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Image © courtesy Iwan Baan

VOL 26 (7)

MAR 2013

` 200



culture | context | community ARCHITECTURE The Banjaar Tola Resort: SHiFT Sripada Dance Kalari: dd architects CONSERVATION The Muziris Heritage Project: Vedika Architects

YOUNG DESIGNERS ‘13 Dushyant Pandya Residence: Groundwork Architecture RESEARCH Earth to Earth: DICRC, CEPT + Hunnarshala Foundation Torre David – Informal Vertical Urbanism: Urban-Think Tank + Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich


Looking for Substance

Karl Damschen Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

let’s partner


Karl Damschen has restored and rejuvenated many incredible buildings of our not-so-glorified past with humility and sensitivity - rich in ideas. Karl talks about his work and affinity towards the ebbing tide in this conversation with IA&B. Images: courtesy Karl Damschen

Karl Damschen is an Indian architect of Swiss-German origin – acclaimed for his restoration and revival projects in Kerala. He came to India in 1971 and settled here in 1981. Since then, Karl has worked extensively in order to conserve and continue building traditions in Kerala – particularly in Kochi, where he lives since 1996. Being trained as a Cabinet-maker and a Carpenter, Karl was influenced by the Geoffrey Bawa tradition of architecture that is informed by local issues and forces, against the ideas of style. Karl lives and works from Fort Kochi. IA&B: You are German-Swiss by origin. What inspired you to leave the gorgeous landscapes of Switzerland and move to Kochi? KD: I was born in Germany and pursued higher studies there as well. After having taken my degree in Civil Engineering, I continued studying Architecture at the College of Art in Kassel. I then started my professional career in Switzerland and was mainly involved in bigger projects like residential houses, residential estates, old retirement homes, office buildings, restoration of heritage buildings and a college of engineering.

IA&B: Your work has been an inspiration to adaptive architecture in India. Are there any architects or conservationists who you admire or have influenced your work? KD: As I did not read any books or magazines about architecture for a couple of years, I could develop my own theory of an architecture tied to the locality and the climate. Thus, I was ever so surprised when I was confronted with Geoffrey Bawa’s architecture. He had tread this new path only a few years before, which was an additional support for me to continue in this direction.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to answer the question ‘why I came to India’ in only one sentence as it is a story of its own.

IA&B: What is your comment on the traditional architecture of Kerala? Is there any unique feature or detail that amuses or intrigues you? KD: I am now talking about Kerala’s traditional wooden

IA&B: As a city, Kochi has a traditionalist architectural language. Can you briefly describe your beginnings here? KD: Even during my fist visit to India in 1977, it was Kochi which especially fascinated me. Its most interesting history, which found its expression in architecture, certainly played an important role here. My first project in Kochi was the Brunton Boatyard Hotel. A detailed description is to be found in the book “Modern Tradition” by Klaus-Peter Gast. IA&B: You were trained as a ‘modern’ architect before you moved to restoration. What made you choose this direction? KD: Before I went to college to study Civil Engineering and Architecture, I was trained as a Carpenter. Thus, the traditional wooden houses of Kerala with their unique technique of construction fascinated me in particular. Until the late 70s, these jewels of craftsmanship were pulled down and used to build furniture, window frames or doors. After a detailed study of these techniques, I gained the opinion that these houses could be used for tourist purposes, which in the end led to the preservation of these extraordinary wooden houses. While working on the wooden houses and renovating the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi, I realised – like Charles Correa and Geoffrey Bawa – that our so-called modern architecture leads to a visual impoverishment of our cities. To oppose this tendency, architecture must find its roots in a country’s culture itself without running the risk of becoming a kind of Disney Land. What I aim at is a kind of timeless architecture which does not pay heed to contemporary trends, as they might not survive.

Brunton Boatyard Hotel Corridor Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Old Harbour Hotel – Approach

architecture with its most important building, the Padmanabhapuram Palace. This kind of architecture was not designed and built by architects but by master carpenters (Acharis). A distinctive feature of their kind of work is that they start their design with the roof and after that, work out the floor plan. The reason for this is the geometric complexity of these roofs. IA&B: You have travelled extensively across the globe. Do you think travelling is essential to architecture? How do your travels influence your work? KD: For an architect, it is definitely important to travel and to learn to see. The right way of perception, of being aware of things, is a talent in itself and you can train it only to a certain degree. For me, it is hard to say how far my travels have influenced my architecture. Many impressions and pieces of information lie dormant in yourself and are retrieved from the depths of your subconscious when you need them. IA&B: If you had to talk about one of your most cherished projects, which one would that be, and why? KD: Certainly the wooden Padmanabhapuram Palace because of its

Old Harbour Hotel – Courtyard

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

subtle adaption to the location. It also takes account of all climatic and cultural circumstances. Its richness of details and the dealing with the inner and outer spaces makes this building so unique and special. IA&B: The Kashi Art Café at Fort Kochi is very popular. Do you think art and architecture should go hand in hand? KD: In history, architecture and art presented themselves as a union and for me, this was one of the reasons to study Architecture at the College of Art. Unfortunately, this union has got lost in modern architecture and the performing arts have degenerated merely into a kind of decoration. IA&B: Why, in your opinion, is the idea of revival and adaptive reuse less widespread than fresh construction in the Indian context? KD: This finds its reason in the false opinion of many clients that the renovation of old buildings it more expensive than fresh construction. There are also only a few conservation architects in India. In wide parts of the Indian population, the cultural worth of old buildings is not cherished yet. In Switzerland, it also took some time until this awareness came up in the 70s.

Staircase at the Dreamz House (dependence of Old Harbour Hotel)

VOL 26 (7) | MAR 2013 | ` 200 | MUMBAI RNI Registration No. 46976/87, ISSN 0971-5509 INDIAN ARCHITECT AND BUILDER


Chairman: Jasu Shah Printer, Publisher & Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah Chief Executive Officer: Hemant Shetty EDITORIAL Assistant Editors: Maanasi Hattangadi, Ruturaj Parikh Writers: Rashmi Naicker (Online), Sharmila Chakravorty, Shalmali Wagle Editorial Co-ordinator: Parikshit Vivekanand Design Team: Mansi Chikani, Prasenjit Bhowmick, Kenneth Menezes Event Management Team: Abhay Dalvi, Abhijeet Mirashi Subscription: Dilip Parab, Deven Arora Production Team: V Raj Misquitta (Head), Prakash Nerkar, Arun Madye Head Office: 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 SALES Brand Manager: Sudhanshu Nagar E-mail: MARKETING TEAM & OFFICES Sales Co-ordinator: Christina D’sa E-mail: Mumbai Parvez Memon 210, Taj Building, 3rd Floor, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, Tel: +91-22- 4213 6400,+ 91 -22-4037 3636, Fax: +91-22-4037 3635 Email: Delhi: Preeti Singh / Manu Raj Singhal 803, Chiranjeev Tower, No 43, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110 019 Tel: 011 2623 5332, Fax: 011 2642 7404, E-mail:,



Looking for Substance

Recognised for the sensitive restoration of many fascinating buildings in Fort

Kochi, Karl Damschen talks about his work and affinity towards the ebbing tide

through architectural conservation.

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


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



Gogol Apartments

Employing climate-responsive techniques, the Gogol Apartments in Goa by

Arya Architects is an imaginative yet quirky composition of regular geometries.


Terracotta Screen Residence

The Terracotta Screen Residence in Thrissur by Lijo.Reny.architects rebukes the

ordinary impervious façade of a residence and introduces porosity to allow the

structure to breathe.


context | culture | community


Ecological Exuberance

The Banjaar Tola Resort, near the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh,

Bengaluru/ Hyderabad: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: 09833104834, E-mail:

designed by SHiFT seamlessly camouflages with the natural environ, making

one’s retreat from the city life, a truly unique experience.

Chennai / Coimbatore: Princebel M Mobile: 09444728035, 09823410712 E-mail:


Setting the Stage

An aesthetic co-existence of the traditional and the contemporary, Sripada Dance

Kalari in Palakkad, Kerala by dd architects revives ancient building practices to

create a modern temple dedicated to dance and art.

Gujarat: Parvez Memon Mobile: 09769758712, Email:

Kolkata: Sudhanshu Nagar Mobile: 09833104834, E-mail: Pune: Parvez Memon Mobile: 09769758712, Email: Printed & Published by Maulik Jasubhai Shah on behalf of Jasubhai Media Pvt. Ltd (JMPL), 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Printed at M.B.Graphics, B-28 Shri Ram Industrial Estate, ZG.D.Ambekar Marg, Wadala, Mumbai 400031and Published from Mumbai - 3rd Floor, Taj Building, , 210, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah, 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Indian Architect & Builder: (ISSN 0971-5509), RNI No 46976/87, is a JMPL monthly publication. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or any other language is strictly prohibited. We welcome articles, but do not accept responsibility for contributions lost in the mail.


An Inventory of Vanished Treasures

Vedika Architects initiate The Muziris Heritage Project in Kerala to resuscitate the

cultural significance of the ancient port-city of Muziris and prepare it to not

only adapt to a modern setting, but also contribute to the aspirations that

accompany it.



Striking a Balance

With an optimal weave of private, semi-private and common areas, the

Dushyant Pandya Residence by Groundwork Architecture is a sensible

confluence of functionality and aesthetics.



Architecture – Conceptual to the Manifest

With brief glimpses of architectural milestones over centuries, Kulbhushan Jain

investigates concepts in design that have, time and again, proven their intrinsic

value and governed architectural manifestations.


Earth to Earth

A workshop by DICRC, CEPT in collaboration with Hunnarshala Foundation

focusses on the potential of ‘earth’ as an alternative building material to

comprehend and improvise on its employment techniques.


Torre David – Informal Vertical Urbanism

Urban-Think Tank and Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich,

study the numerous facets of Torre David, an incomplete office tower in Caracas

that informally developed into a bustling community. Iwan Baan’s photographs

capture the vibrant and surprisingly resourceful life of its residents.

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




4th annual ACTIVATE! Design Competition Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all March 15, 2013

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to students April 26, 2013

The launch of the 4th annual ACTIVATE! Design Competition has been announced by the Architecture for Humanity Chicago. The competition addresses the need for spaces that are inclusive of people of all age groups, physical abilities and different cultures. The challenge is to redefine a public space that is vacant to encourage interaction between different communities. It will focus on four sites in Chicago: Old Town, Pilsen, Woodlawn, and East Garfield Park. The installation is on temporary basis should be achieved within a budget of USD 1000. The project will be a partnership with Chicago Department of Transportation as part of the ‘Make Way for the People’ initiative.

The 2013 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has launched a competition that provides a sum of GBP 6,000 to the winner. The competition is open to students of architecture worldwide in RIBA or CAA-validated degree programmes. It funds international research topics in any location, provided the research is related to the survival of our cities and towns and fall under any one of the following themes of learning from the past to inform the future, the future of society, density of settlements, sustainability, use of resources, and quality of urban life and transport. The panel of judges includes Lord Foster and the President of the RIBA. The applications will be accepted only if the entry is attested by the head of the respective school.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web:

The Tote 2013 International Outbuilding Design competition

epaus competition

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all March 22, 2013

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all April 30, 2013

Interested individuals are invited to submit their unseen, unpublished design for the Tote 2013 International Outbuilding Design Competition that will gauge the craftsmanship of intent or completion and the interaction of the enclosure or space with the real world. The criterion is that the work must be original. It is not necessary to produce new work for this competition. In 1st place the participant will receive 25 per dent of the entry fee, 2nd place will receive 15 per cent of the entry fee and 3rd place receives 5 per cent of the entry fee. Selected entrants’ works will also be published on the Tote website with full credit to the entrant.

Open ideas competition organised by OPENGAP is looking for a radical yet contemporary proposal as an alternative to the mundane existing public spaces. The proposed design must host activities related to street art, fostering a climate of creation, education and the relationship of user with street art. Spaces conceived must give urban culture an alternative where it can merge public use with a space of artistic expression and learning, thus breaking all the preconceived notions regarding street art. The contestant or team of maximum 5 participants, can choose any location of their liking but it must be justified in accordance to the brief and design. The competition is open to all.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web:

output award Category Type Deadline


RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

: : :

International Open to students March 23, 2013

Being the biggest international competition for students in design and architecture, the output award invites students of architecture from around the world to participate in their 2013 competition. When most of the work that architecture students produce is lost to obscurity after presenting to a small audience, the award competition will lend an opportunity to the students to exhibit their work to a wider audience. About 80 entries will be selected by a distinct group of panel members. The selected entries will be published in the output yearbook as well as in Germany’s leading design magazine “Form”. The best project of them all will be awarded the output Grand Prix and EUR 3,000 prize money. For further information, log on to: Web: Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Innovative Minds 2013: Virtual Context Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all May 15, 2013

Hosted by, the Innovative Minds competition brings to the forefront the possibility of an interaction between the virtual world and physical world of architecture and how one may influence the other. The selection of site is left to the discretion of the participant with its relation to the design expressed clearly. The scale of the project can be any; either at a micro-level or macro-level. The winning project will be published on the website and shall receive a sum of USD 1000. 10 projects that receive the honorable mention will also be published on the website. For further information, log on to: Web:



iBART EXPO Date Venue

Renewable Energy World, India : :

March 19-21, 2013 Gujarat, India

iBART EXPO organised by Gattaca Communications, UK is a well-known trade fair for the building construction industry in India that will attract visitors from different parts of the world. The exhibition will present the latest products and equipments of the brick, roof and tile category in its first edition of the session held between 19 th and 21 st March 2013 at the Gujarat University Exhibition Hall. Profile for exhibits include tiles, indoor and outdoor furniture, interior design advice, furnishings, window treatments, lighting, floors, bedrooms, kitchens, laundries, electrical appliances, air conditioning, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roll forming, decking materials, roof hatches and doors, roof pavers, walkways and ballasts. For further information, log on to: Web:

Indian Ceramics Date Venue

: :

March19-21, 2013 Ahmedabad, India

The Indian Ceramics tradeshow organised by Gattaca Communications is one of the largest tradeshows in the sector of ceramics in India. It provides an opportunity for interaction between 170 professional exhibitors and over 5000 qualified visitors, bringing them all together under one roof. The event iwill be taking place over a span of three days where an impressive collection of heavy clay materials, technically advanced machines and equipments, processed tools and raw materials will be exhibited, in addition to different varieties of ceramic products. Besides Indian participants the event also hosts participants from foreign countries; with ttendees from over 30 different nations expected to be present. Visitors would be updated with the latest information and technological advances in the cermamic industry at the tradeshow. For further information, log on to: Web:

Zak Interior Exterior Expo

March 21-24, 2013 Chennai, India

: :

May 06-08, 2013 Mumbai, India

Renewable Energy World India provides an opportunity for both exhibitors and visitors to be able to know more about renewing resources to benefit both man and nature. It offers a wide range in products related to renewable energy. The positive feedback at previous events has encouraged the exhibitors to come out with more innovative editions. Alternate means are sought through discussions that will help prevent wastage of resources to prmote energy-efficient systems. It becomes a platform for interaction with several experts from the field, who will be in attendance at the event which attracts customers from the Indian as well as international markets. For further information, log on to: Web:

Roof India Date Venue

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May 24-26, 2013 Mumbai, India

Roof India is considered as one of the biggest roofing sector trade events in Asia. Organised on an annual basis by Unitech Exhibitions, it boasts of over 500 trade visitors and 150 exhibiting companies displaying an extensive range of roofing equipments, cladding tools, tensile architecture items, steel structures, waterproofing solutions and other related products. Participants and visitors are also acquainted with environment-friendly roofing options and other latest developments and innovations in the sector of roofing. Experts in the fields of factory and warehouse builders, roofing contractors, town planners are expected to attend The show is officially supported by a number of Indians as well as foreign business associations including NRCA, ISOLA and IGRA. For further information, log on to: Web:

India International Build Expo, Chennai Date Venue

: :

June 14-16, 2013 Chennai, India

Organized by Zak Trade Fairs and Exhibitions, the Zak Interior Exterior Expo is one of the world’s most sought-after global expositions. With over 200 exhibitors, the expo provides a broad spectrum of choices to the visitor with respect to interiors, elaborating technology, innovations, equipment and concepts to architects & designers sector. It will be held at the Chennai Trade Centre, Tamil Nadu, India. The products to be displayed include, antiques and curios, bath tubs, electrical accessories, designer lamps and fans, decorative lighting and chandeliers etc. The exhibition attracts over 15,000 enthusiasts from all parts of the country.

Organised by Prompt Tradefairs, the India International Build Expo covers all avenues in construction and building materials trade shows in India. The event is being held at the Chennai Trade & Convention Centre. Known to bring together leading corporate professionals and decision-making authorities from this sector, the expo brings the largest industry trends and updates to the forefront. It will be held over a period of three days where more than 60 exhibitors will display their products that include building automation systems, concrete mixture tools, electrical appliances, hardware accessories and construction machinery. It provides opportunity for business networking with an expectation of over 2000 attendees. Besides India, participants from SAARC nations have also been invited. Representatives from government bodies are expected to attend.

For further information, log on to: Web:

For further information, log on to: Web: N/A

Date Venue


: :

Date Venue

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



Zaha Hadid receives the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership Zaha Hadid received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership at the international DLD Conference in Munich on Monday, 21 January 2013. John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design addressed Zaha Hadid’s honour, stating, “Leaders are needed when times are changing, creative leaders change times themselves. They make things - like Zaha. She’s unafraid to disrupt, she’s very optimistic. Today we celebrate her incredible optimism.” The award recognises women for their creative contributions and their exceptional entrepreneurial skills. It is named after Aenne Burda, a dynamic entrepreneur herself, who in post-World War II Germany turned a small publishing business into the world’s largest publishing house. Zaha Hadid’s contribution to the field of architecture as a professional and an academician is immense as her futuristic forms and concepts are pathbreaking in the field of design. It shows great perseverance on her part to be able to conceive and execute her designs such as the Bergisel Ski Jump (2002), BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany, and the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain.

Architectural Photographer Balthazar Korab Dies at 86 Well known architectural photographer, Balthazar Korab passed away on January 15, 2013, in Detroit, Michigan after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born in 1926 in Hungary, he fled to France due to communist unrest in his country. He procured a Diploma in Architecture from the prestigious institute of Ecole De Beaux Arts in Paris. Although an architect by profession, his passion for photography superseded as he pursued architectural photography. He has worked with some of the greatest architects including Le Corbusier and was employed by Eero Saarinen to photograph the architectural design process. When he moved to the United States of America, his career in photography flourished as his popularity with the architectural community there also grew. He specialised in architectural, art and landscape photography capturing the essence of especially modern architecture. His keen eye for details captured the true intent of the architect and his concepts.


Turkey to Build World’s Largest Airport Turkey is reportedly building the world’s largest airport in the city of Istanbul with an estimated capacity of 150 million passengers. It will be the third in the city after it was found that the Aturuk International Airport is running at full capacity with 45 million passengers a year. Transport Minister Binali Yildirim is inviting interested firms to apply before the tender closes. Tenders will be released on May 3rd for the EUR 7 billion project that will be contracted using the Build-Operate-Transfer model. The project completion will take place in two stages with the first stage completed in 42 months after the tender date, serving a capacity 90 million passengers. Various companies such as the French airport operator Aeroports de Paris, Dutch airport operator Schiphol Group and Turkish TAV Airports have reportedly shown interest in the bidding. Binali Yildrim also stated that the winning bidder will have the right to operate the project for 25 years. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Solutions for Mumbai’s Main Traffic Junction The BMW Guggenheim Lab and the Mumbai Environmental Social Network launched a competition to find a solution to the regular traffic snarls at the Kala Nagar traffic junction, one of the main traffic networks of Mumbai city with over 60,000 commuters per hour. The competition was open to both students and professionals of which six winning designs were selected – 3 from the professional category, 2 from the student category and 1 people’s choice, decided by community votes and visitors to the Guggenheim Design Lab. They could avail of a wide range of solutions that not only resolve the issue of traffic, but also provides parallel solutions to the problem with stress on alternate use of the road and safety of pedestrians. With Mumbai’s traffic population growing at the rate of 100,000 per year, some of these solutions could easily be applicable to the other traffic junctions as well, where similar problems of congestion and chaos are faced.

Libeskind in the Running for Ohio Holocaust Memorial Daniel Libeskind, who has previously designed Jewish Holocaust memorials in Berlin and California, is among three finalists shortlisted to design the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial by the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Artist Selection Committee at a meeting they held on Thursday, 24th January 2013. The three finalists who were selected from among 80 applicants from the arts, government and the Jewish community are, Jaume Plensa, Barcelona/Paris/Richard Gray Gallery Chicago, Illinois, Ann Hamilton, Columbus, OH, and Daniel Libeskind. According to the brief the memorial must not only remind those who work in the Statehouse of the injustice that took place during the Holocaust but also to stand against any evil in the future. It should must have the potential to reform a man against any form of discrimination.The shortlisted artists have six weeks before they submit their proposal. They are required to visit the memorial site and meet the committee members. The final selection will take place in May. It is the first Holocaust memorial to be built in any statehouse in the US.

Chief Minister Suggests at an Integrated Urbanisation Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, while addressing a gathering at the ‘MAHA conference - 2013 on women in architecture’, in Pune, said that the state government is paving the way for an integrated urbanisation to counter the problem of urbanisation in cities like Mumbai and Pune. Due to the concentration of development in the cities, there are problems being created as a side-effect; an imbalance in the development of the state. The new legislation of an integrated urbanisation could help in resolving this issue. He defends the state policy to convert special economic zones into integrated industrial areas with 60 per cent land dedicated to industrial purpose, 30 per cent for residential and 10 per cent for commercial. This will help develop townships as a whole. Prithviraj Chavan also stated that the merger of fringe villages will make Pune a bigger corporation than the Mumbai Corporation. In such circumstances, the PMC will be required to create infrastructure so that people will have to travel less to workplaces. This will also help, in turn, to reduce traffic congestion.


Netherlands-based design studio Atelier 010 have magnified space efficiency with their versatile and futuristic design, the Bookworm.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



BOOKWORM Text compiled by: Parikshit Vivekanand Images: courtesy Caren Huygelen (


rchitectural and furniture design studio Atelier 010 has established a sculptural masterpiece with their nifty and ultra-modern design, the Bookworm. It is a design which maximises space and storage to a level only a few designers dare to enter. Bookworm is suggestively the sculptural answer to the design and production of an organic bookcase. The curved shape and extensive storage helps it to camouflage its enormous size. On the contrary, the seating arrangement strategically positioned and designed along the inner curve of the furniture justifies the cabinet storage all along the free shape of the furniture. The self-supporting shape consists of three parts, which are assembled on-site and kept upright by a stainless steel foot in the sidewall. The production of this design is achieved by bending thin layers of MDF and plywood across custom-made moulds, which creates the curved shape. The outsides of the walls are spray-painted in colour, whilst the insides are fresh white. A light bulb dangling from the top of the Bookworm creates the perfect ambience for a relaxed book-reading session at any time.

Design Firm: Atelier 010 Designers: Anne Harmsen, Paul Schrijen Contact: ATELIER 010 Overschieseweg 54 3044 EG Rotterdam Phone: 010 840 42 85 Website:

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


A graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Parul Panthri explores the idea of creating meaningful products with the Reading Chair.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



Images: courtesy Parul Panthri


he Reading Chair encompasses a perfect blend of the new and the old. Every avid reader requires the luxury of a reading corner in their homes, but the present-day modern household forbids such indulgence due to the lack of space. The solution for such desires can only be met by infusing the old with the new; the new being the storage space incorporated within the design of the Reading Chair, and the old being the rocking chair-type design of the same. The design of the furniture is self explanatory; it is a rocking chair with an integrated unit for shelving books and magazines. The design provides a comfortable reclined position, making it easier for the user to sit on it for prolonged periods of time. The idea of the designer of giving back to the world by creating and helping create meaningful products and experiences that facilitate better living of an individual and a society as a whole, is evident in the Reading Chair.

Designer: Parul Panthri Contact: Phone: + 91 7895 311 929 Email: Website:

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Model of Gogol Apartments.

Gogol Apartments

Using climate-responsive techniques, Arya Architects design the Gogol Apartments in Margao, Goa as a whimsical mash-up of geometries. Text compiled by: Sharmila Chakravorty Images & Drawings: courtesy Arya Architects


ocated in the periphery of Margao, the site is highly contoured, linear along a slope looking down into verdant landscapes. However, the site does not warrant any views of the sea. In addition, the design had to take into consideration the heavy rains of Goa. A sense of local identity, though not directly, was to be assimilated too, resonating with the Goan way of life; large verandahs and porticos that usually adorn Goan houses. Therefore, the design took shape as a response to the site and the climate. The need for sloping roofs as a climatic feature gave rise to the striking geometry of the project. The design strategy was to integrate the sloping roofs with the geometry of the apartments, thus providing a large semi-open space between the apartments for the common social space. A multi-residential project, the

The building within its mileu.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Construction of Gogol Apartments on-site.

The quirky geometric design of the building.

construction brief B



8 6


8 7

Legend 1. Lobby 2. Lift 3. Living Room 4. Dining Room 5. Kitchen 6. Bedroom 7. Toilet 8. Balcony 9. Servant’s Room








4 7








4 8


8 7




6 8












2 7







8 4

4 5









7 6

7 8 B




apartments are constructed with an RCC structural frame, with laterite and brick in-fill in the walls. Long horizontal louvres on the external face of the building protect the windows and balconies from the rain.

The sloping roofs as a response to heavy Goan rains.

The level difference in the site was about 3.5m which is used to tuck in the parking without making a basement. This level difference also generates different perceptions of the building from the two sides. On one end, it hugs the ground – the living spaces directly flowing onto the ground – and on the other side, it floats above the ground, holding up the living spaces. The project is currently on-site.


The sloping roof creates semi-open spaces between apartments.

Project : Location : Architect : Design Team : Client : Structural Consultant : Built up Area : Plot Area : Civil Contractors : Project Estimate : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :

Gogol Apartments Gogol, Margao, Goa Arya Architects Vijay Arya - Project Architect Fernando Velho Ashish Tiwari Devang Rana S M Group, Verna, Goa M. G. Chandrashekher 2200sqm 2360sqm S M Constructions `4 crore 2008 Under construction

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Rendered view of Terracotta Screen Residence.

Terracotta Screen Residence Lijo.Reny.architects design the Terracotta Screen Residence in Ollur, Thrissur to rebuke the mundane opaque faรงade of a home and instead, establish a porous skin that will allow the structure to breathe. Text compiled by: Ayishwariya Balagopal Images & Drawings: courtesy Lijo.Reny.architects


he Terracotta Screen residence in Ollur, Thrissur designed by Lijo.Reny.architects, uses terracotta blocks of different patterns, replacing the mundane windows, to dominate maximum surface of the faรงade. The residence is contained within a land of 4212.252sqft and a total built up area of 2622sqft. The compact planning of the residence opens up through punctures in the horizontal and vertical planes of the structure. Pockets of internal courtyards offer view of the sky, and the perforated terracotta blocks that shield the courtyards against inclement weather also help naturally ventilate the spaces. The structure is divided in two levels. The ground floor comprises of a sit-out, a living and dining area with utility space, an open courtyard, and two bedrooms. The first floor comprises of two more bedrooms and an open terrace. The entry court that leads into the residence is enclosed by a terracotta shell that defines the boundaries for all semi-open spaces in the residence. Courtyards in the first half of the residence are single storey while those in the second half are double height so that they can accommodate taller vegetation. The south faรงade composed of the terracotta screen, filters the heat to allow cool breeze to pass through. The small apertures in the blocks collectively render an interesting texture to the faรงade, although their continuity is broken where lintels and beams have to be provided. The Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

The perforated and non-perforated bands of the terracotta screen.


The south faรงade of the residence.

A double-height court.

hollow block with the holes exposed

concreting done in the scooped out block interconnecting beam from the main block outside


Scooped out blocks to pour concrete.

terracotta blocks are arranged in patterns of perforated and non-perforated bands. The perforated bands allow light and air ventilation, while the solid band conceal the structural members in the faรงade. Scooped out blocks are used as casing to pour concrete for the structural members, as a result they are hidden from view. Interconnecting beams between the screen and main block further strengthen the screen especially those enveloping the double-height courtyards . The design of the residence takes into account the micro-climate of the region as well as the sustainability of the structure. The materiality and the process of construction, blend with the aesthetics of the built form to create a unique language in design.

10mm groove to articulate the joint scooped out hollow block

FACT FILE: hollow block with the solid face exposed



Project Location Architect Design Team Client Project Area Civil Contractors Carpentry Contractors Structural Engineer Completion of Project

: Terracotta screen residence : Ollur, Thrissur : Lijo.Reny.architects : Lijo Jose, Reny Lijo : Ponnary Dunant & Mrs.Jisha : 2644sqft : Abishek, Sandeep : Rajan : Rosemy George : February 2013 Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013
















Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The tent nestled between lush trees.

Ecological Exuberance The Banjaar Tola Resort designed by SHiFT is an epitome of a design that seamlessly camouflages with the natural environ, making one’s escape from the city life a truly unique experience. Text: Alifiya Mehamdabadwala Images: courtesy ShiFT


eaving behind the conundrum of a daily life, one is transported to a place of complete solitude when visiting the Banjaar Tola camp site. Set in the heart of wilderness, near the Kanha National Park, two camps of nine suites each flank the Banjaar River. Spanning over an area of 60 acres, the project is a testament to embracing beauty in its purest form and creating an environment of luxury without misbalancing nature. With raw ethereal beauty as its backdrop, the luxury retreat project is designed in a way that makes one feel in sync with nature. The project silently merges with its wondrous setting, exploiting and enhancing the natural beauty of the site to establish lodgings that are uniquely elemental and luxurious. A great deal of thought has gone into setting up the camps and making them a part of the existing site. Nestled between Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

the trees, the tents have been raised on small hilly outcrops, ensuring minimal impact on the ground. Each of the tents has been placed on the fringe of the river, giving the guests a spectacular view of the water body. The decks have a dropped ledge with railing so that nothing comes between the guest and the river view. The tents have been carefully angled to maximise views of the game park, while ensuring adequate privacy from each other as well. The architects have been highly sensitive in designing the project is a sustainable manner. Hence, all buildings have a very light footprint. The structures are elevated from the ground with the support of only a few points, allowing continuity to the natural undergrowth and drainage. Being lightweight and temporary, this type of construction dramatically reduces the impact on the surroundings as compared to a concrete/brick building.



Tent suspended across the river.

Night view of the deck overlooking the river. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



A sweeping tensile roof and double layers of canvas with insulation materials and air gaps are intrinsic parts of the design. The inner layer has overdeck insulation using a vacuum-filled reflective foil-based insulating mat. The space between the two roof membranes consists of an evaporative mist system with micro nozzles which release a fine spray of water which is then evaporated to reduce the temperature of the air in immediate contact with the tent, making hot summer days cool and comfortable. The floor plate consists of underdeck insulation, a layer of pipes which circulate hot water for radiant underfloor heating in colder seasons. The bamboo flooring remains thermally neutral and comfortable to the touch, making it possible for guests to walk around bare feet within the room. The remaining load is taken up by the eco-friendly air-conditioning system, which uses a reversible cycle to efficiently deliver both cooling and heating. The electricity demand has been further reduced through energy-saving lights and gas-based water heating. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

The interior and exterior are deliberately blurred, establishing maximum impact with minimum effort. Inspired by the primordial, the luxurious tents have been designed in a contemporary style, with pressed bamboo wall panels, stunning bamboo floors and locally crafted furniture axed from the timber of exotic Indian trees. The tent typically comprises a spacious and lavish bedroom, an exquisite bathroom and an open deck. Each of these spaces flow seamlessly into one another and lend unity to the scheme. The upholstery is done up in delicate and warm saffron and green, with rich block-printed cottons and silks representing the tribal culture of the area. A circular ceremonial dining area, a large verandah, a library/ lounge and a swimming pool form part of the common area shared by a camp of nine tents. In tandem with the design of the guest tents, the common facilities are done up in a similar manner. While on one hand, this adds homogeneity to the feel of the place, on the other hand, mundaneness creeps in, making it predictable.


PILES Guest Room


Visual barrier




6.36 metres BODY 3m

4.40 metres

1.6 etr

3.24 2.59 metres






10.72 metres




4.79 m



9 4.8




4 3.9



3.02 metres EARLY PLAN


Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The project silently merges with its wondrous setting, exploiting and enhancing the natural beauty of the site to establish lodgings that are uniquely elemental and luxurious.

Study view from river

Brick wall between shower and WC.

Openable window shutter in shutter

AC loft Bamboo boord bose, Salwood frame Fixed glazings

Fixed Glazings in Arch

Magic wall

2400 mm

200 mm

Fixed Glazings besides shower


Vertical bamboos as deck walls (with embeded LED lights)

Built in Bed Plinth

Tensile roof Insulated roof

Lower surface temperature in summer

Insulated roof Insulated roof (silk)

Long overhang

Long overhang

Open in summer Double Walls Floor heating

Lightweight bamboo floor with underdeck insulation

HVAC systems for the tent. (right & left) Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Double Walls Screen allows could air to flow down unmixed Cloth to keep cold air trapped below tent Cold air under the tent

R 407(ODS free) Based Split unit with reversible heat pump

elevated pathway

tall grass

high canopy trees

shrubs (slow growing bamboos)


elevated pathway

normal pathway (inter cottage and in the forest)

different ways to define pathway edges (made with bamboo sticks)


Area between the tents.

Rock fountain (8)

(4) Pump Swimming area (1) (3) Skimmer

Filter zone (2)


Distributor pipe (5)

(7) Pressure pipe

Project: Sripada Dance Kalari Location: Palakkad, Kerala Architect: Design Dreams (Dd)

Pressure/suction lines (6)

Natural swimming pool. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Deck with the Ha-Ha railing. (Top and Bottom) Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


View from the bedroom.

The spacious bedroom with its bamboo flooring. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Feeling one with the wilderness.

Guests can relax and unwind at the open lounge area. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The atmosphere is light, peaceful and organic. A feeling of tranquillity seeps into the senses. Despite its framework, the overall sturdiness of the structure lends a touch of permanence. It is an impossible feat to leave the ecology untouched in a high-end resort project. However, the Banjaar Tola project seeks to maximise the positive impact on the local environment with a minimum ecological footprint that is achieved with careful planning and a sensitivity towards nature. A retreat into the wilderness of this kind not only reinvigorates the self, but also makes one a miniscule yet meaningful part of the ecology. The purpose of the journey then is transcendence of the spirit, heightened with being part of a whole.


The staff quaters have been designed in vernacular style.

Project : Location : Architect : Project Management : Client : Built up Area : Site Area : Contractors : Structural Consultants : Electrical, Lighting : HVAC, Plumbing Fire Fighting, BMS : Environment Optimisation : Landscape : Interior :

Banjaar Tola Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh SHiFt (earlier Sanjay Prakash & Associates) Vicon Hotels and Realities Pvt Ltd Taj Safaris (An IHCL & Beyond and CIGEN Joint Venture) 2250sqm 60 acres Vicon Hotels and Realities Pvt Ltd Dr. Prem Krishna & Inhouse (SHiFT) Lirio Lopez McD BERL Pierre Jaboyedoff Integrated Design (InDe) Christopher Browne

Infinity pool at the camp. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


View of the Sripada Dance Kalari from the street.

setting the stage Reviving ancient building practices to design a modern temple dedicated to dance and its related art forms, dd architects’ Sripada Dance Kalari in Palakkad, Kerala is an aesthetic co-existence of the contemporary and the traditional. Text: Sharmila Chakravorty Images & Drawings: courtesy Vinod Kumar MM, dd architects


he art of dance, it is said, is the incarnation of the highest form of divinity. Perhaps that explains why classical dance has always been associated with the Gods for centuries; an art form truly worthy of the celestial. In India too, classical dance has strong mythical undertones, with Lord Shiva revered as the ‘Nataraja’ (King of all Dances) who performs the Cosmic Dance that delicately balances life and death over harmonious cycles. Bharatanatyam, the traditional dance form from Tamil Nadu, is almost 2,000 years old. In Indian mythology, it is believed that Bharatanatyam was revealed by Lord Brahma to Bharata, the sage who compiled the oldest text on stagecraft, the Natya Shastra. He is said to have used words, gestures, music and emotions from the sacred vedas to form the Natyaveda, or the expansive body of knowledge on dance. With such an array of divine, mythical ideas associated with dance, tutelage and learning too is an aspect of worship. Thus, an environment of learning which is worthy of such revered dedication and Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

conducive to the learning process is essential; the Sripada Dance Kalari is designed to be all that and more. Materialising from this combination of passion for dance, and the relationship between architecture, space and dance, the Sripada Dance Kalari in Ramanathapuram, Palakkad, Kerala is devoted to the learning and practice of dance and its related art forms. The whole idea is to create is a stage, a learning space, worthy of the strong passion that the client and her students, and dancers across the world, have nurtured for the art; a space that resonates with raw energy and pays homage to the traditional architecture of Kerala, as well as reflects the tenets of the Natya Shastra. On approach, the entry to the Sripada Dance Kalari is marked with a rather inconspicuous entrance gate. A changing room placed close to the entry enables students to change into their dance costumes before they descend down the site, to the dance



The way the architect has imbibed the tenets of the Natya Shastra into the construction process is a symbolic revival of sacred, ancient traditions.



The stone dharmachakra and the prayer lamps at the entrace to the dance hall. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The Kalari stands harmoniously, complemented by nature.

The performance area as viewed from the stone dharmachakra. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The pebbled court leading to the practice stage. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The practice hall, with ample natural light and ventilation.

The musicians’ area. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Dedicated to dance, the Kalari is graceful and rhythmic in its look and feel.

hall. The entry to the dance hall is marked with stone lamps, like those at temples, symbolising that the space within is sacred and to be treated with utmost respect. A practice stage is also created in front of the kalari which is actually the foundation of a dilapidated house which was existing in the site.The foundations have been strengthened and restored so that it retains potential for future additions. On entering the structure, a small pebbled court leads to the practice hall. Three small courtyards within the hall as well as a central skylight bring in ample natural light and ventilation; changes in the amount of sunlight create various patterns of light and shade, setting a totally different mood for every performance. The design thus incorporates eco-sensitivity, wherein one can relate to the elements of nature, such as the sun, the rain and the wind that carries the fragrance of the flowering trees in the periphery. More than just a learning space, the Kalari (literally ‘a space for learning’ in Malayalam) is intended to be a space for ‘self-discovery’, which is one of the essential qualities for a ‘complete’ artiste. Though the design draws inspiration from the traditional architecture of Kerala, it retains a contemporary flavour. The architect elaborates, “As per the Indian concept, a temple represents the human body and is considered to be ‘living’. The ‘Koothambalam’, or the temple theatre, of all Kerala temples is designed following this concept. Thus, the Kalari is an attempt in the modern times to create such a contemporary temple for the practice of Dance.” Traditionally, the ‘Koothambalams’ of temples are designed adhering to the tenets of the Natya Shastra. Similarly, the design of the Kalari

too followed the same; music was played when the foundation stone was laid, Tanjore craftsmen crafted the Dharma Chakra or the wheel of knowledge in the lintel stone, and a mural artist from Guruvayoor added murals on all four cardinal directions as prescribed in the texts. Trees too were planted as per traditional norms. Furthering the symbolism, a copper ‘sripada’ has been fixed onto the floor in the eastern part of the site. Similarly, the use of basic yet sustainable materials like brick, stone, bamboo and terracotta tiles adds to the contextual flavour of the architecture. However, modern lighting, signage etc. add to the vibrant contemporary ambience of the Kalari. One might say the architecture is rather usual; the structure blends into the Kerala skyline, since its building materials and methods are very local in their vocabulary. However, what is unusual is the execution; the way the architect has imbibed the tenets of the Natya Shastra into the construction process is a symbolic revival of sacred, ancient traditions. The effortlessness of the contemporary yet purpose-driven space reflects the highest reverence for the art form even in the architecture. FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design Team Client Structural Design Murals Civil Contractors

: Sripada Dance Kalari : Palakkad, Kerala : Vinod Kumar MM, dd architects : Sushil, Irfan, Niji Nataraj : Methil Devika : Santosh VV : Prabeesh : Jayan, Girish, Ravi, Robin Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


An Inventory of Vanished Treasures The Muziris Heritage Project in Kerala by Vedika Architects understands the need to conserve, enhance and interpret the cultural significance of the ancient landscape of the port-city of Muziris and prepares it to, not only, adapt to a modern setting, but also contribute significantly to the aspirations that accompany it. Text: Shalmali Wagle Images & Drawings: courtesy Vedika Architects


magine a time back in the early ages, when mankind was only just beginning to discover what the world and his existence meant. Imagine a sumptuous sliver of land intertwined with water bodies opening into the voluminous spumes of the Arabian Sea. Imagine a dominant port swarming with cargo vessels of the ancient world and unrestricted access to markets in Rome, Greece, China and Persia. Imagine a peaceful nucleus for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and an aromatic amalgamation of such diverse world cultures… and then imagine this and much more, vanishing noiselessly, without a warning, sign or trail, swallowed by the tortuous sands of time! Kerala has a history that goes back several millennia, tracing its mythical origins to the supreme Hindu Gods. In the Ramayana, Muziris is fondly called Murachipattanam; in his characteristic flight of romance, Kalidasa meditates on Murachi’s pepper vine, cardamom and outlandish damsels and in Sangam literature, Muziris becomes Muchiri, and later Muyirikkode. A more tangible perspective sees Muziris as an affluent port-city of the 1 st Century BC where the ancient mariners anchored. Among the earliest of its kind in the world, it was a place of prosperity, of craft and architecture and of abundant opportunities in trade and commerce.

a modern setting with a modern outlook, becoming a vitrine of Kerala’s history, architecture, trade, crafts and living traditions… Realizing the potential impact of a legacy and opportunity as valuable as this, Chennai-based Vedika Architects initiate an ambitious ‘Muziris Heritage Project’ in Pattanam and its surrounding areas to salvage a large number of monuments and propose a development plan for the region. The idea is to create awareness and restore the identity of valuable beginnings, in the form of a living-exhibit of 2000 years of its historic culture, to a still-evolving modern society.

The Tabula Peutingeriana or Peutingericm Tables, 4th century AD depicting Muziris as a significant port.

However, disaster struck in 1341, when the profile of the water bodies in the Periyar River basin, on the Malabar Coast in Kerala underwent a major transformation. The prosperous port-city suddenly dropped off the map, due to a flood or an earthquake, or possibly both; it was silted over and its site, left to conjecture. Muziris had disappeared and where once relentless activity bustled, now napped an unassuming humble village, Pattanam, thirty kilometres to the north of Kochi. Now, imagine the possibilities that lie behind this land of opportunities. Imagine the city and its environs waking up once again to a new world. Imagine a well-conserved heritage site, in Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

The plan of Cranganor Fort, 1709.



The Muziris Heritage Project, in its context, establishes an extraordinary example of how historic monuments, archaeological remnants and natural landscape together collaborate to illustrate a significant stage in human history, bearing testimony to its fast-disappearing culture and tradition.

Illustrations of Kodungallur, 1672.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The overall scheme of the development includes the conservation of the built-heritage in the area, the regeneration of the canals as networks of waterways, water-front development, refurbishment of the public squares and interaction zones and tourism-enhancing facilities like pavilions and boat jetties.

The natural setting.

Vocational traditions.

Customs and culture.

Architectural heritage.

Local practices.

Techniques and skills.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Nestled on the northern shore of a pleasant branch of the Periyar River, the Muziris Heritage Site stretches across the two municipalities of North Paravur in the Ernakulam District and Kodungallur in the Thrissur District. It includes four Panchayats in the Ernakulam District, namely Chendamangalam, Chittatikura, Vadakekkara, Pallippuram, and two in the Thrissur District, namely Azhikode and Methala. The archaeological excavations in these areas have unearthed signs of early trade and commerce that have, in turn, unveiled a wealth of information not only on the port, but also on its hinterland, the entire Periyar Basin, and the historic towns of Kodungallur, Pattanam and Paravur. The Muziris Heritage Project, in its context, establishes an extraordinary example of how historic monuments, archaeological remnants and natural landscape together collaborate to illustrate a significant stage in human history, bearing testimony to its fast-disappearing culture and tradition.

of importance. While these physical entities create a unique unparalleled ensemble, intangible associations and traditions form the essence of the Muziris experience. The culture of worship, teaching, fishing and bathing is several thousand years old in the region, its value only increasing with time. The design proposal draws inspiration from these tangible and intangible elements and links them to cater to modern aspirations of tourism and community space, evolving in the process. Pattanam and its immediate environs are under great pressure of development and changes, the sustainability of the monuments and landscape in the vicinity at a continuous threat. The National Highway 17 cuts across the landscape; it is positioned for widening, placing many old buildings under threat of demolition. The Muziris Heritage Project is envisioned on the basis of the need to conserve, enhance and interpret the cultural significance of the landscape employing universal values of heritage conservation. The proposal aims to foster pride, awareness and understanding of the cultural distinctiveness and diversity of the ancient port-city, conserving its assets, their values and significance for the future. Promoted as a sustainable site, the project engages the residents and their skill to sustain, while making it accessible and pleasurable to all. It celebrates the ancient atmosphere by integrating heritage matters with educational programmes and popular tourism with heritage management.

The Project evolves from the inherent natural environment of its context. The architectural inheritance comprises of numerous notable buildings from the 18 th and 19 th centuries scattered arbitrarily. The surviving elements include not only buildings like temples, forts, houses and palaces, but also the markets, streets and footways, bridges and cemeteries. A network of waterways influence and inspire the growth of the architecture and the built-heritage, with beautifully incorporated panoramic views and a smooth flow of linkages between the elements






7 6 13 5

14 1. North Paravur 2. Patanam Escavation Site 3. Kottayil Kovilakom 4. Palim 5. Gothuruth 6. Kottapuram Fort/Market 7. Cheraman Parambu 8. Keelthazhi Siva Temple 9. Thiruvanchikulam Temple 10. Cheraman Juma Masjid 11. Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple 12. Abdul Rahman Sahib’s House 13. Azhikode Marthoma Church 14. Pallipuram 15. Sahodaran Ayyappan Smarakam

4 3 2 15 1


Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



The Kottapuram Market.

The Chendamangalam Synagogue.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

The relationship between the shops and the streets.

Sreekrishna Temple Kotayil Kovilokam.


The Palliam Ducth Palace.


The Paliam Nalakettu.

The Conservation Development Plan of the project is a ‘process-oriented plan’ with substantial inputs from multi-disciplinary stake-holders. This includes the involvement of representatives such as architects, planners, historians, social scientists, educationists, ‘panchayat’ members, trustees, religious authorities as well as the public. The overall scheme of the development includes the conservation of the built-heritage in the area, the regeneration of the canals as networks of waterways, water-front development, refurbishment of the public squares and interaction zones and tourism-enhancing facilities like pavilions and boat jetties. The new development compliments the existing, respects the significance of the site and is appropriate to the historic and the architectural context. Sustainable transport aids the conservation of the character, employing pedestrian and cycling-routes to reduce the conflict between vehicles and pedestrians. The redundant jetties, foot bridges and other water spaces are managed and re-used in a way that respects their significance and utilises their potential. It is hoped that the proposal will help guide the future of the site, unlocking the potential of its buildings, monuments, public realm and context, through the education and delight of its residents, workers, visitors and tourists, without altering the principal purposes of the involved monuments and buildings. Besides repairing the damaged buildings, finding alternate uses and reviving the original character of the place, the scheme also incorporates basic amenities like public toilets, drinking water, street lighting and storm water drainage and additional facilities like shops, cafes and restaurants, internet kiosks and banks and ATMs.

The Paravur Synagogue.

The interior of the Paravur Synagogue.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



CHURCH SQUARE DEVELOPMENT Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



A SKETCH OF THE MARKET STREETS Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



Development of the water’s edge.


Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Green buffers between the public spaces and the circulation.


SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT COMPRISING OF BOAT-TAXIS AND JETTIES 1. Pattanam 2. Paravur North (Market – Synagogue) 3. Kottayil Kovilakom (Chendamangalam) 4. Krishna Temple – Paliam 5. Boat Club – Gothuruthu 6. Gothuruthu Cheria Palli 7. Kottapuram Fort 8. Kottapuram Market 9. Thiruvenchikulam Temple (Kodungallur) 10. Pularchakallu 11. VK Rajan Memorial Park (Kodungallur) 12. Pallipuram Fort 13. Sahodaran Ayyappan 14. Cherai Churches 15. Kottoi Kovilakom (Kodungallur) 16. Reception Site (Kodungallur)

Bounded by water, the project attempts to make the best use of land while protecting natural resources from the minor, but potentially detrimental effects of development in the area. The public spaces not only provide an economic value but introduce a social dimension, besides maintaining the natural bio-diversity of the region when combined with the waterfronts.

15 11

9 8


Water-dependent uses like recreational fishing and boating find ways to balance themselves along the water’s edge and channels. The transportation comprises of a combination of an organised network of pedestrian and bicycle tracks and a network of waterways with boat-taxis. The existing old Boat Jetty building on the site is adapted to perform as an information centre and a ticketing counter. The introduced Boat Jetty has shops and interactive waiting-areas treated with natural green to form points of pause.

10 7 5

4 12 3 13





The once ambiguous field of architectural conservation is now an extremely disputed discipline. The protagonists are no longer merely uninformed professionals fighting over philosophical values, but the ‘awakened’ masses which now believe that they have a pivotal role in determining the fate of historic monuments. Between them is an array of politicians, bureaucrats and activists, each with freshly discovered opinions and elemental knowledge on the issue. Though the methods adopted vary from mediated design solutions to protests and processions, the issues sought remain the same: what to conserve, or what not to conserve, of the existing architectural heritage and how to go about the restoration process itself. The Muziris Heritage Project does not seek to preserve the past while valourising it or by succumbing to blind revivalism, but instead cautiously resuscitates its inherent value by awakening its memory by embracing contemporary agendas. With this, it strives to mediate the future, one that is born of the past but is not trapped within it.


A network of waterways with panoramic views and linkages between the elements.

Project Location Architect Client

: : : :

Muziris Heritage Project Kerala Vedika Architects The Government of Kerala Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


STRIKING A BALANCE GROUNDWORK ARCHITECTURE, AHMEDABAD Established in January 2010 by Brijesh Bhatha, Groundwork Architecture is guided by a vision that all projects are unique in their programmatic requirements, but demand similar design attention and process to arrive at a logical design conclusion; it strongly believes that, in addition to a good design, a collaborative approach with the client, consultants and contractors is the key to delivering great architectural projects. Text: Sharmila Chakravorty | Images & Drawings: courtesy Groundwork Architecture

Gently weaving together private and living areas, Groundwork Architecture’s Dushyant Pandya Residence is a confluence of functionality and aesthetics.


ocated in an idyllic neighbourhood in Rambag, the Dushyant Pandya Residence is a house that has a special focus on the livings areas, while having functional private areas as well. The design translates into a house with four bedrooms along with various living areas; formal living, family living, home theatre room, dining, kitchen and a study lounge. The 22,900sqft plot has a vast green cover and a majority of the buildings in vicinity are built with exposed brick and concrete façades. Considerably deep in comparison to its narrow width, the plot provided limited options for the building to occupy the site positively, without being too linear. Thus, the concept of the courtyard open on one side emerged, to create a private family open space and also offset the linearity of the building. An exposed concrete wall with a large circular opening is skewed to create the entry; the circular opening gives the entrance foyer a sense of openness, yet defines the entrance space. One enters the house through a foyer with an open-to-sky sculpture court on the left, flanked on one side with the staircase, and the main spine of the house, the corridor leading to the interior spaces. Inside, the design spatially segregates the private and the semi-private areas by placing the bedrooms on the first floor and the living Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

areas on the ground floor. The formal drawing room, placed close to the entry foyer, ensures the privacy of the other family areas. The informal living room juts out of the main corridor leading to the inner areas. Flanked on both sides with landscaped open areas – the west has an expansive manicured lawn with a gazebo at the end, while the east has a paved, open courtyard with a water feature – the living room affords spectacular views. The corridor contines further, with the pooja room on the left and an entertainment room on the right. Beyond this, the corridor opens into a dining area with the kitchen on one side. The dining area overlooks the paved courtyard, with large windows visually connecting the interior to the outdoors. The corridor also has a service door that leads to the paved court, turns around the court and leads to the guest bedrooms. The guest bedrooms in turn open out into private balconies that overlook the manicured garden. The architects explain, “The paved courtyard, though outdoors, is a very important living area, well integrated with the other family areas of the house, both visually as well as physically. It becomes a natural extension of the interiors. The terrace overlooking the courtyard is stepped in a way to bring in more sunlight through the day from the south into the courtyard and also create a relaxed



View of the entrance.

The entrance foyer. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The rugged façade of the building is also gently offset by these green, manicured lawns and courts.


17 16 18



11 10 5




1. Entrance Gate 2. Dog Kennel 3. Parking 4. Bamboo Screen 5. Entrance Porch 6. Lily Pool 7. Lawns 8. Mounds 9. Gazebo 10. Sculpture Court 11. Walkway 12. Courtyard 13. Water Feature 14. Splash Pool 15. Pump Room 16. Bedroom Court 17. Servant Quarter 18. Service Entrance


8 9

2 1





21 23







16 18 25



14 17



7 12

10 8 11



Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013










1. Entrance Porch 12’3”x12’10” 2. Vestibule 14’1”x10’6” 3. Formal Living 18’2”x13’6” 4. Powder Room 8’1”x5’0” 5. Common Toilet 6’0”x5’0” 6. Light Court 5’4”x8’5” 7. Pooja 13’8”x6’8” 8. Family Living 25’8”x16’6” 9. Patio 21’1”x12’11” 10. Hand Wash 5’0”x6’8” 11. Garden Store 5’11”x12’6” 12. Multimedia Room 14’6”x15’0” 13. Kitchen 14’6”x16’6” 14. Kitchen Store 9’7”x7’0” 15. Service Area 10’4”x9’7” 16. Service Entry 8’5”x8’8” 17. Dining 18’2”x16’6” 18. Guest Bedroom 12’6”x16’0” 19. Verandah 12’6”x6’0” 20. Dress + Toilet 7’0”x16’0” 21. Light Court 14’9”x4’11” 22. Gym 12’6”x21’3” 23. Dress & Toilet 7’0”x16’0” 24. Verandah 12’6”x6’1” 25. Verandah 5’6”x6’10”







30 void

29 dn


28 27




26. Master Bedroom 18’2”x13’6” 27. Dress 1 14’6”x10’11” 28. Toilet 14’1”x8’5” 29. Dress 2 14’6”x7’7” 30. Store 10’9”x7’4” 31. Study 15’3”x16’6” 32. Terrace 12’11”x22’7” 33. Service Terrace 12’4”x17’4” 34. Daughter’s Bedroom 12’6”x16’0” 35. Dress + Toilet 7’0”x16’0” 36. Balcony 12’6”x5’10” 37. Daughter’s Bedroom 12’6”x16’0” 38. Dress + Toilet 7’0”x16’0” 39. Balcony 12’6”x5’10” 40. Balcony 5’6”x6’10”



West faรงade at night.

Living room verandah opening into the courtyard.

Living room verandah opening into a private courtyard.

Night view from the front lawns.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The expansive courtyard.

West Faรงade from the front lawns. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Sculpture court from staricase.

Corridor axis.

scale. The terrace on the first floor becomes a natural extension of the courtyard at the first floor level, which is accentuated by the use of same flooring in both areas.” The staircase leading to the bedroom zone overlooks the sculpted court at the entrance, with the folded plates of its treads, cantilevered from a central exposed RCC wall. A long corridor connects the bedrooms; the master bedroom at one end affords expansive views of the lawn. Further down the corridor, a study area sits opposite an open terrace, with the paved courtyard below. The bedrooms for the two daughters are at the other end of the corridor. These bedrooms have their private balconies looking out onto a manicured garden. The minimally designed building has a rugged exposed brick and concrete structure with large opening on the northern side, and the smaller ones on the south. Openings on the east and the west are designed to reduce direct sunlight inside the house. Similarly, louvres are used for ventilation, while fixed glass brings in views. The polished ‘kotah’ stone floor against the sparing use of wooden flooring in certain areas provides a warm ‘homely’ feel, contrasting with the rough façade. The house is simple, devoid of any pretentiousness, while aptly balancing openness and privacy. The design warrants numerous

views of the courtyards and gardens, blurring the boundaries between the interiors and the outdoors. The rugged façade of the building is also gently offset by these green, manicured lawns and courts. Providing abundant natural light, ventilation and views owing to the orientation, the design makes good use of the spacious site it sits on.

FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design Team Client Landscape Structure Electrical Plumbing Built-up Area Contractor Project Duration

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

Dushyant Pandya Residence Rambag, Ahmedabad Groundwork Architecture Brijesh Bhatha, Kushal Modi Dushyant and Pranali Pandya Design Module Bhoomi Consultants Apoorva Parikh NK Shah & Associates 11,000sqft Piyush Modi September 2010 to July 2012

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



With brief but perceptive glimpses into significant architectural milestones over centuries, ‘Architecture - Conceptual to the Manifest’ by Kulbhushan Jain investigates the essential concepts in design that have, time and again, proven their pertinent intrinsic value and hence governed architectural manifestations.


rchitecture - Conceptual to the Manifest’ by Kulbhushan Jain proposes a simple hypothesis. Architecture has an inherent tendency to continuously reincarnate, either consciously or otherwise, values that have always been kernel to it, despite intentional radicalism or occasional unwarranted drifting. These values are not merely stylistic expressions of a particular period or the fancied philosophies of erratic imagination, but vital and timeless relationships between elements which provide meaning to architecture, and will continue to do so irrespective of time and context. In contemporary times, the parameters and principles in design are getting more and more complex and the manifest expressions are in a constant state of evolution. However, despite such dramatic changes, the inherent ‘manifestation of conceptualisation’ relates to the initial essence, both, in terms of intent and premise and the vital aspects continue to be addressed, though in their own age and context. The indication is that architecture, more often than not, has one prominent theme or idea that its conception revolves around. The book attempts to identify such themes that, over the years, have come to occupy significant positions in the Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

development of architectural expressions. The relation made is direct and the technique employed straight-forward; the most fitting of examples are filtered from history, starting as early as the 2 nd century BC, and their relevance and imprint explored in the contemporary scenario. Using examples of milestones in the history of world architecture and the beliefs of eminent people who have shaped it considerably, the book supports its assertion and perceives the process of conceptualising as one that is universal and free of specific temporal boundaries, one that despite changes in its philosophical content has remained unaltered in its basic premise. Through a review of this inventory, the book deciphers that the general discourse in design has always been, and will always be, concerned with different conceptual positions. Architecture that has successfully accomplished itself demonstrates that the presence of oppositions, of divergent positions of equivalent relevance, indicates the pluralism that modern society represents. The evidence of the argument, consequently, lies in the fact that conventionality seems to have its roots in feudal attitudes, whereas aesthetic sensibilities, no matter how evolved over time, reflect the democratic expectations of the respective day and age.

book review



The Extension to the National Gallery, London: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

The Pyramid at Louvre: I.M.Pei.


The Pradakshina Path at Buddhist Stupa, Sanchi.

There are thousands of students in India and several hundred thousand across the world; even if a fraction of them can benefit from this book, I would consider my effort worthwhile... Slowly, but surely, the effects could be seen in the recognition of these values. Conceptualisation could move, to a great extent, beyond functionalism without distorting or discarding it.

The Guggenheim Museum: Frank Lloyd Wright.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013



The Court of Lions at the Alhambra Fort.

Participatory Facades

The Pompidou Centre: Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.


The Barcelona Pavilion: Mies van der Rohe.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal: Charles Correa.



The Church of Light: Tadao Ando.

The Ronchamp Chapel: Le Corbusier.


The Trans World Airlines Terminal at the Kennedy Airport, New York: Eero Saarinen.

The National Library, Paris: Henri Labrouste

The book signifies a spirit of commemoration, introspection and a quest for the imminent. The intrinsic intention lies beyond the claim of a new discovery or the documentation of the trends in style or architectural philosophy. The idea is to establish the universal meaning and importance of the aspects of architecture that continue to retain their value over time, with concepts being built around them, and outlining the techniques of employment and the corresponding behaviour of space in response. The book maintains that the manifestations may be innumerable, but emphasizes that so are the possibilities and anticipates more meaningful conceptual and manifest frameworks through this understanding. It does not venture into a polemic critique on failures and marvels, nor does it attempt towards arriving at a judgement in terms of contribution to architectural evolution;

it only humbly documents ideas which have been addressed in certain ways over the years and records their position with respect to advances in technology and programmatic expectations. It proposes an idea, supports it with a sturdy premise and then leaves it open to interpretation and informed addition. FACT FILE: Book Author Published By Language ISBN Images Reviewed By

: : : : : : :

Architecture - Conceptual To The Manifest Kulbhushan Jain AADI (Art Architecture Design India) Centre English 978-81-908528-1-4 Scans from the book Shalmali Wagle Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Earth to Earth Collaborative Craft-Design Processes

A recent workshop organised by DICRC, CEPT in collaboration with Hunnarshala Foundation focussed on the potential of ‘earth’ as an alternative building material in order to understand and improvise on the technique and portray the craft in better light. Text: Rishav Jain, Interior Architect & Researcher Images: courtesy Design Innovation Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University


he built landscape of India, with the background of a rich ancient craft tradition, has been an interesting panorama of people, culture, religion and social values, all deeply rooted in tradition. As we progress, the beliefs in tradition change, as do the living patterns and lifestyles; and it becomes necessary to re-evaluate and reposition them. Craft traditions of India are in constant flux where the invaluable skills of craftspeople have been in advocacy in the recent technological advancements. There often arises a need to look at these in a fresh manner, which negates them being traditional and related to the past. The traditional craft techniques being practiced over centuries require a newer perspective which will aim to re-integrate them with the present building trade. There has been extensive usage of four natural materials for building: earth, grass, wood and stone. Each material has offered varied expressions to various built forms. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Earth (mud), has been one of the prime materials of building construction over a period of centuries and has been explored in different techniques with most basic tools. With the advancement in the new building materials and newer modes of construction, this natural material is often sidelined for various reasons. There are various types of crafts (Space Making Crafts [SMCs] and Space Surface Craft [SSCs]) evolved relating to this material and have found varied applications in interior architecture. The antiquity of such SMCs and SSCs, in regions like Gujarat and Rajasthan is immense, and till today huge craft communities depend on this craft for their survival. The mud houses found all across Kutch in Gujarat are a witness to the long lasting tradition of mud construction. Addressing a similar need, Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, recently envisaged a 10-day-long workshop which addressed critical issues relevant



The idea of learning while doing, where craftspeople and designers worked together in groups, exploring the material: participants exploring the Rammed Earth technique.

to various techniques in earth craft. The core idea was to initiate collaborative craft and design processes along with a focus on experimentation and innovation with the existing community of crafts.

Apart from this, different facilitators from CEPT University and Hunnarshala Foundation were part of this workshop to develop design brief and facilitate discussions and craft-design guidance for the participants.

The workshop focussed on different types of techniques used in earth-craft covering terracotta, ceramics, clay and mud as the prime focus of exploration. The workshop was a collaborative effort between DICRC, Ahmedabad and Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj and was largely divided into two major components. The initial part, at CEPT University, dealt with input sessions, material understanding, site visits, institution and design studio visit, brainstorming and design-thinking sessions. The latter part of the workshop, at Hunnarshala Foundation, dealt with material and technique explorations, hands-on sessions, visit to villages in Kutch, craft design innovation and prototype development.

The earth-craft techniques are mastered by local craftsperson over a period of years. The techniques themselves are embedded with the inherent empirical knowledge and hence they need to be looked not only through a ‘tactile-oriented’ perspective but through larger associations. In the current time, it is important to understand the traditional skills of the craft as well as the new technological innovations within the building industry. DICRC realises the significance of traditional tools and craft techniques and wishes to revive them and re-engage them with the present day needs. In the workshop, the initial part focussed on exposure sessions and the latter part was dedicated on exploring the material by working with hands.

The workshop aimed at collaborative craft design process and envisioned to give a platform for craftspeople and designers to work together. It comprised of 28 national and international design participants (architects, interior designers, interaction designers, researchers, post graduate and undergraduate students, interns), 30 master-craftspeople from various villages of kutch having in depth knowledge of the techniques related to the craft and 27 young craft-students from Karigarshala at Hunnarshala.

To give an ample exposure to the participants, the input sessions were delivered by various professionals and experts like Jignesh Trivedi and G.G. Trivedi (Somany Tile Industry, Kalol), Swagata S. Naidu (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) Parul Shah (Maati, Ahmedabad) Snehal Kashikar (ceramic expert, Ahmedabad), Avni Varia (Secretary, Aadhar, Ahmedbad), Priyanka Mangaonkar (interior architect, Mumbai) etc. The site visits to Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Participants exploring the Wattle and Daub technique.

Master craftspeople from Kutch preparing the base materials for mud mirror work commonly known as ‘Lippan Work’.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


A master craftswomen and a design participant working together on a mud mural.

The Design Thinking Workshop sensitising the designers and craftspeople towards finer aspects of design thinking and its impact on craft processes.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Hodko Village settlement in Banni, Shaam-e-Sarhad in Banni, Somany Tile Industry in Kalol, National Institute of Design, Azadnagar Sarkhej Potters clusters in Ahmedabad, Maati and Platypus Design Lab were undertaken during the workshop for larger understanding of material. To sensitise participants towards finer aspects of design, the design-thinking workshop by Prof. M. P. Ranjan (Design Chair, DICRC) and Prof. Kireet Patel (Faculty of Design, CEPT University) proved helpful in imagining creative possibilities of explorations in earth craft.

A participant working towards the final prototype.

Teams working towards the development of concepts into full-scale prototypes. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

At Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj the participants explored all the major techniques in earth-craft: Rammed Earth which involves ramming of mud and can be made stabilised and unstabilised basing on the composition of raw materials; Adobe technique includes making earth blocks using composition of clay, sand and water; Wattle and Daub uses bamboo and other raw wooden logs and pieces gathered from the fields later plastered with mud; Mud Plaster and Murals & Frescoes consists of surface embellishments and final touches given to the wall. The participants were divided into groups, each group consisting of 2-3 design participants, 2 master craftspeople and 2-3 craft students. Each of them explored in detail the techniques that were extensively demonstrated by the master craftspeople and technical experts at Hunnarshala. Jasreet Kaur, a design participant remarks, “In traditional practices, knowledge and practice are often in harmony with aesthetic and function, physical and ideological purpose, economic and ecological decisions. The true method of working can be experienced on the site only.� Such workshops open up newer opportunities and avenues. An exposure of this magnitude enables


The design participants and craft participants working together on the prototypes.

an individual to be one with the material and understand and explore the possibilities it has to offer. Going beyond the everyday studio method of working and designing, being in the place surrounded by the artisans, enables one to not only understand the strength and weakness of the material and technique, but also various other factors such as time requirement, local terminology, etc. that affects the process and procedure. The core intention of such workshops is to develop “innovation through craft” and “innovation in craft” by means of collaborative craft-design processes with an in-depth knowledge of craft techniques. The participants worked together as a group on the specific design brief dealing with interior architecture applications. Six prototypes were developed during the workshop showing the amalgamation of the craft knowledge and design thinking. These prototypes ranged from a small house to a modular system arch focussing on Wattle and Daub technique; an outdoor seating element and inbuilt furniture on a curved wall from Adobe technique and two groups working on Rammed Earth technique developed a walling element and a tea kiosk. Sakthi Bhuvaneswari, a design participant, shares her experience while working on the prototypes, “When we started with a thought to work with the rammed earth installation, there where choices of context, material, practical constraints, function and need. But what unfolded with the materials, and thereby changing the design happened when the mind worked and the hands thought.” The idea of working with the artisans at their place creates a natural environment for the artisan to impart knowledge and at the same time is easier for the design participants to learn from

The finer aspects of material properties were understood while working with the material.

Making the curvilinear wall using the Adobe technique was a tough job. A new separate mould was made to obtain the shape. Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


A seating element with curvilinear exploration of the wall surface using Adobe construction technique.

Walling element made using stabilised and unstabilised properties of material with Rammed Earth technique.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


An outdoor seating element with shade on top made using Adobe construction technique.

A tea kiosk used Rammed Earth technique for the basic form, while the shade on top is made with bamboo slates and hollow bamboo sections which are wrapped with jute soaked in mud.

A small house made using the Wattle and Daub technique.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The team with their prototype, made exploring Wattle and Daub technique.

An arch made using modular system with Wattle and Daub technique.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The entire team of SMC Earth Workshop at Hunnarshala.

it. The oral transmission of knowledge has a direct influence on the people involved and creates larger and deeper impressions. Though the formal education gives a comprehensive knowledge about the material properties theoretically, but that still remains insufficient as compared to the knowledge of an artisan who grows up with the material understanding its behaviour while working on it in their daily routine. The workshop summed up at Hunnarshala with distribution of certificates and later at CEPT University, an exhibition was organised to conclude the event. Simrandeep Saini, a design participant aptly says, “Collaboratively exploring for a period of ten days brought with itself an enthralling experience that can be garnered for a lifetime. The end of the workshop could be seen as a beginning towards taking the explorations reflecting upon the experiences during the workshop.� These workshops become the operative end of the larger activities at DICRC engaging individual craft clusters. The workshops aim to work with existing skills and processes, creating new opportunities and possibilities at all levels. Apart from this, the intent is also to nurture within the younger generations the value of the hand skills and build in them the confidence to deal with new ideas. For the design field including the students, the professionals and experts from various professions, a sensitivity to craft shaping a humane and analytical design process becomes the focus. The experience and transfer of knowledge that happens by working together enhances the learning processes. The embedded

inheritance about the craft, its techniques, its larger possibilities of exploration and innovation expand considerably. Such craft design collaborative models not only instigate critical thinking but also sensitise an individual about a huge number of tangible and intangible core concepts which remain unattended most of the times. Through these kind of collaborative hands-on workshops with designers, craftspeople, professionals and students, innovative craft-design outputs are generated, which are fed into craft and design practices, initiating a fresh thinking process along with association and affection with hand skills.

FACT FILE: Project : Institution : Head of Research, DICRC : Project Lead DICRC : Project Team DICRC : Technical Experts, Hunnarshala : Initiation : Completion : Documentation Team, DICRC : Editorial :

Space Making (Earth) Craft Workshop Design Innovation Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, Ahmedabad and Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj, Kutch Prof. Jay Thakkar; Managing Director Hunnarshala: Kiran Vaghela Rishav Jain Manushi Mathur, Avni Varia, Snehal Kashikar, Yatin Mistry Mukesh Tank, Hemant Dhudiya, Jignesh Gor, Priyanka Rustagi 20 th December 2012 29 th December 2012 (followed by exhibition) Radhika Pandit, Debasish Borah Rishav Jain Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Spontaneous Urbanism Torre David and its Informal Environs

Spread from the book: Torre David.

In a recent book by Urban-Think Tank and Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich, a remarkable study unravels the amazing Torre David – an incomplete office tower in Caracas informally occupied by people. Iwan Baan’s photographs capture the vibrant and surprisingly resourceful life of the residents. Text: Ruturaj Parikh Data: courtesy Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) | Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich (ETH Chair) Images: courtesy Iwan Baan


o evaluate how progressive our cities are, we must first look at the way they treat the less privileged. Modern cities are planned to be too exclusive. The cities of ‘developing countries’, in a race to attract investment, are built on capital that is impatient and unstable. In order to mimic the exclusive cities of the developed world, we have ignored the fact that our cities need to be truly inclusive. The slums and informal settlements that make up most of our urban fabric are pools of human resource and skill as against their common perception. The issues faced by modern cities in a developing world arise primarily from the perception that we do not have to imagine informality when we imagine the future. This results in an urban fabric of extremes - precariously balanced on human enterprise. This is what the cities of Mumbai, Caracas, Medellin, io de Janeiro, Cairo and many of developing nations decline to address – the idea of inclusive urbanism.


Caracas in Venezuela is a city of conflicts: In the past four decades, it has passed through phases of spontaneous development, stability, chaos, political upheaval, unrest, economic surge and meltdown. The ‘Barrios’ that occupy the hills surrounding the formal city of Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

Cover: the Lars Muller Book.

Caracas represent a dense, informal development that stands in stark contrast to the formal city, with visible lines of separation. The failed utopia of the 23 de Enro housing of 1958 reflects in the organic occupancy of the Barrios that surround it. The skyscrapers of the city are visible as a distant, alien alternative. Commissioned by David Brillembourg – a prominent developer of the 80s in Venezuela, the Torre David was imagined to be a sleek mixed-use commercial tower. After the economic meltdown in the 1990s and the subsequent death of Brillembourg, the Torre David was vacant for almost 13 years! A storm and subsequent flooding of the Barrios in 2007 made the informal residents of Caracas to take shelter in this multi-storeyed structure. Since 2007, the Torre David is systematically, incrementally and informally occupied by its residents. There is significant order in the apparent chaos. A recently published book by Lars Muller presents the research and proposal of the Urban-Think Tank and Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich and brings to light Torre David’s amazing occupancy system, while the photographs



The Torre David - occupied by the informal.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013






353.8 M2


50.4 M2


101.3 M2


48.3 M2


22.3 M2


252.7 M2 3


45.4 M2




1101.7 M2

7 1

5 2



8 9







of Iwan Baan show the empathetic life the tower supports – the element of human occupancy.






2 4

TORRE DAVID: THE PROGRAM WITHIN Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Multiple systems of exchange, activity, circulation, interaction and engagement of the occupants with the structure are revealed in a documentation that looks at organisation of space within and around. Surprisingly, the tower affords spaces for residence, public gathering, sports, shops and services, a church, a gym and many accidental spaces adapted for collective living. The stark structure affords many possibilities on one hand, while being very unsafe on the other – especially for the children and the elderly. Owing to the lack of walls or railings, edge walls, façade faces and architectural details, the structure is secured by the residents partially by erecting walls and resolving edge conditions. The collage of interventions almost de-structures the rigidity and discipline of the space within. Individuality and a need to restore identity by the occupants have ensured that each occupied floor is unique. Iwan’s photographs reveal great amount of personalisation of space with vibrant private and intimate spaces. The residents of tower have organised and formed a cooperative to manage the building. Issues of democratic distribution of services, resolutions of disputes, sharing of resources and habitation are moderated. This makes Torre David even have an idea of micro-governance. The 7th and the 16th floors of the tower were designed for a hotel space. The pipes and service infrastructure planned thus is hacked by the residents to create an effective sanitation systems. ‘Each family is responsible for disposal for their own garbage’, write the researchers.






Approx. 110m2


Approx. 100m2


Approx. 85m2


Approx. 75m2


Approx. 70m2


Approx. 65m2


Approx. 60m2


Approx. 55m2


Approx. 45m2


Approx. 40m2


Approx. 35m2


Approx. 25m2


Approx. 20m2









ELEV. +169.70


ELEV. +165.00


ELEV. +105.00




ELEV. +71.40




ELEV. +52.45


ELEV. +38.00


ELEV. +18.75


ELEV. 0.00




SECTION Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


From within the tower.

A personal space: privacy and hierarchy.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


Moving Into, Moving Around

CIRCULATION DIAGRAM Tower floor circulation Stairs Vehicle access Pedestrian access 1 External mototaxi path to parking Level 44

2 Internal mototaxi path to parking 3 Bus access to underground parking

Level 28 Connection between buildings A and B up to level 17

Parking ramp to level 10

Level 17

Level 6

2 3 1

Spread from the book.

Systems of water and power (supply and distribution) are legalised by the cooperative, thus formalising the mandated system. Torre David presents us with an architectural paradox: it amazes that the accidental, incremental, spontaneous and bizarre occupancy of the tower creates a sustainable community – informally living in the core of the formal city. The tower affords panoramic views of the city and hills as children use the empty floors and corridors to play. The possibilities of retrofitting the building with systems that will enable the residents of Torre David to sustain better and improve the quality of life are a part of the research. Beyond questioning our popular (and capitalist) notions of the metropolis, Torre David poses a philosophical question for formal architecture – what if spontaneous spaces are made possible through intelligent architecture – not informal architecture. In countries like Venezuela and our India, is this not an interesting and untapped urban possibility? Instead of creating a controlled, legal system that horribly backfires (refer to modern ‘slum-rehabilitation’ plans), is it not possible for designers to imagine partially controlled systems that not just accommodate but enhance the potential of the accidental? Torre David represents a planning opportunity – not just as a counterpoint to formal, controlled architecture but to the idea of exclusivity.

The cities of ‘developing countries’, in a race to attract investment, are built on capital that is impatient and unstable. In order to mimic the exclusive cities of the developed world, we have ignored the fact that our cities need to be truly inclusive.

FACT FILE: Institution (s) : Book : Contributors : Publishers : Photographs : ISBN : Editorial :

Urban-Think Tank and Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich Torre David; Informal Vertical Urbanism Alfredo Brellimbourg, Hubert Klumpner, Andres Lepik, Andre Kitagawa, Arno Schlueter, Jimeno. A. Fonseca, Christian Schmid Lars Muller Iwan Baan 978-3-03778-298-9 Ruturaj Parikh Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013


The concrete frame of the planned building.

Negotiations and improvisations: the additions and alterations - personalisation of space.

Indian Architect & Builder - Mar 2013

March 2013: Torre David by Iwan Baan Indian Architect & Building Magazine

The Gym: Torre David photograph by Iwan Baan.

IA&B March 2013  

IA&B March 2013

IA&B March 2013  

IA&B March 2013