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VOL 27 (6)

FEB 2014



Presented by


RNI Registration No. 46976/87, ISSN 0971-5509 INDIAN ARCHITECT AND BUILDER


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



In its 15 th edition, Young Designers ‘14 as a competition showcases diverse

scales of work that are responsive and well-crafted, demonstrating a

commendable ethos to the design of space. The citations of this year are

featured in this issue.


Chairman: Jasu Shah Printer, Publisher & Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah Chief Executive Officer: Hemant Shetty EDITORIAL Assistant Editors: Maanasi Hattangadi, Ruturaj Parikh Writers: Rashmi Naicker (Online), Chandrima Padmanabhan Design Team: Mansi Chikani, Prasenjit Bhowmick, Kenneth Menezes Event Management Team: Abhijeet Mirashi Subscription: Dilip Parab Production Team: V Raj Misquitta (Head), Prakash Nerkar, Arun Madye Head Office: JMPL, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, 210, Dr D N Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001. Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91-22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635 SALES Brand Manager: Sudhanshu Nagar Email: MARKETING TEAM & OFFICES Sales Coordinator: Christina D’sa Email: Mumbai Parvez Memon Taj Building, 3rd Floor, 210, Dr D N Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91-22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635 Email: Delhi: Preeti Singh / Manu Raj Singhal 803, Chiranjeev Tower, No 43, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110 019 Tel: +91 11 2623 5332, Fax: 011 2642 7404, Email:, Gujarat: Nisha Pipaliya Mobile: +91 9099963930, Email: Bengaluru / Hyderabad: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: +91 9833104834, Email: Chennai / Coimbatore: Princebel M Mobile: +91 9444728035, +91 9823410712, Email:

72 ARCHITECTURE House on the Hill

An innate extension of its landscape, the House on the Hill in Alibaug by

WE Design Studio negotiates volume and materiality in a relevant dialogue

with the context.


Circuit Bungalows for Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Standing tall in the whimsical landscape of Somawathie, the Circuit

Bungalows for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka by Genesis Design gives the

vista of the landscape its due, through the design of a minimalist edifice

that is both stimulating and relaxing.


Panigram Banquet Pavilion

Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin’s design of the Panigram Banquet Pavilion is an

indigenous response to the requirements of the brief, innovating with the

frugal resources of the rural context, to create an enduring and inclusive

process of design.


Urban Infill Housing

A low-cost housing project in Bengaluru by Varun Thautam, Urban Infill

Housing is an attempt to building sustainably and sensitively with earth, in

an urban setting.


Unnikrishnan House

Kolkata: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: +91 9833104834, Email:

The Unnikrishnan House by Mangrove Architecture Alliance, in its traditional

Pune: Parvez Memon Mobile: +91 9769758712, Email:

dialect, unites the local material and environment in an idealistic arrangement of elements and spaces.

. 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, ZGD 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.


Revitalisation of Handmade Paper Institute

In an honest embodiment of space, that is organic in its materiality and

spatiality, the Handmade Paper Institute in Pune by Ajay Sonar makes a

purposeful gesture to the spirit of the revitalisation.


Repurposing the Defunct

The office space of the media firm, Only Much Louder by Mumbai-based

patch design studio is a fun, eclectic design that animates the utility of the

previously unused spaces with a vibrant synthesis of innovation and detailing

of materials.


Majuli Island As Cultural Landscape

Faridabad-based Srishti Consulting Service traces the evolution of Majuli

Island in its development and relevance as a cultural landscape.


Landscape Restoration and Conservation of Bijolai Palace Complex

In the desert backdrop of Bijolai, Kakoli Sider transforms the landscape of

the Bijolai Mahal complex through sensitive intervention and

understanding of its local setting.



Stack it Up

Through the creation of a socially impactful urban installation on a popular

public beach of Chennai, Triple O Studio engages the people with a

participatory creation of an edifice that propagates its message through the

inclusive process of its design.



Pepsi Cart

Delhi-based Aman Sadana’s design for Pepsi incorporates functionality and

light-heartedness in a mobile kiosk that is a youthful representation of

the brand.



Slovenia-based firm TRIpike provokes thought through its innovative design

that is space-efficient, functional and also artistic.



workshop no-w-here showcases a finely crafted piece of work through the

design of bar-23, that is an aesthetic addition that complements any setting.

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.

, tudio S n g a si E D e ra G o s a l i W yI e: Š m a g co u r te s I r e Cov



Category Type Deadline

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International Open to all February 28, 2014

SLANT, a non-profit organisation, announces the 5th edition of its competition for landscape design. With an open-to-interpretation theme of ‘Transition’, SLANT invites conceptual designs for a public space/park which will be incorporated either in part or in whole and it is open to all design disciplines and for all levels of experience. The participants can design any facilities and features which they believe will make this an attractive and practical public space as long as the design follows the theme of ‘Transition’. The site in question is not real but a conceptual or imaginary site and one is free to choose the country and location of it. There will be merit awards and cash prizes on offer for the best designs and the best 15 projects will be published on SLANT’s website and Facebook page. For further information, log on to:

Poor But Beautiful : : :

International Open to all Early Registration – March 09, 2014 Late Registration – March 30, 2014 Submission – April 06, 2014

Category Type Deadline

Combo Competitions organises international competitions for professionals and students from all design fields. The challenge is to design a multistorey parking garage with at least 250 parking spaces in the Hudson Yards Redevelopment, Manhattan, New York. The registration fee is £50 before March 9th and £70 from March 10th to March 30th. The first, second and third prizes are £1,200, £600 and £200 respectively and getting one’s work published on Combo Competitions’ website and other online media such as Bustler and Archinect. For further information, log on to:

All India Painting Competition 2014


Category Type Deadline

: : :

National Open to all March 30, 2014

Satya Event & Exhibition Management Services is hosting the ‘All India Painting Competition 2014’ which is to be followed by an event to be held at Sunder Palace, Delhi. The competition invites Indian teachers, students and professionals of Fine Arts in addition to hobby pursuers of Art; with the minimum age of 18 years. All contestants must submit photograph(s) of their original works of painting. The Artworks should be original and should bear an appropriate title and explanation (if required). The first, second and third prizes are `40,000, `30,000 and `20,000 and an award certificate. All participants must submit a registration form along with a registration fees of `300. For further information, log on to: or Delhi-NCR/All-India-Painting-Competiton-2014/402 Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

ACREX 2014 Date Venue

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February 27, 2014 to March 02, 2014 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

ACREX India, is one of the largest trade fairs in South Asia on air conditioning, refrigeration and building services. ACREX India 2014 is going to be held with an aim to encourage the industry to follow and implement the principles of three‘R’s: - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. ACREX is held to promote the various technologies that use the three ‘R’s to help builders/architects become more carbon neutral and reduce the carbon footprint of building industry on the Earth. The event will provide multidimensional views on emerging trends in various building designs and will present where one can introduce and incorporate latest products, technology and innovation. Apart from the trade show and exhibition, the event will provide opportunities for learning and knowledge enhancing through workshops, conferences and panel discussions. For further information, log on to:

Typography and Culture Date Venue

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February 28, 2014 to March 02, 2014 Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune

Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune is organising the Typography Day in collaboration with Industrian Design Center (IDC), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, with support from Indian Design Association (InDeAs), and Aksharaya. The international conference will be devoted to addressing issues faced by type designers, type users and type educators. The conference includes presentations by invited keynote speakers, eminent academicians, blind juried papers, industry professionals, research scholars and students. The event will also host an exhibition of selected posters and typographic works of students and faculty members from various design institutes. The event is planned over three days wherein the first day will have workshops on Typography + Meet on ‘Research in Typography’; the second and third day will have the conference focusing on ‘Typography and Culture’ which is the theme for this year. For further information, log on to:

Drawn to India, Art Tour : : Date Venue

March 01, 2014 to March 15, 2014 Rajasthan – Delhi, Jaipur, Bundi Bassi, Udaipur, Mount Abu

Catherine Parker, combined her passion for art and travel and has been organising the Art Tour for a few years now. As part of this tour, one could explore art and life (people) of Rajasthan, a place famed for its intense and saturated colours, traditional Indian arts and crafts and beautiful, inspiring landscapes. The tour combines the guidance, observational painting, drawing, sketching, photography and mixed media workshops and self exploration exercises through visits to traditional artisans and places. The tour incorporates only ten art enthusiasts in all. To be part of this tour, one needs to have a basic skill and an inclination to try and explore places, art and life experiences. All participants will have to pay a fee of $3230. For further information, log on to:


SLANT Open International Landscape Design Competition 2014



IIA National Convention 2013

Women in Architecture Awards, 2014

Indian Institute of Architects organised the National Convention, an annual congregation of architects which is also known as NATCON, on the 27 th, 28 th and 29 th of December 2013. It was hosted by IIA’s Tamil Nadu Chapter on behalf of the national body with an aim to bring together the professionals to discuss and deliberate the various facets of architectural development, practice and education and the future vision. The Convention was organised at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu with a participation of over 1000 architects from all over the country, including members and new members of Indian Institute of Architects. The theme of the convention was ‘Century of Urbanisation’. The event explored the idea of unimaginable transformation brought in the 21 st century, spurred by the global economy. The Convention deliberated on the theme and elaborated on the role of architecture and architects in the process of urbanisation and how it is constantly being renegotiated with the emergence of new building typologies, large scale projects, innovative technologies, complex building programmes, rural migration and the need for social housing.

Architects’ Journal has released a shortlist for Women in Architecture Awards, which aims to raise the profile of women architects in a sector where women still face discrimination. Christine Murray, Editor of Architects’ Journal, commented that she was delighted to announce this year’s shortlist, which includes the women behind the celebrated Library of Birmingham, the new Stonehenge Development and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. The Women in Architecture Awards celebrate design excellence and leadership – qualities needed to succeed as an architect – and especially among women, who are under-represented in the construction industry. The event announced some renowned women architects in its shortlist such as Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Roisin Heneghan, Francine Houben, Maria Langarita, Kirsten Lees, Sadie Morgan, and Adriana Natcheva.

Maker Fest 2014 Earlier based in the United States, venture capitalist Asha Jadeja in association with National Institute of Design (NID) had brought the first Maker Fest to Ahmedabad. The technology and design event that was held on Saturday, the 4 th and Sunday, the 5 th of January 2014 at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad campus, was inspired by California’s popular fest, titled ‘Maker Faire’. Jadeja believes that India has tremendous talent, but it needs an international platform to showcase and explore this talent. The Maker Fest 2014 had makers in the field of art, design and technology showcasing their talent in their respective area of expertise. It was a non-commercial event aimed at providing platform to the innovators in the country. Jadeja stated, to the press in general, that she sees a lot of potential in India’s grassroots and technology innovators and thus, wanted to provide them with a platform where they could meet the potential funding agencies to take the idea forward. The Maker Fest 2014 was graced by the presence of Mr Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation Council. He had visited the innovators on the second and the last day of the event.


Queen of Cochin Project and Young Architects Festival 2014 Kochi city will soon receive a statue that will embody the concept of Kochi as the Queen of Arabian Sea. The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) has taken up the challenge of erecting the statue, which will be called the ‘Queen of Cochin’. According to Indian Institute of Architects’ office bearers, they are holding discussions with the Kochi Corporation and Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) for the required land for the project. The design of the statue is going to be selected through a design competition for the architects and students from India, during the Young Architects Festival 2014 (YAF), an event to be held in Kochi on February 20th and 21st, 2014. The proposed theme for the event is ‘Be The Change’. Apart from that, the event will hold a photography and sculpture competition and workshops for students. The two day event will have keynote speakers from across the globe. The event information can be obtained from Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and C+S Architects to Redevelop Chiasso Train Station The Italian joint-venture between Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners and C+S Architects has been announced as the winners of Chiasso International Competition for the requalification of a former railway station site in Chiasso, Switzerland. The team’s winning scheme proposes a ‘soft urban design’ aimed at giving value to the pre-existing buildings, which are substantially maintained and sewn to the newly designed complex of two fashion schools: SAMS and STA. The scheme will provide an urban hub, which will serve as a hinge between the city and the territory as well as, metaphorically, between the practice and culture of fashion. It will feature open and transparent volumes that accommodate commercial and cultural programmes where people can participate in the scenery of this new urban design. The jury, headed by architect Cattaneo from Bellinzona, defined the project as the one which fits in the context in the best way and appreciates the layout structure of the new school complex.

Astley Castle Restoration Won Britain’s Top Architecture Award Astley Castle, a 12th century moated manor house that was recently transformed into a modern vacation residence, has won the Stirling Prize for the year 2013. This annual prize recognises the building that has made significant contribution in the field of architecture for the year, and is one of the highest honours of RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects. The building dates back to the 12 th century and has been linked to three former Queens of England. Astley Castle was left in dire need of a renovation after a fire in the year 1978 gutted the residence. The winning design for restoration of Astley Castle incorporated large glass walls into the original medieval stonework, making for a building that is truly an interaction between the old and the new. A new bronze and timber staircase goes up from old brick floors, while an open-air dining hall finds its new home in a ruined room. The building is designed by Witherford Watson Mann Architects and was made possible by the Landmark Trust, which helped to rescue important historic buildings that may have suffered damage. The Castle won with 27 per cent of the votes from general voting on the Landmark Trust’s website and was chosen from a shortlist of six other buildings.


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Alignment Allowing the Young Designers competition, currently in its 15 th edition, to be recognised locally, nationally and internationally, Indian Architect & Builder aligns with Queo Luxury Bathware this year. Their products are a representation of innovation and dynamism, a celebration of the contemporary that resonates with the message behind this initiative. This collaboration that harbours after diligence and excellence in design helps establish the importance of supporting and encouraging designers to immerse themselves in a diligent and creative process of design that constantly questions and pushes boundaries. Through the very ideals that Queo stands for, they showcase the possibilities of responsible design being taken forward as a movement to be involved in, through support and participation. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



rchitecture is a multifarious process. There are scales to be negotiated, materials to be explored and places to be true to. And in the context of our sub-continent, this also means there are informal sectors, a completely diverse constructional dialect and red tape to manoeuvre around. Through all of this, there are firms both young and old, yet not so well-known that diligently persevere against these odds to build relevant spaces, in a dialogue that resonates beyond the constraints of the brief. These are the practices that need to be given their due, ones that tread the fine line between the contemporary and the meaningful every day and do it earnestly, ones that eventually become practices of consequence. In its 15 th edition this year, IA&B’s Young Designers competition has constantly striven to showcase the importance of conscious design, in a time where the smallest act of building has global implications. The practices this year demonstrate a purposeful drive to propel architecture beyond the dark corner of unresponsive necessity that it has been relegated to. Moved by a creative resilience that accommodates and includes, buoyed on by a spirit to improve and express, in an attempt to reconnect with a seemingly indifferent society, they put architecture back on the map in a meaningful way that deserves to be celebrated. The initiative has once again witnessed a barrage of exceptional design entries, to which a single issue would scarcely do justice. Owing to this overwhelming response from young and inspired designers, the CITATIONS featured this month will be followed by the SPECIAL MENTIONS in subsequent issues as an extension of ‘Young Designers 2014’. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



ON THE HILL WE Design Studio, Mumbai

House on the Hill by Mumbai-based WE Design Studio is an intelligent negotiation of volumes in their relevant context and materiality and in this way innately ties to the setting it emerges from. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy WE Design Studio, Ira Gosalia

‘WE’ adopts a philosophical method of enquiry into design and investigates the relationship between built form and space through a lateral and rigorous thought process. Working within the constraints of indigenous construction technology, the studio explores the underlying value of spatial principles in each of its projects; space is the protagonist. With an abiding interest in austerity and simplicity, the studio focuses its research on the fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials. The studio believes that there lies an inherent sensuality in designing and building with restraint, order and control. This is what we strive to achieve; an architecture defined by the rightness of what is and the richness with which this is experienced. - WE Design Studio

Started in 2011 by Nupur Shah and Saahil Parikh, WE Design Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Mumbai and works in the realm of architecture and design. WE Design Studio’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. The central concern of the practice is design excellence achieved through active collaboration with clients and specialists from other fields. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




The interior space opens out to the pool and landscape beyond.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Model showcasing the juxtaposition of volumes against the topography.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


CONCEPTUAL - Michael Heizer, displaced and replaced mass.







SECTION Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



ccording to the architects, just as Michael Heizer’s sculpture ‘Displaced and Replaced Mass’ seeks to explore the relationship between form and space, redefining them as they effortlessly integrate landmass and the built volume, while capturing a moment of perfect balance along the transformation process, the ‘House on the Hill’ is a celebration of precisely such a moment. The single family house is located in a densely forested, two acre hill in Kashid, Alibaug. Building on the client’s brief, which required the house to be compact, economical, child-friendly and easily maintained, the design of the House on the Hill also evolved to answer questions of place and relevance in an easy, intrinsic manner. Comprising of two intersecting monolithic volumes that seem as much a part of the landscape that it sculpturally emerges from, the house is sited in a way that maximises on the expansive view across the Arabian Sea. Two stone retaining walls made of locally-sourced basalt enclose the front and rear of the house, and the negotiation of spaces thereafter is a conciliation of interactions between the two volumes and these walls. Eclipsed by the thick shrubbery all around, one gets the first glimpse of the house from directly beneath the north side retaining wall. In continuum, the entrance to the house is through a similarly inconspicuous and narrow approach between the basalt retaining wall and the external wall of the house. This subtle alleyway only further reinforces the dramatic and picturesque

Narrow entryway to the House.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

setting of the inside, and of the deck and the pool, which seem to seamlessly flow from the minimalist interior space across to the landscape. The construction had its fair share of challenges, such as the loose ‘murum’ soil present in the area, requiring the foundations of the house and pool to be driven much deeper. And though it was necessary to build against the natural topography of the land, to maximise the views of the sea, the resultant spaces visually captivate the user immediately, being reminiscent of the landscape in itself; the lime plastered wall and the rough-cut limestone floor only add to the earthiness of the mountain terrain, from which it surfaces. To compound this sentiment, the consistent visual continuity to the outside across the pool tethers one to the blurred threshold between the two. The copious amounts of light that these spaces are flooded with draw attention to the nuances in the materiality and allow the shadows of the surrounding landscape to enliven the spaces with its animation. A simple and consistent negotiation of topography, programmatic requirements and economy, the House on the Hill evokes a certain tranquility and ease in its own innate skin that is synonymous with the terrain it was born from.

Entryway between the basalt retaining wall and the external wall of the House.


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Citation: This house, designed by Saahil Parikh and Nupur Shah of WE Design Studio draws from the landscape to exploit incredible views of the sea, positioning itself on the vantage point. The architecture of the house establishes a seeming stability in the landscape and there is great restraint and finesse in the way materials come together to compose spaces. Built simply, the two monolithic blocks that define the house are cleanly planned and the scheme negotiates the landscape to place the pool in ostensible continuity with the view. Liberating spaces, clean lines and a stable plan defines this work. The conceptual clarity translates into the built form while a basic palette of materials is allowed to reveal the design simply and directly. There is a sense of complete control and selection. A meditative stillness prevails.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design Team Area Civil Contractor Project Estimate Initiation of Project Completion of Project


There is an honest materiality to the minimalist spaces that evokes the surrounding landscape.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

: House on the Hill : Alibaug, India : WE Design Studio : Nupur Shah, Saahil Parikh : 3500sqft : Sunil Mahadik : `3000/sqft : February 2012 : May 2013


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



A place to relax in the unparalleled beauty of Somawathie, the Circuit Bungalows for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka designed by Genesis Design sits high on the rugged terrain and the splendid landscape as two buoyant stilted structures providing spaces for rejuvenation and cherishment of the surroundings. Text: Anusha Narayanan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Jayanath Silva and Eresh Weerasooriya

The landscape was magical… It was a vast sea of wild growth, water and infinite blue skies My main task was to create something but with least harm… Man’s intervention had to be minimal and masterly I only wanted a single; neat; black; geometric box… placed delicately on site, the straight lines and planes Contrasting with the wild…. Somawathie was a time of reincarnation and of retrospect; of ultimate satisfaction and immense joy. It was like counting days for my next trip and sadly the sojourn ended and I captured a last shot with my mobile device with failing light and a heavy heart. The shot of the gate…how it was on the day I first stepped in and how I hope it will always be. I hope with time my interventions in Somawathie will be bleak. I hope I have done justice to a magnificent site that gave food for a tired mind, and the magnificent beasts who frequented us at many times keeping our tired senses alive. - Jayanath Silva Jayanath Silva, after working with asian master architect and guru Geoffrey Bawa for several years and in several other noteworthy practices, established his practice Genesis Design together with his architect wife Madumali Sumanadasa at Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. They treat each of their commissions, be it a small holistic dwelling or a large mega project, with sensitivity and reverence and have won several awards from the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and other competitions. They are also involved in teaching architecture whenever time permits. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The two buildings as light-weighted structures standing amidst the striking landscape of Somawathie.


n Somawathie, it is imaginable to get lost in the surroundings framed in such breathtaking views. The natural hues of green and blue engulf one’s senses and drain mundane worries away. Building an abode for the Governor and the VIP cadre, within the context of such an outback, which would be inclusive of the related service facilities for the staff and the security personnel, the architecture is a statement of camaraderie rather than of dominance, of subtlety rather than of imposition. As an architectural intervention, what has been built on these grounds is a quiet intonation of Cartesian geometry, enclosing a space that stands amidst shrubs yet provides a sense of spectacle.

The transparent and opaque components joined at the spine.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

The buildings have been separated into two blocks – one for the VIP’s residence and the other as a service extension for the support staff. The VIP Bungalow is a double floored structure with a stilted base. It is composed of two double-height rooms at the ends and two smaller rooms for larger families with attached kitchens and open decks, and common living, lobby and play areas in the centre. A pantry and a service room have also been provided in the building, mostly to be used by the staff. A space with a balance of mass and voids, the VIP Bungalow sets a stage to gaze into the landscape from the viewing deck. The Service Block is composed of a dormitory for the staff and security, dining, and additional rooms for other executives of the bank.


VIP Bungalow

Service Bungalow

Mahaweli River

Location of the Circuit Bungalows within its context.












Staircase Up



5’-11” 15’-4”



Room 1 20’

9’-11” 4’ Kitchen

27’-8” Living

4’ Dining



Care Taker’s Room



Room 2




5’-11” 14’-3” Sun Deck 20’ Below

18’-3” Room 1 Below


15’-4” Room 3

24’ Indoor Play Area

15’-4” Room 4



Void Below

Sun Deck Below

20’-1” Staircase



9’-8” 102’-8”

13’-11” 19’-3”


Roof Terrace




Interiors are composed of contrasting elements such as the colours, the glazing and the artwork on the ceilings.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The linear depth of the deck in perspective.



10’-9” 11’ Verandah



16’-5” 7’-5” Verandah





Living Area 17’-3”

Sunlight, penetrating through the wooden (cinnamon twig) sunshades, over the deck.


10’-3” Dormitory



16’-2” Bedroom 1 10’-3”


20’-6” Dining Area 9’-6”


Room 3



Care Taker’s Room Dorm

9’-6” Kitchen 7’



4’-7” 4’-7”

16’-5” 7’-5” Common Balcony 4’

9’-9” Common Lobby 11’-6”

16’-2” Bedroom 2 10’-3”




Bedroom 3 10’-3” 17’-3”



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014






The interiors of the living space, balancing the transparency of the exteriors.

The dining space for common use in the VIP Bungalow. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The Service Block seen against the immediate landscape, with the VIP Bungalow far in the background.

Both the buildings have been raised on RCC stilts primarily as a response to the seasonal floods that submerge the lands once every year and the elephants that roam about in the vicinity of the site. The construction is in RCC frames and slabs that can stand the test of time against natural factors. The roofs are thermally insulated to reduce direct heat gain from the sun. Sunburnt bricks have been used in the structures, and sunshades covering the glazing have been made of cinnamon twigs from the nearby shrubs, adding coarseness to the ambience. The massing of the structures has been intentionally minimised for smaller footprints, to increase the ventilation and to invite larger all-round panoramas from the decks. As architecture that stands tall against its surroundings and justifies its aptness through its appreciation of the site, the buildings hold their own on a dominating landscape, arguing against submission with composure and respect.

Citation: Placed lightly on the flood plains amongst the vegetation, the two structures designed by Jayanath Silva of Genesis Design complement and contrast the landscape of Somawathie. With a heavy base that counters the eroding effect of water, the buildings become lighter as they progress towards the sky. Composed finely, the balance between solids and voids becomes a theme of the buildings. The design balances opposites finely and takes chances with conflicting ideas on the same palette. Materials are used with due respect and restraint, all the while making bold statements. Amongst many merits of the project, is the way in which the design responds to the landscape. With a seeming ease, the built form assumes a natural presence all the while standing as a counterpoint to the unique vegetation and topography of the place. The house sets a point of reference in the field and there is great command in its graphic composition. The façade is a reflection of the interior space. There is an element of surprise in the encounter.


Project Location Principal Architect Senior Project Architect Client Client Representative Structural Design Engineer Services Engineer Electrical and Green Energy Main Civil Contractor Furniture and Furnishings Area - VIP Bungalow Area - Service Bungalow Initiation of Project Completion of Project Total Project Cost The parapet and railing, made in cinnamon wood and steel, run along the sides of the deck.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

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Circuit Bungalows for Central Bank of Sri Lanka Somawathie, Sri Lanka Jayanath Silva, FIA (SL), Genesis Design Sameera Jayasooriya, AIA (SL) Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Engineering and Premises Division, CBSL Thilak Silva Kapila Epa Kosala Siribaddana Kemyo Pvt Ltd Woodman Lanka Pvt Ltd 445.93sqm 247.12sqm September 2009 March 2010 SLRs 50.3 million (USD 384,000)



The inside and outside of the VIP block from the edge of the deck.


The staircase leading to the upper floors.

The clandestine buildings, quietly observe the beauty of Somawathie, appreciating yet contrasting with it. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




In the temporary Banquet Pavilion for the Panigram Resort in Bangladesh, Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin negotiates with the contextual landscape in a way that innately integrates itself with the place through its mix of innovative design and indigenous building practices. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin

Leading a team of up to twenty local labourers, as an architectural intern at Panigram Resort, an eco-lodge in rural Bangladesh, I had to work as the engineer, the site surveyor, the purchasing estimator, and the project manager of the Panigram Banquet Pavilion. To realise my envisioned pavilion within a tight timeline of six weeks, I had to overcome barriers to gain the respect of my all-male team. As a guest, I was expected not to command. As a university-educated individual, I was expected not to labour. As a 19-year-old, I was expected not to instruct the ‘mishteri’ with decades of experience. And as a woman, I was expected not to talk. I was usually left alone on the site, so I learnt Bengali to communicate my vision and concerns: crooked posts, uneven stairs, misaligned slats. “You say this not okay, that not okay. How to finish?”, the ‘mishteri’ snapped. I did not know enough Bengali to answer a “how” question, but I knew enough to be adamant: “Please do it or it will not be beautiful.” I persevered. I worked alongside the men, stomping through cow dung, mixing mud, trimming bamboo with a machete, and wading through the river, hoisting timber. This challenged their egos and got the workers on their feet. Unbelieving villagers gathered to watch from behind the jute reeds. Soon, the workers approached me to confirm details. They invited me to tea stalls. They called me ‘chotto’ (little) boss. One day, Mukul retrieved two cigarettes, each one symbolising respect and acceptance as a team member. I took my cue to leave, but he stopped me. “Chotto boss, cigarette?” - Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin is an architect in training, interested in collaborative and sustainable design and has led design-build projects from concept to construction in Bangladesh and South Africa. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree and minor in East Asian Studies from Cornell University. Currently, “Chi-Chi” is working in New York as a Business Development Assistant for BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Conceptual Model.


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Addition of the transitional ‘courtyard’ space.

Kitchen and dining programmes.

Transitional space allowing water and pedestrian access.

Programme raised to create seating.

Ventilate kitchen

Shade Dining Area

Creation using traditional cob walling (‘Wellerbau’) ↑

Addition of roofs, angled appropriately for programme needs.

Connection of Roofs.

Cut-out retaining existing Banana trees.



uring her two month architectural internship at Panigram Resort, an eco-lodge in rural Bangladesh, “Chi-Chi” was responsible for seeing through the complete design and construction of a banquet pavilion, and its adjacent kitchen and bathroom with the requisite furniture and plumbing. While this seems like a design brief competitive enough for an architecture student with just a year of architectural education behind her, the challenge of the rural landscape of Bangladesh intensified the trial. The pavilion was sited over a fork in the river, and consequently required to be built on a platform so it would not flood over during the coming monsoon, which meant that the construction had to be completed within six weeks. Working against this time constraint, without any electricity, water or sewage facilities on-site, “Chi-Chi” improvised with headlamps and plumb bobs that relied on falling chunks of earth, and makeshift rulers from ripped leaves. The pavilion was constructed with material sourced locally, either prepared on-site or imported from within five miles of it, making it sustainable and encouraging local collaboration. It was built with a timber framing system, supported on robust bamboo piles that rose to a height of 5ft above the platform. The bamboo piles were further flanked on either side by bamboo posts forming ‘columns’ of three grouped vertical elements that rose to a height of 14ft on one end and 5ft on the other. Linked together by bamboo girders, that fit snugly into the two-pronged end of the ‘columns’ and fixed in place with local jute twine, they were sized and inclined Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Mud wall construction.



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Joist and column structural detail.


Process Model.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


in a way that would help accommodate the undulating roof. The bamboo girders which are each individual stalks of bamboo supported smaller joists of stalks split in halves or quarters. The kitchen wall cladding was created by nailing slivers of 1/16 th of a bamboo stalk. The parapet towards the rear of the pavilion was created to act as a low wall and bench, with the riverbed providing an apt consistency for the mud, with shells mixed into the texture. This riverbed mud was mixed with straw by the local oxen and cows, creating a strong reinforced material that could be added layer upon layer to create a bubbleless, dense monolithic form. To engage and involve the local labour wholeheartedly in the design process, she also did away with plans, instead creating many design study models directly on-site with bamboo sticks, earth, and simple drawings. Kristin Boekhoff, the client, even built a physical model with straws and pins, mimicking the true construction strategies that were proposed. The riverbank pavilion was successfully constructed in six weeks on stilts for a preliminary investor banquet during the rainy monsoon season. It was also largely responsible for raising the first round of financing for the future eco-resort. In addition to its original intention, the pavilion has also been used as a park, a public gathering space, a secure storage space, an office, and a classroom. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

Citation: Made with a collaborative effort, the bamboo pavilion was built by a team of skilled craftsmen led by the then 19-year-old Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin. Built informally, the pavilion represents a collective effort and vision of a community that benefits from its construction. Made by hand and realised through an on-ground partnership, the space generated is basically un-programmed, thus translating into a multipurpose pavilion that hosts dinner parties and classrooms with equal ease. Architecture is secondary in this project – the act of making becomes primary. Coming from an architect-in-training, the work done by “Chi-Chi” represents a refreshing alternative that has a potential to challenge linear and formal thought in design and relieves us from the baggage of theory and method while positioning itself in the context of relevance. The pavilion sits lightly on the earth and is an honest expression of the inherent constraint of building in these conditions. Over time, the landscape will reclaim the structure.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Architect : Client : Project Area : Contractors : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project : Project Manager/Translator : Additonal Assistance :

Panigram Banquet Pavilion Hakimpura Village, Bangladesh Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin Kristin Boekhoff 625sqft Adhir, Mukul and the local craftsmen and ‘mishteri’ July 2009 August 2009 Koli Alam Brian Grambow, Jonathan Dominic Spada (interns)



Arrival to the pavilion by boat.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



INFILL HOUSING Varun Thautam, Bengaluru

A low-cost housing project in Bengaluru’s oldest and well developed neighbourhood, Rajajinagar, the Urban Infill Housing is realised by Bengaluru-based architect Varun Thautum to symbolise the acquaintance of building with earth materials and the clients’ desire to tangibly build their own house. Text: Shreya Shah | Images: courtesy Varun Thautam and Arti Agarwal | Drawings: courtesy Varun Thautam

Close family friends approached me with plans to build three cost-effective levels with two BR units after demolishing their ancestral home. Choice of materials, technologies and designing a façade was all that was needed from me. While the budget was low, the clients were willing to learn and invest their time and energy to build. Cost-effective exposed finishes being low on maintenance would save money and time. I had just finished building my parents’ home with rammed earth and was eager to build more. Once assured of its looks, durability, ease of execution and cost-effectiveness, convincing the clients was not much of a challenge. Being able to help a family friend and build in a dense urban setting was an opportunity not to be missed! Little capital investment and few tools were needed for building the walls. Plywood and wood for the forms were reused for doors and windows after the walls were all up. The concrete frame itself helped clamp the forms; little bracing was needed to stay plumb and sturdy. The clients found it easy to learn and build themselves within a week. Help was hired when enthusiasm was low. A bitter sweet experience for them in terms of building and a great learning experience for me in terms of teaching, building and supervising over a year. - Varun Thautam

After returning from an internship at Seattle, USA, in 2008, Varun Thautam started to learn building with earth while working at the Auroville Earth Institute and built his own parents’ home with rammed earth in Bengaluru. Since then he has gathered some courage to work and manifest his knowledge of building sustainable, energy-efficient and cost-effective buildings. Rammed earth, adobe, compressed earth blocks, cob, wattle and daub and dry stone masonry have been his interests of exploration. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



The building’s front façade constructed of rammed earth. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Second floor walls constructed by local labour.


ow efficiently does a building reciprocate the clients’ need of living in a cost-effective multi-family housing building and yet achieve the essentials that are an embodiment of their desires of a ‘home’? Bengaluru-based architect Varun Thautam took up the challenge to continue substantiating his learning of building with earth and fulfilled the clients’ wish to physically erect their own house by building Urban Infill Housing. The project is an example of building with alternative materials in the urbane setting of Bengaluru. The crux of the project is housed in erecting a three-storied structure with natural materials where the planning aspect is centered around building a low-cost edifice. Extending its idea to environmental sensitivity, the scheme is a closeted box with vital openings structured to benefit the air circulation, tackling the climate. With tall window openings on the front façade, cantilevered by 3ft, the screen allows in the natural light on the ground and first floor while the top floor has skylights to bring in sufficient light. Translating into cost savings, the elevator shafts are treated for stack ventilation through the complete cycle of Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

wind circulation. Opulent use of rammed earth walls, that were constructed by a team trained by the architect; the clients’ learnt the process and then the construction was further carried out by them after the first floor was done. Exploring use of a restrained material palette, ‘hourdi’ filler slab adds to the composition as it benefits the cost saving of plastering and painting. The rammed earth work was seamlessly continued by the clients and a labour team hired by them later on, with the architect’s involvement being limited to site visits and guiding them at an interval of about two weeks. The exposed RCC slab details are finely tuned to an intrinsic arrangement with rammed earth - aptly described by the architects as, “The marriage of materials in an art!”. Symbolically impactful, the Urban Infill Housing is an outcome of the architect’s consideration of building with earth materials fitting in an indifferent site and clients’ desire to achieve a requisite edifice with minimal cost.



Utility Bedroom/ Study


Living Room/ Dining




1’ 2’




Hourdi Block Wall/ Brick Wall Plastered Rammed Earth Wall ↑


Lintel Projection Top Beam Rammed Earth Wall Window Frame Fixed Glazing Ferrocement Frame Sliding Window N Lintel Projection Bottom Beam ↑ ↑



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




Local labour constructing the rammed earth wall.

Light percolating inside the house through door and window openings.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Ceiling blending with the earthen colour of walls. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The entry to the bedroom and pooja room from the living room.

Citation: This multi-family housing building in Bengaluru by Varun Thautam represents the challenges of an alternative thought in the mainstream. Built using rammed earth walls on a concrete frame, the building is naturally composed with materials and technology that have inherent limitations and opportunities. The façade is an expression of these limitations all the while bearing a natural aesthetic that is intrinsically connected to the construction of the house and the materials therein. Built frugally and hands-on, there are visible traces of a human hand at work. The architecture precariously positions itself on the fringe of what is termed as alternative and becomes an attempt to cross over to the mainstream. There is a good sense of clarity in solids and voids that structure the house while a sense of lightness and colour prevails throughout. The effort lies in the translation.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Client Civil Contractors Initiation of Project Completion of Project ↑

Continuous openings on the façade bring in light and enable air circulation.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

: : : : : : :

Urban Infill Housing Rajajinagar, Bengaluru Varun Thautam Mukund Vijendar and Aravind Vijendar Murali October 2010 December 2011




The house as fitting in the surrounding foliage.

Screen formed of filler blocks on the terrace edge. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Mangrove Architecture Alliance, Kochi

Adorned with a large L-shaped verandah, laid in a site within natural settings of Chendamangalam, a small town in central Kerala, the Unnikrishnan House designed by Mangrove Architecture Alliance based in Kochi, is a residence adapting to the typologies of the site and using local materials embracing the tradition of the town. Text: Shreya Shah | Images & Drawings: courtesy Mangrove Architecture Alliance

Every project is born out of its own set of circumstances. We understand Architecture as the process of clarifying/reinforcing the specificities of such. The creative engine of the firm is a sincere commitment to this process and the versatility it brings. Being a young practice, we try to wade free of stylistic fixations of any sort and are still in the process of exploring a credible and responsible language of building for this part of the world. We see as an opportunity and a challenge, the varying circumstances in every solicitation, inspite of the programme often recurring. In this sense, our work has always been heavily influenced by the desires of the client, the immediate physical context of the project, and the nature of work groups involved in building. We try to map these and make them visible, much as the mangrove reconciles and synthesises different media to stabilise and make habitable. - Mangrove Architecture Alliance

Founded in the year 2006 in Kochi, Mangrove Architecture Alliance is headed by Rajasekharan Menon and Kunjan Garg. The firm’s journey is in the process of understanding their projects as a new opportunity and challenge each time with varying conditions and they pursue a practice of exploring responsible architecture. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Sunlight seeping in the house through strategically designed skylights. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




Covered internal passage courtyard along the drawing room.

False ceiling composed of terracotta tiles; the roof span as seen from the mezzanine floor level stepping up to the open terrace.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Photograph of the foundation taken in December 2009. Legend:

08 26

01 Driveway 02 Parking 03 Tree Base 04 Lotus Pond 05 Entrance Verandah 06 Internal Passage 07 Guest Bedroom 08 Toilet 09 Pooja Room 10 Landscape Courtyard 11 Drawing Room 12 Washroom 13 Master Bedroom

24 23




20 21 26

14 Dressing Area 15 Dining Room 16 Water Court 17 Kitchen 18 Work Area 19 Laundry 20 Mezzanine Floor 21 Living Room 22 Music and Meditation Space 23 Drawing Seen Below 24 Daughter’s Bedroom 25 Passage Seen Below 26 Open Terrace









06 16




14 05

05 01 04

18 17



SECTION Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



ndeavouring toward an innovative built mass on the given foundation of the residence, Mangrove Architecture Alliance has objectified the construction by the use of local materials like laterite stone and terracotta tiles, modifying the available wooden pieces for interiors and schematising the roof to reflect the traditional architecture of Kerala. The project was brought to them as a result of the client’s realisation that the involvement of a vaastu consultant would knock down the need of a house of their desire. With its base been already constructed, the challenge was to carry forward the provided footprint and to propose the super-structure that would deviate as little as possible. ‘A modern spatial configuration’ was characterised by re-arranging the placements of the existing doors and windows in a new pattern. The architects generated the idea of a ‘house in the garden’. The parking was relocated and the traditional elements: screens, courtyards and shaded verandahs formed the core of the design. These elements served as the prototypical typology of the site and created a shady built environment to deal best with hot, wet climate. The functional spaces were embedded around the L-shaped verandah, and courtyards were interwoven as voids inside the solid fabric. A balanced mix of materials composed the structure by way of masonry done using locally available laterite stone and the steel used for the roof framing to hold the roof span designed as a ‘terracotta umbrella’. An insulation cavity in the roof provides an air gap between the top roofing tile and the clay tile false ceiling.

An existing window frame, rearranged, forms a screen along the length of verandah.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Window opening on the mezzanine floor overlooking the passage below. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Mezzanine as seen from dining area.

Citation: The plinth of the house existed on the site. The mandate of Mangrove Architecture Alliance was to build on the plinth to complete the imagined plan. The Unnikrishnan House represents an incredible potential that architecture has to create by flipping a seemingly crippling constraint into an opportunity. It represents the clear divide between space as a measurable dimension against space as an experienced phenomenon. The complexity clearly lies in the section.

Warm interiors achieved by the use of natural teak wood furniture and terracotta tile flooring.

Subsequently bringing in the domestic environ, the interiors were furnished using fallen teak wood available on and around the site, creating a perfect balance by reworking the client’s original furniture and freshly designing new ones and actualising a flooring made of terracotta tiles. The house as a whole comes together as a solid-void spatial arrangement festooned by the use of indigenous materials to mirror the identity of the milieu. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

This house is also a brilliant example of architecture that approaches a project as an interior environment – a living entity and not an object. By creating humane, tactile spaces with the right amount of light in the right places, the house creates a sanctuary for domestic life. Beyond the beautiful section lie a palette of alternative materials – of warm wood, terracotta – and a fine balance between modern and traditional. It is still an example of good contemporary architecture.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architects Design Team Client Civil Contractor Carpentry Contractor Duration of Project

: : : : : : : :

Unnikrishnan House Chendamangalam, Kochi, Kerala Mangrove Architecture Alliance Rajasekharan Menon, Kunjan Garg, Vinayadas V Mr K B Unnikrishnan Sebastian Aniruddhan 2010-2013


The complex geometry of the sloping roofs resolved to envelop the intimate spaces of the house.

The ‘terracotta umbrella’ form against the lush green context. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Built to showcase the aesthetic and structural properties of paper mâche and as an expression of the historical relevance of paper the revitalisation of the Handmade Paper Institute in Pune is a tasteful makeover of an existing campus. Text: Anusha Narayanan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Ajay Sonar and Hemant Patil

We, as architects, were very much interested in understanding the urban setting in which the project sits before designing it. So, we reversed the thinking process by starting with the urban analysis before coming to the individual programmes of the project. What is a public space? This is the question we asked, looking at the crowded streets, hawkers and lack of space for recreation for thousands of students and working class in the centre of Pune city. The answer was to perforate or blur the boundaries of a government institute which was an urban void, to allow public movement into a campus having huge old trees and a fairly large vacant ground for activities. That could be only achieved by adding relevant spaces to promote these activities, like a showroom converted to a museum and outdoor spaces like a painting gallery, and a cafeteria. The challenge in designing a museum (showroom) was to have an impact that extends beyond the functional integrities to evoke question such as ‘What is handmade paper?’; ‘Why use handmade paper in an era of materials like acrylic and glass for products and digital printers?’; ‘What are the abilities and advantages of handmade paper over any other material?’; ‘What is its relevance in architecture?’. We used many approaches to develop the design and upon deliberation, we decided to do a paper mâche installation in a seventy year old existing pitched roof, with a free flowing organic form symbolising the properties of paper mâche. It looked more meaningful for the place where paper mâche was used for making handmade paper and other products in the factory. The installation actually has the essence of a cave, which we consider to be the purest embodiment of space. - Ajay Sonar Ajay Sonar received his B Arch from Pune University in 2009 and established his firm in 2011 in Nashik. The firm intends to practice architecture in an academic way with rigorous research, critical and intuitive thinking to develop humble and humane architecture. The firm focuses on understanding a typology and its evolution over time and redefining it, based on relevant parameters like context, function, urban condition, culture and user identities. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



The enthralling play of light on the surface opposite the brick ‘jaali’. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The existing site before intervention.

The process of building the museum domes.



1 Office Space 2 Museum (Showroom) 3 Painting Gallery 4 Entrance Plaza 5 Parking 6 Cafe And Workshop

1 Office Space 2 Showroom/Museum 3 Painting Gallery 4 Entrance Plaza 5 Parking 6 Amphitheatre 7 Restaurant 8 Kitchen 9 Courtyard 10 Existing Factory 11 Existing Building

11 11








11 6




3 3




















esigned, or rather, redesigned more inclusively, the revitalised campus of the Handmade Paper Institute in Pune pronounces art and craft in form and welcomes the public to an organised urban campus. The entire site is composed of six components - office spaces, a museum (showroom), a painting gallery, an existing factory, an existing building and a café and workshop. These are interjected by an entrance plaza, a courtyard, an amphitheatre and parking. In accordance with the client’s brief, the intent of the project was to design a showroom to display products and increase the footfalls, to refurbish the existing structure into a clutter-free office space and to design the landscape to accommodate workshops and public activities. The design intervention on the existing campus helped transform it beyond just conventionalities to a broader interpretation of paper mâche by means of the museum, which, in itself, is an interior installation. The curvilinear interior of the museum is composed of two intersecting domes that form a cave-like mass, punctured by skylights at places. The paper mâche domes were constructed on a formwork of waste bricks and soil and welding waste washers in the precise arrangement. This skin was then welded on to the MS pipe sections to form the skeleton followed by the process of applying paper pulp which was finished in three layers by the workers employed in the factory on site. The niches in the domes are used for displaying products unobtrusively. The use of paper mâche to create the space also Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




Interiors built on Gandhian principles of frugality and honesty.

Niches in the paper mâche domes used to display products. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


12 9


5 3



3 6

The clock is designed with an intention to show time only in the working hours of the office.

3 10

The cabinet is designed to divide the space, with only 6’ height to make it human. ↑










Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

1 Reception 2 Work Space 3 Director’s Cabin 4 Internal Court 5 Pantry and Toilet 6 Toilet for Directors 7 Toilet for Staff 8 Courtyard 9 Showroom (Museum) 10 Sheet Storage





Teak wood file cabinets used to divide spaces and pitched roofs devoid of unwanted layers in the office.

Display windows of the museum as seen from the painting gallery. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



The outdoor painting gallery as a continuum of the museum display wall seen at the rear end.

Being minimal in character, the space is adaptable to displays of varying themes.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

The angular wall used for the introduction of the artists on display.




acts as a thermal insulation similar to adobe constructions. Its appeal is in the curiosity it leaves behind, to look at the objects placed in the niches, or the pattern of light emerging from behind the brick ‘jaali’ or to touch the hand-pressed surfaces. The challenge in the interiors of the office space was to peel off the unwanted layers from the surfaces of the 70 year old building and reveal its purity. The focus here was more on restoration of the existing structure hidden behind gypsum sheets and conserving their spirit rather than constructing more. To achieve this, customised furniture was used, like multipurpose file cabinets and doors placed to create pauses between workstations. Moving further, the restaurant has been designed as a flexible space, nestled between existing trees which was an unkempt junkyard before. It can be used as a workshop in the day and a performance space in the evening, with an amphitheatre at the centre of these activities. The concept for the painting gallery is a reference to handmade paper used for watercolour painting of landscapes. With this thought, an outdoor painting gallery was created, with free standing brick display walls where one could walk around the existing trees. Overall, a humble expression which rejects the conventional approaches to interior design and space planning in an urban context, the Revitalisation of the Handmade Paper Institute provides spaces for the public to cut away from the daily routine and understand handmade paper better.

Citation: The Handmade Paper Institute has an inseparable history with the place. Ajay Sonar’s job was to revitalise the space and the idea through means that were minimal and constrained on a site that had to be dealt with sensitivity. While layers of insensitive additions were removed, an interior space was imagined that did not manipulate the original but added a new dimension to the idea of paper and of architecture. The metal and paper structure that envelops the space in the museum not only reimagines the building in a new light but also changes the perception of handmade paper. The intervention, the material and the quality of work speak of the place in a contemporary voice. The intervention goes beyond the built space into the landscape as the entire facility is upgraded simply and frugally. The organic space within represents the fluidity and versatility of paper and the mâche structure completely changes the interior space all the while respecting the shell. For a project with its constraints, the interior architecture makes a remarkable difference while justifying the absolutes of the brief.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Architect : Design Team : Client : Site Area : Built Area : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :

Revitalisation of Handmade Paper Institute Pune, Maharashtra Ajay Sonar Ajay Sonar, Monal Patil, Sagar Padwal, Rohit Yelgat Handmade Paper Institute, Pune 20,000sqft 3000sqft July 2011 June 2013 Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


OMLOFFICE INTERIORS patch design studio, Mumbai

Strategised to repurpose an old factory building in Lower Parel, Mumbai-based firm patch design studio has actualised an interactive office building by maximising on the use of the prevailing elements. Text: Shreya Shah | Images & Drawings: courtesy patch design studio

patch design studio is a young, multidisciplinary design studio started by Ipsit Patel and Rika Chaudhry, in 2012. As a studio, we believe that built environments in diverse spheres contribute in various ways to individuals and businesses. We realise every client and programme is different and hence each project brings with it, its own unique criteria. As a team, we believe in providing design solutions that work at every scale, creating cohesion between the overall contexts to the smallest details. Through our work processes, we try and create spaces that while being functional, transcend their functionality. With each project, we try to push the notional boundaries of design and function, through material experimentation and newer generative ideas, that are distinctive to each project. We define built environments in a very wide manner. Our scope of work thus ranges from entertainment venues, to restaurants and retail outlets, from exhibition spaces to temporary installations, from residential, commercial and institutional interiors to architectural and urban environments. - patch design studio

Defining the built environments in the widest possible way, the young, multidisciplinary patch design studio headed by Ipsit Patel and Rika Chaudhry, works on projects of varied scales ranging from residential, commercial and institutional interiors to architectural and urban environments. The team prepares the design to incorporate all aspects, from the overall environments of the site to the minuscule details of the built. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Seating around planters; corridor connecting the staircase to the mezzanine level floor. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Mezzanine floor housing the functional spaces along the structural framework of a truss.


rogrammed to reuse the redundant printing press at Mathuradas Mills Compound in Lower Parel, Mumbai, the office for a media firm, Only Much Louder (OML), is designed by patch design studio to physically manifest the client’s brief to achieve a fun and quirky office that allows for an open plan for further growth. To bring forth the idea of reuse and refurbishment, the design was optimised using existing objects for an entire new purpose of the built environment. Central to the concept of remaking the office, lies the principle of creation of a qualitative space animated with natural light. A pitched roof inviting the light emboldens this approach. The low-height space formed by the truss structure creates a warm and confined area of work at the mezzanine level for different teams of the media firm imparting an effortless and uninterrupted visual connection. Functionally adaptable, the

Moveable aluminium sheet partitions and the functional spaces inside.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

spaces are planned by providing openable partitions made out of corrugated tin sheets, reclaimed glass and aluminium sections. Placed at various intervals along the length of the ground floor, are garden-style benches with planters finished using red bricks and ‘kadappa’ stone, and are schemed for informal meetings and discussions. To hide the service wires running along the slab, the flooring is finished with mosaic tiles while the old factory’s cement flooring is retained. Using coloured plywood panels in the truss extending as a partition, the space awash in colours suggests the informal atmosphere of the office. Most of the tables collectively used are made out of rubber wood with repurposed old cot legs and the plumbing pipes making up the structure for the film production


Den Entrance


Waiting area

Down Conference Room


Team 1

Director’s Area Team 2 Meeting Room

Dining Area

Team 3 Team 4

Team 9


Team 5 Dining Area

Team 8 Men’s Toilet Team 6 Up Team 7

Ladies Toilet

Up ↑


0 1 3




0 1 3










Different levels of the office are visually connected.

Chipped plaster, exposing existing brick wall and retained cement flooring.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Informal seating as seen from the mezzanine floor.

team’s bunk bed adds to the idea of ‘reuse’. To maximise the use of interior space, the floating metal lockers become the only storage available which can be accessed using a library-style rolling ladder. Collectively, the architects have enhanced the project by adopting a ‘work-in-progress’ approach, to which they say “additions or alterations will not look out of place”. Citation: The offices for OML had to be housed in a structure that contained a defunct printing press. Typical to the old industrial buildings in Mumbai, the elements of the existing structure had a history and a character. In this environment and context, patch design studio readdressed the idea of an office space by introducing a new order and a set of chaotic elements – conflicting themes in a rhythm. An incredible mix of eclectic nuances – from exposed bricks to cot legs and from painted ply to ‘kadappa’ occupies the interior space flooded by ample north light. There is a refreshing energy in the way everything is put together. In the inherent complexity of materials there is a logical simplicity. A refreshing use of colours and materials, combined with an agreement of opposites makes the interior space lively and energetic. Steel is used in proximity to wood and colours are used against polish. The objects are playful and have an element of inquisitiveness to them: an intrinsic order in all chaos.


Exposed brick partition; reused pipes for service ducts.

Project Location Architects Design Team Client Project Area Civil Contractors Initiation of Project Completion of Project

: : : : : : : : :

OML Office Interiors Lower Parel, Mumbai patch design studio Ipsit Patel, Rika Chaudhry OML (Only Much Louder) 5800sqft Acmeview Contractors February 2012 September 2012 Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


MAJULI ISLAND AS CULTURAL LANDSCAPE Srishti Consulting Service, Faridabad

In a detailed study of the context of formation of the Majuli Island and its evolution, Faridabad-based Srishti Consulting Service has traced the living ethos of the island to its roots, epitomising its presence, even today, as a distinctive cultural landscape. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Srishti Consulting Service

In 2007, Srishti Consulting Service was assigned the job by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to prepare a report on Majuli Island, to establish a unique relationship of various attributes of the site as a cultural landscape. The process was initiated with a short site trip with conservation architects, landscape architects, risk experts and higher officials of ASI. Based on a brief introduction to the site, a proposal was submitted to ASI by considering the scope of work to establish the interrelationship of ‘Sattras’, living culture of the area, its architecture and the cyclic process of nature. The site work was initiated with documentation of various significant aspects of the site through specific inventory formats. Local experts were invited to support the team during site documentation of ‘Sattras’, traditional occupation, migratory birds, tribal and non-tribal communities, biodiversity pattern, fairs and festivals etc. The Department of Forest was approached to support the team with their site studies and findings. Site documentation gave us an understanding of a unique relationship/association of various aspects of culture and landscape establishing the interrelationship of human life with nature and its outcome as a unique socio-cultural identity of the area. - Srishti Consulting Service

Srishti Consulting Service is a consultancy firm, established in October 2003 by Poonam Thakur and Shukant Saha. The firm has been engaged in a diverse form of projects that include architectural development, heritage conservation, restoration plans for heritage sites and their detailed cost estimate. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Namghar in the ‘Sattra’ complex.

Interior of Namghar. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The Landscape.


n 2007-2008, Srishti Consulting Service, working as the Conservation Consultant to the Archaeological Survey of India, compiled an additional document to be sent to UNESCO, for the nomination of Majuli Island as Cultural Landscape. Conducting intensive research on the island, the architects rigorously documented its subtle details, each one adding a progressive layer to the story of its habitation, from the way the topography brought in its particular inhabitants to how their way of life has influenced the spatial and architectural patterns which are still synonymous with the place and significant in shaping its identity. Located in the midst of the Brahmaputra River in the Assam region, Majuli is a small undulating landform with a network of small and large ‘chapories’ or islets shaped by different water channels and bound by the rivers Lohit and Dihing. The island and its settlements have evolved over time with the establishment of the Bramhaputra River as an important trade link between neighbouring areas, from as early as the 3 rd century, and consequently populating regions of Upper Assam. This was conjectured to have eventually progressed to Majuli due to the presence of the grasslands of the ‘chapories’ in lieu of the dense forestation present in other areas. The soil type and land form, Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

in this way, supported an agrarian-based civilisation, utilising the natural periodicity of the flooding patterns to its optimum potential by exploring different methods of cultivation in differing seasons. The way in which the local inhabitants have embraced the cyclic changes in climate with its constant flooding and erosion showcases the ease with which man has adapted and developed a unique dialect that is evocative, even today, of the natural ecosystem. Forging a similarly distinctive identity for itself spiritually and religiously, the island’s significance as the heart of ‘Neo-Vaishnavism’, is seen across the landscape, through the physical manifestation of the ‘Sattras’, which are religious institutions concerned with the dissemination of the principles and devotional practices of ‘Neo-Vaishnavism’. The careful study which included the documentation of the ‘Sattra’ complex, including the architectural styles of its different structural components and the daily activities of the people shows that the ‘Sattras’, from its growth to its spatial layout are not only representative of ‘Vaishnavism’, but also continue to influence the landscape patterns and the interface between the people and landscape of Majuli.


Dense vegetation Beels/ Waterbodies Grassland Cultivation Land Kharkutia/ Lohi River

Wetland and Paddy Cultivation Grazing Ground and Cultivation Area

Settlement Tuni River

Subansiri River



Majuli Island










Agriculture activity around Settlement 1. Harvesting of pulses (like, Black gram, Mati, Mah)

Agricultural activity on Chapori 1. Raiparian flats and slopes get filled with grasses

Weaving activity in Village 1. Mulberry leaves are cut to feed paat worms. 2. Mekhela is woven out of thread produced by cocoons.


Agriculture activity around Settlement 1. Fields prepared for Ahu rice. (Sowing seeds) 2. Crop is generally grown on high land and it requires less water in comparison to other crops. 3. They prepare transplanting bed for Xali crop


Preparation for flood 1. Digging earth for shallow pits (small pukhari act as bufferzone from flood water. Mud dug out of pits are used for construction of houses)



Harvesting activity on grassland 1. Grasses like Savannah grasses eg. Nal, Kagori, Ikora are cut for construction purpose.



Preparation for Flood 1. Making of Boat. Trading activity 1. Trading of pots

Fishing activity in Village 1. Preparation of fishery traps

Occupation Pattern with rise in water level during pre-monsoon season.

RIVER 1. Alluvial soil deposition during floods.

2. Introduction of new species through flood.



Migratory birds 1. Birds are seen in floodaffected riparian and submerged areas. 2. They generally appear on tall trees and grasses. Fishing activity in Village 1. Fishing activity begins along the river bank 2. People sail on river for catching fish.



Weaving activity in Village 1. Mekhela is woven out of thread produced by cocoons. Fishing activity in Village 1. Preparation of fishery traps



Agricultural activity around Settlement 1. Xali paddy is transplanted to muddy fields prepared in the earlier season. 2. Lower heighten earthen embankment is constructed. 3. The paddy fields get flooded with flood water. Fish traps are specially made and placed along the embankments. 4. Vegetables are grown at higher level. 5. Plantation of new saplings.



New bamboo cane grows from shoots. Fishing activity in Village 1. As water rises in river bamboo permeable traps are set to catch big fishes 2. Preparation of fishery traps.




Trading activity 1. Trading of pots continues 1. Wooden logs are collected and used as firewood

Occupation Pattern with heavy flooding during monsoon season. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Guest House


Pond Guest House Pond Open Space (Circulation Area)

Museum Access Road

Batcora Pond


Namghar Southern Hall

Manikut Pond

Grain Store and Library Eastern Hall

Sattradhikar’s Residence

Circulation cum Activity area Agricultural Land






Roof of Manicut


1000 1500




Window Carved Pillar Window

Carved Pillar

Part A

+13.40 Lvl A



+8.85 Lvl

Wooden Framed wall

Wooden Framed Wall

+7.2 Lvl

+4.80 Lvl

Ventilator A


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

Main entrance Door

Ventilator Steps


Ventilator Part B


Core area of Village (very small part of this area is covered with built structures, most of the areas are left open, similar to the core area of the Sattra)

Buffer area of village includes vast open area (This area consists of different type of land forms. e.g. wetland, agricultural land, marshy areas, grasslands, forest areas etc. similar to the buffer area of Sattra.) Inhabitants of Majuli are influenced by the Sattras, as they are the disciples of the Sattras. Local people follow the Neo-Vaishnavite principle of valuing Nature under the guidance of the Sattras. Hence, the surrounding areas of villages are maintained in its natural form, protecting the bio-diversity.

Buffer area of Sattra includes a vast open area (this area consists of different types of land forms e.g. wetland, agricultural land, marshy areas, grasslands, forest areas etc.)

Influence of Sattra on villages

Core area of Sattra (a very small part of this area is covered with built structures, most of the areas are left) Sattra maintains the natural character of land form by valuing its uniqueness. It has led to protection of bio-diversity within the Sattra complex.

There are thirty one Sattras existing on the Island. • Auniati Sattra • Garamur Sattra • Dakshinpat Sattra • Bhogpur Sattra • Natun Kamalabari Sattra • Uttar Kamalabari Sattra • Madhya Kalambari Sattra • Bengena-ati Sattra • Natun Samaguri Sattra • Purani Samaguri Sattra • Saru Garamur Sattra • Dakshinpat Grihasthi/ Ashrami Sattra • Dighali Sattra • Belosidhia Sattra • Adhar Sattra • Bihimpur Sattra • Narasinha (Bar Alengi) Sattra • Malual Sattra • Sakala Sattra • Matiabari Sattra • Sarjan Sattra • Dikhowmukhia Alengi Sattra • Ahatguri Sattra • Alengi Madarguri Sattra

Setting of Sattra campus

Site of Sattra campus Water ponds Religious site

Open area

Hati (residential area) Pathway

Namghar Green Space around Namghar

Sattras are established in a large area, they are mainly divided into two areas:

Influence of ‘Sattras’ on Majuli Island.

Entrance gateway

• Site • Setting

Local administration maintains the green areas (which are under government ownership) without disturbing their natural character.

• Natun Sakala Sattra • Alengi Sattra • Bar-Alengi Sattra • Dikhow Mukhi Bah Jengani Sattra • Owa Sattra • Punia Sattra • Tokoubari Sattra

Nam Ghar and its surrounding spaces.

The Landscape. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




Traditional architectural style: Plinth houses.

Traditional architectural style: Stilt houses

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Traditional occupation pattern: Fishing in the wetland.

Citation: The mandate for Srishti Consulting Service was to compile a sensitive study that relates to the unique landscape and habitat of the Majuli Island. Within a context of rich history and heritage, this document is compiled in great detail with due consideration to demography, flora and fauna. Beyond the usual documentation, the study effectively captures the unique diversity of the island developing independent and substantial systems to encapsulate the regional character. The report – commissioned by the ASI was programmed to propose Majuli Island as Cultural Landscape. The subsequent document is not only effective to generate interest in the site, but also is a solid record of the diverse ecosystem and its inhabitants.

Traditional occupation pattern: Weaving.

Also studied were the different sociological tenets that perhaps tangentially but significantly influence the cultural landscape, from the spatiality of occupation patterns, the innate adaptation of natural conditions by the inhabitants to the impact of geomorphological changes on land form and vegetation pattern. The intangibilities of interrelationships between people and their environment, traditional knowledge in terms of pottery making, wood and bamboo craft, and weaving were further analysed on their present significance, availability and continuity of the skill and resource. Overall, a comprehensive appraisal of every aspect that informs the way of life and spatial development of Majuli was traced back to its roots of conception, each making for a meaningful representation of the identity of the place.

FACT FILE: Project : Majuli Island as Cultural Landscape Location : Majuli Island, Jorhat, Assam Architect : Shukanta Saha, Poonam Thakur Design Team : Shweta Sonakia, Dinesh Gawande, Deepika Saxena, Amod Bhave Buffer Area : 380062 Ha (including waterways of Brahmaputra) Core Area : 142535 Ha Inititation of work : Oct 2007 Completion of work : Feb 2008 Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



In the context of the stubborn desert landscape of Rajasthan, located in a village called Bijolai, the landscape restoration and conservation of the Bijolai Palace for the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation by Kakoli Sikder enlivens a decrepit palace complex through both intervention and preservation. Text: Anusha Narayanan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Kakoli Sikder, Grup.ISM and Jal Bhagirathi Foundation

In retrospect when I look back at the project, the task was to work hand in hand with the principal architect, Grup.ISM and the respected clients. The clients had exotic taste as they were of a royal lineage, had travelled extensively and were well informed. It was quite a challenge to have to live up to their expectations given the limited resources and the harsh weather conditions. It was also a learning process for me as whatever I was to design and create had to be at par with other restored heritage properties in terms of the landscape. Intensive case studies were carried out to understand heritage sites in the vicinity of Bijolai like the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the Bal Samand Palace, the Kaylana Lake property, Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada and Mandore Gardens. Various methods in which local materials have been employed in these projects and suchlike were observed closely. It was seen that water had been channelised in the gardens for maximum irrigation and cooling benefits. Extensive visits were also conducted to learn about the region’s flora and fauna and the planting seasons of the local species. Throughout the whole exercise I got the opportunity to mingle with the local folk and learn about their customs, traditions and daily life. As a guest, I was welcomed with utmost affection and hospitality. I derived the entrance plaza from the entry to ‘chowks’/’pols’ in the old city. I also realised the importance of water in the lives of the villagers, who treated it as sacrosanct. - Kakoli Sikder

Kakoli Sikder, a landscape architect and an alumna from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi established her architecture and landscape practice – 4th Plane in 2004 with the idea of working at the junction of art, architecture and landscape. Her practice believes in following an expression which calls for integrating the various architectural doctrines with aesthetics, visual respite, sustainability and the environment. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Landscaped foreground with offices and the residence of the royal family in the background as seen from the staff residences.

The complex and its entrances as seen from the road.

The WRC as seen through the openings in the residential quarters.

The amphitheatre as seen through an arch in the wall. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Jal Mahal Bijolai, as seen from the opposite banks of the Bijolai Lake.

The palace before restoration.

The palace after restoration as viewed from the roundabout.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

The water body before restoration.

The water body after restoration.


The residential greens observed from the office complex which is elevated from the rest of the site.


he 200-year-old summer palace built by Maharaja Takhtsar Singh, the Jal Mahal Bijolai lies on a hillock adjacent to the Bijolai Lake, located about 11km away from the ‘blue city’ of Jodhpur. With ‘walking amidst the heritage architecture’ as the fundamental idea, the project aimed at the restoration and conservation of the landscape of the palace complex, as an example of revitalisation of historic sites for reuse as community spaces. A network of walkways, indigenous planting, locally available materials, ramps for the physically handicapped and open gathering spaces converge at the knowledge accumulation and dissemination centre for the locals - the Water Resource Centre (WRC), which is the headquarters of Jal Bhagirathi Foundation (JBF), housed within the complex. The landscape development plan, done in coordination with the architects, attempts to enhance the experience of the pedestrians by designing expanses and pockets of open spaces as a series of entities tied together by circulation, scale and composition. The site plan is mainly divided into two parts - the public area and the private area and is accessed by two entrances - ‘A’ and ‘B’- both over culverts. Entrance ‘A’ leads towards the private quarters and lies on solid rock outcrop therefore is left mostly unplanted. Entrance ‘B’ leads towards the offices wherein the drop-off progresses onto an arched gateway which opens into lush green manicured gardens with pathways cutting across and wound around them. The administrative block stands elevated from the rest of the site. Near the steps leading up to it, ‘Jaal Peelu’, ‘Rohina’ and ‘Babool’ trees have been used at focal points. The intelligent use of ‘jaalis’ and ‘jharokhas’ along the partition wall between the

The office landscape before restoration.

The office landscape after restoration. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Landscaped forecourt leading to the residential area and hotel greens. Drop (Towards Lake Kailana)




Dormitory Apartments


Bijolai Talaab

Open Land


ell W


Guard Room



Guard Room

Entrance Court Office Complex

Block-C Block-C1


Main Entry Guard Room




Toilet Block

Electrical Room

An internal courtyard made in Jodhpur stone.

Water Body

Water Body


ar R o





Garage WT


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

The entrance of the palace as a connection over the water body.




An overview of the WRC and the hotel seen from the residential area.

The WRC and the residential area separated by an arched wall. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


The anicut connecting the site to the opposite end of the ‘talaab’ (lake), currently used as an open air dining sit-out.

Overview of the central green, looking towards the site entrance.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


administrative and the residential areas exploits this elevation and the vistas from it. Adding to this gap is the placement of the amphitheatre, green clusters and water features that separate the two areas further. Jodhpur stone in the square entrance plazas and amphitheatre, stone pergolas and trellises, and loose dark Jodhpur stone chips and crushed gravel in paving have mostly been used to minimise the cost of construction. The run-off from the hardscapes and the roofs is collected and directed to the existing well which acts as a collector of water as well as for groundwater recharge. Rainwater from most of the softscapes, from the unbuilt site, and the overflow from the well flows into the lake. The water supply to the entire built and restored facilities is from the old well, which is filtered upon collection to make it usable. The anicut along one side of the lake was already in place before the landscape architect was approached for intervention, thus, the attempt was to prevent further erosion and silting into the lake water by densification of the planting on the lakefront. The water levels of the lake were low at the time of commencement of work but by reinforcing the edges with civil work and additional planting, the retention of water in the lake was improved. Overall, the landscape intervention of the Jal Mahal Bijolai complex attempts to bind the environment and architecture, thus improving the microclimate of the place, adding life to a formerly abandoned and drought-ridden place.

Citation: As a landscape consultant to Grup.ISM, Kakoli Sikder was instrumental in the site development of the restored Bijolai Palace for the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation. In the process of restoration, there is seldom a stress on the landscape and ecosystem of the site – a conceptual lapse in many key restoration projects. Critical to this project is the crucial act of desilting of the natural water body, restoring the indigenous vegetation, creating a cohesive ambience through a palette of flora and charting out the ecosystem in a difficult, arid terrain. The water body, the gardens in the enclosure, the trees and grasses, the lawns within the complete complex are great examples of how sensitive and restrained architectural restoration can benefit from a plan that can assimilate the existing, the historical and the new in a conceptual whole.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Landscape Architect : Architect : Design Team : Client : Project Area : Project Estimate : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :

Restoration and Conservation of Bijolai Palace for Jal Bhagirathi Foundation – Landscape Design Jodhpur, Rajasthan Kakoli Sikder Grup.ISM, New Delhi Shweta, Shwethal Kadam and Anu Aggarwal Jal Bhagirathi Foundation 4.35 acres `2 Crore (approx) 2008 2011 Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




Triple O Studio, Chennai ‘Stack it Up’ by Chennai-based Triple O Studio allows the public to engage with the built environment, through the creation of a socially relevant installation that is participatory and inclusive, drawing awareness through its very process of design. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Triple O Studio

Our team at Triple O feels strongly about the power and responsibility of design in inspiring change. The impact of a conviction and positive design was felt deeply with Stack it Up. This exhibit is undoubtedly one of Chennai’s first ever public art installations, which left behind ripples of an experience it was purposed to create. A successful awareness campaign became a reality only because of the combined interests and efforts of architectureRED, students, friends and even passers-by at the beach. The making of this installation did not go through without having to put up with ‘red tapism’ and some irksome hours spent waiting to acquire permission for the event to happen at the biggest public space we have – the Marina Beach. It was sheer determination that got us there and we were thoroughly grateful that a campaign of such scale did not have to happen in the ‘atrium of a city mall’. The execution of the design was hands-on and a lot of fun. Although an entire night of painting the structure red was washed away by one, quick unexpected shower of rain, we quickly bucked down and thought of a more permanent solution. While we had to face trials of different sorts, we battled on, and at the end of three days we had made a full team of like-minded friends for life. - Triple O Studio

Triple O Studio, headed by designers Anupriya Subbian and Tahaer Zoyab is a young design collaborative that approaches design from all angles, be it art, technology or the built environment. With an unmitigated passion for design, they work to connect people and places with ideas that come from many minds and imaginations, delivering designs that are as engaging in the process as they are at completion. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

urban installation


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



temporary urban installation, ‘Stack it Up’ was designed for CRY by Triple O Studio in collaboration with architectureRED, in an initiative to promote awareness about every child’s right to education. Aptly put up in the largest public space in Chennai, the Marina Beach, the construction of the installation drew people from the onset of the project, as they milled around to participate in the easily understandable and inclusive process of design. The hollow, cuboidal, metal framework of the form which symbolised the demarcation of an institution, was fabricated as a two layered scaffold with an external footprint of 24’ x 24’, creating an internal open space of 16’ x 16’. These scaffoldings were further externally clad by an assortment of 6’ x 2’ benches to create a skin for the framework; the benches being representative of the typically modest furniture that is found in most Indian school classrooms. Their drudgery done away with, by painting it bright red, 300 such benches were stacked and fixed in place, towering to a height of 24’ and clearly visible from any point along the expansive vista of the Marina Beach. These benches, only partially wrapped around the scaffolding, left openings which further drew the people by virtue of the visual activity that was perceivable in and around the space. Inside, interwoven webs of strings were purposefully tied to intersect, forming various patterns that framed the view of the sky. A helium balloon was given to every individual on entering the space, that was then let off within the meshed enclosure; meant to be symbolic of a child’s aspirations and his right to individuality and education that is challenged on a daily basis. The balloons floated upwards towards the stringed web, only to cling to the inside of the roof, held back from the sky that seemed so easily accessible yet insurmountable. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



ELEVATION Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Citation: Stack it Up is a public art project. Meant to mark a point on the map to release balloons for CRY, Triple O Studio decided to stack up school benches painted in red to symbolise the right to education – the message of the installation was to stress on education as a means to liberate children of everything that holds them back. The structure – concealing a web of strings that holds the balloons back till each is cut and they are released becomes a beautiful metaphor. The stacked red benches had a presence on the urbanscape of the Marina Beach. Being a temporary installation, the idea takes precedence and the project succeeds in creating inquisitiveness and interest. Built with the right amount of chance, the design encourages participation. There is an element of play in the way it is put together. The level of refinement is minimal as the execution involves people – something that is critical to the idea. In the end when the balloons are released, one can imagine the concept completing itself.

During the three days that it was open, the installation was rife with activity, drawing everyone from vendors to passive onlookers, first out of curiosity but then holding them there with the meaning and social responsibility it evoked, as an amassing number of balloons were enmeshed within itself. The intention was to draw awareness about the large percentage of children struggling to get basic education. On the final day, the strings were cut loose, releasing the balloons into the sky just as a child’s dreams could be, through the framework of an education. Done this way in the form of an urban installation, for the community in the most public of spaces, the message reached its intended audience in a way that would have been otherwise impossible. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Architect : Design Team : Client : Project Area : Project Estimate : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :

Stack it Up Marina Beach, Chennai. Triple O Studio and architectureRED Anupriya Subbian, Biju Kuriakose, Kishore Paniker, TahaerZoyab, Athreya Hariharan, Apoorva Madhusudan, Madhusudan Reddy, Malavika Rao, Rizwan Khan, Vamsi Krishna CRY 600sqft `2 Lacs 27 November 2012 29 November 2012


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


PEPSICART Aman Sadana, Delhi

Aman Sadana, an independent designer based in Delhi innovates with multifunctionality and direct representation, to create an apt design for PepsiCo that is workable and playful. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy Aman Sadana

What architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Form follows function” - has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union. While working on a project, I try not to consciously work on the two separately. It is imperative that the form be honest to the product’s underlying purpose and not a false façade to hide it with. Like every designer, I walk the tight rope between functionality and aesthetics on a daily basis. It is a skill that comes with practice. The Pepsi Cart remains a significant milestone in my career. Over the course of six months, I was able to take my idea from a doodle to a road-worthy vehicle. As a young designer, I approached PepsiCo with some renders and a small model of the cart. They wholeheartedly welcomed my proposal and decided to sponsor its development. Motivated, I then went out looking for manufacturers who would be willing to place their faith in my idea. I found such partners in Dreamriders Motorcycles and Torque Studios. We all brought different skill sets to the table, which came together to create the ‘cart’. The final product is a testament to the great working relationship and synergy between us. - Aman Sadana

Aman Sadana is a senior designer with the LG Electronics Design Team. He did his Master’s in Design from IIT Delhi and his Bachelor’s in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture. Through his projects, he has worked across various design disciplines – Branding, User Experience Design, Architecture and Product Design. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014











1200 2200




mobile kiosk, the Pepsi Cart, caters to a young and growing audience in a way that is different to the contemporaneous response to usual kiosks. This pedal-powered vehicle was part of a self-driven brief by Aman Sadana to replace the push-carts of old yet diverge from the fancier, expensive solar-powered motor vehicles, to reconcile with simple utility. The Pepsi Cart can be bicycled to its location; its vibrant red and blue catching the eye and directly representative of the Pepsi logo, offering huge potential to advertise and promote their brand. This is further iterated when these carts are stationed at opportune locations, from business hubs to railway stations and arterial roads, and easily movable between them as is a requisite of the transitory nature of space on Indian roads and sidewalks. Once stationed in its place, the roof of the cart can be raised to suspend bottles and snacks additionally over the flat deck, in an efficient way of display. The seat can be further rotated backwards, transforming into a kiosk, with a place of shaded repose for the vendor. The structure of the Pepsi ball is made entirely of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP), and mounted on a custom designed chassis. With two refrigerator compartments for 250 bottles and a storage box in the rear for six bottle crates, the cart can just as ably serve as a vehicle to transport large amounts of merchandise as it is a celebratory billboard and a kiosk to sell. All in all, it is a youthful, playful form that is both efficiently utilitarian and inherently sustainable, in its navigation of the culture of our mixed-use streets. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

Pepsi Cart.

The Pepsi Cart can be bicycled to its location; its vibrant red and blue catching the eye and directly representative of the Pepsi logo, offering huge potential to advertise and promote their brand.

Citation: Aman Sadana’s cart for PepsiCo effectively uses form to resolve the issue of function. In India, carts have an incredible urban presence. Effectively driving the idea of a product and a vehicle, the cart combines good graphics, refined detail and customisation to purpose it for both ends – the brand and the seller.

FACT FILE: Product : Pepsi Cart Location : New Delhi Designer : Aman Sadana Prototyping and Manufacture : Dreamriders Motorcycles (Ashok Mehta), Torque Studios (Kshitij Bajaj) Client : PepsiCo Project Estimate : `2 Lacs Initiation of Project : January 2012 Completion of Project : August 2012



Existing Push-cart.

Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


REMLshelf TRIpike, Slovenia

A simplistic approach can be seen in designing a functional art piece like the REMLshelf, designed by two young architects Tadej Podakar and Luka Fabjan heading the firm TRIpike in Slovenia, Europe. Text: Shreya Shah | Images & drawings: courtesy TRIpike

“Nobody will see the detail but everybody will feel its presence”. - Luka Fabjan “Shadow is the artist, who modifies a piece, to a piece of art”. - Tadej Podakar

Working under the name of TRIpike, Tadej Podakar and Luka Fabjan look for humble answers to everyday needs for quality use of a space by innovations in their designs. As experimentations in materiality and functionality, their designs are principled by simplicity, elegance, usability and quality. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




The REMLshelf in the context of a bathroom (top left), a bedroom (top right), a living room (bottom left) and a kitchen (bottom right). Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014





Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



using the knowledge of simple mechanics and the use of raw wooden logs, cut in designed sizes, the REMLshelf functions as an art piece hung on the wall as well as a shelf used for holding and hanging the essentials. The idea behind creating a functional art piece becomes the base of the construction of the shelf. One of the simplest materials – wood is extensively used to showcase its properties of massiveness and solidity that in itself lends the structural strength. Craftily done, the wooden pieces are cut into 800mm wide and 80mm x 80mm thick with one of its edge sawed off as a wedge, producing a simple and attractive form. The architects call this new form as ‘REML’ and the composition of seven such REMLs come together to make an REMLshelf. A single shelf plane itself acts as a place of storage where only limited space is required such as in a bathroom and kitchen.

One of the simplest materials – wood is extensively used to showcase its properties of massiveness and solidity that in itself lends the structural strength.

The construction of the REMLshelf is simple and uniquely done in a way that conceals all the joints within itself. With the anchored clips fixed to the logs over the channels running on the wall, the last log is added after the other six are vertically laid over the channels. Anchored to the wall by C section channels, each REML can slide vertically over these, owing to the metal angle brackets inserted into the notches in its rear portion. The system allows one to pull the REMLs up and down. A book when inserted horizontally, it acts as a shelf plane to carry more books placed vertically. The REMLshelf thus, can be used in many different ways in a living room or a bedroom to hold more than one object.

Citation: The beauty of TRIpike’s shelf lies in the character of the material; wood – its weight, its texture, its bulk and cut – all expressed in true nature thus, enabling the material to govern function in its complete potential. The element of flexibility creates interests and jests with the concept of possibility.

FACT FILE: Product Firm Designers

: REMLshelf : TRIpike : Tadej Podakar, Luka Fabjan Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



workshop no-w-here, Mumbai Experimenting with different materials and a craftsmanship which has the refinement of traditional handcrafted furniture, bar-23 is a Pandora’s Box waiting to be opened. Text: Anusha Narayanan | Images & Drawings: courtesy workshop no-w-here

To put down an idea and influences in words is perhaps as difficult as realising one, or perhaps as easy. I think that the prime function of an object is to try to be true to its function, after it fulfils that perfectly, it can then strive to be more. With this thought behind this project and every other; we realise our dreams and aspirations at workshop no-w-here. Subsequently, the name for the workshop can be read as ‘now-here’ or perhaps in the major instances ‘no-where’. While designing, it is also very important to note the works that are influencing you at that particular time, the songs that are playing in the background, the sketchbook that you are carrying, the weather that is prevalent, all these influence and change the body of works or a particular work at that instance. For example, I have been playing with concrete and wood for the last two years, influenced by the art and architecture of the Italian architect Carlo Molino who inspired my earlier furniture pieces. Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan with their sitars were on loop, along with Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Allah Rakha in the backdrop when I was working on ‘bar-23’; I remember this because I was just back from the Himalayas after a month long trip to the North, and had been listening to Indian classical music throughout the entire journey. To some, this may seem very nostalgic and to others, superficial, but somehow I have come to realise that ‘the setting’ plays a very big part in the process of developing a beautiful design. It sets a mood, renovates the senses and reaffirms your observations, very little can go wrong from here. - Samir Raut workshop no-w-here was started as a collaborative between two architects Samir Raut and Shahveer Irani in early 2013. The workshop started with the idea of taking everyday objects and reinterpreting them through design, driven by appropriate use of material and functionality. The workshop stresses on the idea of each product being handcrafted, making each piece unique in its respect and yet being precise in functionality. Focusing on doing all things by hand, they also like to design the hardware that goes into making their pieces. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014



Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014




t is an indulgence. The product and its purpose is as much an indulgence as it is to look at the object. The bar-23 by workshop no-w-here is a work of art, used for storing and serving liquor for small, intimate gatherings. The box shaped bar cabinet with bevelled edge panels on the front, also houses a ledge where the drinks can be mixed before serving and space inside for storing glasses. Made entirely in reclaimed Burma teakwood, the bar has a marine grade MDF skeleton for the double-leafed top unit. The entire casing has been done from a single log of wood to have precisely matching grains. On the inside, the bar is lined with mirrors with bevelled edges to give an expansive appearance to the compact unit. The ledge for mixing drinks is attached to the bar unit by means of brass chains which maintain a perpendicular angle to the unit. The bottom unit – the base stand of the bar has solid brass studs at the top which holds the legs and the cabinet together. The surface is finished with a matte sealer which keeps the inherent richness of colour of timber intact. A creation of workshop no-w-here, bar-23 is hardware dressed in visual aesthetics which are inherent to the material used, the procured and recycled Burma teakwood, and fabricated entirely from parts in-house. Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014


Made entirely in reclaimed Burma teakwood, the bar has a marine grade MDF skeleton for the double-leafed top unit.

Citation: Being a crafted piece of furniture, this personal bar cabinet is made with a great amount of finesse. Made in wood and glass, the materials are sensitively used; there is an element of surprise in the pattern of unfolding and a certain amount of play in the construction of the legs.

FACT FILE: Product Designer Location Initiation and Completion of project

: bar-23 : Samir Raut : Mumbai : 2013


Indian Architect & Builder - February 2014

IA&B Feb 2014  

Architecture is a multifarious process. There are scales to be negotiated, materials to be explored and places to be true to. And in the con...