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VOL 25 (7) MAR 2012 ` 200

THE CONTEMPORARY COOL Architecture | Sculpture | Urbanism | Idea


18 IA&B - MAR 2012

Through the Looking Glass Looking back at a lifetime of creative work, Padma Vibhushan Satish Gujral meanders on memorable work as an artist and an architect, in a conversation with IA&B. Image: courtesy Satish Gujral Data & Curation: courtesy Ar. Rajendra Kumar

Painter, Sculptor, Muralist, Architect and Writer Satish Gujral can be described as a living legend; one of the few who have consistently dominated the art scene in India for the entire post-independent era. He has won an equal acclaim, if not more, as an architect, too. His building of the Belgium Embassy in New Delhi has been selected by the International Forum of Architects as one of the one thousand best-built buildings in the 20 th century around the world. The Republic of India has also honoured him with the second-highest National Award, “Padma Vibhushan�.


let’s partner IA&B: Art and architecture - can you tell us about your beginnings? What instigated you to work in such diverse fields and mediums? SG: In my understanding, art and architecture are the same. In the past, many artist were architects. Le Corbuiser, who is the world’s most famous name in architecture, was also an artist by training. He also inspired other European architects. Gio Ponti, the great Italian architect, was also an artist. The inventor of Perspective was a painter. When I started working in India, many of my colleagues criticised - how can an artist work as an architect? But later on, it was well accepted. Talking about my beginning, I would like to discuss the story about the Chandigarh project, being very important for shaping my career. Frank Lloyd Wright was the first choice for Chandigarh, but he refused to take the assignment because of his age. When the project was awarded to Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, one young architect from Frank Llod Wright’s office, Ted Bown, joined Pierre, and that time, I was working in Shimla as an artist. Myself, Ted Bown and Pierre J Jeanneret became good friends and used to spend time walking from Shimla to Jakhu. I learnt a lot from Ted Bown, who was a very intelligent architect. I also learnt English while working with him. I remember, he used to write to Frank Lloyd Wright about his experience with myself and Pierre. When Chandigarh was about to start, I left for Mexico to work as an intern with the great Muralist Diego Rivera. IA&B: You were one of the persons closely associated with the modern, post-independent art and architecture moments. Can you tell us about those formative years? SG: Before independence, I was studying in an art school in Lahore. During the British period, every state used to have one art school and in those schools, most of teachings were influenced by European and English arts. In these schools, many arts were taught; painting, draughtsmanship, mural etc. In my school, most of the students were interested in draughtsmanship, but I was more interested in painting. l left for Mumbai to study at the J. J. School to enhance my interest in painting. After the partition, I came to Shimla. I starting working as a Graphic Artist in the Publicity Department. I did not like the job. I insisted the then Punjab Chief Minister, Dr Gopi Chand Bhalu, to open an art school in the Indian part of Punjab. Initially, the art school was opened as a camp school where I was the Principal. The great artist Mr Parashar was my professor. After the partition, when he came to India, he had no job and when the art school in Punjab was formally started, he became the Principal of the school and I was the Vice Principal. If I would have not taken the initiative, with the Punjab Government, it would have not been possible to open an art school there. Punjab School of Art was one of the first schools where we had Indian art and culture as part of the teaching. After few years in the art school, I left for Mexico. IA&B: How was your experience working as a young artist who was interested in architecture? SG: When I came back from Mexico after working with Frank Lloyd Wright and Diego Rivera, I was very excited and started doing small residential projects. Some of my early works are House for the Modi Family, Tyre Factory in Uttar Pradesh, Villa at the Golf Link etc. For one of my first projects, Villa at the Golf Link in Delhi, I was asked by the client to undertake a small renovation. The client was living in the USA. I did not like the existing design, so I demolished the whole villa and

designed an all-new villa. Later, when client returned back from the USA and saw the new villa (instead of renovation), he was very happy! IA&B: You have met and worked with many veteran architects and artists. Can you tell us about significant personalities who influenced your work or our life? SG: In Mexico, at Diego Rivera’s office, I was only one who could speak English. Diego Rivera and Frank Lloyd Wright were good friends and were working together on some project. Once, Diego Rivera told me that Frank Lloyd Wright would come to his office for a discussion on the mural project which I was working on. I waited eagerly for Frank Lloyd Wright and when I met him, I asked him one question, “You are a great architect and Diego Rivera is great muralist. How does this combination work?” Frank LloydWright answered, “When in an architect’s building, there is a dead wall, the artist brings life to it.” These words of Frank Lloyd Wright impressed me a lot and somehow, that experience of working in Diego Rivera’s office was the first seed of architecture in my mind and I decided to use my art skills in architecture. IA&B: How do you draw/imagine architecture? SG: In my initial practice period, I used to design and draw all architecture with my hands, without the support of any other tools or services. Later on, I started taking the support of my collaborators for developing drawings for my concepts. IA&B: Is there a common theme connecting all work in general; that of art, sculpture and architecture? SG: I don’t think much while designing. But my culture and traditions are always a part of my life and in all creations of my work, whether architecture, design or painting. I always find my cultural roots present in my work. IA&B: In your long and prolific life in creative pursuits, can you point out a landmark project or a piece of work that you consider to be your creative best? SG: It is very difficult to answer this. I designed a very beautiful project for a Hotel in Udaipur. It could not be built. The Royal Palace of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia is one of my most favourite projects. Few years back, I designed a large-scale project in Hyderabad which was a very contemporary design influenced by traditions. During the inauguration of my project of Mr. Daryani’s House in Delhi, I met the Ambassador of Belgium. And, when he got to know that house is designed by me, he was very impressed by the design and asked me to participate in a design completion for the Belgium Embassy project. Initially, I did not want to participate in the competition as embassies are generally designed by architects of the respective country and are largely influenced by the country’s culture. In the competition, I gave my own sense to design and surprisingly, it was appreciated by all jury members. IA&B: Can you tell us about a building you love, other than the ones you designed? SG: The project of Sanchi Stupa in Bhopal is really a true example of creation of an artist’s works as the best example of an architectural landmark.

To read more about Satish Gujral’s work and thoughts, refer to the article titled ‘Of Memory’ on page 51.


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LET’S PARTNER Through the Looking Glass Looking back at a lifetime of creative work, Padma Vibhushan, Satish Gujral meanders on memorable work as an artist and an architect.

32 Chairman: Jasu Shah Publisher: Maulik Jasubhai Chief Executive Officer: Hemant Shetty

EDITORIAL

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

Au courant updates on competitions, news and events.

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Poro City by Khushalani Associates administers the emergence of a completely evolved urban living environment by addressing issues of urban sprawls and reinventing the idea of a city through integrated strategies.

SALES

Ahmedabad 64/A, Phase I, GIDC Industrial Estate, Vatva, Ahmedabad – 382 445, Tel: 079 2583 1042 Fax: 91-079-25831825, E-mail: sales@jasubhai.com Baroda 202 Concorde Bldg, Above Times of India Office, R C Dutt Road, Alkapuri, Baroda 390 007 Telefax: 91-0265-2337189, E-mail: sales@jasubhai.com Bengaluru E-mail: sales@jasubhai.com Chennai / Coimbatore: K Anil Kumar Reddy/ R Regunath “Saena Circle“ No: 31/6, Ist Floor, Duraiswamy Road, T-Nagar, Chennai 600 017 Tel: 91-044-42123936, Mobile: 09962044460 / 09884791974, E-mail: anilkumar_reddy@jasubhai.com /regunath_r@jasubhai.com Delhi: Priyaranjan Singh/ Suman Kumar/ Preeti Singh/ Manu Raj Singhal/ Ankit Garg 803, Chiranjeev Tower, No 43, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110 019 Tel: 011 2623 5332, Fax: 011 2642 7404, E-mail: pr_singh@jasubhai.com, suman_kumar@jasubhai.com, preeti_singh@jasubhai.com, manu_singhal@jasubhai.com, ankit_garg@jasubhai.com Hyderabad: Sunil Kumar Mobile: 09823410712, E-mail: sunil_kulkarni@jasubhai.com Kolkata: Sudhanshu Nagar Mob: 09833104834, E-mail: sudhanshu_nagar@jasubhai.com Pune: Amit Bhalerao/ Sunil Kulkarni Suite 201, White House, 1482, Sadashiv Peth, Tilak Road, Pune 411 030 Tel: 020-24494572, Telefax: 020-24482059, Mob: 09823410712 E-mail: amit_bhalerao@jasubhai.com, sunil_kulkarni@jasubhai.com

TECHNOLOGY Integrated Urbanism

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

MARKETING TEAM & OFFICES Mumbai Godfrey Lobo/ V Ramdas/ Kumar Hemant Sinha / Parvez Memon 210, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91 -22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635 Email: godfrey_lobo@jasubhai.com, v_ramdas@jasubhai.com, hemant_sinha@jasubhai.com, parvez_memon@jasubhai.com,

PRODUCTS Things, objects and designs for architectural spaces.

Head Office:

General Manager, Sales: Amit Bhalerao, E-mail: amit_bhalerao@jasubhai.com Prashant Koshti, E-mail: prashant_koshti@jasubhai.com Brand Manager: Sudhanshu Nagar, E-mail: sudhanshu_nagar@jasubhai.com

CURRENT

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CONSTRUCTION BRIEF Bihar Museum Engaging and ambitious, the Bihar Museum by Maki and Associates and Opolis aims to have a lasting educational impact on its visitors.

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Forum Pravesh Sited in Howrah, Forum Pravesh is a fresh zephyr providing green, breathing spaces in addition to conserving colonial spaces around the site.

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Green ParC – II The fourth phase of an existing township, SARE Homes’ Green ParC – II promises upscale luxuries and comforts within affordable budgets.

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One Avighna Park Avighna India’s latest luxury project, One Avighna Park, aims to connect class with culture, with its perfect south Bombay location and simplistic design.

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ARCHITECTURE Place of Memory A piece of architecture in Riyadh emerges from an epoch of relationship to inherited forms, to work and life of the modernist and stalwart Satish Gujral.

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Hanamizu ANM Architecture, a studio based in Mumbai designed ‘Hanamizu’ – a silent home within a quiet village of Dhokavde in Alibaug – a wall and a box.

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Sculpture in the Terrain The weekend house for Atul Deshpande, Talegaon by Sunil Humane is a simple, modern structure that uses four parallel lines as its design basis and emanates a sense of continuity throughout the built form.


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Terrains & Trails Following the curvature of the undulating landforms, The Heritage Residential School at Talegaon by Madhav Joshi and Associates inconspicuously blends its ethno-modern architecture with the surrounding milieu.

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INTERIORS Measured Metamorphosis Taking the notion of ‘recycling’ in architecture to the next level, the 56+55 Sumeru, Ahmedabad by Vāstu Shilpā Consultants witnesses an astounding architectural transformation through a gradual practical progression over years.

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NOTIONS OF A NATION - CHARKHA Epoch, Space & Context Charkha, designed by Nuru Karim, explores materiality, dynamics of space and new forms of interaction as a continuum of past, present and the future.

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URBANISM

BOOK REVIEW Paths Unchartered

Mitigation before Development

Dr. Balkrishna Doshi’s book chronicles his encounters and experiences in a collection

IMishkat Ahmed’s plan for the village of Bamandongri in Ulwe, Navi Mumbai

of short-stories from his intriguing life that comes across as a diary of impressions

departs from the idea of a new economy and projects a creation of a thriving,

and emancipations.

self-sustaining and sustainable urban system.

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YOUNG DESIGNERS 2012 ARCHITECTURE: Timeless Elegance

SPACE FRAMES Abandoned In this issue of Space Frames curated by Dr. Mathew, Deepshikha Jain walks through decaying

Using a rather restrained material palette, Ashish Amin creates structures that spell

landscape of a neglected project to find traces of resilience, resistance and reclamation.

out sophistication with his 12-villa community, Maruti Sanshray in Anand.

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INTERIORS Space, Light and Order Striking a balance of form and function, Ara- Authorized Swarovski Lighting Showroom in Hyderabad by Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA attaches the idea of space to a white and textured cube of light.

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Printed & Published by Maulik Jasubhai on behalf of Jasubhai Media Pvt. Ltd (JMPL), Taj Building, 3rd Floor, 210, Dr. D. N. Road, Mumbai 400 001.

COMMENT Scoping Sublimity Mansi Bapna talks about the idea of beauty and the haunting aspect of an image in memory through a very philosophical link between the Gothic, the post-modern and the mythological Indian.

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Printed at M.B.Graphics, B-28 Shri Ram Industrial Estate, ZG.D.Ambekar Marg, Wadala, Mumbai 400031and Published from Mumbai. JMPL, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, 210, Dr. D. N. Road, Mumbai 400 001. 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.


32 IA&B - MAR 2012

COMPETITIONS

current Boka Artist Residence 2012

New York CityVision Competition 2012

Category Type Deadline

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all May 01, 2012

: : :

International Open to all June 04, 2012

Architecture Studio Sinestezia is launching an international one-stage architectural competition to design Boka Artist Residence. Boka Artist Residence is envisioned as a stimulating place for all forms of activities, which includes theory, visual arts, architecture, design, literature, music, new media, cultural production, as well as science. The competition will encourage a dynamic intercultural exchange, interactions and cooperation, connecting Montenegro with the rest of the world. The purpose of the competition is to choose, on the basis of comparative designs, the best entry capable of creating the most suitable design that successfully addresses the requirements of the Boka Artist Residence concept.

CityVision Architecture Competition, held by the CityVision Magazine, encourages the entries to develop urban and visionary proposals that aim to stimulate new ideas for a contemporary city. The New York CityVision Competition 2012 encourages the entries to imagine New York in its future, influenced by space and time with one of the two themes, or a combination of the two: ‘From Past to Future’, wherein the city is to be imagined in a critical phase of its past and rewritten with a new future with consequent changes or ‘From Future to Past’, wherein the city is to be considered with a compromised future and described as a city of tomorrow that will be in terms with its relentless advance of technology and the parallel regression of the social life, but that has great opportunities of change.

For further information, log on to: Web: www.artinboka.com

For further information, log on to: Web: www.cityvision-competition.com

OBA’12 Aurora Borealis Arctic Observatory

‘InstantHouse – Temporary Housing’ Design

Category Type Deadline

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to students May 15, 2012

: : :

International Open to all June 04, 2012

The ArchMedium has floated the OBA’12 Aurora Borealis Arctic Observatory Design Competition to invite innovative ideas for an observatory surrounded by lush greenery; where people can disconnect themselves from their everyday lives and reconnect with nature. The intention is to propose a project that will help us rediscover our primitive instincts and create a bond with nature. The proposed site for the competition is Rovaniemi, located in the icy curls of the Arctic Circle, this capital of the Finnish Lapland is the final stop north on the Finnish railway system. The Northern Lights are visible in Rovaniemi up to 200 nights per year. The brief calls for a Northern Lights Observatory located in one of the most extreme latitudes inhabited by man - a place that one can escape to for a few days to completely disconnect from their daily routine and plunge headfirst into a world of observation, relaxation, and learning.

The ‘InstantHouse - Temporary Housing’ launches the fourth edition of an ideas competition created by Federlegno Arredo, the Politecnico di Milano and MADEexpo. Designers are invited to envision environmental, social and economic opportunities in temporary housing, which specifically address the scientific community within Politecnico di Milano’s Sustainable Campus project. The competition explores potential innovative solutions derived from using new technologies in sustainable design, which respond to the evolving typologies of city users and inhabitants. InstantHouse aims to combine temporality and mobility with both social interaction and ecological values, resulting in powerful new possibilities for temporary housing. The competition welcomes applications from students and young professionals in the field of architecture, engineering, industrial design, and urban planning worldwide.

For further information, log on to: Web: www.architecturelab.net

For further information, log on to: Web: www.instanthouse.it

Designing for Adaptable Futures (DAF)

Chicago Torture Justice Memorial Design

Category Type Deadline

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to students and recent graduates June 01, 2012

: : :

International Open to all June 19, 2012

The Designing for Adaptable Futures (DAF) competition requires one to illustrate how the life of their designed building will unfold through time. The submission should demonstrate the integration of time in the design proposal by highlighting how it will accommodate the different types of change described in the competition brief. The innovative design proposals should challenge existing orthodoxies about adaptability in the built environment. The site can be opted for as per choice. Entries can be at a building or neighbourhood scale, but should explain how the design, whether spatially, structurally or in terms of building services, responds to the brief.

The Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Design Competition invites artists, and architects, who seek justice to submit proposals for a speculative monument to memorialise the Chicago Police torture cases. Over hundred African American men and women were tortured by white Chicago police officers under their former commander. The competition welcomes proposals of radical imagination seeking to honour the survivors of the torture. A proposed monument may take any form, from architecture to haiku, website to mural, community organisation to performance, bronze plaque to large-scale memorial.

For further information, log on to: Web: www.adaptablefutures.com

For further information, log on to: Web: www.chicagotorture.org


IA&B - MAR 2012

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V

CEAAT BUILD EXPO Date Venue

: :

May 03 - 06, 2012 Tanjavur, India

The CEAAT BUILD EXPO organised by the Civil Engineers and Architects Association, Tanjavur, is one of India’s premier trade events related to the building and construction industry. Spanning over a period of four days, this show will serve as the ideal platform for eminent professionals in the industry to directly interact with each other and understand the latest market trends and innovations that will be deliberated upon here. Innovative building materials, interiors, home appliances, and exteriors will be exhibited at the show. The EXPO will also include seminars, workshops and awards. The visitors profile is expected to include civil engineers, architects, consultants, technicians, wholesalers, retailers, directors and company CEOs. For further information, contact: Mr. S Vaithiyanathan: +91-9894019765

‘Celebration of Architecture’: Inside Outside Mega Show Date Venue

: :

May 10-13, 2012 Mumbai, India

This four-day festival will mark the grand finale of the 12-city tour for the 2011-12 season of the Inside Outside Mega Show, which showcases furnishings and decor in an elaborate manner. The show will be a resounding display of some of the finest products and services in India and overseas, with concurrent slide shows, manufacturers’ presentations, workshops and much more. The exhibition over the years has become synonymous with what is new and exciting on the Indian design scene. The sheer variety of products displayed will vary from bathroom fittings to floor furnishings to laminates, veneers, wood coatings, furniture accessories, designer furnishings and much more, making it a visitor’s delight and the gauge to chart future trends. For further information, log on to: Web: www.celebrationofarchitecture.com

Nexus 2012

EVENTS

Date Venue

: :

AARCV 2012: International Conference on Advances in Architecture and Civil Engineering Date Venue

: :

June 21-23, 2012 Bengaluru, India

The International Conference on Advances in Architecture and Civil Engineering 2012 (AARCV 2012) is a premier forum for the presentation of new advances and research results in the fields of theoretical, experimental and applied architecture, construction, civil engineering and project management. Keeping in mind that innovative design and construction practices are challenging tasks and architects & engineers find it difficult to meet the ever growing demands of the society, the themes of the conference will cover architectural, structural, geotechnical, transportation, environmental and urban planning disciplines. For further information, log on to: Web: www.adfilmfest.com

London Festival of Architecture Date Venue

: :

June 23 – July 08, 2012 London, UK

Curated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Architecture Foundation, New London Architecture and the British Council, the London Festival of Architecture is a city-wide celebration of architecture and architectural talent in the UK capital. The theme for LFA 2012 will be ‘The Playful City’. From reinterpreting familiar places through new installations and animations, redesigning public spaces, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, the festival will include a wide range of participatory events including exhibitions, lectures, walks, talks, bike-rides, installations, temporary structures, tours of historic buildings as well as exhibitions of work by architects across the globe. For further information, log on to: Web: www.lfa2012.org

Challenging Glass 3 June 11-14, 2012 Milan, Italy

Date Venue

: :

June 28-29, 2012 TU Delft, The Netherlands

Presented by the Department of Industrial Design, Art, Communication and Fashion (INDACO), Department of Mathematics, Politecnico di Milano, the 9 th international, interdisciplinary Nexus Conference aims to explore the seldom explored, though significant relationship between architecture and mathematics. Mathematical principles may be used as a basis for an architectural design, or as a tool for analysing an existing monument; architecture may be a concrete expression of mathematical ideas, becoming, in a sense, “visual mathematics”. The attendees are expected to comprise of architects, mathematicians, historians, scientists, researchers, academicians and students.

Challenging Glass 3 is an international conference that will deal with the architectural and structural applications of glass. While playing with light, reflections, images and shadows poses endless possibilities in architectural design, properties like brittleness, transparency and shattering calls for sophisticated structural and innovative designs. It is a two-day conference which aims at gathering world class designers, engineers and researchers on the architectural and structural use of glass. The topics of discussion in the conference include: Projects & Case studies, Joints & Fixings & Adhesives, Strength & Stability & Safety, Laminates & Composite designs, Curved & Bended Glass, Architectural design & Lighting and Glass in facades.

For further information, log on to: Web: www.nexusjournal.com/nexus-2012

For further information, log on to: Web: www.convention.aia.org


current Former SOM partner starts international city practice in New Delhi and Chicago With much of the world urbanising at an unprecedented rate, Chicago architect Peter Ellis has sensed an opportunity. A longtime veteran of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Ellis recently left the firm to found Peter Ellis New Cities, a twenty-person architecture, planning and urban design practice with offices in New Delhi and Chicago. With a belief that an urban master plan begins to die the moment it hits the shelf, he claims that there is an urgent need for a few hundred new cities in the developing world. His philosophy revolves around focusing on planning new cities by embracing smarter, more sustainable approaches, with a focus on the environmental and demographic challenges we face in the present and are likely to face in the near future. He believes purposebuilt cities are the key to sustainable growth. “We can build cities so they use 30 to 50 percent less energy and water than existing cities”, he said, “The technology is there. It’s about harnessing it and integrating it into coherent systems.”

Collaborative Architceture wins the Illumination Award 2012 The results for the Illumination Awards 2012 organised by the Illuminating Engineering Society declared Collaborative Architecture, Mumbai headed by Lalitha Tharani and Mujib Ahmed as winners of the Illumination Section Award 2012 for the outstanding lighting design of their avant-garde restaurant, Mezban - Inverted Topography at Hotel Asma Tower, Calicut, Kerala. The hotel itself has been redesigned by the firm as a repositioning exercise. The strategy was to create a new identity to the already popular restaurant through its interior design making it a new destination in the city to spur the business of the hotel. The Jury was highly appreciative of ‘Thousand Moons’, the custom-designed lighting deliberated by the team for the façade of the restaurant. The project is already reckoned as one of the most innovative restaurants internationally, and has already won four national awards for its bold interior architecture.

Robin Hood Gardens to be demolished

Kathryn Gustafson, founding partner of Seattle-based landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has been awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an annual award honouring an architect who has made significant contributions to architecture as an art. The academy also presents annual Arts and Letters Awards to architects who explore ideas in architecture through any medium of expression. The winners are chosen from a group of 40 individuals nominated by members of the Academy. Jury member James Polshek noted, “She is an artist of space who has moved far beyond the boundaries of landscape architecture or environmental design.” Her cited projects include the poetic and sublime Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London and the Lunar Garden (Arthur Ross Terrace) that frames the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History. The Awards will be presented in New York City in May.

Ecobuild India to be held in April 2013 Ecobuild 2012, the world’s largest show focusing on sustainable design, construction and the built environment brings together architects, designers, developers, product manufacturers and other stakeholders to debate and network through issues of sustainability. The recent show in March comprised of a wide range of seminars and lectures instigating discussions on topical issues such as ‘Sustainable energy and business opportunities from heat pumps: win-win situation?’ and ‘Spatial planning for Passivhaus: from a macro to micro scale’. The Indian arm of UBM, the organisation that runs Ecobuild, has announced that the inaugural Ecobuild India will be held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from 16 th to 18 th April 2013. The Managing Director of UBM India believes that, “Sustainably developing an infrastructure to support this vast, youthful and vibrant population is high on the agenda in India right now. We see this as the ideal time to work with our UK colleagues to launch an Indian edition of the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the future of sustainable building design, construction and the built environment.”

IGBC records one billion SFT of green space As deciphered from the latest calculations, the number of square feet of registered ‘green’ buildings in India has crossed the one billion mark. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) now has 1,505 projects that have been certified as sustainable out of which 436 are residential properties. IGBC’s efforts to foster green buildings in India started in 2001, through the establishment of rating systems for residential properties, Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and townships. It is motivating to note that while construction in India has seen a dramatic increase since then, a majority of these developments have green credentials at the forefront of their design. The CII National Conference on Green Homes organised in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) and Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), has launched an advanced IGBC Green Homes Rating System (Version 2.0) which is expected to come to effect immediately.

NEWS

After years of fighting to preserve the famous Robin Hood Gardens social housing complex in East London, the architecture community mourns its loss. Tower Hamlets Council and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporations have approved the demolition of the 1960s Brutalist complex in an effort to make way for a new sustainable development comprising of energy efficient, mixed-tenure homes and an enlarged central park. The historic building, built by modernist architects Alison and Peter Smithson remains an important piece to Great Britain’s architectural history. Despite objections from English Heritage, Design Council Cabe and many renowned architects, the first phase of the controversial regeneration scheme will begin within the year and will take around nine years to complete. The proposal will occupy an extended 7.7 hectare site, adding 1,575 new homes, as compared to Robin Hood Gardens’ existing 2 hectare site consisting of 252 homes. The plan includes a school, mosque, energy center, office and retail as well as community spaces.

Gustafson awarded Brunner Memorial Prize


36 IA&B - MAR 2012

Truss Me Handcrafted and sustainable, the ‘Truss Me’ Collection by Sangaru Design Studio is a range of bamboo furniture based on a construction technique wherein solid pole bamboo and split bamboo are typically arranged so as to obtain laminated modules that act like light yet load-bearing trusses. The technique utilises the inherent properties of bamboo, its high tensile strength and mechanical properties to create a structural system that is light, strong and formally pleasing. Solid bamboo poles are split immediately beyond the knots and laminated with an additional strip of split bamboo from inside to obtain its structural strength. This versatile system can be employed in furniture, light-weight shelters as well as modular systems for a variety of applications. The designed prototypes demonstrate the practical feasibility of the range with a fine aesthetic language. Designer: Sangaru Design Studio Contact: 56/4, Avalahalli,Dodballapur Road, Yelahanka, Bengaluru-560064, Karnataka,India. Tel: 080 41739465 Mob: +91 9008966556 Email: sandeep@sangaru.com Web: www.sangaru.com

El’bo

sustainable

Simple in terms of design, El’bo by Garima A. Roy is a stackable seat which uses bamboo as its primary material. The concept of the range deals with the repetition of a single component in various different ways to obtain an assortment of products. A product from this range, the El’bo can be used as an unassuming stool as well as a structural base for products like coffee-tables and chairs. The structure employs ‘L’ shaped components of equal bending radius and height to ease production. The bend is made with bamboo splits which are heated, turned around a jig and stuck back-to-back. These bamboo splits maximise strength by using the strongest portion of the culms, the outer skin, thereby ensuring significant load-bearing properties.

Designer: Garima A. Roy Contact: Mob: +91 9920960672 Email: garima13@gmail.com Web: www.garimaroy.com


products Clay Furniture A playful demonstration of functional imperfection, Maarten Baas’ crude ‘Clay Furniture’ is hand-moulded with synthetic clay on a metal ‘skeleton’ reinforcing the structure from inside. All pieces are modelled by hand with absolutely no usage of moulds in production, making each piece unique. There are eight standard colours in the series: black, white, brown, red, yellow, blue, orange and green. Adding an element of uniqueness as well as a personal touch, each of these vibrantly-coloured pieces resembles an awkward scrawny giant proudly flaunting the finger impressions of its creators.

Designer: Maarten Baas Contact: Studio Maarten Baas, Baas & Den Herder BV, Rosmalensedijk 3, 5236BD ‘s Hertogenbosch (Gewande), The Netherlands. Email: info@maartenbaas.com Web: www.maartenbaas.com

Humpback

Designer: Osisu Contact: 18/18 Moo 3, Nontaburi 1 Road, Bangklasor, Muang,Nontaburi 11000, Thailand. Tel: 00 6629681900 Email: osisudesign@gmail.com Web: www.osisu.com

innovative

The PMC collection by Osisu is obtained from thermal-pressed cartons and packaging materials. A part of this collection, the Humpback is a bookshelf made from reclaimed foil packaging, which is an abundant community waste. This bent-over Humpback, with its shiny patina and water resistance resembles concrete in appearance.


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Pre-primary Furniture Colourful, strong and light-weight, the pre-primary furniture at Shishuvan, Mumbai designed by SPIRIT creates an environment that provides options for learning by personal exploration as well as in conjugation with others. The furniture, a set of tables and chairs, is designed as modules to be arranged and rearranged in a number of combinations that result in different shapes and layouts for multiple activities. The shape of the table allows interlocking and hence flexible arrangements. The users can explore the possibilities of creating different patterns by merely changing the arrangements. Besides being easy to manufacture and maintain, the furniture at Shishuvan is also economical, easily stackable and can be obtained in a variety of materials.

Designer: SPIRIT Contact: B-1, AnandSagar, Anand Nagar, M G Road, Kandivali West, Mumbai - 400067. Tel: +91 22 28072915, +91 22 28092522 Email: spirit024@yahoo.com Web: www.designerspirit.com

Bounce

flexibility

Functional, contemporary and visually appealing, Bounce by Fenny Ganatra is a seating innovation that represents an experience in relaxation, comfort and ‘joie de vivre’. Described by its designer as `hyper experiential’, Bounce has been created with high quality polycarbonate and silicone engineered in a non-traditional manner by a unique proprietary process. In addition to its aesthetics, Bounce is weather-proof, light-weight, stackable and provides a natural ergonomic support to the back by default. Bounce comes in three basic colours – transparent, white and black. Each base has two colour schemes of silicone webbing. The form of Bounce is the designer’s tribute to ‘organic essentialism’, which means incorporating nothing more and nothing less than what is essential.

Designer: Fenny Ganatra Contact: Sr. No 1000, Devidayal road, Mulund west, Mumbai - 400080 Tel: + 91 22 61151210 Email: fenny@ubris.co, info@the-bounce.com Web: www.the-bounce.com


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Fibo The Fibo is a versatile armchair designed by Ola Voyna, appropriate for both indoor as well as outdoor usage. Comprising of a wood and steel construction, the armchair is available in a range of colour options. The main idea behind Fibo is to create a multipurpose piece of furniture that is suitable not only for sophisticated and contemporary interiors, but can also be employed casually in an outdoor setting. The design as well as the name is inspired by the designer’s fascination with Fibonacci numbers, the golden ratio and Fibonacci spiral.

Calumet The Calumet is a cosy couch with a shape that represents Ola Voyna’s commitment to innovation and originality. With its sleek wrought iron structure and unmatched stability, the Calumet not only caters to superior aesthetics but is also durable and easy to maintain. It is painted black with a partial, delicate covering of copper plating and is ornamented with a comfortable cushioning

Designer: Ola Voyna Contact: Tel: 00 48 509 890 566 Email: olavoyna@olavoyna.com Web: www.olavoyna.com

seating

as the seat.


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Window Lamps Inspired by the beauty of the ornamental ‘shell and wood’ windows on old Portuguese villas, the ‘Window Lamps’ by MOZAIC DESIGN use vibrant colours, so familiar in the Mediterranean, and translate these to the spontaneous setting of Goa with unique Indo-Portuguese flavour. Simple wooden frames support textured hand-made paper lamp shades, each imparted with an instantly recognisable architectural window feature. Available in table-top sizes, its warm glow creates an instant appeal of hearth and home. Besides, they make memorable tourist mementos that light up instantly to showcase the dramatic heritage-style windows of Goa.

Tube Wraps

lighting

Unhappy with the cold glow of tube lights so characteristic of routine apartments, the MOZAIC DESIGN team wondered why they could not have shades similar to those that are otherwise available for incandescent bulbs. As an interesting way to celebrate light from this ubiquitous tube light, a simple strip of translucent plastic card, laser cut to snap around standard tube lights changes the colour tone immediately and creates a festive mood. The operation theatre-like interiors of tube lit walls are instantly replaced with colour tones of the user’s choice. Simple, collapsible and cheap, these come as modest practical solutions that nobody thought of.

Designer: MOZAIC DESIGN Contact: 1 Design Valley, Alto-Porvorim, Bardez, Goa - 403521 Tel: +91 832 2410471 Email: reboni@mozaic.in Web: www.mozaic.in


42 IA&B - MAR 2012 Poro City is an integrated structural solution for urban sprawl, derived out of the Sierpenski’s pyramid.

Integrated Urbanism Articulating the future skyline of the city and conceptualised by Khushalani Associates, Poro City, the structure administers the emergence of a completely evolved urban living environment addressing the issues of urban sprawls. Text: Rashmi Naicker Images & Drawings: courtesy Khushalani Associates

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he transformation in the physical realm of urban sprawls is going ahead at a shocking pace and designing sustainable high-density built environments is one of the main concerns in congested cities at present. In a structure which is radically designed to be functionally deferential to their living masses, Poro City is a self-sufficient mixed-use tower, conceptualised by Khushalani Associates, that addresses the concerns of climate, environment and sustainability of the community at large. The structure also works to achieve economies of scale and addresses issues pertaining to space, scarcity of land and density challenges. The site selected by the architects for this concept is Dharavi, one of the largest and densest slums in the world, located in Mumbai. A triangular urban sprawl spread over 216 hectares for a city within a city; Dharavi houses a

population of over 376,000. The district also has a large number of thriving small-scale industries with an estimated 1500 single-room factories and 5000 businesses with an annual turnover of USD 650 million. Most of the residences and businesses here are harboured into a prototyped hybrid home that has a ‘live and work’ pattern within the same premises. Despite its dynamic industrial and economic activity, the living and working conditions in the informal sector of Dharavi are deplorable. The district lacks basic public amenities such as schools, colleges, hospitals and parks. Various solutions and proposals have been drafted for the redevelopment of one of Asia’s largest slums; however certain chronic issues such as displacement, provision for the small-scale commercial businesses harboured in this district, spatial flexibility etc. have been constantly disregarded. Khushalani Associates tailored a concept that retains the urban typology of the site, albeit growing vertically, and


technology

The Site – Dharavi, a triangular sector covering 216 hectares is spread between 2 main suburban lines – western railway and central railway in Mumbai city.

Strategy – To lift the volume upwards along the Restructuring – Subtracting evenly scaled southern end and inclining the northern plane fractals of the larger volume to create the by restructuring and organising the existing missing porosity in the existing site. development.

Circulation – The structure binding the volumes together becomes the circulation member at all levels comprising of travellators, elevators and escalators.

Reorganising – The main volume is reorganised by providing the smallest fractals towards the north front, river facing and gradually increasing the scale of each fractal to create porosity and accommodate existing industrial programmes at different levels.

Site strategy.

“The project introduces lost qualities to mass housing such as increased density combined with amenities, public facilities, open spaces and a mix of inhabitants with the capacity to extend and expand.”

Porosity study that resulted into the final design of the structure.

thereby imprinting a small footprint in the ever-growing pace of Mumbai. A housing evolved from their own habitats and yet blending in with the vertical dimension of the ever-growing city, Poro City is an integrated structural solution, derived out of the Sierpenski’s pyramid, addressing all the social and

economic concerns of the site. The massive, prodigious structure constitutes a range of volumes and voids, to incorporate a variety of programmes allowing the multifaceted construction to maximise habitation in an open air and connect vertical environment. The pyramid encompasses an array of blocks,


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3m x 9m units – 3 nos. of 3m x 3m pixels

Vertical circulation elevators.

6m x 18m units - 3 nos. of 6m x 6m pixels .

Diagonal circulation – funiculars

12m x 36m units - 3 nos. of 12m x 12m pixels.

Community spaces

Horizontal circulation – travelators, excalators Sectional elevation

Detailed sectional elevation of the 6m x 6m residential block

the 3m x 9m blocks comprise of collective housing units with north-facing terraces, enabling private outdoor access and restraining direct sunlight, while 6m x 18m blocks with larger volumes provide for small-scale house industries. Consequently, the next three scales of blocks are capable of handling programmes ranging from educational institutions, small-scale industries and cinemas to large-scale industries and offices. For an urban fabric which is characterised by its industrial core, the pattern is repeated on a larger scale in a modular format. To accommodate augmentation in density and population, the structure has been

Detailed sectional elevation of the 3m X 3m residential block

made extensible via a system that allows different volumes to be “plugged-in”. The project introduces lost qualities to mass housing such as increased density combined with amenities, public facilities, open spaces and a mix of inhabitants with the capacity to extend and expand. The circulation system supported by elevators, escalators, walks and travellators has been integrated along the formwork with the structural trusses. However, the structural distribution divides each pyramidical block into isolated islands


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The pyramid encompasses an array of blocks that enable private outdoor access and restrain direct sunlight.

due to the voids created in between. Therefore, the city lacks a pedestrian system which is currently not sustainable for the redevelopment of a community such as Dharavi. Provisions for multiple linking connections can be made to prevent hinder to pedestrian traffic. All the same, the project promotes interactive relations and encourages encounters in public spaces that vary from commercial, residential, and educational to recreational. The formalisation of such facilities foments the efficiency of an industrial urban organism such as Dharavi, without losing the fostered sense of community living and reduces the spread of urban pockets. The integrated structure upgrades the model of urbanisation with better, coherent organisation and sustainability. Articulating the future skyline of the city, the structure administers the emergence of a complete urban living environment that includes a variety of housing types integrated with schools, healthcare, clinics and other public facilities with a system that allows flexibility and transformation of volumes to accommodate changing scales and growth.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design team Site Area Built-up Area

: : : : : :

‘Poro City’ - Restructuring Dharavi, Mumbai Dharavi, Mumbai, India Khushalani Associates Rajiv Khushalani, Thomas Kariath, Mihir Sanganee, Pritesh Mistry 2,160,000sqm 18,874,368sqm

The massive interior volume can be used as the central community and public open space.


46 IA&B - MAR 2012 Rendering of the Bihar Museum.

Bihar Museum Engaging and ambitious, the Bihar Museum by Maki and Associates and Opolis aims to have a lasting educational impact on its visitors. Text compiled by: Sharmila Chakravorty

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he Maki and Associates/Opolis design for the Bihar Museum, Patna is intended to create an engaging and appropriately-scaled response to a prominent site and an ambitious, multi-faceted museum programme. Supplementing the outdated Patna Museum (built in 1917) with 24,000sqm of new space, the Bihar Museum will house a rich variety of treasures from the region, and include event and education spaces that nurture a newfound sense of pride and connection to Bihar’s storied history. The generous 5.3 hectare-plot along Patna’s Bailey Road allows for a variety of site planning approaches, while demanding sensitivity to its low-scale surroundings and prominent tree growth. In response to these conditions, Maki and Associates has conceived the Bihar Museum as a “campus” - an interconnected landscape of buildings and exterior spaces that maintains a modest but dynamic profile, and allows for planning flexibility in harmony with the existing site conditions. Each of the programme zones (entrance/ event, museum exhibition, administration, and children/educational) will be given a distinct presence and recognisable form within the complex. These programme zones will be linked together via a series of interior and exterior courtyards and corridors, ensuring that interior spaces retain a strong sense of connection to the surrounding landscape while remaining sheltered and comfortable throughout the year.

Programme zones within the Museum.

The connect between the inside and the outside is maintained by the large glass windows and viewing courts.

Entrance.


construction brief

LAYOUT

Extrance to the Museum.

This constant presence of the natural environment within the Museum “campus” will create a rich, unique experience with each visit, one that changes with the time and seasons. It is hoped that this will encourage repeat visitors, and - together with world-class permanent and temporary exhibits - ensure that the Bihar Museum has a lasting educational impact for the children of Bihar and other visitors from across the world. The Museum’s exterior is characterised by extensive use of weathering steel, a durable material that complements its context and creates a dignified contrast to the surrounding greenery. The weathering steel symbolises India’s historical achievements in metallurgy as well as its current prominence within the

The Museum’s gardens will serve as relaxation courts.

international steel industry (of which Bihar’s rich natural resources have played a critical role). It is supplemented with stone, terracotta, and glass finishes - a modern material palette with clear connections to Bihar’s past and future.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Area

: : : :

Bihar Museum Patna Fumihiko Maki & Maki and Associates/Opolis 5.3 hectares

SECTION


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Landscaped Garden overlooking the towers of Forum Pravesh.

Forum Pravesh

Sited in Howrah, Forum Pravesh is a fresh zephyr providing green, breathing spaces in addition to conserving colonial spaces around the site.

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outed as Kolkata’s first integrated community habitat, with a neighbourhood shopping mall, Forum Group’s Pravesh promises the best of luxury while being strategically located. The project aspires to change the face of Howrah from a perception of a dingy town to that of a modern, clean and organised locale with a stylish, functional set of condominiums. The project not only aims to provide a green space to the city but also seeks to restore the colonial spaces around the site. The project boasts of all four sides open to wide, green spaces. It will include manicured, landscaped gardens, water bodies, as well as beautifully laid walkways around these elements. Sited on an area of over 12 acres, Forum Pravesh will have a central open green space, walkways around water bodies, jogger’s track and a temple within the premises. Apartments will be available in the 3BHK and 4BHK formats. Forum Pravesh will have parking spaces reserved for visitors, doctors and differently abled people, power back-up with auto-start feature, CCTV, intercom, modern fire fighting systems, medical stretcher-size lifts, water and sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting systems,

quarters for domestic staff etc. in addition to lifestyle amenities such as temperature-controlled swimming pools, outdoor play area, badminton court, gymnasium, pool, billiards, table tennis and carom room, library, TV lounge, community hall and a caterer’s kitchen. The project also includes a 3-screen cinema hall within the gated community.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Client Structural Consultant Electrical Consultant Sanitary & Plumbing Fire Protection

: : : : : : : :

Forum Pravesh Belur, Howrah J P Agarwal, Agarwal & Agarwal Forum Riviera Constructions Pvt. Ltd SPA Consultants, Kolkata INDCON, Kolkata UNIQUE Shekhar De, Kolkata


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Towers of the Green ParC - II overlooking the swimming pool.

Green ParC - II

The fourth phase of an existing township, SARE Homes’ Green ParC – II promises upscale luxuries and comforts within affordable budgets

S

ARE Homes (South Asian Real Estate) latest project, Green ParC – II, sited at sector 92, Gurgaon, will be an integrated township with affordable yet world-class apartments. Green ParC will be a part of a 65-acre township, Crescent ParC, as the fourth phase of the massive development. The site is strategically located on the Gurgaon growth corridor, on the arterial 60-meter wide road, approximately 40 minutes from the IGI Airport and in close proximity to the Dwarka and KMP expressways, and the industrial hub of IMT, Manesar. With excellent connectivity to Delhi via the Expressway and the Metro, this township lies within the NCR region, which is home to major multinational, automobile and manufacturing companies. The existing township consists of low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise group housing in Ground +4, Stilt 7 and Stilt +19 formats. Similarly, Green ParC would consist of 3 and 4 BHK units, ranging from 1261 to 2226sqft in Stilt +7 and Stilt +19 towers tower formats. The towers will have a unique design, while allowing for maximum privacy. Designed so that each apartment faces lush 7-acre central greens, the landscaped areas are packed with features including a jogging track, children’s play area,

cycling track, an open-air amphitheatre, skating rink, Barbeque areas, putting greens, feature forests, beautifully landscaped water bodies, etc. Also, the project will feature a 35,000sqft clubhouse; one of the largest

View from beatuifully designed balconies at Green ParC - II.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Client

: : : :

Green ParC – II Sector 92, Gurgaon Rajiv Khanna & Associates SARE Homes


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One Avighna Park Avighna India’s latest luxury project, One Avighna Park, aims to connect class with culture, with its perfect south Mumbai location and simplistic, aesthetic design.

A

vighna India’s One Avighna Park at Curry Road is aimed at being one of the most exclusive eco-friendly realty projects that blends the ideal harmony between one’s lifestyle and standard of living. One Avighna Park is spread over 7 acres within the heart of Mumbai city, including a 64-storey luxury residential project and a 23-storey residential (rehabilitation) building and commercial as well as super deluxe service apartments. The residential project is not just about the apartment but about one’s overall experience of luxury, intelligence, convenience and thought. The project will have twin residential towers, rising over a staggering 150 feet above the ground.

Luxury towers of the One Avighna Park.

One Avighna offers wide range of recreational and sports facilities such as indoor badminton, squash court, indoor games, restaurant, café & bar, service apartments, swimming pool, reflexology corner, jogging corner,  health spa, and party lawns. Special relaxation corners and tree court seating alcove makes it a perfect location for quality leisure experience. It attains self-sufficiency with a well-equipped fitness centre, a spinning and yoga studio, banquet halls and conference rooms, a mini theatre and a salon.

Swimming pool at One Avighna Park.

The residential complex is in close proximity of quality malls and business district as well. There are numerous entertainment options and five-star hotels within its vicinity with an improved connectivity. The project also includes a 40-storey commercial tower and a 35-storey luxury hotel.

FACT FILE:

View from the deck of One Avighna Park.

Project Location Client Area

: : : :

One Avighna Park Curry road, Mumbai Avighna India ltd 7 acres


51 IA&B - MAR 2012

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HATEVER the medium, art to me, is the expression of the adventures and discoveries of the human organism reacting to the environment of the perpetual readjustment, of habit to the process of changing facts.

Creativity, I believe, being an expression of freedom and originality knows no boundaries except those inherent within itself. It claims no favourities among styles or “isms�. It is a timeless gauge for measuring the art of ancient, modern, or future days, including all significant, creative and more or less unified human expressions of the material and spiritual world in which we believe.


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I believe no expression to be really art unless creative. To create is to select or invent elements significant to a given purpose, and organise them into a new and unique form. It means originality. It means individuality. It means freedom of action. Creativeness depends on a certain attitude of mind. It is an invitation to free thinking, exploration and progression. Its opposite is imitation that spells conformity, reaction and decadence. An artist, to my mind, has objectives: he attempts to reproduce the outer and/or inner meaning of the appearance of things, using individually conceived forms that are the products of his experience, feeling or imagination, to express his aesthetic ideas and emotions in terms of the particular medium employed. He uses the elements of design contained in plastic forms, in union with artistic materials - line, tone, space, colour, subject matter and craft to create a new and vital organism or entity of form. He uses emotional and intellectual freedom to organise the subject or mood into a unified expression. I believe creativity is like a living organism. It germinates, evolves, grows to its full heights, and ends. What it leaves behind are the peaks of its developments that we call traditions or periods. There are many peaks of development of varying heights, in a people’s cultural growth, as it is in the evolution of an individual artist. We consider these peaks as complete because every peak is complete when it has reached its zenith. Art, like peaks does not admit of improvement; what it admits of is its growth. No art movement or period of an individual artist, can be an improvement on a previous stage of creation even when it has grown out of it. If authentic, it has its own ingredients, totally independent of its origin. Admitted that arts of all ages, as well as of periods in an individual’s evolution grows not out of themselves, but also from the virus of the previously formulated creativity. But in each period the artist tries to create an oeuvre that reflects his immediate experience and world view, organising it into a form that embodies the spirit of changing times, and how he responds to it.

Specialisation always develops a manipulative sensibility. Being shorn of the capacity to inter-relate parts that go into the making of a synthesis, such a sensibility is prone to compartmentalise, each part becoming a separate Kingdom denying the very unity it springs from. This then furthers man’s estrangement from his environs and leads to a sapping of the collective will. In a specialised society, an artist is no longer the architect, nor is the architect an artist. A building is no longer a multi-dimensional creative expression which turns an experience of it into an experience of ourselves. Bereft of artistic nourishment built architecture is reduced to mere construction. The same process is repeated in case of architecture of painting and sculpture, when they cease to absorb the vitality generated by the built-architecture in its purist form. In its truest form architecture is an expression of the emotional thrust of a society. As an articulation of space it is easier for architecture to eliminate that element of remoteness that is attached to other moods of aesthetics. Painting, sculpture, poetry even music one can ignore but not space, not building. Architectural projects embody a mental process which is repeated in the mind of each person who sees and experience them. It offers man a way to total aesthetic experience. It is said that the world we build, good or bad, makes us understand and remember who we are. Like theatre to which it is often allied, built architecture offers a way to the total artistic experience. But unlike theatre, it guarantees a certain permanence. Towns, buildings and objects are an extension of the collective memory of the individual and the community. Traditional buildings grow unconsciously out of the interaction of landscape, soil, climate, and material with culture. Just as a bird shapes its nest with its own body, body, so the traditional community shapes its habitat with its collective memory. Built Architecture turns into physical reality a community’s cosmological view of the world. At the same time the temporal order is linked with the mythical order. In the end there is complete affinity between the individual and the community, between thinking and place, between thought and feeling.

In different periods and in different moods, different concerns have driven me. Some of these concerns offered relief, others stirred or provoked. The vitality of human experience needs each of these injections in varying situations. Those who makes favourites of particular concerns are lovers of concerns, not of art. They get little out of this practice. Instead of becoming enriched by art, this limitation turns them into imitators of their favourite, be they artists or just art lovers.

“Modern Man’s most urgent need,” says Edingar, “is to discover the symbolic life and it is the task of arts of space, painting, sculpture and architecture, to transfer his symbolic life into material and spatial forms”. Separation of built architecture from architecture of painting was a negation of this potentiality.

I have no favourites, neither in choice of materials, nor in case of mediums. I reject specialisation in the same measure as I do with playing favourites.

Painting, sculpture and architecture are equal manifestations of a single aesthetic. Determined by the force of necessity, all three are locked together


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in a common structural frame work, measure and proportion, system of movement, soronity and echo. It is this homogeneity that has made the dream of achieving a synthesis of the three, almost as old as has been their isolation from each other.

The philosophy was not explained in word form. Nor was it practical considering the age and intellectual calibre of students. It came in graphic form. In a class supposed to teach painting, there was also included clay modelling, wood work, stone carving, black-smithing, draughtsmanship (scale, geometry, perspective), painting and object design.

The need has been felt with increasing intensity, as architecture, the medium from which other art forms are supposed to derive their life and strength, continue to lose its artistic autonomy and is being reduced to mere construction in the name of benefit and rationality. It is this lose that creates a nostalgic yearning for a fusion of built architecture with the architecture of painting and sculpture which have not yet been drained to the same extent by our material and utilitarian culture.

For the simple minded, space as it is normally defined, was easy to grasp in its relationship with sculpture and architecture which are by tradition three dimensional mass of volume, surrounded by space. But it was difficult to comprehend this element in painting which is physically two dimensional and possesses no projecting mass.

Painting, sculpture and architecture are by products of a total environment - a social and cultural system with parallels in literature, music and other arts and relations to the philosophy and science of the period.

The time Kippling devised this curriculum, was the late nineteenth century. The concept of utilising this “deficiency” in case of painting, for finding a new datum of space that was free of nature’s dictates, had not yet arrived. The time I joined the Mayo in the late thirties of the 20 th century, it was the same archaic method that was still being taught.

Painters have always shown a particular fascination for built architecture. Even when not indulging in designing built architecture, their perception is fundamentally akin to that of architects. A Painter chooses a natural, suggestive and focused setting for the event he is depicting. In doing so, he has to reduce to their essentials the basic problems of experience posed by spatial and architectural phenomena. In the language of painting a city becomes a still life and a still-life active. Painting thus represents the phenomenological charting of architecture. The means by which artists, through the ages, have created the experience of place are exactly the same as those by which true architecture always achieved a sense of place in a building. In cubism in which the subject was finally subordinated, painting itself had become architecture, a construction of images and associations. In many case I had been fortunate in having my primary training at the Mayo School of Arts in Lahore. Mayo was an institution where the curriculum still in force was based on the concept of unifying not only the three arts but also integrating these with traditional crafts. The curriculum was the brain child of John Lockwood Kippling, painter-father of the legendary poet, Rudyard Kippling. The basis of the curriculum was the belief that all three, painting, sculpture and architecture were arts of space. They represented artist’s attitude towards spatial organisations. They could not exist in a vacuum nor fully develop in isolation from each other.

We learnt to overcome the “lack” of third dimensions in painting by the use of linear and atmospheric perspective and strove to give our depictions as natural a look as was possible. It was to be years before I was to be exposed to that new datum of space which instead of subscribing to the dictat of nature would reduce nature’s role in the creative process to only as a point of departure. Better still I would learn to determine my own power of transformation by the distance I would achieve from nature. By this new datum it would be the process of creation itself that was to create its own reality. The reality of this new architecture of painting was to be its existence. The proof of its creation was to be its being. The space by this new datum, in the architecture of painting was to become as much an internal experience as it was an external object. It was to become indivisible from the human condition and man himself. It gave the artist a choice of either enlarging his self within the space or enlarging the space within himself. Call it whatever you may; a victory of non-sense over sense, a triumph of dialectic over logic. That is what art means to me. - SATISH GUJRAL


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Set in an oasis, the project encompasses a palace building, staff accomodation and a Mosque.

Of Memory

A piece of architecture in Riyadh emerges from an epoch of relationship to inherited forms, to work and life of the modernist and stalwart Satish Gujral. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Images & Drawings: courtesy Satish Gujral

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bjects define moments; they line up a lifetime. Expression of art is not linked to permanence but to individuality, to memory. Architecture has its own independent logic. But in both, the emotive quality is the reality. Now a name can be a name and work can flow just like any other. Not in the case of Satish Gujral, the painter, sculptor, muralist, graphic designer and architect, awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1999, whose force and originality of ideas represent the lived reality and essence of intertwining of the indivisible logic of art and architecture. Medium is a superficial change; the versatility and pivotal moments of his work in spirit reflect the art scene of India in the post-independence era. What is remarkable is the conceptual precedent set by the values inscribed in his body of work. Everything that was relevant had a place to happen here.

The layering of process in art and architecture by him both binds them without naturalising their relationship, as an inherited formal continuity of the foundations of principles that set them in motion. Reciprocity of order and superimposition of the nonconforming values of his own being into art and architecture. In architecture, when the country’s architecture was falling prey to a pattern of empty styles, his building of the Belgium Embassy in New Delhi was selected by the international Forum of architects as one of the one thousand best built in the 20 th century round the world. The synopsis of style changes perception of the architectural object, not in type or architectural elements, but to express the domesticity, sense of proportions and sensitivity inherent in the region. It grows in this direction, contemplative, absorbing and of the people. It is not vernacular but exhibits a natural relationship to the way of life; more with traditional strands


architecture

The composition has a natural relationship with the environment with traditional strands of modernism.

The entrance driveway is sunken strategically, bordered by lofty date trees.

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Each unit is arranged in accordance to the privacy and independence required; yet in tandem with a common built language.

The built typology is remniscent of the traditions of the Gulf region.


57 77 of modernism. The architecture has grown in an incremental way – buildings embracing the land, buildings being shaped by traditions and buildings from this legacy of values. Arising from the conformity of one such vernacular landscape, is the Royal Riyadh Palace - a complex consisting of a three storied palace building, staff accommodation, guard house and Mosque over an expanse of one million square meters adjoining the ancient village of of Najdi, about 10km away from the city Riyadh. The project evolves as a mosaic pattern across the countryside, amidst an oasis with large cluster of date trees; a terrain-driven plan. While the grandeur lies in the requirements, the basic idea of architecture seems to be of simplicity. A sunken approach driveway is carved linearly amongst towering date trees. Greeting the unassuming entrance is a general absence of the expected lofty and majestic demeanour; the low playing forms maintain a silence. The constant contact between architecture and the natural site intertwines into a fashion of layers that one passes as one is drawn inside. Closely knit, each unit threads a connection to the other in accordance to the aspirations of the client. In the conceptual schema of the architecture, the modules were arranged so that the smaller unit on the right was retained for the private use of the females and the larger one on the left was to function as a guesthouse. Privacy and independence being sacrosanct, the remoteness and intimacy of each module was respectfully formulated by the architect.

The typology of framework conventional in the Gulf region was not just limited to the formal structuring of the spatiality but also to the basic technology used. The buildings do not fuse with the landscape but form a kind of platonic tracery over it; blending but aloof. Climbing over, each unit nestles with each other and overlaps. The order of placing was subjective to the users’ perceptions and thus, as the architects say, ‘the entrance hall was strategically at a sunken level restricting the visibility of activity on the flanks at both ground and first floor. It is in accordance with this guideline that servants who were to be all female and are not supposed to be in contact with the outside activity are provided their quarters on top floors.’ The building moves through a sequence of landscape environments meaning to soothe with varying states of sensations – the earthy tones, the water and fresh greens. The constructs display a proximity that seems to render a humble feeling to the ambience. The space is simultaneously fragmented (through an uninterrupted stream of landscape perceptions) and united (through its strong sense of proportions). It seems particular to the place but hints at an abstracted indifference. Stark angled walls enclosed a layered definition of spaces with effects of light and shade to instil a relaxed experience. Porous arches in the paradigm allow the site to visibly pass through them.

Although simple, the design renders a feeling of monumentality and grandeur to the space.

It seems particular to the place but hints at an abstracted indifference.


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Stark angled walls and porous arches allow the site to visibly pass through them. Close-knit spaces meander along silently though the complex.


59 77 Coherent and concise, although the architectural character is traditional, the architect has made it flexible in its vocation by including alien elements like domes. The thought is intuitive to understanding of the site and the unique ability not to recreate traditions but to revive it. Invisible from the exterior owing to the height of the parapet, the domes are positioned on the top floor which also accommodates space for services plants. Light streams into the atrium courtyards in each wing of the building through glass blocks that line the domes. The control of scale in the entire project speaks of a subtle influence of the surroundings. The quality and control of forms is constant. As the architects explain, “The structure is based on raft with a concrete frame structure on top. Buttressed external cavity walls are provided in the periphery to allow for heat insulation while hollow block

masonry is used in the infill walls internally.� Details like conventional air-cooled air conditioning and drip irrigation in external landscape to capitalise water usage enhance the balanced thought process that has gone into the creation. The elements of old and new, public and private together into a singular whole choreograph a monumental identity but in the disoriented realm of domesticity. The restrained material palette emerges from the sandblasted pigment which is the external plaster exuding a raw natural texture. The honest expression continues inside tending to slide from one space to another with the same ease of comfort as outside. Local craftsmanship like handcrafted woodwork used in doors and details lend to the sculptural touch. The

Layered experiences and environments, of earthy tones, the water, lush greenery and terraces, are integrated.


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The rustic texture of the facade evolves from the use of sandblasted pigment.

The scale and sense of proportions choreograph the majestic identity of the place.

The structure is based on raft with a concrete frame structure on top. Buttressed external cavity walls are provided in the periphery to allow for heat insulation while hollow block masonry is used in the infill walls internally.

sensory aspect is the manipulation of simplicity to achieve the personal effect. The modest materiality of the flooring clad in stone frames a setting for display of the client’s extensive carpet collection. These inflections afford little pauses; classic and lucid in the exercise of planning. Yet all these gestures are not so surprising; they are inscribed within the body of the architecture to stimulate perceptual experiences.

The architecture is the background to the life lived. The depth, the colour, the meaning is sharp and the art & architecture aims for the utopia where form is not the inference but grows directly from needs, and interactions with the context and most generally, who the perceivers are. The landscape, paths traversing on it, the elegance all build up to the fact that is truly structural, but are testimony to a


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Modest materiality and local craftsmanship lend the simplicity and elegance to the interiors.

way of doing things. At outset, if you look past the ambiguities, the architecture of this project is analogous to extraction of meaning from a lifetime. In relationship to art, the architecture is mediated to reveal the process of its own becoming. The project is an ideal abstraction in itself – the poetic worth of the quiet presence of a legend, a gesture of the maker and his place of memory.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Architect :

Royal Riyadh Palace;a three storied palace building, Staff accommodation, Guard house and Mosque Najdi, about 10km away from the city Riyadh Satish Gujral


62 IA&B - MAR 2012 Sketch: The fragmented box


architecture

Hanamizu ANM Architecture, a studio based in Mumbai, designed and executed ‘Hanamizu’ – a silent home within the quiet village of Dhokavde in Alibaug – a wall and a box.

Text: Ruturaj Parikh Images & Data: courtesy ANM Architecture

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he house is located within a plantation of Mango, Chikoo and other local trees. A cube is broken, fragmented and re-formed to create a consolidation of spaces around a courtyard. Bold lines, dynamic planes and obsessively detailed objects compose the structure. To appreciate the built environment on the two-acre site, one has to go back and dwell on the process. Architecture is to be drawn on paper, formed into models, imagined in scale and experienced in the making. Through an extensive process of drawing, making, thinking and re-making, the house took shape. Efforts to transform an intuitive idea of environment into a finished living object are perceived from the process.


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Hand drawings and explorations - the built forms on site


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Sectional drawings - evolution of form


66 Nine spaces are enveloped by many horizontal and vertical planes. Fifty six insitu concrete planes; inclined and angular, form the shapes that seem to be frozen in motion. A complete stillness is achieved within a form that seems almost in flight.

Study models - evolution of form.


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Images of the final model: planes, surfaces and textures.

“We would like to believe that through the diligent practice of drawing architecture and the continuous endeavour to build indigenously, an appropriate and sensitive architecture may result.� - Anish Shah and Mohina Macker; ANM Architecture


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Overlayed and multi-layered plan of the house with all of its spaces


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‘Hanamizu’ under construction - 56 insitu planes in concrete.

Spaces are layered, overlayed, and organised around a pebbled courtyard. An open staircase connects the two levels and projects within the court with fragrant trees. The spaces on the ground are connected by a continuous, linear passage – an element that binds the disparate spaces. Living areas, a meditation space, a lounge, sleeping areas and service areas are connected through this raised plane. Each stone, each panel of wood, glass or steel is unique and specific to its placement and function. There is a certain quality of complete immobility within the enclosure. The house has no front or back – it interchanges these roles based on where one is and what one is doing.


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The two-acre site and interventions within


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View from the entrance court.

View from the swimming pool.


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View from a corner.

Looking up at the gallery.


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From the ramp - the fragrant courtyard.

Transparency and opacity.

The passage - an element that connects the parts into a cohesive whole.


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A seemingly brutal design is complemented by the textures, edge conditions, material finishes and tactile elements that infuse a certain warmth. One cannot touch the walls because the walls are not to be touched. The sculptural quality of form is complemented by a sense of Zen. Every object - mobile or immobile, visible or hidden - is carefully made, intensely crafted and thoughtfully placed. All objects complement the architectural form. The foliage around the house is dense and scattered with well-cared-for trees. A rainwater harvesting system, an earth management system and tree-care systems are used to manage these trees and keep them in health. A swimming pool and an outhouse form extensions of the house within the two-acre site. “The house was built in a hands-on manner over two years by many skilled workers, contractors and architects, and it would not have been possible to construct without the expertise and skill of the structural engineers,� writes Anish.

The staircase projecting in the court.

Almost all spaces within and around the house engage with the complete scheme through carefully made connections – physical and visual; a ramp, a passage, a skylight, a glass-wall, a patio and other elements that bind the fragments in a cohesive whole. Natural stone, recycled timber, paint and polish are the materials that finish the house.

Looking at the bedroom from the passage.


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The court from the second flight.


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The meditative stillness of the spaces within.

Light and shade.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Architects : Design Team : Engineers : Client : Project Area : Civil Contractor : Carpentry Contractor : Electrical Contractor : Interior Civil Works : Plumbing Contractor : Painting Contractor : Initiation : Completion :

‘Hanamizu’- Alya’s Home Dhokavde Village, Alibaug ANM architecture; Anish Shah, Mohina Macker Harpreet Kaur, Project Architect, Muttu Kadapatti, Hetal Mehta, Pramit Jhaveri, Nishant Vishwa, Vishnu Makwana, Mansi Jani Kamal Hadker, Hemant Vadalkar Tarique Ansari 5400sqft (approx) Prasad Jog Pukhraj Suthar Satish Sharma Bhima Ram Yadav Kaustubh Kulkarni K.K. Nikam & Sons February 2005 May 2008


78 IA&B - MAR 2012 The architecture is pleasantly simple, sharp and mordern, while contrasting starkly against the lush green landscape, and the valley beyond.

Sculpture in the Terrain Designed by Sunil Humane, the weekend house for Atul Deshpande in Talegaon is a simple, modern structure that uses four parallel lines as its design basis and emanates a sense of continuity and unison throughout the built form. Text: Sharmila Chakravorty Images & Drawings: courtesy Sunil Humane

I

t is often said that the essence of a weekend home is its location, architecture and landscaping assuming a lesser degree of importance. Having said so, architecture can make or break a weekend home; it is imperative that the architecture aligns itself to the location and the context to make the weekend home calm, peaceful and enjoyable. Entrusted with such a responsibility, Sunil Humane’s weekend home for Atul Deshpande, sited near Talegoan, Pune is set in one of the most perfect contextual settings. The undulating greens of the terrain offer natural landscaping and weather conditions suitable for efficient, independent-of-air-conditioning homes. On approach, the project reveals itself as a single floor from the front entrance, as if emerging from the green landscape of the mountainous terrain. The entrance of the house is incredibly placed on the first level of the weekend home, and the rest of it lies below the ground level, if one is viewing it from

3D image of the built form.


architecture Four parallel lines that cut across the site perpendicularly define the inside-outside of the house; a simple, effective design strategy for a modern structure which aims to emphasise its landscape more than the built form itself.

PLAN

EAST SIDE ELEVATION

SECTION AA’


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A semi-open verandah with a pergola acts like a transitional space between the inside and the outside.

the entrance. However, if one was to move towards the back of the house, the terrain slopes gently, so as to reveal the various levels of the home opening out into courts, and eventually into the vast, lush greens beyond. As aptly put by the architect, the house reveals itself “almost as a sculpture, carved out from the terrain it is built on.” The design of the house instantaneously brings to one’s mind the cohesiveness of the project; the effort that is put into designing the architecture, landscaping and the interiors as a part of the whole, rather than independent elements is very effectively put across by the simple, minimalist design of the house, its interiors and the landscape beyond. The design seems to highlight the ample greens surrounding the built form, providing the maximum number of river-viewing angles and opportunities, while using the sloping topography of the land to its advantage. Thus, the concept of parallel lines was conceived, orienting the house in a north-south axial context, directly facing the river. Four parallel lines that cut across the site perpendicularly define the inside-outside of the house; a simple, effective design strategy for a modern structure which aims to emphasise its landscape more than the built form itself.

mass of the walls, thereby making them lighter and adding a well-crafted graphical and sculptural character to the overall form. The architect further states that, “A semi-open verandah, with a pergola, creates a changing light and shade pattern on these walls, acting as a transitional space between the inside and the outside.”

The defined inside spaces of the house enjoy panoramic views of river, and the valley beyond. The four walls are the most prominent design element, guiding the interior spaces, while also moulding the house and its interiors. The walls extend outside the house too, creating semi-open, cosy bedroom courtyards, with cut-outs of various sizes in them to offer viewing points and cross ventilation. The cut-outs do not allow the walls to block the views of the landscape, framing ever changing vistas while also reducing the visual

How does one design a structure, without upsetting the pristine serenity of a site as picturesque as this? How does one, then, make it blend seamlessly, to become one with its surrounding? To complement a site so scenically perfect for a weekend home, without overpowering it? As the architect has made it apparent, it is not only possible, but results in a creation that draws as much awe and adulation as does the site. The design is also exemplary in the sense that it exudes the sort of restraint that the architect has exercised; even though

The house enjoys maximum natural light and ventilation, keeping the need for electricity-driven forms to the bare minimum. The original volumes of the spaces have been maintained by doing away with false ceilings, while the sense of grandeur has been introduced by the half-vaulted roofs used for some of the bedrooms. The interior spaces too are in sync with the architecture; simple, uncluttered and spacious, with minimal furniture with an earthy wood finishing, contrasting starkly against the pale, pastel colour scheme. Thus, the design employs clean lines, a rustic wood feel and a monolithic colour scheme, all of which can be seen dominating the site. The house, using the four parallel lines as the basis of all interaction of the architectural spaces, exudes a sense of continuity and uninterrupted spaces.


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The first and the longest of the four parallel walls guide one towards the arrival court, against the ample greens of the surrounding.

The parallel walls have cut-outs so as to offer ever-changing views of the river Indrayani, and the valleys beyond.


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Living room has a sense of grandeur with its half-vaulted roof.

The bedroom too has a half-vaulted roof enhancing its spatial quality, while the feel of the exterior parallel walls is carried forward into the inside, giving a sense of continuity.


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The rustic feel of each of the courtyards is enhanced by a beautiful and sculptural firangi pani tree, rough Shahabad tiles and sleeper wood benches.

the architect had an enormous 14-acre site at his disposal, he chose to build on only around 2800sqft, leaving the rest of the vast space for as an aesthetic delight. The architecture is simple, thoughtful and highlights the site, which is breathtaking with its open, undulating greens and unrestricted views of the river Indrayani. The concept of parallel lines is brilliant, with cut-outs in the wall extensions acting as viewing point, offering various perceptive views of the same surrounding landscape. For a weekend home, it is the perfect setting, the perfect structure. This house is successful in establishing a beautiful symphony between the built and the unbuilt, the interiors and the exteriors, the architecture and the landscape – a relationship which is flexible and changes with the play of light and shade across the beautiful valley the house is set in.

FACT FILE:

Personal courts of each of the rooms on the second level are separated by the extended parallel walls having openings at strategic locations to capture the panoramic views.

Project Location Architect Interior Design Project Team Landscape Structure PMC Civil Contractor Built Area Cost Completion

: : : : : : : : : : : :

Weekend house for Atul Deshpande Talegaon, Pune Sunil Humane Sunil Humane Vivek Bhosale & Pravin Dilwale Shruti Humane Sunil Bhutkar Ilyas Sheikh, Horizon Consulting Ajay Sanas 4000sqft `60,00000 March, 2011


84 IA&B - MAR 2012

Terrains & Trails Following the curvature of the undulating landforms, The Heritage Residential School at Talegaon by Madhav Joshi and Associates inconspicuously blends its ethno-modern architecture with the surrounding milieu. Text: Shalmali Wagle Images & Drawings: courtesy Madhav Joshi and Associates

The campus blending into its omnipresent hillock and undulating landforms.

“N

o house should ever be on a hill or anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.” – Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture is about the inter-relationship between the living, the non-living and the habitat. With rapid modernisation, the planet has witnessed the depressing effects of population explosion and the resultant growth of insensitive concrete construction with complete disregard to nature. Serpentine slopes and undulating terrains are mercilessly flattened to ease construction, and unfortunately, with this, the concept of the ecosystem where man is one with nature has almost entirely faded away. When an architect designs, irrespective of the scale or the extent of interference, he is intervening with environment and its systems. He is creating an interruption wherein mankind, with all its excessive baggage, blends, either amicably or otherwise, with nature. Today, interventions with nature have resulted in apparent environmental disarray, often upsetting nature beyond redemption. Treading the trail differently, The Heritage Residential School, Talegaon by Madhav Joshi and Associates scripts a symphonic dialogue with its surrounding landscape, merging and dancing harmoniously with the setting. Talegaon, translated as ‘Lake Town’, is a fine combination of rural and urban populace that has developed near the Pune-Mumbai National Highway (NH4), 40 kilometres from Pune. With its rich historic background, abundant natural lakes and pleasant moderate climate, the town is rooted to culture and traditions, and respects nature with due attention to modernisation. Deriving

The landscape and the oblique lines of movement.


architecture Unbuilt space defines the fabric of the built. The concept of ‘serial vision’ is an inherent part of the campus design and one can explore the sequence of the spaces differently during each visit.

The pathways cutting in between the built forms.


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MASTER PLAN

from this, the driving concept of the ethno-modern ‘Heritage Residential School’ located on a lush hillock here, is to form a haven of education, where hills and valleys, greenery and serenity, knowledge and culture achieve an exceptional synergy of age-old traditions and new-age wisdom. In a home away from home, this temple of knowledge dances to the tunes of nature as the ancient ‘Gurukul System’ and the ‘British Boarding School’ concept fuse together in a dynamic confluence. Unbuilt Fabric The main entrance to this elaborate 10 acre master plan of the campus is greeted by a semi-circular layout accommodating the vehicular movement. Cul-de-sacs at each end complete the loop and pathways branch out of this crescent to channelise into pedestrian zones sprinkled with built forms. A

Formal enclosures and oblique lines of movement.


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Concave and convex roof forms interspersed amidst the landscape.

The built form complements the terrain.

Human scale, serial vision and movement concourse in a cluster.


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section a-a’

SECTION C-C’

ELEVATION B

SECTION D-D’

The layout of the academic cluster

simple consolidating principle is diligently followed throughout the master plan layout in the arrangement of the various built forms. All components are placed in the landscape to follow the natural course of the undulating terrain and the omnipresent hillock and rolling landforms linger behind the design as a constant allusion. The unbuilt spaces define the fabric of the built. Gordon Cullen’s concept of ‘serial vision’ appears to play an inherent role in the design and a series of surprises and closures mould the campus into a coherent drama that one can explore differently, each time, in terms of sequence. The deliberate angular geometry, introduced in the landscape as well as the built forms, induces an oblique movement and the combination of the two is a significant element in the cognitive perception and experience of the campus. Unassuming Architecture With a capacity of 240 students per year, this co-educational residential school is chiefly divided into two parts; the academic cluster and the residential cluster. The academic cluster consists of 14 classrooms, three laboratories,

two staff rooms and two toilet blocks, a catering centre with a dining hall and adequate service areas. The residential cluster comprises of ten dormitory blocks, five studio apartments for wardens, a lavish residence for the principal and a student’s centre. The built forms of the various units are an evolution from a generic built form of dormitory unit. These derivatives of varying volumes are juxtaposed to enclose spaces of institutional character while maintaining human scale; the high volumes serving the main campus functions and the low volumes essentially being the service areas and circulation corridors. The definite structural vocabulary of the built forms reads load-bearing masonry walls of Basalt, form finished concrete in modular formwork and an infill of brick work panels with aggregate plaster using basalt and Kota stone chips. A system of parallel bays supports the modular derivatives of vaulted roof forms and the merger is designed to provide multiple combinations to suit different functions. With an application of finishes that require negligible maintenance, terracotta clay tiles embellish the curved roofs, polished Kota stone ornaments the interior flooring and machine-cut Shahabad stone adorns the connecting pathways between clusters. Areas for future growth too have


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front elevation a warden’s residence

section c-c’ student’s centre

section b-b’ warden’s residence

section d-d’ dormitory

The layout of the residential cluster


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The volumes of the academic cluster.

The modular derivative of the vaulted roof of the academic cluster.

The landscape design follows the natural terrain.

been planned such that the overall composition of built form and circulation corridors becomes incrementally interesting. The overall appearance results as a rather earthen construction that does not stand out awkwardly but complements the initial concept of harmonious design. Unrivalled Gesture The campus prides itself on environmentally sensitive features at the site

The openness of the design invites nature into the built form.

planning, architectural implementation as well as operational stages. The built forms are placed rather subtly in the landscape with the predominant use of local materials and traditional construction skills. The positioning of architecture while respecting the terrain, parcelling of built forms into small footprints, creation of mutually shaded building surfaces, thick building envelopes, natural ventilation using ‘stack-effect’, daylight maximisation using skylights and the thermally insulated roofs with the application of


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The modular derivative of the vaulted roof in the residential cluster.

terracotta tiles ensure that the overall sprawl has a very low demand in terms of energy consumption, both during and after construction. Outdoor spaces are designed to be an integral part of the living experience and chunks of landscape are observed transforming micro-climates between built form clusters. Water from a local river, located a kilometre away, is conservatively consumed and recycled. In a modest manner, it appears as though the campus takes one back to its traditional methods of barter with nature.

The volumes of the residential cluster.

Ethno-modern architecture bears a timeless charm. As is indicated by the name, it combines the best of both worlds, encompassing the ingenuity of traditionalism and the superfluity of modernity. It can be lauded not merely for its simplicity and resourcefulness, but also for its inherent response to nature and context, its adaptability to contemporary functional requirements and its potential to arouse a response that satisfies the subjective appreciation of varied tastes. But more than anything else, it can be praised for taking us back to that period in history when the concept of man being one with nature was still a cherished reality.

FACT FILE:

Picturesque views and landscape-governed design.

Project : Location : Architect : Design Team : Client : Project Area : Builtup Area : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project : Civil Contractors : Structural Consultant : Project Management Consultant : Landscape Architect : Electrical Consultant : PHE Consultant :

The Heritage Residential School Ambi, Talegaon Madhav Joshi and Associates Ketan Kulkarni, Amit Pimpley, Alok Sabne, Neha Khaire The Heritage Education Society 10 acres 6200sqm Phase I - May 2003, Phase II – July 2007 Phase I - Sept 2004, Phase II - March 2009 Ghalsasi Construction Pvt. Ltd. G.A.Bhilare Consultants Pvt. Ltd Illyas Shaikh, Horizon Consulting Engineers Pvt Ltd Swati Sahastrabuddhe Milind Ghate Milind Chaphekar and Associates


92 IA&B - MAR 2012

easured etamorphosis Taking the notion of ‘recycling’ in architecture to the next level, the 56+55 Sumeru, Ahmedabad by VāstuShilpā Consultants witnesses an astounding architectural transformation through a gradual practical progression over the years. Text: Shalmali Wagle Images & Drawings: courtesy VāstuShilpā Consultants

H

ow many lives can architecture have? Has one ever thought of recycling as an act beyond the material and as a manipulation of architecture itself? If a construction is structurally sound, and has an intelligence that might prove useful with time, it takes nothing more than a simple gesture to rescue it from oblivion and reassemble it to create a space that crafts stories. ‘Recycling’ does not always necessarily mean the direct usage of products, which would have otherwise been melted or shredded, as objects in the construction of new buildings. It could also mean the transformation of something that aimlessly exists into something purposefully intended and consequently appreciated. Now, the existence of architecture cannot be reduced to a mere building or a set of drawings, but encompasses the ideas, routine sentiments and practical constraints of the ones associated with it. The 56+55 Sumeru by VāstuShilpā Consultants allows these dissimilar domains to effortlessly coalesce into a single satisfactory stream. 56+55 Sumeru is a story of architectural metamorphosis. It is a tale of the gradual transformation of a modest row house perching unnoticed at the rear end of an intimate residential community on a dry, dusty street of Ahmedabad. It begins silently in the year 2004 with a solitary low-income group unit, 56 Sumeru. Followed by several years of thinking and designing, of additions and modifications, and of permutations and combinations, the 250sqm 56+55 Sumeru,proudly announces its completion in 2011. The main objectives of the design are fairly apparent in the resultant creation. They are significantly governed by the constraints of the existent architecture and the shifting aspirations of the inmates. Following existential essentialism, any unnecessary elements are torn down and the casket is stripped down to its bare minimum before the commencement of the elaborate resurrection of the skeleton.

56+55 Sumeru located on a quiet residential street in Ahmedabad.

2004: Resurrection The freshly invigorated 56 Sumeru welcomes one with a domineering 6ft-high compound wall, protecting the family that it shelters inside. The objective, more than anything else, is to shut out the happenings of the world outside and keep the home as intimate as possible. An added benefit of this feature, the immediate living room and the kitchen at the rear end get extended to the purposefully fashioned white china mosaic courtyards


interiors 56+55 Sumeru is a story of the architectural metamorphosis of a modest row house in Ahmedabad which begins silently in 2004 and after years of several arbitrary changes and alterations, announces its completion in 2011.

The staircase leading to the floor above.

The entry from the living space to the kitchen.

View of the outdoor courts from the interior.

The bedroom on the floor.


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outside, which now appear as though a part of the reclusive house itself. Natural light reflects from the surfaces to penetrate deep inside the house while bouncing off the ingenious arrangement of white walls and ceilings.

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10 Master Bedroom 11 Dressing Area 12 Study 13 Bedroom 14 Library 15 Reading Space 16 Terrace Garden 17 Stone Deck 18 Service Terrace

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Though, in reality, undersized and tapered, the sectional arrangements are rather complex with interconnected spaces of varying heights and dimensions, all chained up over the entire 16.5m length of the plot. An unconcealed openness flows throughout as a theme in design and wherever structurally possible, wide openings and random punctures allow uninterrupted, although exceedingly introverted, vision and movement. Randomly placed vaults and arches, and columns added at strategic locations define the pause points in the rooms within. Low heights and twisting directions create moments of surprise in this calculated circulation flow. Most of the interior furniture is inbuilt, as if emerging from the ground or the walls, creating an interesting play of level variations and pause points; further adding to the continuity of the space flow. A uniformity of material and colour connects the entire house. The grey simplicity of kota stone and the stark minimalism of white verticals provide a strong backdrop for all other colour and texture added through the tastefully selected furnishing textiles, books, paintings and objects of art and craft. 2009: Augmentation Change is but inevitable. Following this universal rule, it is only natural that with time, the aspirations of the users change and the architecture is expected to respond to it accordingly. Adapting with ease to this augmentation, the residence effortlessly accommodates a playroom above the existing living room by altering nothing more than the overall massing of the residence. Colourful and vibrant, the interior accessories add a playful interest to the previous loyalty of the grey-and-white backdrop. An intimate library restricts itself to the space above the staircase, utilising it


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The newly added playroom on the first floor.


96 exhaustively and creating a significant pause point on the first floor. A major concern suitably tackled in the entire process of transformation is the climatic response of the building. Ahmedabad, being extremely hot and dry during the summer, tends to allow significant heat gain in a building. In order to control this sufficiently, the insulation value of walls and roofs as well as the reflectance of surfaces has been increased appropriately wherever possible. Given that the plot is extremely narrow and restricted, the design aims to draw daylight as deep inside the house as possible, while maintaining a continuous connectivity of the interior spaces to the outdoor courts intentionally created in the front and rear ends of the plot. The placement of large, shaded openings in the southern and northern directions, light-wells and skylights puncturing the house from above, together allow natural daylight to penetrate deep into the narrow residence, thereby reducing the need of artificial lighting. The windows, too, are designed to maximise cross ventilation, hence ensuring that the house remains naturally cool during a maximum part of the year. 2011: Culmination The sudden and unexpected acquisition of the neighbouring 55 Sumeru outlines a positive climax in this story of gradual metamorphosis. The staircase acts as a central element and connects the two adjacent residences to create one single continuous entity. The concepts in design maintained firmly, the additional area now allows for a more lavish existence, with the introduction of an extension of the living room, a more elaborate dining area, a generous master bedroom and a much-required guest bedroom. A significant highlight, however, remains in detailing of the terrace garden and adjacent stone decks that extend the continuity of the stark interiors through the narrow white staircase and merge it with the stark skies of dusty Ahmedabad. The narrow bookshelf created near the staircase.

Architecture can be of two sorts. It can either stand unchanged with time to create the image of stability, permanence and history; or it could be modest, temporal, and almost human-like. It could adopt the lives of its inmates and participate in their trivial encounters with the natural ‘inevitables’. It could survive, grow and change with their needs. It is this architecture that, though forgotten in the pages of history, carries abundant accounts of spirit, of existence, of growth and of a gradual metamorphosis that narrates the story of its inhabitants for years to come!

FACT FILE:

The connectivity between the 55 Sumeru and 56 Sumeru.

Project Location Architect Principals in charge Design Team Site Area

: : : : : :

56+55 Sumeru Ahmedabad, Gujarat VāstuShilpā Consultants Sönke and Khushnu Hoof Laurits Stahm, Tejas Mojidra, Suketu Shah 165sqm


97

The living room in the newly added portion.

The staircase leading to the terrace.

The terrace garden.


98 IA&B - MAR 2012 As a symbolism for the spirit of contemporary India, the form of the Charkha evolves from an ethos of the legendary spinning wheel.


E poch ,

notions of a nation

S pace

& C ontext Charkha, designed by Nuru Karim, explores materiality, dynamics of space and new forms of interaction as a continuum of past, present and the future. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Images: courtesy Nuru Karim, Indian Architect & Builder Drawings: courtesy Nuru Karim

S

outh Mumbai, a teeming part of the city of millions of souls, retains the emotional and historical pull of a different era. The traffic is ceaseless and the flow of footsteps never pauses. Just when you are getting used to the endless influx of energy, the fabric is interrupted by a spiralling structure in white – Charkha; solitary, coincidental, a moment of arrival even. Designed by Nuru Karim, Charkha is a piece of architecture and engineering that holds relevance to the emergence of India, meant to partake in the everyday timeless world. Charkha was the winning entry of ‘Notions of a Nation’, a competition floated by Tata Structura and Jasubhai Media in 2006 that hoped to create an imprint of a ‘symbol’ in architecture and engineering representing contemporary India. ‘Charkha’, the winning entry championed the emergent and the independent with a liberal interpretation of the spinning wheel advocated by the Mahatma in times of need. The point of departure for the initial concept was taken as the ‘Indian Freedom Struggle’ by the architect. The search was relatively textured with inferences from methodologies of freedom fighters like Rani Laxmi Bai, Rabindranath Tagore, Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc. But nurturing their design process and

The idea of the spinning wheel was investigated for dynamics, motion and speed.

The spiralling structure, clad in white, is set in the restored Cross Maidan in Mumbai.


100

A digital applet was designed to explore the dynamic, animated motion of the Charkha.

The form, a deliberate evocation of the charkha, is a built manifestation of the very same ideals.

The digital applet as a ‘sketch’ tool allowed for realtime interaction factoring in time and potential topology.


101 architectural perspective, was inflection of another symbol that stood out in the history of time – the ideology of the spinning wheel; ‘of work as worship, access to food, clothing and shelter, self-reliance, sustainable ecologies, education, empowerment, dignity of oneself resulting in dignity at the family level, community, society and ultimately resulting in national pride.’ The progressive evolution of the form lies in the act of the designing and the form spiralled its way to rise as the new symbol – flexible in its vocation, and impactful as ever.

Analytical studies were carried out to survey the design and performance of each model.

As one approaches the site, the elliptical geometry elegantly unsettles the formal grid of the garden. Standing at a height of 36ft, the structure mediates endlessly with the space, animating the surroundings with ephemeral shadows during the day. Associated with the ideologies of the architect’s practice, the layered process is an interface of technology, experimentation and inspiration. The articulated contrast between material and void was informed by incredible attention to detail. It is not a superimposed image or melancholic caricature; it stems from analysis of various parametric aspects, both technological and design-oriented. Of this, the architect says, “The Charkha was investigated for its dynamism, motion and speed. A digital applet was designed to explore the dynamic, animated motion of the Charkha.” Engaging in several parameters, the applet could be tweaked in ‘realtime’ to spontaneously explore factors like diameter, density, population, number of components, speed, assign geometries like line triangle, square, circle, pentagon, hexagon etc. “These,” the architect says, “were set as interactive instruments allowing for the configuration, reconfiguration of the system. The digital applet as a

The triangular component was explored in the digital applet as a self-sustaining structural element.


102 76

Every triangle differs in all aspects like size, length, angle of rotation and perimeter length .

The structure was resolved as a singular system of triangles and splines made of Galvanised PU-coated steel.


103 77

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Each triangle in the composition has unique coordinates.

Studies of 3D-printed stereo lithography models was carried out.


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A1-A2

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CL-A1-A2-A3

A1

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A1 A2 THE FINAL BOARD: Evolution of the form.

A3

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The assembly of six pieces was put together on site carefully.


105 77

001

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The composition of triangles.

006

‘sketch’ tool allowed for realtime interaction factoring in time and potential topology. The digital applet ‘triangle’ configuration was explored further as self-sustaining structural elements. The digital applet to digital prototyping journey was thus initiated.” For better understanding, 3D-printed stereo lithography models were studied and in-depth analysis was carried out for design and performance. Further on, greater emphasis was laid on the digital models for the identification of nodes, coordinates and geometries in the 3D system.

Tubular sections of steel are threaded inside the triangular framework.

The geometry is composed of triangular steel frames instigating variance of space through layers and levels. The componentry of every triangle differs in all aspects like size, length, angle of rotation and perimeter length and adheres to unique coordinates. The hollow envelope is circumscribed with tubular sections of steel within. A full scale (1:1) mock up model was created to study the points, coordinates and trajectory of the structure splines based on the digital model. To hold its weight of 22 tonnes, the structure was resolved as a singular system of triangles and splines made of Galvanised PU-coated steel, woven together in closely knit organisation. The assemblage of the structure was seen through by a unique collaboration of Nuru Karim, SEWRI and Tata Structura over two years. Six elemental pieces were carefully constructed in the SEWRI workshop to be transported to the site later. The methodologies were aligned to sculpt a memorable form as designed, but conforming to the efficiency of structure as well. The lattice


106 76

The articulated contrast between material and void was informed by incredible attention to detail.

The structure was developed by a unique collaboration of Nuru Karim, SEWRI and Tata Structura.

sections were brought to the site, completing the unusual gradient of the trajectory gradually. It is not surprising to see the easy informality with which it sits in a footprint of 30’ x 30’ in the Cross Maidan in Mumbai. Detached from its surroundings, it stands as an object located in enlarged conception of the scales and moments that defined the Mahatma’s Charkha. In retrospective, the legendary Charkha spearheaded the silent revolution in India, in every thread that it drew, with its message for simplicity. The sacrament range of vision and versatility of the Charkha is metaphorically reborn in a super-scaled abstraction, albeit in a contemporary line of thought. The form, a deliberate evocation of the charkha, is a built manifestation of the very same ideals. Abstracted from the dream-like quality, the dramatis personae of this spirit whimsically re-enters the world again at a scale that is smaller and cohesive. It says in spirit that architecture can be both a performing and social art, joining a new wave of urban architecture and civic realm design. Concept - by the architect The ‘Spinning Wheel’ - Mahatma Gandhi promoted Khadi for self-sustainability. His vision was that everyone, rich or poor should have access to food, shelter and clothing in a self-reliant way. That was the Mahatma’s ideology. Decentralised units of self-sustaining ecologies. Simple, long-lasting and corruption-free.

The scale is humanistic and tactile.

The spinning wheel binds the heart of everyone in society with the common cord of social oneness. The seeds of national and social cohesion can be sown through the music of the spinning wheel. The spiral trajectory of the proposed ‘symbol’ is analogous to the Spirit and Philosophical intent of the ‘Spinning Wheel’ and is in alignment with the Nation’s incredible spectrum of social and cultural dimensions, echoing ideologies such as ‘unity in diversity’ [no two frames are identical], a self-confident resurgent nation; balancing high-end cutting-technology with a rich art-cultural heritage, let’s ring home and salute Contemporary India - the dawn and emergence of a Super Power. Materials: TATA tubular sections of varied dimensions ranging from 60 x 60 x 4.0 to 250 x 250mm x 6.0mm triangular (tripartite) frames of differentiated sizes. Central spine along the spiralling trajectory could be explored as well. The ground surface would be planar comprising of black metal aggregate. Silently it stands as a simple skeleton of white, casting geometric patterns filled with changing washes of light and sounds of passing life. Intended to be an injection of life and culture in an under-used city space, this ambitious and imposing project is a complex example of the transformative potential of architecture. Sharp lines and linear contours slice the sky into pieces yet impart a sense of upliftment through its dynamic experience. The seemingly light and transparent tapestry solidifies temporal and physical


107

Charkha was unveiled on a significant day - 2nd October 2011.


108 76

Sculptural and simple, the Charkha positions itself as art & architecture both.

In context, the dynamic construct sits subtly as a new kind of experience.


109 77

Defining a new public realm and interactions, Charkha is a manifestation of the ideal values represented by the spinning wheel in materiality.

dynamics inducing new forms of interaction. The scale is profoundly human, tactile and rational with a poetic twist. “As an Indian sitting in the midst of an emerging India, for us the story of this spinning wheel holds immense significance – from a form that transpires from the Ashok Chakra to the Charkha and that, which had imploded earlier has now exploded with vigour and vivacity to capture the dynamism of the momentum of India with the material of the future!”- Master Jury Annotation about the Winning Entry Beauty arises from simplicity. It is like a perfect pairing – the memorial to the artistic, the cultural to the engineering and the consciousness of thought, both physically and spiritually. It is characterised by many dualities, positioning it as art and architecture both. The aura is impulsive; transitional yet symbolic for years to come. The depth of understanding that the structure of Charkha spells is full of questionable possibilities, reviving the evocative scale of patriotism, self-reliance and social cohesion at a humanistic level. It might evoke individualist relationship interacting with people, intransigent of the base notion of Charkha. Having been extracted from this original ideology, a new agenda marks a point in time wherein a new entity arises with a new spirit. Under the influence of the alternative, the expression comes stronger as before. Figurative symbolism at its core, the visceral experience of the spinning Charkha forms a fabric of moments in time and space to finally rest as an exploratory emblem of the hope and power expressing the tenacity of the

spinning wheel’s principles - all in all, a brave experiment in potential for architecture, congruous with the values of the ideal and a testament of the new in materiality and manifestation.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Structural Design Consultant Completion of Project

: : : : :

Charkha Cross Maidan, Mumbai Nuru Karim SEWRI 2011

The structure was inaugurated on the significant day of 2 nd October commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti – the birthday of the renowned Mahatma. The emblematic emotions elicited were echoed in the speeches given by respective dignitaries before the unveiling which was marked by the inspirational presence and thoughts of Mr. Rajiv Mangal, EIC, Tubes SBU; Ms. Shirin Bharucha of The Oval Trust; Mr. Jasu Shah, Chairman, Jasubhai Group, Mr. Nuru Karim, Architect of the Charkha; Mr. Gerson DaCunha; Mr. R K Krishna Kumar, Chief Guest of the evening; Mr. H M Nerurkar, MD, Tata Steel and Mr. Kulvin Suri, COMS, Tubes SBU. A haloed interplay of light streamed through the sculpturesque spiral, dramatic in its changing patterns illuminated the dynamism of the Charkha – presenting the much-awaited unveiling by Mr. R K Krishna Kumar. The Charkha is placed at the restored Cross Maidan public space courtesy of the Oval Trust.


110 IA&B - MAR 2012

Mitigation

before

Development

Mishkat Ahmed’s plan for the village of Bamandongri in Ulwe, Navi Mumbai, departs from the idea of a new economy and projects a creation of a thriving, self-sustaining and sustainable urban system to counter the effects of capital-first cities. Text: Ruturaj Parikh Images & Data: courtesy Mishkat Ahmed

View of the valley with the city – the new development.


urbanism

W

e didn’t listen to Charles Correa in the 70’s and we are still not listening. The managerial failure and subsequent madness of a misdeveloped Navi Mumbai forms a necessary and sufficient argument for looking back and then looking carefully forward towards the influx of unstable and spontaneous capital that facilitates knee-jerk urbanism. The emergence of overnight cities is not an alien concept. We have seen them rise, fail and struggle all around us. This proposal addresses the rise of service sector economies from existing suburban landscapes. It considers small development proposals as studies to model site-specific concepts for urban nodes that attract secondary developments from land-starved megapolises like Mumbai and develop into satellite cities that facilitate economies to grow and sustain. Charles Correa’s diagrams for a similar proposal form the conceptual underlay for Miskhat’s scheme. These diagrams facilitate formation of seemingly organic and spontaneous yet regulated and planned developments. The Navi Mumbai proposal of the 1970s and the subsequent Ulwe plan of the 1990s propose a government outline for consolidation of the film industry to a specially designated location of the likes of Special Economic Zones. The central idea for this proposal takes into cognisance the importance of ‘connection’ and ‘connectivity’. It postulates the existence of the site, the settlement, the economy and the identity as cities need a purpose to exist. The physical connections of the site to the core urban areas are established through a rail link (the proposed Bamandongri station), two arterial roads, the pedestrian-centric aspect of the new development and a possibility of a ferry terminal connecting the site to Mumbai through the estuary – an existing, natural feature. Proximity (cognitive and real) to the economy and


112

The central idea for this proposal takes into cognisance the importance of ‘connection’ and ‘connectivity’. It postulates the existence of the site, the settlement, the economy and the identity as cities need a need purpose to exist.

Proposed masterplan and components within with the Monsoon Channel in the centre


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Sectional views through an office building (top) and the Gawker’s Plaza (below) with the monsoon channel in the section.

Diagrams and drawings highlighting crucial aspects of the master plan


114

Detailed plan and sequential frames of the Monsoon Channel – the experience artery


115

commerce of the metropolis is central to the scheme. The hills and mangroves form a natural, scenic backdrop – an ecosystem that generates an experience to be preserved. The two arterial roads further frame smaller blocks (200 x 200 feet) with secondary and tertiary streets keeping the blocks scalable by a pedestrian. The roads connect other villages in proximity and the highway. The elevated railway line runs perpendicular to the ‘Monsoon Channel’ – the central spine and the very core of the proposal. The proposal frames one square mile with the village of Bamandongri within Ulwe. The monsoon channel is a depression line (already perceived and sensed on site) that runs from the fields to the estuary basin with a good mangrove cover. The title of the thesis document ‘The village, the city and the ecosystem’ refers to Bamandongri, the projected city and this ecosystem. Once the state government puts the plan of consolidation of film activities (in motion) into action, this development will become necessary and unavoidable. To counter and mitigate the effects of a haphazard, unyielding and far-driven master plan, this scheme will provide character, enclosure and security as the document ventures to detail land allocations, programming and the most important - experiential aspect of the new city. The visual details of the ‘Gawker’s Plaza’ the central theatre and the inevitable hoardings are incorporated in the plan. The visual clarity (both abstract and concrete) is the most significant aspect of the proposal. Eventually, as the document suggests, the details of the monsoon promenade, the grade-separated railway line, the water terminal, the growing village, the new city, the residential developments, the civic infrastructure, the film city and the open spaces will emerge. The conceptual underlay will transform into a real, living system. We should hope that this is the underlay. This proposal is a thesis document by Mishkat Ahmed and was undertaken at the University of California, Berkeley. This document is commended by the Holcim Awards with a 2 nd prize in the students’ category. Mishkat can be contacted at: mishkat.arch@gmail.com.


116 IA&B - MAR 2012

ideas to innovate‌designers to deliver

Timeless elegance Studio 3 Designs, Vadodara

Studio 3 Designs, comprises design professionals, both young and experienced, working towards attaining new design and engineering attitudes and expressions by continuously enhancing their working model and partnership with specialist designers and engineers to attain that objective.

Using a rather restrained material palette, Studio 3 Designs creates structures that spell out sophistication with his 12-villa community, Maruti Sanshray in Anand. Text: Sharmila Chakravorty Images & Drawings: courtesy Studio 3 Designs

Villas at Maruti Sanshray, with their brick facades and open lawns.

I

s the ordinary striking? Or is the striking, ordinary? In a day and age where architecture is expected to be groundbreaking and avant garde, what does a structure really have to be, to be liked by those who would inhabit it eventually? The answer, probably, lies in the instinctive ‘homely’ feeling that a structure exudes, somewhat like the Maruti Sanshray housing complex, designed by Studio 3 Designs.


architecture

LAYOUT

The project is a high-end, gated community of 12 detached villas. On approach, the first thing that one would notice is the lack of fencing, or clear demarcation of space in the 12-bungalow premises, with only lawns, trees and structure showing the owner’s names, separating the villas from each other. The nameplate element was introduced to give the otherwise open lawn a sense of enclosure. The site is fairly rectangular, with villas on both side of the plot, with a road running between them; six villas on either sides, facing each other. The villas look exactly the same, maintaining a sense of uniformity and belonging to the ‘community’ within the project. The villas have similar plans too, taking the concept of uniformity further. One can observe a slight tilt in the plan, which, according to the architect, “was introduced to break the orthogonal rigidity.” Besides, this tilt also

Firangi paani trees adorn the fence-less villas.

seems to have helped in connecting the patio space to the front lawn, thus allowing better ventilation for the rooms at the back. The indoor and the outdoor spaces are laid out in such a way that they complement each other, making one an extension of the other. From the outside, the villas are very sharp and geometrical in their aesthetics. Clear lines dominate the design, with thick slabs as shading systems and glass windows set within spaces cut out from protruding squarish rooms. This creates a striking pattern, with the open-brick façade of the houses, contrasting with the white walls and green lawns interspersed at regular intervals; a welcome break from the otherwise monotony of brick wall textures. The shading systems have cut-outs in them to let sunlight in, creating interesting linear sunlight-and-shade patterns on the façade.

The villas are strikingly similar, weaving a sense of uniformity throughout, and belonging to, the gated community.


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LEGEND 1. FOYER 2. LIVING ROOM 3. DINING 4. PUJA SPACE 5. STORE 6. KITCHEN 7. BEDROOM 8. ATTACHED TOILET 9. SERVANT ROOM 10. COMMON TOILET 11. PARKING 12. GARDEN 13. BEDROOM 14. STORE 15. TOILET 16. BEDROOM 17. ATTACHED TOILET 18. DRESSING 19. PUJA SPACE 20. TOILET 21. DRESSING 22. TOILET 23. TERRACE

ELEVATION

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

The villas exude a homely yet classy aura.

Brick wall facade of the villas contrast with plain, white walls to break the redundancy.


119

LEGEND 1. FOYER 2. LIVING ROOM 3. DINING 4. PUJA SPACE 5. STORE 6. KITCHEN 7. BEDROOM 8. ATTACHED TOILET 9. SERVANT ROOM 10. COMMON TOILET 11. PARKING 12. GARDEN 13. BEDROOM 14. STORE 15. TOILET 16. BEDROOM 17. ATTACHED TOILET 18. DRESSING 19. PUJA SPACE 20. TOILET 21. DRESSING 22. TOILET 23. TERRACE

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

SECTION

The first level of the villas is set back by about 12ft to reinforce a sense of openness at the street level, complementing the no-fencing approach. This strategy also helps in breaking down the overall massing, with a number of cantilevers and perforations being employed. Put together, this creates a dramatic blend of elements, making the simple, elegant collection of villas conspicuously dramatic and fascinating. Another remarkable aspect is the concept behind the material palette. As the architect believes, it is easy to appreciate a new building with fresh paint and adornments – a piece of decorated architecture. However, with time, even the structure would age, just like those who inhabit them. The architect thus selected the material palette to retain the design and its

The villas look exactly the same, maintaining a sense of uniformity and belonging to the ‘community’ within the project.


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The nameplate element, introduced as to give a sense of enclosure.


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Brick and glass against the lush green lawn make for interesting visual drama.

STAIRS - DETAIL

charm even as time passes, with several years of use and weathering. Thus, one notices a very restrained material palette. However, this very restraint is what makes the villas, and the entire project, stand apart. All in all, Maruti Sanshray seems to be a simple, basic and minimalist cluster of structures that are ultra-modern and elegant in essence. The lack of fencing gives the project a feeling of openness, while the brick and white wall patter makes for visual drama and cuts repetitiveness. Studio 3 Designs’ sense of restrained elegance takes the project away from unnecessary extravagance, very rightly so. Judging by Leonardo Da Vinci’s words, Simple is indeed the ultimate sophistication, and Maruti Sanshray exudes this very sophistication, in execution and in concept alike.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design team Client Project Area Civil Contractors Initiation of Project Completion of project

: : : : : : : : :

Maruti Sanshray Anand, Gujarat Studio 3 Designs Ashish Amin, Anirudha Dehade, Nimesh Shah Square one builders pvt ltd 5665sqm Square one builders pvt ltd November 2007 March 2011


122 IA&B - MAR 2012

ideas to innovate…designers to deliver

Space, light and order Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA, New Delhi

The Indo-Italian studio of design, Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA, was co-founded by Paola Conzatti and Kalpesh Solanki in Milan, Italy in 2005. With work experience gained in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, CSA started their studio in Delhi, India, in 2008.

Striking a balance of form and function, Ara - Authorised Swarovski Lighting Showroom in Hyderabad by Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA attaches the idea of space to a white and textured cube of light. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Images: courtesy Zubair Ahmed Drawings: courtesy Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA

Ara - Authorised Swarovski Lighting Showroom is composed as a white cube of light and its textures to offer a unique retail experience.

Three elements thread the space together - the crystal-shaped ‘core’, three cubicles aligned to the periphery and the office space with the ancillary services.

G

ood ideas call for calculated boldness. Every idea comes from a different place and different time. It is an ideal which is inflected in many an architect’s practice, diverse in its forms. Delhi-based Conzatti Solanki Architects CSA’s practice is also layered with a similar approach, “Every project carries within itself countless possibilities of self-expression. These possibilities are hidden in a gamut of information of each project. At times it is the site or the client brief or the client personality or choice of materials and so on. When approaching a solution to a project it becomes important to reveal these signs which become a key to the final unique vision. We ‘lay stress’ on the process by observing, discussing, identifying signs and evolving ideas. The final project solution is a creative and a functional manifestation of this evolutive process.”

It is to address light as a material and how it personifies a space.

What ideas can do is to push the boundaries of function. It is about striking a fine balance of aesthetics and rationality. When Defa Solutions, a distributor of world’s most prized lighting brands became lighting partners for Swarovski in India, Conzatti Solanki CSA infused a design of formal playfulness and


interiors

3D VIEW OF THE SPACE

quirky disposition to outline Ara - Authorised Swarovski Lighting Showroom in Hyderabad. “He must be captivated by the light. Always the light. Always.” – The Lakehouse

PLAN

3D VIEW OF THE CORE

Light is beautiful and the things you can do with it are endless. A stark white box of 2000sqft with diaphanous veils of light beckons one into the store. The use of white and restrained elements accentuates the quieter and intimate feel of the fitout. The planning of the project is pragmatic and negotiates light as a material, the distinct placing of products and a contemporary vocabulary of a sensory retail experience. The initial idea of understanding the space was, of course, essential to the overall design process, as the architects say, “The lighting products on display are a mix of contemporary and classic collections. The central objective to the design solution was to create distinct spaces for each lighting product and its category - thereby giving importance to each product.”

The amorphous composition sculpted in the centre houses the contemporary collection of the lighting products.


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The stark angled surfaces are washed with little points of light as “an ‘out of scale amorphous object’ which continuously challenged the viewer’s perspective.”

Sharp wall inclinations that taper toward the edges enclose the display areas along the periphery – the three cubicles.


125

CUBICLE PLAN

SECTION A

The entire space gathers the spirit of light in different forms and textures to shape the experience.

The three cubicle spaces along the wall display the baroque and the classic collection of the lighting products.

The architects define the ability to easily and dramatically transform a space and its flexibility through the breadth of implementation. A raw white interior is textured with objects and every surface is animated in a play of light possessing a sensuous quality of its own. So tangibly simple, the space is dominated by an open yet inclusive plan. Three fragments make up the layered componentry of the experience – the crystal-shaped ‘core’ which is in the centre of the space, three cubicles on the sides and the office space with the ancillary services. The architects have intensified the shell of the core into a dramatic kaleidoscopic prism. A sloping ascent of white planes that brighten unexpectedly in coloured light that bathes the surface, scattering and dappling sculpturally in the centre and off the flooring composed of high-gloss finish engineered stone – continually challenging the viewer’s perspective. Structurally, the core is a simple framework of MS clad with plywood and finished with high-gloss paint over MDF. The contemporary light collection is displayed in the core and its periphery. Three cubicles aligned to the wall, add another layer to the composition with their sharp planar wall inclinations that embellish the perception of space. These distinctly oversized shells give a sense of seclusion and wrap between them the entire baroque and classic collection. The ‘material mass’ of the cubicles, formulated in rough wood clad with plywood and finished with high-gloss paint over MDF, tapers at the edges of the openings, illusioning a paper-thin look from outside. The

design is embedded with harmonising forms and by contrasting soft focus pools of light to them to effect; the architects have tied the interiors together to form a cohesive entity. The lights themselves have a striking appearance and their placement redefines moments of interaction with both the visitors and the store. Strobes of light hung in euphoric loops of porous material dramatically transform the notion of light displays in a simple, flexible yet subtle way. The white box austerity textured with light is straight forward, accessible in its appeal and yet echoes a casual mood to enhance the lighting experience on offer. It is to address light as a material and how it personifies a space. Impacting beyond its physical presence, Ara enables light to be artistic and utilitarian in the starkest sense.

FACT FILE: Project Location Client Contractor Construction Cost Completion of Project

: : : : : :

Ara - Authorised Swarovski Lighting Showroom Hyderabad Defa Solutions - Mr. Zubair Ahmed, Pratik Chaudhri Space interior decorators (Hyderabad) `50 lacs 2009


126 IA&B - MAR 2012 Notre Dame Gargoyle overlooking Paris.

Mansi Bapna talks about the idea of beauty and the haunting aspect of an image in memory through a very philosophical link between the Gothic, the post-modern and the mythological Indian. Text & Images: Mansi Bapna; H&CT, AA School of Architecture.

“He above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent Stood like a tower; his form had not yet lost All her original brightness, nor appeared Less than archangel ruin’d, and th’ excess Of glory obscured: as when the sun new ris’n Looks through the horizontal misty air Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations; and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs.” John Milton, Paradise Lost, I. 589-99

M

ilton, in this venerable poetic picture, limns Satan with dignity that one cannot find anywhere else. The mind boggles out because of disarrayed and crowded images of a tower, a ruined archangel, rising sun, an eclipse or ruins of monarchs; which if we separate or join, we infallibly lose their great confusion and obscurity, in Burke’s words - forming “grander passions” or “sublimity”. And Satan creeps and flies in Milton’s Paradise Lost, which causes the dilemma of the Sublime: whether one looks up to the skies or looks down upon the earth, whether it diminishes or gets enlarged? The sublime, in contrast to beauty, is a direct link to primal passions. It is a negative element; pain, terror, fear being associated with the sublime. It has now come as an aesthetic response rather than any other older form; which was synonymous with elevated, impressive or strongly conceived. Belonging to very old Greek and Latin tradition, it gained recognition during classicism. Tracing its meaning back to these traditions, one can see a profound duality in the origin of ‘sublime’, evolving from grammatically and linguistically different Greek and Latin words; as opposed to the uniformity in the present day vocabulary. The Greek hypsous (a noun) means ‘height’, a spatial dimension and metaphorically - ‘climax’; while the Latin word - sublimis


comment being an adjective, is derived from sub-displacement towards the high and limis - oblique: a rather problematic meaning. Longinus - apparently a “fictional and pseudo-author” (according to Michael Kelly in Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics, Volume 4, 1998), delineates sublime as vast, indefinite and unexpected yet terrible, aiming at neither persuasion nor pleasing, neither useful nor complying, but rather violence which makes the character of sublime, in fact, more “irresistible”. The Longinian hypsous and the sublime of Quintilian (in his book Institutes of Oratory) share the “fascinating splendour” - forcing the spectator into ecstasy against their will yet soberly, dominating them through its great power. Longinus explains this irresistible fascinating splendour through this mocking yet terrifying phrase from the lost play of Oreithyia of Aeschylus, depicting a confused and turbid image:

endless confusion and uncertainties. In a rather eccentric case, Burke states that the idea of pain and pleasure is not that of opposites or complementary, yet different and independent of each other, but positive in nature; pleasure cannot be forced upon and is generally ‘stolen’, whereas pain is stronger as it is imposed, being of greater strength that is beyond us. The source of sublime is anything associated with terror, that which is conversant or analogous with terror; which, according to him, is the strongest feeling that the mind is capable of feeling, the mere ideas of pain and terror being much more powerful than those of pleasure to enter the mind. The passion and feelings evoked by the great and the sublime in nature is astonishment, bewilderment in which all the motions of the soul are suspended, with a tinge of horror, the mind being so occupied by the object that it fails to entertain anything else.

“Stay they the furnace! quench the far-flung blaze! For if I spy one crouching habitant, I’ll twist a lock, one lock of storm-borne flame, And fire the roof, and char the halls to ash: Not yet, not now my noble strain is raised.”

“The other shape, If shape it might be called that shape had none Distinguishable, in member, joint or limb; Or substance might be called that shadow seemed, For each seemed either; black it stood as night; Fierce as ten furies; terrible as hell; And shook a dreadful dart. What seemed his head The likeness of a kingly crown had on”

Nicholas Boileau, being the first one to extract ‘sublime’ from rhetoric category, used it as an ‘adjective’, stating that failure to have anything extraordinary and astonishing is a failure to be sublime. Even though Boileau imparted the English ‘sublime’ a dignity, its translation from ‘hypsous’ continues to pose problems, and this confusion is enhanced in Burke’s treatise on the Sublime and the Beautiful. Burke differentiated beautiful from sublime on the basis that the former settles us in our world and latter dazzles and astonishes us with confused, dissimilar, staggered form and references; the sources of sublime belonging not only to a single object but our atmosphere and surroundings as well. While Burke’s Enquiry (1756), along with many other authors and commentators, suggested sublime and beautiful pertaining to natural objects as well as human artefacts, Kant’s more serious Analytic of the Sublime (1790) presented sublime and judgement only on the natural objects, as he stated - “sublime properly so-called”. For Kant, the natural sublime needed no confirmation or evidence, providing a clear instance to an individual. He associated beautiful to the form of the object - a limited form or confined one; while sublime was to be found in those formless objects in so far as limitlessness is represented in it: the contentment connected in the former with representation of quality whereas in the latter with representation of quantity. And ergo, he righty states “... That is Sublime in comparison with which everything else is small”. (Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment, 1790) - as one can see, that in nature which is very great or grand by our judgment can be diminished down to infinitely small, and the same way, that which is infinitely small, can be blown to the magnitude beyond the world for the heck of our imagination and also by our imagination. Burke believed, that which is terrifying or has the capability to induce the idea of pain or fear, with regard to sight, is sublime irrespective of the terror being endued with the greatness or diminutive aspect with respect to the object’s dimensions. Both Burke’s Enquiry and Kant’s Analytic of the Sublime are radically different in their approach and accessibility but for both the authors sublime was a way to think about excess as the key to a new kind of subjectivity; beauty being more tempered for Burke. Burke in his book is majorly concerned with the physical, mental and emotive human responses to natural objects, artefacts and experiences; sensing the human tendency to get terrorised by the infinite and

John Milton, Paradise Lost, II. 666-73 Obscurity - one thing which is general and kind of necessary to the idea of terror and once we get fully accustomed to the danger, the apprehension vanishes. As we can all unanimously agree that night fall adds to our fears and dread and enhances our imagination, making the motion of ghosts and goblins all the more clear in our mind. Again, one can find the description of Death by Milton to be apt here - dark, confusing, obscure, uncertain and Sublime to such heightening extent that is forced upon. Such is the power of the idea of night, of darkness that it makes otherwise blurred images prominent in our heads. That is one of the reasons as to why most of the heathen and barbarous temples were dark or the idol to be worshipped was placed in the darkest possible place. Greater is the effect of transition from light to dark, the more sudden and strong it is the more is the effect and thus the sublime. For this reason, perhaps, we see that most of our poets and painters are so convinced with this idea that the emergence of a Deity from nowhere in the dark is depicted with such power and well managed darkness amidst profusion of the magnificent images, leaving the subject totally submerged in unforgettable obscurity and awe: “Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear” John Milton, Paradise Lost, III. 380 The symbolism of sublime is quite evident and prevalent in Indian poetry, paintings (although paintings are mostly too colourful and festive to give the idea of sublime) and architecture, where personification of a Deity is so sensuous and wild; legend has it that almost all the Deities (which are in hundred thousand in number) have had won and slaughtered hundreds of demons, saved masses from some massacre, famine, flood or a turmoil beyond the extreme degree. Art and Craft there is dedicated to such stories and fables - the temple architecture and ancient cities, conspicuously, are the sites to such ancient mystical and mythological wars etc. While we consider God as an object of our imagination and understanding, which forms an intricate idea of power, wisdom, and justice, all stretched beyond anything we can comprehend, a comparison is necessary to satisfy us, to be struck with His power and be completely overwhelmed.


128 No matter how much we contemplate such a vast ‘object’ that is omnipresent, yet no conviction of justice or the mercy which is bestowed can eliminate a slight terror that comes to the subject naturally from the force that nothing can withstand. Such is the divine horror, and it is enhanced when the Divine arises from misty clouds with lightning, or the darkest night, as is in most of the poems and paintings - as the prophet David puts it: “fearfully and wonderfully am I made!”- (Psalms 139:14). In Indian art and architecture, we can see the extravagance of the sensuous figures to reach universality, but these individual figures don’t express themselves or a particular phenomenon but a meaning lying outside its own; and it does not prove to be appeasing enough until “it is torn out of itself into monstrosity without aim and measure.” (Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Arts, Translated by T.M. Knox, 1975) The personification of the Divine is quite unusual and bizarre, in a sense - for instance animals. In this vague and flustered introduction of greatest and indefinitely powerful content in things, phenomena, incidents and deeds which, in their timidity and constraints, are incapable of even expressing it, let alone possessing such might and main for it, we may find the touch of sublimity. Such an example is Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology - he is considered as the Destroyer, the Lord of anger and storm, the most powerful of the Hindu pantheon and one of the godheads of the Trinity - an ascetic, the most complicated yet most fascinating, beautiful and charming of all. The legend has it, that Lord Shiva wears a garland of snakes, as snakes being the most perilous of all animals, as a symbol of His control and fearlessness. He, being considered as the Darkest of the Dark Lords, is fed on opium (his throat is depicted with blue because of the venom) to subdue his negative energy and might, making him numb and oblivious to the world - thus the name ‘Bhole Shankar’ (bhole meaning - innocent). In paintings, His anthropomorphic image is shown as the master of all, the destroyer, dancer and merciless, controlling and dancing on the head of the largest snake (larger than what we can fathom even in our imagination!!!), and surrounded by animals (bull, snakes, deer, draped in tiger’s skin) and with a third eye; in temples he is found as a phallic object; ‘linga’- representing the energies necessary for life on both the microcosmic and the macrocosmic levels. This is how everything is expanded, stretched into nebulosity and taken up to the degree of universality - that we tend to lose our touch with ground and are flown into a preposterous setting where we are no longer aware of our being. Indian art thus is obliged for unity of the individual existence and universality all at once, as conceived; it must deprive the object of its limitedness and constraints and aggrandise it to infinity and formlessness. The temple architecture, for that matter, acts as a bridge between God and human, connecting the physical world to the Divine and in order to reflect the truth of creation, the layout of cosmos is laid graphically as the foundation in temples. The planning and conception of temple is very mystical - a supernatural cosmic formless being/object - ‘Vastu purusha mandala’, brought to the earth by the Trinity, placed in the centre of physical environment depicted by a chart or diagram; centre being the source of cosmic energies, such that various supernatural forces are captured beneath the temple. Considering the temples for Lord Shiva, the best that one can pick from thousands in India is Meenakshi Temple, Madurai - built as early as 7 th century, forming the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city - Madurai; famous for its erotic and demonic art, sculptures and relics. Like any other ancient temple of India, this one also has a legend to it: this being the site for the wedding of Lord Shiva and His consort (incarnated) and the lingum (phallic symbol of the Dark Lord)

was enshrined here by the king of celestial deities. Such a legend has given the temple its present form (re-construction and expansion during 1623- 55); with bas-reliefs of the wedding ceremony, entrances with sculptures of guests attending it including demons and animals personified as humans and Deities, painting of sports being played by Deities, a thousand pillared hall (some of which are musical pillars) and colossal entrances. The play of light in temple, the transition from the blazing sun-lit exteriors to dark and gloomy interiors, enticing colours play with the subjects’ mind - colourful exterior on the burnished stone colour is countered by the demons watching the entrances and the caliginous interiors are balanced with paintings and idols. This transition intrigues the subject, for it seems that all the edifices work together to produce an idea of sublime - inspite of some qualities of materials and relics being against the Burkean idea of it. Another element of surprise is when one enters the temple complex through the magnificent gates; with their richness and profusion of images and relics making it impossible for the dazzled mind to attend to the exact coherence and allusions; the vastness of the complex only adds to the grandeur. The colonnade hall is another mind boggling master piece, each column being a monument of the Dravidian architecture (one of the famous styles of temple architecture) in itself - carrying figures with lion’s body and an elephant’s head. These pleasant surprises and uncertainties is what makes the experience of this temple an experience of love, fear, terror (not danger), gratitude, ignorance, enlightenment, acknowledgment of the Divine, delight (passion) yet pleasure; or how Burke puts it: experience of sublime as what “excites this delight”.

Meenakshi temple.


129

Violet-le-Duc had once written in a letter to his father: “The Middle Ages seem to be a creation of schoolboys in comparison to the admirable wisdom, purity, common sense, and at the same time the sublime beauty of antiquity.” (Lettres d’Italie, 1837). He believed that if present day artists had contemplated and analysed with greater care, intuition and reflection the works of the Ancients, we would have been much more advanced in obtaining colour harmonies in a better way. Thus today the public is not ready to see and appreciate what its eyes are not accustomed to see. It was with the comprehension of these problems, that the interiors as well exteriors of the cathedral and the paintings were done. The orientation of the building was taken to the advantage of paintings and the choice of colours - using pure colours for very less area and keeping the tone of tints down - in harmony with the light seeping through the stained glasses and maintaining the parity between the cold dark light on one side and the warm, brilliant on the other. The colouration on the exteriors are much more contrasted, in accordance with the harsh sunlight and the play of shadows; black playing an important role - is used to accentuate the expressions, outlines of faces, drapery - thus monstrosity.

awkward to acknowledge that the interior was quite dramatic and imposing yet impressive - Herculean scale but yet rare to the world of grain elevators, in terms of quality too. The ‘cathedral-like’ head-house was again dramatic, with corrugated sheets, long chain of windows and ventilators and “golden-gray atmosphere of flying grain dust sliced by low shafts of sunlight” (such a ‘so-called heavenly’ and ‘majestic’ description of a grain elevator it is by R. Banham). Although not well-received, another interesting feature was the Doric cast-iron supports used for mechanical and scientific equipments; rustic Doric supports to the tables - a typical early - Victorian stylistic barbarism. In spite of all this, the structure was after all just a building filled with bins of steel; although it did manage to intrigue and impinge (or maybe the whole setup was a little perturbing), not only because of its monumentality and overwhelming proportions but also because of its great eclecticism of materials and construction techniques. As we can see through these examples from varied traditions, cultures and geographic locations, over a period of more than 1500 years, sublimity as been captured by artists, architects and engineers in different contexts yet equally terrifying, captivating, intimidating yet ‘delightful’. An object need not be beautiful and classy to be able to induce the feeling of sublime, yet it is surprising how beautiful objects (like sculptures and reliefs in Indian temples and paintings) can intimidate to the same extent. The key features and characteristics to sublime remain constant throughout - magnitude, extreme antiquity and decay, play of light and colours, bewitching colour combinations and strokes, loud expressions combined with serene background and of course, the mystic mythological stories are like icing on the cake - all these quantifying hostility. The presence of characters as opposed to those associated with sublime in Indian ancient architecture, and yet how they manage to induce that tranquil terror in the subject, craves for more research and thought.

Factory

As we advance in years through historical development of architectural ‘sublimity’, we come across the monstrous bare structures of the American factory buildings during the peak of modernism: sublime just by their Herculean size and magnitude and the gloomy and dodgy setup: when ornamentation was no longer valid. A new spirit of architecture based on mathematical order and functionalism had transpired, which was “everything but decorative arts” (Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, 1927). One such heroic cast worth mentioning is the Great Northern Elevator, Buffalo. The landward side of this factory building arrogantly demonstrates an uncluttered and sheer artistry of industrial brickwork, undisturbed and uninterrupted by openings; this “almighty wall” free of any major structural load. Another interesting feature, which managed to intrigue the Europeans to the limit was ‘moving tower-sized legs’; legs, used to grains-clad in pure ‘timeless’ corrugated iron, equivalent in size to a nine-storey building, capable of moving along the tracks managed to take the European modernists to even higher ardour. Well this was about the exteriors; interiors, being more captivating, had forty-eight cylindrical main steel bins and thirty smaller ones packed in the left-over space, altogether stuffed in a brick box, almost hanging. The only view that anyone could enjoy in this “open cage” (term used by Reyner Banham, A Concrete Atlantis, 1986) is that of the rather ‘well-orchestrated’ and continuous curvilinear face of the boiler plates that one’s nose almost touches every now and then. Banham is justified in comparing the interiors to that of a cathedral: “... gigantic surrealist architecture turned upside down or like the abandoned cathedral of some sect of iron men” (Reyner Banham, A Concrete Atlantis, 1986). Banham found it a bit weird and

Bibliography • • • • • • • •

Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757 Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment, 1790 George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Arts, Volume I, Translated by T.M. Knox, 1975 Michael Kelly, Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics, Volume 4, 1998 Michael Camille, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame: Medievalism and Monsters of Modernity, 2009 Jean-Paul Midant, Viollet-Le-Duc: The French Gothic Revival, 2002 Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre- Dame, 1831 Reyner Banham, A Concrete Atlantis, 1986

This is not the complete essay. Parts have been deleted for the journal format. Mansi can be contacted at mansibapna@gmail.com for further deliberation.


130 IA&B - MAR 2012

Dr. Balkrishna Doshi’s book that chronicles his encounters and experiences is a collection of short-stories from his intriguing life that comes across as a diary of impressions and emancipations. Images: from the book ‘Paths Uncharted’

Cover Page.

‘Sangath’ – the ashram.

Learnings from the temple.


book review Delightful revelations and passing thoughts find equal space in his writing. The stories are simply told.

A spread from the book.

“S

ometimes bare, sometimes multi-layered, sometimes finite yet breaking, sometimes prominent yet non-descript or hidden,” writes Dr. Doshi in his book ‘Paths Uncharted’ as he talks about the ‘quality’ of architecture. Spontaneous, delightful and intriguing anecdotes compose the book. Accounts of a life in architecture scattered over a period of 40 years of practicing architecture, teaching design and building robust institutions make an engaging narrative. The cartridge sheets, pages of the book, are filled with small stories that chronicle ideas, conversations, experiences and anecdotes from Dr. Doshi’s life – as an architect, as an individual, as a great thinker and a simple man. Candidly written, the book has no linearity in time. In thought, the link is profound. One story’s moral becomes the next story’s introduction. An abrupt end becomes a complete beginning. ‘Morality’ can be perceived to be the silent theme. As important Dr. Doshi’s contribution to architecture is, equally significant is his passion for other arts. The book tells us about unique encounters – with masters like Hussain and mentors like Kasturbhai Lalbhai and how deep are the impressions they left on him. Personalities appear and reappear in the texts forming complete personas by the close. The lesson he learnt is the lesson we might learn from the story. Sketches - ambiguous, spontaneous and bold, in his signature style – become illustrations and instruments of story-telling. Simple truths become profound

statements to live by, and perhaps, to live up to. Delightful revelations and passing thoughts find equal space in his writing. The stories are simply told. One may not understand the deep and profound truth from his writings. One may not experience the story but one will always perceive the meaning of the process of continuous learning. The book is, after all, “A bag full of small anecdotes woven in an unending story, as if ongoing”. It is, as Prof. Sen Kapadia puts it, ‘an axiom’.

FACT FILE: Book Author Publisher Contact ISBN Reviewed by

: : : : : :

Paths Uncharted Dr. B. V. Doshi Vastu Shilpa Foundation +91 79 27451555/vsf@sangath.org 819072650-1 Ruturaj Parikh


132 IA&B - MAR 2012

Abandoned In this issue of Space Frames curated by Dr. Mathew, Deepshikha Jain walks through the decaying landscape of a neglected project to find traces of resilience, resistance and reclamation as she questions the policies that make such landscapes possible. Text and Images: Deepshikha Jain Curated by: Dr. Deepak J. Mathew

I

n 1988, the building project of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra state commissioned the office of Raj Rewal to design 1048 housing units. Despite a very low budget, Rewal set out to develop a home environment that was simple and of high quality. The site of the project is hilly, and unlike most other developments in New Mumbai, it has been designed embracing the terrain rather than trying to defeat it. For this reason, it has been considered an important architectural example in a city where the design of public housing is driven solely by the ability to accommodate density.


space frames urban villages

These pictures are not the entire story, they are just a part to create awareness and retell a forgotten tale.


134


135

23 years later, many of the units remain vacant. Most are facing practical problems of leakages, inadequate light and ventilation in houses, unused open spaces, lack of transportation, lack of medical facilities, etc. Since the Income Tax department bought most of the buildings, this colony was nicknamed the Income Tax Colony. These pictures are not the entire story, they are just a part to create awareness and retell a forgotten tale. Abandoned spaces are a postlude to a life once lived and therefore make for good stories. There is no intention to document this structure. This, on the contrary, is the photographer’s own artistic expression. Abandoned, whilst capturing the mood of the space raises the inevitable question about why such a well-intentioned and designed project has come to be largely unoccupied and fallen to disrepair, in a city severely lacking in low-cost housing.


136

Deepshikha Jain After graduating in architecture from Mumbai, she pursued a Master’s in Photography from Paris. She can easily be seen as a hybrid, having embraced one world without abandoning the other. Having a flair for travel and architecture, she has travelled across the Indian sub-continent and parts of Europe and the UK, sometimes just to see why a certain piece of architecture is so rated and, at times, to be mesmerised by it. She has toured widely across France, capturing Le Corbusier’s works. She has also been part of a group show in galerie Chambre Avec Vues in Paris, France, and recently a solo show at the Kala Ghoda Cafe Gallery in Mumbai, India.

Dr. Mathew can be reached at dr.djmathew@gmail.com


Space Frames March 2012: Abandoned by Deepshikha Jain Indian Architect & Builder Magazine


Dr. Deepak John Mathew can be contacted at dr.djmathew@gmail.com

Deepshikha Jain After graduating in architecture from Mumbai, she pursued a Master’s in Photography from Paris. She can easily be seen as a hybrid, having embraced one world without abandoning the other. Having a flair for travel and architecture, she has travelled across the Indian sub-continent and parts of Europe and the UK, sometimes just to see why a certain piece of architecture is so rated and, at times, to be mesmerised by it. She has toured widely across France, capturing Le Corbusier’s works. She has also been part of a group show in galerie Chambre Avec Vues in Paris, France, and recently a solo show at the Kala Ghoda Cafe Gallery in Mumbai, India.


IAB March 2012 Issue  

IAB March 2012 Issue

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