but changing its upholstery design. The material used is Ambai plywood which gives it its chic look.

Designer: Claudio Sibille Contact: Phone: (+598) 99 224 595 Email: Web:

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

configuration possibilities


horizontal stacking

vertical stacking



Hardik Gandhi, an NID graduate, defines, derives and delights with his irregular design for modular storage-cum-sitting blocks, the ZigZag. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012



Data: courtesy Hardik Gandhi

A customisation options for various finishes available

laminated/ lacquered




s a multidisciplinary design studio with a modern, futuristic approach towards creation, DesignGandhi strives to realise dreams and translate ideas like the ZigZag, a modular storage-cum-sitting block, into reality. It is a design which wonderfully puts together a versatile piece of furniture that may pass off as a piece of contemporary design. The design of the ZigZag directly transforms the original idea into a real product that occupies a certain amount of space in the environment. The space occupied by the ZigZag is aesthetically pleasing and, at the same time, practical and useful. The aim of the design is a product with a fresh and clean concept, which reflects good living and well-being. There is a metaphoric undertone to the design of the ZigZag which adds a sense of poetry to its existence and the purpose it chooses to deliver. However, the primary emphasis in each project from the DesignGandhi guild is function, and is inspired from user insights and desirability which is clearly visible in the ZigZag. The procedure of such a design follows three basic principles - ‘define’, ‘derive’ and ‘delight’. As the designer elaborates, “Put it up, it is a podium. Set it down, it is a bench. Pile it up, you have a bookshelf. Stack it down, you get storage space. Slide them or heap them, cluster them or align them, they always fit like perfect pieces of a puzzle. Customise the surface with vinyl stickers, or sober it down with demure fabric upholstery. Else go classic with a natural veneered exterior or PU painted on MDF. Be your own designer, rouse your imagination, and play with a wide array of vivacious colours to create funky, spirited spaces.” The design helps one to play with interiors; may it be commercial or residential, the ZigZag adapts to every situation and location to adjust to a varied settings.

Designer: Hardik Gandhi Firm DesignGandhi Contact: DesignGandhi GC-8, Karmstambh Complex, Opp. Paper-Mill Compound, Near Home-Town, L.B.S. Road, Vikhroli (W), Mumbai - 400 083, India. Phone: +91 22 25789333 +91 99301 22566 Web:

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The proposed sub-grade circulation route for entering the temple.

Tulja Bhavani Temple Precinct Restructuring By streamlining movement and amenities, the restructuring proposal for the Tulja Bhavani Temple precinct by Studio MADe brings together the extant fragment composition of the precinct. Text: courtesy Studio MADe Images & Drawings: courtesy Studio MADe

A place of worship is more than just a space where pilgrims converge for prescribed rituals and spiritual fulfilment. Its characteristics transcend the mere concentration of facilities so that the meaning of the place assumes an important identifying role for the devotees and its town. Sacred places have survived for centuries because they have provided the community with cultural stability, security and guidance in its behavioural patterns. These places collectively represent humankind’s greatest investment in energy and materials. In the case of the 400-year-old Tulja Bhavani Temple, a number of factors have contributed to the loss of this feeling of sustenance. The temple precinct has suffered from unregulated growth and additions without a formal plan. This has led to loss of spatial coherence, a quality usually appreciated in places of worship. Moreover, absence of land use regulations has created an almost permanent state of congestion on main routes of approach to the temple precinct. With increase in pilgrims over the years - currently estimated to be 9,00,000 a day during Navratri - there is a pressing need to increase the holding capacity of the pilgrims and regulate their movement. It is important Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


construction brief


that these challenges be met with cultural understanding of the past as well as the consciousness to be part of our times.

ENTRY (red) AND EXIT (green) PATHS

Besides focussing on the brief to increase the capacity, the proposal is largely driven by sensitivity to the origins of the temple, its physical setting and the needs of the pilgrims. It frequently returns to the path and the un-built spaces since traditionally, pilgrims (in most temples in India) spend fleeting time inside the main temple but will have spent hours as part of the procession to arrive at the sanctum sanctorum. The project is faced with a set of unique complexities: locals’ resistance to change, limitations of growth imposed by undulating terrain, and lack of vehicular access for movement of material during construction. These are, in brief, the determining factors behind a series of measures proposed which aim to regenerate the temple precinct and extend to the immediate surrounds and the town of Tuljapur. The essence of the proposal is a dialogue between what exists and what is proposed which manifests itself at multiple levels.

adaptive reuse new intervention proposed underpass


At the outset, the proposal identifies the need to streamline the movement of pilgrims and reduce conflicts by separating entry and exit points to the temple precinct. This is addressed by developing an exit on the northern side beside the main temple. Additionally, all existing access points to the precinct are revived to increase the range of options for routing the pilgrims during peak convergence. To moderate the volume of pilgrims, a holding arena of 12500sqft, spread over two levels, is proposed adjacent to the main entrance. The objective is to provide waiting space for pilgrims before they enter the temple precinct.


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ENERGISING VOIDS Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


All queue lanes located around the ambulation tank and the main temple are either moved to the side of the perimeter buildings or below the surface, thus facilitating easy movement of pilgrims. While maintaining traditional processional pathways, the option of an underground circulation route for devotees entering the main temple has been added. This further reduces the conflicts in the quadrangle surrounding the main temple. Many dilapidated buildings within the precinct are opened up, restored and reused; one instance being the administrative office which is moved to the central wing, creating more waiting space for the pilgrims. Once the journey through the main temple is complete, new amenities have been provided for pilgrims at the rear end to bring the experience to a pleasant closure. After the narrow constraints of the main prescient, the space here opens up, offering a sense of release. A festival court and an open gallery to deities are proposed while the rest of the area is conceived as a park or a place for meditation for both pilgrims as well as people from surrounding areas. At the level of the town, all links to the temple complex have been streamlined and revived by making entry routes to the temple complex pedestrian, restricting vehicular movement to the parking lot, and relocating markets and vendors off the approach routes. For days of peak convergence during Navratri, a temporary camp-like arrangement to hold pilgrims with basic amenities along the main routes into the town has been suggested so that the town is not burdened with numbers beyond its capacity. TOPOGRAPHIC DISPOSITION

The appeal of Tuljapur is largely due to density of pilgrims moving through the un-built open to sky spaces within the precinct – what can be termed as energising voids. Preservation of this character is the key to understanding how the temple precinct can grow without undermining its uniqueness, and the proposal aims to achieve this with sensitivity to the needs of the different groups of people who use the space.




CONTEXT - TEMPLE AND TOWN Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Project Location Architect Design Project Team

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Tulja Bhavani Temple Precinct Restructuring Tuljapur, Maharashtra Studio MADe Dennis Sam Shaju, Madhusudhan Chalasani Kamesh Srinivasan, Dinakarn, Sandeep Thumma, Shruthi Bharve


View of the towers at Neev Amberwood.

Neev Amberwood Neev Amberwood, a redevelopment project, ascertains Neev Group’s focus on unleashing the potential of redevelopment as a growth catalyst for the space-starved city of Mumbai. Text compiled by: Sharmila Chakravorty


he latest offering from the Neev Group, Neev Amberwood, will be a premium residential project located in Mumbai’s western suburban area, Andheri. Nestled amidst a beautiful landscape, this spacious housing venture will replace an existing housing society, as part of a redevelopment project. Spread across 2,00,000sqft, Neev Amberwood is located in the heart of the suburb, with four majestic towers consisting of two towers of ground plus 14 storeys and two towers of ground plus 15 storeys, comprising of 176 flats with excellent amenities. The project offers spacious 2, 2.5 and 3 BHK flats. Neev Amberwood seeks to offer a calm yet connected life to its residents, with a 200m lush green private approach road, isolating the project from the chaos of the city, yet being located conveniently close to the city; thus, representing an ideal suburban lifestyle. The project is located 10 minutes away from the Andheri Railway Station and is well-connected to the Western Express Highway, in addition to being in close proximity to the airports. One of the stations of the upcoming metro rail, linking Versova and Ghatkopar, is also a few metres away from the gates of Neev Amberwood.

Aesthetically designed to offer the best of the contemporary amenities and facilities, which include luxurious clubhouse with a hi-tech gymnasium, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna, yoga and a meditation centre, Neev Amberwood promises to offer a holistic living experience. The project also features a community hall, library, a mini medical care facility to provide emergency care ‘24 by 7’, and a swimming pool on the top floor of one of the towers. Beautifully landscaped gardens with children’s play areas, state-of-the-art modern security systems, basement car parking space, and drivers’ waiting lounge are a few more facilities on offer at Neev Amberwood.

FACT FILE: Project Location Project Type Client

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Neev Amberwood Andheri, Mumbai Redevelopment Neev Group Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


7 Teams composed of 2 young architects and 3 students, each led by a senior architect propose 7 different alternatives for a residence on a unique site in Thrissur, Kerala. Text: Ruturaj Parikh Data: courtesy the ResidenceNEXT organising team Images: Lijo Jos, Prashanth Mohan & team; courtesy ResidenceNEXT


ver two days in Thrissur, Kerala, seven teams worked on a small residential plot of land with dense foliage. The brief was to design a residence (contemporary implied) for a middle-class family of six (2 Grandparents + 2 Parents + 2 Children). The workshop – organised jointly by IIA Thrissur and Architects’ Club Thrissur – intended to explore significant ideas on the future of residential design in Kerala and as an extension, India.

Inauguration by Advocate Therambil Ramakrishnan MLA.

Each team was led by a senior architect – Kevin Low of Malaysia, Dominic Dube of India, Rafiq Azam of Bangladesh, Bijoy Ramachadran of India, Madhura Prematilleke, Shilpa Ranade of India and Rajesh Renganathan of India. The young architects and students were selected through application and teams were formed. After an evening briefing and an inaugural session, the studios were setup at Wariyam Heritage home-stay by converting large rooms into temporary working spaces. Each day, presentations were arranged in the evening with each team briefing others on the progress of work, and significant thoughts. The quantum and quality of work over three days of the workshop was remarkable.

Rafiq Azam and Kevin Low in the audience as the lots are drawn for team selection. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

At the closing of the workshop, a public presentation was organised at the Regional Theater in Thrissur. Each team leader presented the proposed design to the theatre packed with students, architects and interested individuals through short presentations. A discussion moderated Ar. Soumitro Ghosh and Ar. George Jacob with all the team leaders followed the presentation.

post event


Day 1: Madhura Prematillekke’s team in discussion at the studios.

Rajesh Renganathan in conversation with the team.

Kevin Low in discussion with the team.

Bijoy Ramachandran’s team in the court at the Wariyam Heritage house (studios).

The team takes notes as Rafiq Azam draws on the white board.

Work in progress at the studios well into the night.

Madhura Prematillekke’s team makes a presentation on the evening - Day 1. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Day 2: Rafiq Azam sketches.

It was refreshing to see seven completely different proposals – developed from many distinct perspectives on a site that initially came across as constrained. It is important to realise that site constraints be very positive readings. The following section titled ‘Case Study Houses’ presents these proposals with an introduction to the site and context in the prologue.

Shilpa Ranade draws on the board as the team evolves the design.

Rajesh Renganathan proposes the design on the evening of Day 2.

Dominic Dube’s team in discussion.

Madhura signs the autograph sheet given to each participant - signed by the leaders.

Over three days in Thrissur, Kerala, seven teams worked on a small residential plot of land with dense foliage. The brief was to design a residence for a middle-class family of six (2 Grand Parents + 2 Parents + 2 Children). Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Bijoy Ramachandran makes the presentation on Day 3 at the Regional Theatre “Conditions of the Specific, Conditions of the General”.

Shilpa Ranade explains “Adaptability, Divisibility, Recyclability”.

Madhura Prematillekke makes his presentation “A tree for every House”.

“Rain is Coming. . .” by Rafiq Azam.

Rajesh Renganathan talks about the issues that postulate their proposal.

Kevin Mark Low presents the idea of form that develops from the content.

Soumitro Ghosh and George Jacob moderated the concluding discussion.

Dominic Dube’s team presents their proposal for a spiritual realm. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Case Study Houses 1 Site

7 Proposals


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Case-Study Houses Proposals from the ResidenceNEXT Workshop, Thrissur

The following pages chronicle each proposal from the ResidenceNEXT Workshop. The work presented here was done in a period of three days, 27 to 29 September 2012, by seven teams – each led by a senior architect – working for a common brief and site in Thrissur.

Text: Ruturaj Parikh Images: courtesy the ResidenceNEXT organising team

Site: located on a busy suburban street, dense green with mature trees.

PRETEXT residence is the most fundamental typology in architecture. It is versatile – it can be imagined in any scale, material and context. The history of human occupation can be read if one carefully studies the way humans designed and organised the lived space. A house is inseparably connected to our culture, way of living, social notions, economic systems, religious and spiritual inclinations, climatic conditions, resources of our regional situation and our intuitive understanding of self.


In a diverse landscape of India, the way we imagine our house is a matter of a lot of consideration. We imagine a residence differently – as architects and as individuals within a socio-cultural context. There is also a lot of Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

distinction between ‘A House’ and ‘My House’. Incredibly, this distinction and involved negotiation is key to contemporary residential design: for whom is the house designed? PROGRAM In this case, the house is designed for a ‘middle-class’ family of 6 people: grandparents, a couple and two kids – the exact age is not of much consequence since the house will remain for long and use will change over time – so will the users. Here are some postulates from the program: Client: A couple (in their mid 30’s, both working) living with their 2 kids (in primary school) and their parents (in their mid 70’s) 2+2+2. Area: 2500 Sqft max. (Including patios, balconies, etc. if any)





Required Spaces: Single car park, Sit-out (patio), Living, Dining, Kitchen, Work area (utility), Store, Maid’s Toilet, Prayer area facing east or west (Optional) and 3-4 Bedrooms (as per convenience/concept) with attached Toilets. Any other areas that could make this design better are a welcome addition. Water Source: Can consider a regular well/bore well, Overhead tank, Sump, etc. as per design. The site from the SW corner.

Budget: The couple belongs to the middle class and it should suit their income.

The site is significantly green – with 7 adult trees of different character and 5 young trees, the land has a green ceiling punctuated by a dense canopy that permits filtered light from a perpendicular sun.

Pan of the site from the SW corner.

Pan from the NW corner - the Jackfruit tree in the centre.

From the SE corner (9:00 AM). Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Beyond this, the interpretation of the program and aspiration of the assumed clients were left to individual teams. The readings of the site and its context are also a matter of assimilation of information that cannot be stated plainly. This gives one significant freedom to define (through design) the client and their wants. Here is the physical and concrete situation of the site.


that permits filtered light from a perpendicular sun. Raised from the street by about two feet, the general level of the site is higher than the busy (noisy) primary street and a silent secondary street. The trees are healthy and various. There is an old Jackfruit in the centre of the site, a Mango in one corner and another (probably older) Jackfruit on the west compound wall (existing). The canopy is intimate and forms a cover at roughly eight meters from the ground. CONTEXT There is no consistent fabric (in terms of type or nature) in the immediate surrounding but largely, it is a residential street. With an occasional (and interesting) vernacular house in the neighbourhood, the rest of the immediate built context is non-cohesive and in-consistent. The built heights vary from G to G + 4 (~3M – 15M). The research on broader contexts of Thrissur and Kerala are left to reading and interpretation. There is a lot written and documented of this larger context.

Morning light from the east filters in from the SE corner (SEPT, 9:00 AM).

SITE Site Area: 333.17 Square Meters. Pin-Point Location: 10°31’46.68”N 76°12’45.62”E The site is significantly green – with 7 adult trees of different character and 5 young trees, the land has a green ceiling punctuated by a dense canopy

FREEDOM & CONSTRAINT Owing to an imaginary client and occupants, each individual was free to interpret the nature of functional and experiential demands from the eventual design. Although a brief profile of the eventual occupants was charted out, the design process was largely free of negotiations. Even with an open brief, many proposals deliberated on the possible lifestyle (and even desires) of the end users. It is remarkable to know that architecture, no matter how modern, still occupies itself with the question of identity. Although it was not a requisite to start with, there was a lot of discussion on the existing trees on the site. The climate and rich soil of Kerala ensures healthy and ample green. The general and immediate concern for these trees was evident. The interpretations of the broad context of Thrissur and then Kerala were left to the designing teams. The observable references came from the climate and situation of the site.

Marked location on the satellite image. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 01 'Drawing to Find Out'

Text: Bijoy Ramachandran Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team

The first proposal by Bijoy Ramachandran’s team explores the possibility of a specific design solution for the program, with an idea where conditions general to residence design are addressed – all the while working to create appropriate architecture.

Our response to this 'call to arms' was twofold. 1. We were interested in thinking again about the way in which architectural design is produced - the rigorous investigation through observation and continuous drawing and model making. In two days we produced three distinct strategies by which to address the site conditions (accommodating the trees, responding to the scale, addressing the site and corner conditions, etc.). These strategies were investigated in detail through drawings and physical models. We consider this sustained process of drawing and making to be a crucial aspect of design work. Through drawing we understand the existing conditions and speculate on possible responses.

Kit of parts - elements that can repeat.

2. Though not developed sufficiently at the workshop, we suggested that rather than thinking about the specifics of the program and its social import, it was probably more pertinent to consider the way we build today. Would it be possible to consider the program in terms of modular elements (a kit of parts) that could be assembled in various ways on various sites with a combination of fixed elements and 'knuckles' built at site to afford specific assemblies? We suggested either metal or bamboo framed structures with plywood or cement board in-fill panels. The single-sloped roofs were made using simple metal trusses with metal sheets (with insulation). We consider both these aspects as being crucial in the way we address the question of what is next - a rigorous process and an appropriate construction methodology. Our final proposal organised the program around the large Jackfruit tree at the centre of the site. The noisy Paliam Street on the south was screened off using a two storey-high breezeway with a timber screened façade and vertical gardens. This breezeway served as a bridge between the two arms of the plan where the living spaces were housed. The ground floor had the living, dining and kitchen/utility in the eastern arm (catching the morning light) and a small study and the grandparents' bedroom in the western arm. This part of the plan could be cordoned off so the grandparents have a private refuge within the plan. All rooms on the ground floor opened out to gardens in the setbacks and onto the central yard around the tree. On the first floor only the eastern arm had an upper level where the children and the parents bedrooms were. Based on this idea of modules, the plan could be read as three modular elements (the eastern arm, western arm and the breezeway) joined together with elements made at site to negotiate the site's specific conditions. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Imagining the volume - the trees and the built.

Initial ideas: drawings from the process.



Reading the context.

Resolving spaces - things on-site.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


"We consider this sustained process of drawing and making to be a crucial aspect of design work."

What can be built? - What can't be built? Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The studio annexe facing the courtyard.

Resolving the functions - the idea of a set. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Porosity - relationship with the site.

Modules and 'knuckles'.

Possibilities on the site - the options. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Elements of organisation on-site.



FIRST FLOOR PLAN Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Zooming in: textures, relationships, experience of the green, transition spaces, scale, intimacy and elements of cohesion.



Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Model: The House in context.

Views of the model.

Sketch: the idea of the house.

Team Leader: Bijoy Ramachandran, Hundredhands, Bengaluru Team: Pramod Jaiswal, Devadithya Mukherjee, Vineeth Kannan, Jitin Sabu Sreekanth Sasi Ruturaj Parikh

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 02 A Pavilion in the Trees

"The role of architecture spaces as a spiritual shelter is crucial", has been very rightly put by architect Tadao Ando, in a very strong context to how he talks about his buildings in and around Japan. So was the case when a task of designing a 'ResidenceNext' was given to the team in context to Kerala. A state so rich in its culture and traditions has also practiced magnificent techniques in art and architecture for decades. A strong impact of the climate and the society can be witnessed in the buildings of Kerala. Be it the opulent temples or the flowing pitched roofs that house the 'Spiritual Shelters' for the people of Kerala. For an outstation person, every house is a temple in itself as every house reflects the strong spiritual spirit of the place. The details in construction, monolithic teak columns, wooden carvings in hand rails, cornices, doors and windows and the indulgence of nature in the whole plan is what makes it so near to the spiritual. The thought of re-imagining the Spiritual Shelters is what seemed to be our job on the site which in its part had a strong atmosphere of its own. A site already gifted with thick nature around spoke by itself what it wanted. The Atmosphere is what we now had to work with. The task was not to design a building anymore, but the site as a whole. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Text: Dominic Dube Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

This proposal by Dominic Dube’s team explores the possibility of the house being a spiritual realm where gestures of space control the built and unbuilt – and how one negotiates the transition in-between focussing on the ‘atmosphere’ for living.

As we approached the site, there were certain vibrations to be felt and realised. More than a flat piece of land it was a volume held together by trees and their foliage roofing it up. Standing at one corner of the site, the instant reactions were – 1) To unite the whole volume with the trees and the site as a whole by introducing an object in the vacuum space between the canopy and the earth. 2) To be there with and around the trees amplifying the spiritual vibe. The simple idea of introducing a plate seeming to float on the site which would camouflage on the brown earth worked well. It was also intended to delineate two spaces, the inside and the outside, but with a consistent visual connection of the outside. The raised plinth would thus provide this levitated state of trance in between of all the running activities of a shelter. The ground floor took up most of the activity areas like the living; dining, kitchen and the grandparents' for were given a personal silent space on the same floor. The grandparent’s room overlooked an old Kerala house behind the site, which would be a nostalgic corner for them. They would relate more with the people staying there, talking to them over the boundary wall, and always get an essence of the Kerala neighbourhood. The living took up the most ambient corner of the



Evolution of the idea: House as a Pavilion for the Spiritual. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Imagining the pavilion: the tree in the centre.

house, the south west which was green, shaded and was near to the entrance. The kitchen was placed on the south east corner for proper sunlight as it is the most important space for the woman of the family and the dining table came along. The dining placed on the east facade opened into the garden extending the family space. All functions thus came about a courtyard which got carved in as a result of the presence of a huge shade giving tree. The ground floor was wrapped in a double skin of glass and louvers for an adaptive environment subjected to weather changes. With the sunlight shimmering in through the louvers, the space inside was an ideal space to feel one with the spiritual. By evening, the house was nothing but a lantern glowing in this small forest in middle of a dense urban layout. The tree became the uniting element of the house and provided the perfect meditative ambience. The ground floor was kept as transparent as possible to create this visual connection between people in all corners of the house to be able to feel at home, united and in constant interaction, if not verbal, but visual. Though transparent, but every assigned area on the ground floor had a strong functional and psychological connection with its outside.

Exploring space: ideas in the section. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

The first floor was more of the tree house. The master bedroom and the kids bedroom was thus placed on the first floor, under the tree canopy, with windows opening to the branches and birds chirping. The kid’s bedroom was towards the bi-lane as they would relate more with the kids playing on the street and the neighbourhood activities. In this way every person had their personal corner in the house, with strong connection of the outside, but all circled around the tree or the courtyard of the house, maintaining the spirit of a typical Kerala house. A lot of times, we struggle to get a structural or an economical solution with respect to the region, but tend to ignore what exactly the people residing in the house would relate to, and what Atmosphere would they love to be in. This Atmosphere does vary with places and people. It thus should be understood more deeply with the client and the region. The aim was to achieve a space in more of a psychological harmony with the surroundings and the context of Kerala, for a typical family with grandparents, husband wife and kids, understanding their lifestyles and mindsets, which led us to create a place where they would feel spiritual, united and at peace, under a shelter called Home.


Structure and skin: transparency and opacity.

Exploring sectional ideas. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The tree at the centre.

The idea of a completely transparent core. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Evolution of the section.

Team Leader: Dominic Dube, DDIR, Bengaluru Team: Niranjan Das Sharma Lola Mulledy Dhruv Batra

"A lot of times, we struggle to get a structural or an economical solution with respect to the region, but tend to ignore what exactly the people residing in the house would relate to, and what Atmosphere would they love to be in."

A spiritual place. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 03 Form + Content

Text: Kevin Mark Low Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

The third proposal by Kevin Low and team focuses on the idea of architecture as a response to identifiable issues as against architecture as a resolution of forms and functions thus citing the significance of ‘content’ as the informer of design.

Observation: The painted corrugated sheet.

A house on Paliyam Road: This project for a house on Paliyam Road began with the idea that the preparation and sharing of food in the act of eating together constitutes one of the most vital aspects of family closeness and its intrinsic benefits within fundamental cultural and societal structures of the typical Indian family. In doing so, it questions the pre-eminence of formal concepts regarding the house ‘lobby’, ‘living room’, and ‘show kitchen’ as ideas growing from the specific contexts of Western traditions, rather than from the sensibilities of Indian origin, turning increasingly popular notions of Western influences on their head, and establishing the Indian kitchen in its rightful place at the centre of the home. The issues addressed by the design of this house range from questions regarding the different times its various occupants might wake over the different days of a week, the changing periods they might be away or at home, and the spaces that truly draws the family together – the design has been considered in the way it aims to identify and prioritise that which brings the family together as opposed to what keeps them apart. It is about the distinctions between sacred and profane space as much as it is about extending the perceived spatial boundaries of the private realm past that of pure physical enclosure. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

With respect to specific context, the design for the building takes the hot and wet climate of monsoonal Thrissur into deeper consideration through its relationship to the immediate context of its site, one that significantly alters commonly accepted strategies concerning the driving rains and intense sun of a typical Kerala year. The immense canopy of trees over the site creates what could be described as a powerful moderating envelope, a natural umbrella which modifies and regulates the microclimate of the site to the degree that demands a strategy customised to the unique context at hand – where driving rain and burning sun is the commonly accepted weather condition to be designed for, the specific context of the site reduces the need for protection against lateral water intrusion and the force of falling rain from height, and a considerably greater need for that of falling heavy branches and the collected weight of leaves. Aside from addressing the simple and basic needs of noise pollution and that of car parking access and egress, the house on Paliyam Road is an attempt to ask questions that might have been previously missed – the issue of the house being intended for a six family medium-income family was a vital issue of consideration, as were all the subsequent decisions which followed – materials and construction techniques for the building of the house began with only what was considered necessary for comfort, with added luxuries considered only where they were gauged to be of sufficient value. The house on Paliyam Road is an exploration of the possibilities that could be developed from a deeper consideration of the processes of content, rather than the focused styling of form.




The Seashell: FORM Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The site and observations of the context.

Dry Leaves: a desirable layer on the soil.

Light filters in: image from S-E Corner.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

View from west: East Light!


Sun-Studies: Winter (Sunlight) and Summer (Shadow) on the site.

Two units - one house.

"It is about the distinctions between sacred and profane space as much as it is about extending the perceived spatial boundaries of the private realm past that of pure physical enclosure." Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




GF: Screens

E-W Open Spine

N-S Openable Spine

FF: A buffer from the street

Screens extend to protect

Compact service core

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




View from the street - the human scale. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


View from within the court: an intimate space.


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


View from the N-E corner.

DETAIL: Wall Section.

DETAIL: the composite skin and frame.

Elevated view from east.

Team Leader: Kevin Mark Low, Small Projects, Malaysia Team: Latha Kovelamudi Pooja Joshi Jills Philip Vivek Achnani Syed Nawazish Kirmani Joshua A Dawson

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 04 A Tree for Every House

Text: From the presentation by Madhura Prematillekke Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

This proposal by Madhura Prematillekke and team focussed on addressing immediate issues of the site and program while imagining the house as a prototype – a model for single family houses in Kerala.

"A tree for every house"

We took the brief very seriously – that ResidenceNEXT is about designing next residences. We are guilty of not philosophising too much but the site spoke to us and told us very clearly where to go. We took the challenge presented by the brief and the site and of thinking on the future of single family residences in Kerala. The issues that we identified were that of: vocabulary & identity, users, climate, noise, materiality, energy and security. These issues were the ones we wish to address while designing. There was also a significant thought on key strategies to deal with the site – vegetation as key; inward looking; flexible; creating a micro-climate; noise buffer and a secure zone. There are trees everywhere in Kerala. From what I saw in my previous visits, flying in, Kerala is one of the most lush places on Earth. The vegetation tells you what to do. These concepts were very important to us: We want a tree on every site and we want all to build under their tree. I understand that the site given to us is a one-off but it is always possible to grow trees. We also came upon an idea of an outer garden and an inner garden. The user group was of very critical importance as it formed three sets of age-groups. Also, we constantly reminded ourselves that this is not a one-off house but a prototypical set of ideas. There was a lot of discussion in the beginning and we were told about the contemporary ‘image’ of the house in Kerala. The trees – we thought – were Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

primary image-makers. The zoning was also very important. It has to do with noise, dust and privacy. We thought of an outer, thickly vegetated zone and an inner, private garden. We also introduced a screen that separates the outer and the inner garden. It is imagined to be a steel structure – openable when necessary but easily and quickly secured. The tree grows through it. Over the steel structure of the screen, a canopy of bamboo dances like a skin providing shade and enclosure where necessary. The needs of the three user-groups are different and changing. The built elements are grouped into three segments which are maximally flexible, expandable and reductable. Level one is about the grandparents with easy access to the prayer space and the living spaces and the garden. Level two is about the parents who have an access to both – the upper and the lower level where the elderly are. The top level then goes to the children where they can have the freedom they want as they grow and an independent access as well. The idea in plan translates into a linear structure with an inner garden and a thick wall of vegetation outside. This is experienced differently from each level. The section is important - the canopy encloses the garden and the trees grow through it. The elevation drawings reflect the idea of the tree as the image of the house. It is almost as if one is living in this wonderful tropical garden. Finally, a set of diagrams that imagine the house as a prototype. With the service and circulation cores designed to be adaptive, the house and the tree can be imagined for different sites and situations. This can also work as a neighbourhood solution.



The idea of a prototype: house as a model.

Diagrams: ideas for the site. ROAD

The section : screen and internal space.

Two gardens and the house.


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


DEVELOPMENT MODELS: The screen as an element.







+ 35 LVL + 35 LVL



POOJA +35 LVL +/- 0 LVL








FIRST FLOOR PLAN: Spaces for the parents.

GROUND FLOOR PLAN: Spaces for the elderly.


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

The built volume on the site.








SECOND FLOOR PLAN: Spaces for the kids.


The steel + bamboo screen.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

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View from the street.

VIEWS: perspectives from around and within the house. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


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"There was a lot of discussion in the beginning and we were told about the contemporary ‘Image’ of the house in Kerala. The trees – we thought – were primary image-makers."

Elevated view from NW corner

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The house as a model; a prototype.

Replications on a housing site: a neighbourhood.

Team Leader: Madura Prematillekke, Team Architrave, Sri Lanka Team: Nishan. M Luis EcheverrĂ­a Hafeef P K Hamid M M Muhammad Ashique Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 05 Rain is Coming. . .


In the two days we had for the design, we realised that we cannot address many issues. Many architects in Kerala practicing here since a long time are still to completely understand the context. With intense discussions and contributions over two days, we came to accept that we are not going to address many issues – but one element – tiny element - and understand it completely. The monsoon winds carrying the water touch land for the first time in Kerala. Kerala is the land of monsoon. We thought – let’s celebrate rain. We went to the site and realised that within a lot of buildings, there is a patch of green that suddenly comes out of the concrete jungle and becomes a small forest. We started a little analysis on how the sun moves and how the wind moves across the site then we started thinking on how to interact – have a dialogue with the site. We enter the site through a secondary street and found that by doing so, we enter through a nice canopy formed by a mango and a 'cocco' tree. We are not thinking much at this stage on the form of the house, the material of the house. We are Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Text: From the presentation by Rafiq Azam Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

Rafiq Azam’s team conceptualised the house in Kerala as a set of spaces (within and outside) that respond to the idea of rain – the monsoon rain that touches land for the first time in Kerala.

The house as an insert in the canopy.

thinking about how the house will interact with the site and its surroundings. The most important point for us is to understand rain. We intend to place the house in the dense canopy that forms the natural roof of the house. We want the jackfruit tree to be at the centre of gravity. We thought that the house can have a summer plan, a monsoon plan and a winter plan. Depending on the season, the house changes its nature – responds to the sun and the rain. We were constantly concerned about how will the house feel like . . . All family spaces open up completely into small and large rain courtyards. By opening up the west through small and filtered windows, we can invite the last light inside the house. In all, this house in Kerala responds to rain. It a beautiful, small, forest-like canopy, the spaces of the house open to rain.


Reading of the site.

The sun paths and wind channels.


The incredibly green site.

The canopy filtering the light.

The house - a pavilion to enjoy rain. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The Summer Plan

The Monsoon Plan



Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The tree and the waterbody in Monsoon.


FIRST FLOOR MONSOON PLAN Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The Rain Room and Pavilions.

The waterbody with ringing pots.



Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Sketch: experiencing rain.

The view (possible) from the street.

"Anger Reduction Room"

"The monsoon winds carrying the water touch land for the first time in Kerala. Kerala is the land of monsoon. We thought – let’s celebrate rain." Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012



"Rain is coming . . ."

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Open - enclosed relationship.

Team Leader: Rafiq Azam, Shatotto, Bangladesh Team: Kosala Weerasekara Suchita Bhihani Naseeh Rehman Levin P Joy Sourab Gupta Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 06 Delight & Meaning

Text: Rajesh Renganathan Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

Thinking about the house as a type, Rajesh Renganathan’s group looked at general ideas that govern the design of a residence all the while trying to resolve these for a design specific to the Thrissur site.

The house over time: open to change. External passage as a filter

Indirect light and heat




The focus of initial conversations was directed towards five themes: Use, Change, Comfort, Delight & Making. USE ‘The meaning lies in the use’ – (Wittgenstein) Program was the starting point; trying to understand who one is really building for. In particular, the discussion also looked at difference between plan types; comparing typical traditional grid plans with commonly seen contemporary ‘functional’ layouts. This raised issues pertaining to ideas of open-closed, individual-community and varying notions of ‘privacy’.

COMFORT The aspect of thermal comfort was seen as critical to well-being of occupants. The hot humid climate of Kerala calls for a strong climatic design response in buildings. One needs to explore every avenue to cool buildings passively before resorting to additional support through mechanical aids like fans and air conditioners. The response is primarily a buffer transition layer which mediates between sheltered space and the aggressive onslaught of sun, wind and rain.

The idea developed to move one step closer to the looped open-endedness and anonymous rooms of a simple grid plan; also keeping in mind contemporary ways of living.

DELIGHT The availability of suitable spaces for individual solitude and participation with the house community, thermal comfort, animated qualities of light and opportunities for communion with the nature among other things…..can certainly contribute to a sense of delight in living experience.

CHANGE Subject of changes in patterns of use over time: short term transformations in activity with diurnal rhythms of day and night, as well as long term changes in nature of nuclear families over a lifetime cycle. How can house plans lend themselves to shifting pressures of division and adaptability over time?

MAKING A hybrid approach combines conventional RCC framed construction methods with alternative light weight layers. The outer layer, primarily the mediating skin, suggests possibilities of using unconventional building materials including steel, bamboo and fabric.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Reading on the site: the idea of delight.


The desired image.

Transparency: light and vision.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The two skins of the house: a buffer.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




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05 07

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+ 7050




+ 4050


+ 1050 ± 0.0 - 900


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VIEWS: The house on the site.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Team Leader: Rajesh Renganathan, Flying Elephant Studio, Bengaluru Team: Mahmudul Haque Milon Vivek Puthan Purayil Simi Sreedharan Vishaka Ratnayaka Deeksha Reddy Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


House 07 Adaptability, Divisibility, Recyclability

Text: Shilpa Ranade Images: From the workshop; courtesy ResidenceNEXT organising team.

The last house by Shilpa Ranade + team questions the obvious notions of a residence and the concepts attached to residential architecture by examining the concepts of change over time and the interaction of the inhabitants with its architecture.

A Manifesto for a Small-Family Home (In Kerala in the second decade of the twenty-first century) The first decision we made was that we would not try to demonstrate how a beautiful building can be put together. Our aim would be to re-examine the typology of the house form and identify what it is that the house needed to be, to remain relevant now and for the future. The questions we asked were not about how the building should look but about how it should work.

and desires might sometimes be contrary to each other. There should be a choice available for a person to either be part of the group or be on their own. The home also needs to be sensitive to future changes in the form of the family with people either joining or leaving the house (wilfully/ by divine intervention) as time goes by. The House should be RECYCLABLE

The idea was that whether we liked the changes that were happening around us or not, we would recognise the presence/possibility of changes in society and the environment. And for this we would try to keep our heads neither dreaming-in-the-clouds nor buried-in-the-sand. Unsaid is the assumption that any good architecture has to be: - Physically comfortable for its inhabitants - Sensitive to its immediate environs - Meaningful in the lives of those who encounter it The House should be ADAPTABLE The first recognition was that of the rapid rate of change around us. In the past few decades, Kerala (and India at large) has seen unprecedented changes in its social structures, economic paradigms, settlement patterns, urban and rural landscapes, methods of construction, and availability of materials and skills, amongst other things. And one can safely predict that for the next few decades things can only change even more rapidly. Paradoxically then, to retain its meaningfulness - those intangible timeless qualities of dwelling (being-at-home-in-the-world) - the tangible aspects of the house had to be able to adapt to changes around it.

A middle-class person invests a substantial part of his/her savings and future income to build a house of her own. Yet once the building is up, its monetary value depreciates rapidly so that eventually it is only the land that has value. Moreover, considering the rapid rate of change anticipated in the urban landscape, it seems important that we recognise the imminent redundancy of structures of this nature and attempt to salvage as much of the building as possible. This just makes both fiscal and environmental sense. The house should therefore be constructed in such a way that atleast 75% of it can be dismantled and re-used in various forms. Having set out these conceptual strategies, we have explored the possible architectural interpretations for them: Adaptability: The house is partially modular allowing it to be adapted to various sites and conditions of use while retaining the essential qualities of divisibility and recyclability. The basic module can be adapted respond to the particularities of each site. Divisibility: through programmatic analysis semi-independent modules were planned for each generation along with a common module for the three to come together. Depending on the existing number and relationships of users the house can be divided into two or three independent sections when needed.

The House should be DIVISIBLE Recyclability: The construct comprises of four components: There exists a powerful mythicised narrative of the home as being the safe haven away from the harsh outside world. Yet, the home (whether in a beautiful building or an ugly one) is often actually a highly contested site, fraught with tensions between individuals and generations. This is particularly true in a society that is rapidly undergoing a shift from a communal to a more individualistic sense of self. The home does not mean the same thing to all the people residing in it, and depending on their age, gender and position in the family, an individual might feel within the house, an utter sense of freedom, a sense of total frustration or anything in between. The home then, needs to be designed not just for the family a community of people - but also for individuals, keeping in minds that their needs Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

- The main structural frame: pre-fabricated cold-rolled steel sections (light-weight and inexpensive) - The enclosure: Cement boards, Coconut filler panels, coconut shell and coir rope screens, coconut wood louvers, rammed earth walls - The foundation: random rubble - Finishes: minimal plastering, floor tiles, coconut leaf-'jhap'. We have attempted to demonstrate one possible particularisation of the prototype for the site assigned.




'DIVISIBILITY' Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012



The coconut screen.

Screens: experiments. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Experiments with a coconut screen.


SKETCH: idea of the house.

Green areas Boundary wall



SITE Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012



FIRST FLOOR Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




"The questions we asked were not about how the building should look but about how it should work." Team Leader: Shilpa Ranade, DCOOP, Mumbai Team: Brijesh Shaijal Anshu Chaurasia Hardik Shah Abdulla Yousufali Vani Sood Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The construct is self-supporting, tracing the anisotropic geometries inspired by the shape of flowers.

Abstracted Realism

Ban, a pavilion for the Beijing Design Week 2012 by multinational architectural practice Orproject is orchestrated as a self-supporting construct - a tectonic translation of the shape and volume of flower towards artistic ends. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Images: © Jasper James; courtesy Orproject


n shifting the centre of gravity to architecture from art, the tangible realm is the capacity of a specific architectural language to communicate new meanings through which an architectural form defines a true engagement with the spaces or people. Of such spaces activated today, principles of architecture of sculpted forms adhere to layers of symbolism. In a similar agenda, Orproject, an architectural practice based out of London, Beijing and New Delhi prefers to focus on offering possibilities for adding variety and expression in geometrical morphologies. Manifested from their experimental notion of ideas, Ban, a pavilion for the Beijing Design Week 2012, portrays a naturalism of form that is abstracted perceptibly through material. Nature has a paradoxical place in contemporary imagination. The multiplicity and poetics of the ubiquitous geometries of a flower shaped by its drooping Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

petals reflect in the visual character of Ban and its name that refers to floral petal in Chinese. The expression of its form relies totally on its materiality. Sinuous intersecting planes of transparent polymer sheet inform the character of the structure over 30sqm. The pavilion is humane in scale and rests bracingly in its surrounding. The design is simplistic and the plan converges at four centres. It arches and forms columns and vaults that are reminiscent of the anisotropic geometries of flowers. Elaborating on this, Rajat Sodhi, Partner, Orproject explains, “A flat sheet of a flexible or thin material tends to be soft and easily deformable. However, as soon as the sheet is bent into a curve and held in this position, it becomes very strong in its vertical direction. This principle can be seen in many flowers, where the petals are bent so that they can form the shape of the corolla, and this principle has also been used for the construction of Ban.” The experience is texturised by the ever-changing element of light that lends a dramatic effect on its surfaces.



Intersecting planes of transparent polymer sheet form the visual and structural framework.

Deliberately authored, the construction followes an organised ethic; thin PETG sheets were CNC-cut into their designed profiles. Each piece is individualistic and mapped with a distinct identification number that corresponds to its location on the plan in relationship to its adjoining pieces. The assembly is precise and the self-supporting structural framework continues in a balanced rhythm. “Each piece,” the architects say, “is cold-bent into its curvature and when attached to other pieces using simple nuts and bolts, the geometry gains resistance to vertical forces and the structure begins to form a self-supporting system. The field of the polymer sheets now results in a field of curved edges along the outside of the pavilion shape. Those lines are seemingly continuous across the different sheets and form a flowing network of curves. They are iteratively developing from each sheet to the one behind, and they take the viewer’s eyes across the structure and into the sky.” The fragmented and interrelated narrative is resolved into a singular gesture. The possibilities are immense and it can extend as a broader dimension for architecture. In an organic pattern, the design holds a sense of technology and engagement that can be replicated and acquired from the established precedent as per the contextual contingencies. “Our architectural installations are prototypes for future building projects,” mentions Christoph Klemmt, Partner, Orproject, “We may be testing a new material or a new construction system for its architectural potential and application for large-scale buildings.” The idea is of a poetic public realm

Thin PETG sheets were CNC-cut into their designed profiles and mapped in accordance to their location. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


‘A field of curved edges’ informs the character of the design which intuitively directs one’s eye to it and beyond.

Transparent, each element takes on textures and hues imbued with light outside.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The form flows organically and seamlessly and can be derived as an installation prototype for building projects.

and it interacts easily with the urban fabric. The architects add, “Like a giant flower, Ban is hovering in the air above Beijing’s ancient Hutong roofs, and we are looking forward to seeing the realisation in steel and glass of its large-scale version.” The austere materiality is a respite and in Ban’s case, creates interesting visual encounters with light owing to its varying degrees of porosity. Pragmatism and resourcefulness leavened by the adept opportunistic appropriation of design solicits meaningful interactions. Principled by reinvention of a kind, the extent is a dialectical balance – reflecting a memory of anisotropic morphologies and the sculptural dynamism of materials. The layered approach regenerates as an imaginative and physical link – investigating boundaries of installation art and architecture, natural inferences and digital formalisation – where one evolves from the other, symbolically and metaphorically.


Each piece is cold-bent into its curvature and when attached to other pieces using simple nuts and bolts, the geometry gains resistance to vertical forces and the structure begins to form a self-supporting system.

Project Location Architect Design Team Project Manager Project Team Sponsors

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Ban Penghao Theatre, Beijing Orproject Christoph Klemmt, Sambit Samant, Rajat Sodhi Christine Wu, Shuai Yang Kevin Wang, Marian Ma, Qiuwen Shi SK Chemicals, Pengao Theatre Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


ideas to innovate…designers to deliver

Beyond the ordinary Deepa Shetty, Bengaluru

Research Design Office is an international collective of designers based in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Milwaukee (USA). They have a wide range of experiences in architecture, interiors, landscape and furniture design, across varying scales. The office explores ideas and creates solutions for today; the modern condition. They believe in design that meets the specific needs of each unique project with work that is thoughtful, well crafted, innovative, and beautiful.

Giving tangibility to its residents’ aspirations and needs, the Shetty Residence in Bengaluru by Deepa Shetty of Research Design Office is a customised home, complete with its own unique quirks. Text: Sharmila Chakravorty Images & Drawings: © Aparna Srihari Noria, courtesy Deepa Shetty

The simplicity of the accessories used within the Shetty Residence.

The residence is a collection of connected spaces, with visually dramatic points spread throughout. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

architecture A'


A' SER.WASH 4'-0" X 5'-2"

SER.ROOM 8'6" x 17'2" up W6

GARAGE 25'10" x 19'6" up projection at slab lvl.

GUEST BEDROOM 9'-6" X 10'-10"

D3 W5

OFFICE 13'6" x 7'2" up 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

GYM 8'3" x 12'9"

16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8

DINING 14'-0" X 14'-6" up

COURT 25'2" x 14'1"

WASH 10'-1" X 5'-8"

OFFICE 11'2" x 10'10" Duct

void above



17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7

KITCHEN 8'-4" X 12'-10"

3'0" high wall

UTILITY 7'-1" X 10'-10"





void below

LIVING 22'-0" X 14'-6"

Landscaped area

loft slab above

1 2 3 4 5


Projection at slab lvl


POOJA 4'-6" X 6'-0"

void above











1 2 3 4 5 6 7


up 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8


WASH 10'-1" X 13'-6" MASTER BEDROOM 19'-11" X 12'-5"




n the process of designing, the architect is usually entrusted with the massive feat of translating user-aspirations and needs into tangible reality; more so in the case of homes, where various inhabitants expect their individual idiosyncracies to be fulfilled. The Shetty Residence in Bengaluru by Deepa Shetty of Research Design Studio is one such manifestion, resulting in a house that appeals to its users as well as observers.

CHILDREN'S BEDROOM 13'-10" X 14'-4" up




The Shetty Residence has been designed for a family of four. One enters the green area surrounding the residence through a low-height doorway; this doorway acts as a buffer to the noise from the adjacent busy road. Inside, the greens have been allowed to grow wildly, and the residence’s geometric shape forms the backdrop for the unruly greens. A meandering pathway of flat, square stones on a water body with ‘Koi’ fish leads to the main door. The design builds upon the open format house, bringing in maximum possible natural light and air, as well as merging the outdoors with the indoors. The plan also takes the client’s aquariums and exotic collection of fishes into consideration, and integrates them, interspersed, into the design. The residence is conceived and designed as a series of spaces that are in constant dialogue. The subtle yet constantly changing play of light and shade through the skylights creates a sense of visual drama on otherwise sparsely decorated interior spaces. The three levels within the house connect the spaces with each other, while providing visual privacy if and where needed. The light colours of the walls are offset by the dark hues of the flooring – a combination of polished and antique-finished ‘Kota’ stone is used for the flooring. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012




The residence has a geometric aesthetic.














Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

A pathway of stones on a water body with ‘Koi’ fish leads to the main door.


The laterite wall against the other light-coloured walls of the residence brings out a pleasing contrast.

Full-height door to the garden merges the interior dining space into the outdoors.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Fish tanks are interspersed within the design.

The skylight with one of the bedroom windows looking out into the staircase.

The labyrinth-like staircase system.

Huge windows wash the rooms with ample sunglight.

The closet in the children’s bedroom encourages creativity, with blackboard used instead of usual doors.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Simple details and warm tones characterise the interiors.

The Shetty Residence is a rather boxy and geometrical on approach, with an austere openness within. The residence is surprisingly well illuminated with natural light, though the site is placed adjacent tall structures and busy roads. Despite these structures cutting out most of the light, full-height doors and windows, as well as skylights brighten up the house considerably and impart a feeling of spaciousness. The light-coloured walls of the residence also open it up, making it seem expansive. The design weaves itself around the aspirations of the inhabitants – an office space for Deepa Shetty, and Anil Shetty’s aquariums and exotic collection of fishes. The office space, in spite of being connected to the house, is independent and does not compromise on providing privacy and a sense of detachment from the house, while the vast collection of exotic fishes is housed in aquariums and water bodies that have been ingeniously interspersed within the residence, as well as outside it, to their advantage. Similarly, the design draws inspiration from its residents’ background - since the residents are from Mangalore, they have grown up seeing laterite used extensively. In the Shetty Residence, laterite has been used in combination with cement blocks as a building material. Also, laterite is mainly used on the western side of the building to considerably bring down the temperature within the building. The backyard, accessible through a full-height door, is designed to be an extension of the dining area, blurring the boundaries between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. The residence is a collection of connected spaces, with visually dramatic points spread throughout. The skylights that wash the spaces in the warm

A reused Chettinad door with rustic yet endearing appeal.

glow of natural light, the ceiling-to-floor doors and windows that bring the outside spaces into the interiors, the brilliant re-use of a Chettinad door for the ‘pooja’ room, water bodies and aquariums with exotic fish etc. – every aspect of the house seems to be tailor-made to suit the needs and aspirations of its residents.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Client Project Area Civil Contractor Carpentry Contractor Laterite Contractor Initiation of Project Completion of Project

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Shetty Residence Bengaluru, Karnataka Deepa Shetty, RESEARCH DESIGN OFFICE Deepa and Anil Shetty 4,800sqft Surendra Constructions Sri Shakti Enterprises Pratheesh, Kerala January 2007 June 2009 Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


ideas to innovate‌designers to deliver


Vistaar Associates, Hyderabad With the vision of developing a vocabulary on sustainable, affordable interior design, B. Shweta founded Vistaar Associates - an architecture and interior design firm that is steadily carving a reputation for its design of residences, commercial and retail spaces. The endeavour of the firm is to create people-oriented, ecologically sustainable designs that are artistic yet practical.

In the conundrum of modern city life today, revitalising the mind, body and spirit has become imperative. The o2 Spa at the Novotel Hotel in Hyderabad, designed by Vistaar Associates, thus acts like an oasis for the parched soul. Text: Alifiya Mehamdabadwala Images: courtesy Vistaar Associates

The o2 Spa at Novotel Hotel, Hyderabad.


business traveller wants to minimise jet lag. A mother-of-three on vacation wants some time to herself. A group of friends plan a birthday celebration. Where can all these people go for healing and nourishing mind, body, and spirit? A spa. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

A spa is a haven, a sanctuary and an escape. Most people visit spas to seek relaxation - a distraction from the pressures and stresses of daily life. It is essential, therefore, that a spa’s interior design reflect both serenity and tranquility, wrapping customers in a cocoon of gentle safety as soon as they



SHOWER 4’-0”X3’0” 01 EAG - 1” S S 12’ M A ’6” X 6

LV ROOM 6’-10”X20’7”


SHOWER 6’-O”X3’9”

3’ -




MASSAGE-02 6’6”X9’-11”



03 E- ” AG ’ - 6 SS ”X6 A 1 M ’1 11 SHOWER 3’-9”X4’-0”

SHOWER 3’-6”X4’6”




02 5” P- ’V I ” X 14 ’-7 0 1


02 5” P- ’V I ” X 14 ’-7 0 1

SHOWER 5’11”X4’-0”

SHOWER 5’11”X4’-0”

0’ L 1 6” CIA ’FA ” X 1 6 8






SALOON 13’-1”X15’-6”


enter. The architect set out to revamp the existing spa at the Novotel Hotel in Hyderabad spread over 2,400sqft with the purpose of creating more space as well as making the overall experience of the spa a tranquil one. The biggest challenge faced by the architect was to create an ambience where the visual, sensual and the tactile enveloped into a unified experience in an operational five star hotel. In an attempt to create more space, the layout is diagonally oriented with multiple twists and turns and narrow passageways which somehow confine and confuse the visitor. The space accommodates seven therapy rooms with attached showers as opposed to four which existed earlier. With the intention of keeping the mood of the place serene and calm, the passage leading to the various treatment rooms has minimal lighting. As the visitor enters the spa, the serenading sound of water from the fountain, and the peacefulness of the Buddha with a green wall behind it creates an alternate reality, coaxing one to leave behind their worldly stresses. As one walks through the narrow corridor, bamboo fixtures suspended from the ceiling exude a feeling of intimacy.

The Buddha statue decked at the entryway induces calmness.

The entire spa is designed with an oriental look, with red, black, orange and gold, embellishing the walls, ceiling and floor. The textured walls have been accentuated with artefacts such as paper fans and fibre-moulded sculptures, reasserting the quest for simplicity. Laying emphasis on the sensory experience, fragrance of the ‘mandara’ with the chants of music flowing in the background gives the space a serene feel. The interior of the therapy rooms have minimal ornamentation. Barring the rich texture and the sparring use of artefacts, the rooms with their variable lighting and the music from the speakers excel in creating the soothing ambience that can be felt when one enters the spa. Black and orange-coloured walls of the pedi spa area combined with ample lighting brighten up the room. The jute fabric with its graphics and the black kaddapah flooring seamlessly blend with the flow of spaces. One can rest, relax and introspect for hours sitting on the tan-coloured chairs. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The therapy rooms are designed so as to rejuvenate the mind and body.

Rich vibrant colours and motifs in the pedi spa liven up the space.

Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


The gold fans on the textured walls add an oriental touch to the place.

The shimmery dĂŠcor of the salon is in stark contrast to the subdued ambience of the spa. The area is located away from the spa, so as to ensure the noise from the appliances used in the salon does not interfere with the calmness desired in the spa. The walls have been panelled with beveled mirror while the celling is adorned with a rich crystal chandelier. The mirrors are placed at an angle in an attempt to make the space look larger. Overall, the use of the Buddha statue, bamboo fixtures etc. adds to the oriental feel of the place. However, certain design elements like narrow passageways, subdued walls in the therapy rooms juxtapose with the elemental purpose of the spa. Having said that, the simplistic interiors coupled with rich oriental spurts of colour contribute towards creating a relaxing atmosphere for the visitor.


The shimmery salon with its chandelier and beveled mirror is in contrast to the spa.

Project Location Architect Client Completion Budget

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o2 Spa, Novotel Hotel Hyderabad B. Shweta o2 Group October 2011 `26 lakhs Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


What Happens in Varanasi . . . Madishetty Manasa explores life in Varanasi and the crucial connections it has with the ghats on the river, in this edition of Space Frames curated by Dr. Mathew. Text & Images: Madishetty Manasa


he holy river of life and death, the Ganga, flows through Kashi [Varanasi]. Hindus believe that if you die and are cremated in Kashi, you could break the cycle of ‘Samsara’. Death is a part of ‘Samsara’ [cycle of reincarnation]. Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world, is known for its celebration of the dead. People come from everywhere to offer prayers to the dead on the ghats. It is a very chaotic place with many people coming to pray at the most holiest of the temples and also observe the process of cremation. Even through all this, local life is pretty evident. It is just like any other town, but still not the Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

same. People do their regular work every morning along the ghats, while tourists try to be a part of it, soaking in some spirituality. It is very strange to go all the way to see bodies being burnt and offered to Ganga, but there is something that pulls us there. My grandparents believe one loses something yet gains something in Kashi. Here is my journey through Kashi. It is a small town of about a 5km-stretch touching Ganga, but has place for everyone and every religion.

space frames


It is a very chaotic place with many people coming to pray at the most holiest of the temples and also observe the process of cremation. Even through all this, local life is pretty evident. It is just like any other town, but still not the same. Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012


Madishetty Manasa Madishetty Manasa is a freelance photographer, based in New Delhi. She is drawn by the idea of documenting anything she finds a feeling towards, be it people, architecture, landscape, animals...anything at all. She works on editorial assignments for money, but given her way, she would be very nomadic. She shoots a lot of food + homes, features and portraits. At this stage, she is looking for new directions with photography. She enjoys Asia and obsesses over pineapples. Her images have a special quality of chance and encounter – a little rebellious, but stable and cohesive.

Space Frames is curated by Dr. Deepak Mathew. The column investigates issues of architecture and urbanism through the medium of photography. Madishetty Manasa can be reached at Indian Architect & Builder - Dec 2012

Space Frames Dec 2012: What Happens in Varanasi... Indian Architect & Builder Magazine

SpaceFrames is curated by Dr. Deepak Mathew. The column investigates issues of architecture and urbanism through the medium of photography. Madishetty Manasa can be reached at Madishetty Manasa Madishetty Manasa is a freelance photographer, based in New Delhi. She is drawn by the idea of documenting anything she finds a feeling towards, be it people, architecture, landscape, animals...anything at all. She works on editorial assignments for money, but given her way, she would be very nomadic. She shoots a lot of food + homes, features and portraits. At this stage, she is looking for new directions with photography. She enjoys Asia and obsesses over pineapples. Her images have a special quality of chance and encounter – a little rebellious, but stable and cohesive.



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