F A I L U R E
My mother told me once, that convention would have us believe that failure signiﬁes non-success, defeat, debacle, hopelessness, etc. What convention does not convey however, is that failure is also learning and perfecting; shedding of all that is irrelevant till one is left with only what one needs to meet the desired end. ‘Failure is getting hit on the shin, while trying to ﬁnd one’s way in the dark,’ she had implied, in Bengali. I can accurately summarise my experience in architecture, beginning in 2007, as a steady progression from one debacle to another, hoping to ﬁnd a common cause with the conventions of the world and failing to align myself with any. This compilation of works, arranged in a reverse chronological order, offers a glimpse into my journey through architecture and design. Each project will take you back a little further, offering insight about how I ended up with my current state of design sensibilities and beliefs. reverie नेहा�भ�मनाशोऽि� ��वायो न �व�ते।
(On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure.) 02:40, Shrimad Bhagawad Gita
“The trees can’t grow without the sun in their eyes And we can't live if we're too afraid to die..” Young Men Dead, The Black Angels
I have often felt that drawings and images alone, fall short in projecting the complete scenario, leaving out crucial nuances and intentions behind the design. To avoid that, I've presented in this document, supporting literature, wherever I assumed necessary. I, therefore, apologize for the amount of reading that this portfolio requests. note
Portfolio in fulďŹ lment of Masters in Design (MDes) Graduate Program Application at Harvard GSD
01 - 02
The Farmer That Will Not Be [2016 - ]
03 - 06
Wind Activated Facade [2015 - 2016]
07 - 10
A R Studio [2014 - 2015]
11 - 14
Penthouse 1102 
15 - 17
The Betula Chair 
Artworks and Installations [2012 - ]
19 - 25
Alternatum Praxis - Undergraduate Thesis 
26 - 28
Sustainable Architecture 
29 - 31
MĂ–BI - Museum of Mathematics & Arts 
32 - 34
HIVE - Graduate Student Hostel 
THE FARMER THAT WILL NOT BE.
â€œ..because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know For whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.â€? John Donne
October 2016- September 2017; Completed Timeline & Status LAKA/ Self-Initiated Paper Competition/Paper
What started out as a design competition entry, out of interest, became a year-long study into the current condition of farmers in India as well as a study of world food production scenario (packaged and otherwise). Presently I am developing a research paper into the matter. The tentative draft can be accessed here The competition entry can be found here 01
The LAKA competition brief went something like this: ‘Architecture which is able to respond and adjust dynamically to the current needs and circumstances. A conceptual project of architecture that would be socially engaged and capable of reacting to unpredictable conditions and environmental, natural and social risks. Architectural study should focus on architecture as a key ﬁeld heading towards social revitalization and increased safety and freedom of its users.’ For my entry I researched the decade long issue of drought and farmer suicides in Vidarbha, a region in along the western coast of India. My intention was to work out an architectural intervention to either the primary problem itself or some of complications that lead to the extreme situation. Researching the subject turned out to be a tumble down the rabbit’s hole. I went from reading about the decades old declining situation of the farmers in India to the impending global food shortage. The more I read, the more I got interested in ﬁnding an actual, feasible solution that would curb the plight of farmers in India. Farmers in India range from the technologically advanced, prosperous agriculturist to the drought hit, debt ridden subsistence farmer, trying to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the latter are present in extremely large numbers as compared to the former. Lack of education, primitive farming methods, shortage of water and dependency on monsoons for irrigation, low rural infrastructure, are some of the problems that the Indian farmer is faced with. For a nation that has almost 60 percent of its population involved in agriculture and allied activities, farming accounts for a meagre 17% in the national GDP. It is estimated that by 2050, the world population will hit 9.8 billion, of which 1.5 billion would be in India. And this is what I’d found to be most unsettling. A country where the condition of the farmer has been steadily declining over
the last four decades, will have to, over the next 30 years, continue feeding 15 – 17% of the world’s population. With these inputs in mind, my entry for the competition took the shape of a carefully crafted system that would work by dismantling each of the identiﬁed problems, and endeavor to uplift the farming community as a whole. Much like the blueprint for Metro Rail in India, where a standard model has been replicated in various cities, for my proposal, nicknamed Reudra, I tried developing a scalable template of a system that could be replicated on various sites with site-speciﬁc customisations and would comprise of multiple functions catering to speciﬁc issues related to agriculture. I designed a facility that would consist of an acre of farmable land, solar and wind farms of predeﬁned speciﬁcations, geothermal cooling systems, gray water treatment plant, rainwater harvesting systems, desalination plant, faming mechanisations, and other services. Such a facility would be run by trained farmers, skilled in modern farming technologies as well as organic farming, among other things. I detailed the speciﬁcations of these amenities such that they would sufﬁce to run the facility and farm exactly one acre of land, throughout the year, with surplus water (desalinated and otherwise) and energy that could be used for other purposes. This would assure scalability of the proposal. Detail calculations with assumptions and standards are available in the paper, a link to which has been provided on the cover of this project. However, here, my entry failed to address a key aspect in the competition brief that said, ‘A conceptual project of architecture that would be…capable of reacting to unpredictable conditions...’ What I had done instead was meticulously try to anticipate all issues that could arise and then worked out a solution to negate them. Needless to say, I did not win. But in the end came across a problem, for which I decidedly want to ﬁnd a solution.
And since then I have been at it. In the paper, I have tried to tie in the issues mentioned earlier with other seemingly unrelated problems, in order to reveal how they act for or against the welfare of farmers.
I have also reﬁned the solution that I had originally offered to be more feasible in nature and I intend to keep developing it as and when possible, till I can chalk out the next step research
PRESENTED HERE ARE SOME IMAGES OF THE FACILITY FROM THE ORIGINAL SUBMISSION. THE SITE WAS AT SEA ALONG THE COASTLINES OF THE VIDARBHA REGION
THE FACILITY SHOWN HERE USES STACKED FARMING ARRANGEMENT, WITH MULTIPLE FLOORS OF FARMS INSIDE A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT; THE ORIENTATION OF THE BUILDING ALLOWS FOR MAXIMUM EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT BOTH FOR THE FARM AREA AND SOLAR PANELS; WIND TURBINES ARE ALSO ORIENTEC SUCH THAT ENERGY GENERATION CAN BE OPTIMIZED
THE FARMER THAT WILL NOT BE
January 2015- April 2016; Completed Timeline & Status Darshan Soni, Maharshi Bhattacharya Design Team Before going further, kindly see a video of the project to understand it better, here
A project in commercial Indian architecture is largely a balancing act performed by the architect, in coordination with the client and other stakeholders, who, more often than not, have signiﬁcant say in the construction of a building; and more often than not, the architect is faced with a measure of predicament in their venture to fulﬁl the client’s aspirations as well as to stand true to their ideologies and convictions. The design must needs be, amongst other things, a tasteful cocktail of keeping it singular, modern, economical and utilitarian. Often, this complex endeavour is accomplished by designing an engaging, elevation. However, underlying the cover of this elevation, the rest of the building may sometimes be nothing more than a collection of utilities, built by barely keeping to the national building codes. context 03
The ﬁrst Wind Activated Façade was designed as an independent solution, for a Business Hub (BH), in an up and coming commercial area of Ahmedabad. At the behest of this ﬁrst client, and the afﬁrmation of his close friend, (the second client) the initial design was further reﬁned for another Commercial-Use building (CU), not two kilometres from the ﬁrst site. Because the buildings in consideration were utterly devoid of any noticeable ornamentation, the brief for the facade design in both the projects, stressed the need for an ‘identity’. ‘The facade must captivate the interest of the city, bringing in business as well as stardom.’ The two briefs also shared an intention of ‘dynamicity’. brief For the ﬁrst project (BH), many options were mulled over; Arduino based LED patterns, projection mapping and solar tracking louvre systems were some of the ideas. However, all these iterations, were energy intensive. We looked at novel techniques where motion could be created on a facade, using independently and abundantly, available sources of movement (e.g. wind). We also looked into existing designs for such dynamic facades that did not need any electrical input. After much deliberation, it was decided that we would do a low cost, wind activated facade similar in principle to Ned Kahn’s kinetic-wall. I was tasked with designing the structure and its workings. The back structure remained the same in both the Business Hub and the Commercial Use projects. However, I experienced major setbacks with the panel movement and its durability. From all the mistakes made in the ﬁrst project (BH), I was able to harvest a better solution for the second (CU) and was also able to pursue the enthusiastic second client to think about saving some energy. Here I will describe some of the important aspects of the design. role
WALL VERTICAL BOX SECTION
‘C’ SECTION FIXED TO THE WALL
VERTICAL BOX SECTION FIXED INTO THE ‘C’ SECTION
Essentially, the Wind Activated Facade consists of a structure - a vertical grid in steel ﬁxed along the front face (or side of the building facing strong perennial winds) - on which Aluminium panels are hung such that they possess exactly one degree of freedom (pitches around the ﬁxed part of the panel) without falling off. TWO ‘L’ CHANNELS FIXED ALONG THE BOX SECTION HORIZONTAL ‘Z’ CHANNEL FIXED ONTO VERTICAL ‘L’ CHANNEL PAIR IDENTICAL, ADJACENT WALL FIXTURE
The primary components of the structure are as follows,
- mild steel C channels; (5”x 2.2”x 7”) - aluminium box sections; (5”x 2”x 134”) - aluminium L channels; (1”x 1”, 2mm thick) - aluminium Z channels; (8’ length 2mm thick) - nylon spacer studs
WIND ACTIVATED MOVEMENT OF THE PANELS ABOUT THE FIXED STUDS
- aluminium, perforated panels; (5”x 8”x 0.3”)
NYLON STUDS (SPACERS) FIXED ONTO THE ‘Z’ SECTION ARRAY OF ALUMINIUM PANELS HUNG ONTO NYLON STUDS
The C channel is ﬁxed to the wall at regular distances in a grid-nodal fashion as shown in the diagram to the right. Between the Cs, box sections were ﬁxed vertically, spanning beam to beam, between consecutive floors. L channels were ﬁxed to the box sections. Next the Z was ﬁxed onto the L channels, spanning horizontally, across the entire facade. Nylon studs ﬁxed to these Z channels were then ﬁtted with aluminium panels. Many issues were uncovered during the Business Hub installation such as panel movement, the nylon stud’s durability, etc. During high intensity winds, the panels would get stuck in the neck of the nylon stud. The process of installation of the panels was also time consuming. During peak summers some nylon studs began exploding. These and other issues were resolved in the Commercial Use Facade. details
BOX SECTIONS FIXED VERTICALLY BETWEEN C CHANNELS BEAM Z CHANNELS FIXED BETWEEN ADJACENT BOX SECTIONS
GRID NODAL PLACEMENT OF ‘C’ CHANNELS ON BEAMS
12 STOREYED COMMERCIAL USE STRUCTURE FACADE WIND A F
NYLON STUD SPACER USED IN FIRST INSTALLATION AT BUSINESS HUB
From the ﬁrst installation (BH) I surmised that although the mount structure was durable, the nylon stud would have to be redesigned both for endurance and ease of installation. For example, the bolt passing through the body in the ﬁrst nylon stud, along with the thickness of the walls of the stud body, and its black colour, may have caused the stud to crack/explode in some cases. concerns BOLT PASSING THROUGH NYLON BODY AND INTO Z CHANNEL CROWN OF THE CAP SEPERATE CAP AND BODY ALLOW FOR THE PANEL TO BE FITTED INTO THE NARROW NECK AREA STRAIGHT NECK LENGTH OF THE NECK
TOP CAP AND BODY COMBINED INTO ONE MONOLITHIC PIECE; SHAPE OF THE TOP IS MODIFIED SO AS TO TO LOCK PANEL INTO NECK EVEN THROUGH INTENSE WINDS CAP DESIGN CHANGED TO A SNAP FIT MACHANISM NARROW BODY TO PREVENT ANY DRASTIC DIFFERENCE IN TEMPERATURE INSIDE AND OUT
NYLON BODY WITH BOLT PASSING THROUGH
BETWEEN THE FOURTH AND THE FINAL ITERATIONS, THE EMBEDDED NUT IS REMOVED AND PLACED AT THE END, OUTSIDE, AS IT WAS AGAIN CAUSING LOCAL CRACKING. THE THROUGH-BODY BOLT WAS BROUGHT BACK.
BACK & FRONT
PANEL’S ONLY POSSIBLE POSITION (TROUGH) DURING NO WIND ACTION
ELLIPTICAL CAP NOW PART OF THE MAIN BODY IS SLIGHTLY SMALLER THAN THE ELLIPTICAL HOLE IN THE PANEL
CURVED NECK; THE CURVATURE ALLOWS THE PANEL TO SLIDE DOWN TO THE LOW POINT
HOLE AT THE TOP TO FOR BOLT TO PASS THROUGH
BOLT PASSING THROUGH NYLON BODY AND INTO Z CHANNEL WITH A BOLT AND SPRING WASHER
NOTCH IS MODIFIED; FURTHER ENSURES PRECISE PLACEMENT OF STUD WHILE TIGHTENING
NUT AND SPRING WASHER SYSTEM ALUMINIUM WIND PANEL
DUE TO A STRAIGHT NECK, THE PANEL, IN STATIC STATE, WOULD TEND TO REST ANYWHERE ON THE LENGTH OF THE NECK, AND SOMETIMES IT WOULD GET STUCK ON THE CROWN OF THE CAP, THUS PREVENTING ANY FURTHER MOVEMENT
NOTCH ADDED TO FIT INTO A SIMILARLY SHAPED HOLE IN THE Z CHANNEL
IN THE SECOND ITERATION INSTEAD OF THE BOLT-THROUGH-BODY DESIGN, A NUT WAS EMBEDDED INTO THE BOTTOM OF THE STUD DURING CASTING. A SMALLER BOLT WOULD PASS THROUGH THE Z CHANNEL AND FIX INTO THIS NUT.
Installation time was a major concern for a facade that would cover almost 1500 square meters. Amongst other measures to minimise time, the cap in the two part stud of the ﬁrst project (BH) was completely replaced in the third iteration by a monolithic stud that only required a bolt ﬁxing. A major and fruitful change was made in the neck, which now was curved with a low point in the middle of the neck length. This made sure that during a static period, when no wind
HOLLOWED OUT TOP TO ACCOMMODATE/FLUSH BOLT TOP AS IT PASSES THROUGH THE STUD
NYLON STUD SPACER USED IN SECOND INSTALLATION AT COMMERCIAL USE BUILDING
was blowing, the panel would come and rest at the same position, i.e., the trough of the curved surface thus preventing any locking of the panel. The diagram above illustrates the design.
During installation of the studs and the panels onto the z channel, at ﬁrst, the notch at the back of the stud is not ﬁtted into the hole in the Z channel. Instead it is left slightly loose and oriented such that the elliptical cap of the stud aligns horizontally with the slightly bigger elliptical hole in the panel. Once the cap passes through the panel, the stud is turned 90 degrees, the notch at the back ﬁts into the similarly shaped hole in the Z channel and the nut is tightened to freeze the position. resolution ELLIPTICAL CAP IS AT FIRST HORIZONTAL, TO ALLOW PASSING THROUGH PANEL
HOLE IN Z CHANNEL IS SIMILARLY SHAPED YET BIGGER THAN NOTCH AT BACK OF STUD; NOT ALIGNED BEFORE PANEL IS PASSED THOUGH NECK.
ONCE THE CAP PASSES THROUGH THE PANEL HOLE, THE STUD IS TURNED CLOCKWISE
When the design reﬁnement of the second installation began, the client was keen on using some source of renewable energy to in the upkeep of the facade. The most popular option was solar panels. However, a chance discussion with an engineer got me interested in piezoelectric systems. A potential application within the mechanism of the wind panel swing was perceivable In theory, the wind-driven panels would tap onto a piezoelectric generator, placed behind each panel. Enough swing was available to produce a small amount of energy; ﬁt that across forty thousand panels, and that’s a lot of energy. However, costs, long-term maintenance and the broad risks involved in setting up such a system implied too great an investment of time and money for the client. The idea was dropped.
PANEL USED IN BUSINESS HUB FACADE; WITH CIRCULAR HOLE SMALLER THAN CAP IN ORIGINAL TWO-PIECE STUD
PANEL USED IN COMMERCIAL USE BUILDING FACADE; WITH ELLIPTICAL HOLE
ITERATION #2 EMBEDDED NUT
THE CAP IS VERTICALLY PLACED AGAINST THE HORIZONTAL ELLIPTICAL HOLE OF THE PANEL
Although the design was not an original idea, the project gave me an opportunity to come up with solutions within restricted possibilities. It involved a lot of research to ﬁnd lasting and cost-effective materials and methods. Studying about materials (synthetics/metals), durable coatings, fabrication, etc. left me with insight that I can utilise in future projects. Stressful situations, where a lot depends on one’s choices, decisions, and actions and, unexpected issues (eg. exploding components), were conducive to a lateral approach to solving problems. Plenty of mistakes were made. I am not particularly proud of this project. However, I am mildly fulﬁlled by it, in that through the process of it all, my understanding of things grew. Ultimately, it was dissatisfactory, because I failed to get the outcome I had imagined. I will do better next time. conclusion
BUSINESS HUB (ISSUES)
BUSINESS HUB (FIRST INSTALLATION)
COMMERCIAL BUILDING FINAL FACADE (SECOND AND FINAL INSTALLATION) OPENINGS SUCH AS THESE WERE ADDED ON CLIENT’S REQUEST; FOR VIDEOS OF THE FACADE IN MOVEMENT KINDLY GO TO THIS HERE WIND A F
November 2014 - December 2015; Interiors are ongoing Timeline & Status Ahmedabad, India Location Design Director – Darshan Soni Project Architect – Maharshi Bhattacharya Junior Architect – Gauri Mathur Design Team
While at Apical Reform, as Project Architect, I was part of the team of three, that designed the Apical Reform (AR) Studio building. The two storey structure which is also meant as an example of the Studio’s design sensibilities, houses on the ground floor, a globally present children’s ﬁtness centre, while the AR studio itself, spreads across the entire ﬁrst floor.
S T U D I O
The project posed an interesting challenge: to derive an architectural form which would seamlessly merge two diversely functioning entities, into a noteworthy structure. brief
volumes allowing in plenty of natural light throughout the running hours of the day be conceived, thus anchoring the vertical scale of the building form. A high ceilinged space with self-effacing interiors and furniture, set up in such a way as to evolve around the users and their needs and foibles. Studio management hierarchy would be integrated within such a layout, inconspicuously. This notion took form when I was still developing a concept, and fortunately was reflected, if not completely, in the ﬁnished structure. I consider this to be one of more crucial contributions of mine, to the project.
I believe that my contributions were helpful in essentailly three aspects of the entire project, design conceptualisation and development, on site execution and the designing and execution of the façade screen. The functions of the structure dictated that large clear
I advocated a layout that would house all functions in an open layout, with partitions only where required; this would promote a barrier-free dialogue and exchange of ideas amongst designers. role
ALTHOUGH THE FORM WAS EXTENSIVELY EXPLORED IN THE BEGINNING, CONSIDERATIONS SUCH AS SITE CHARACTERISTICS, COST RESTRAINTS, LOCAL BYE-LAWS, AND THE PROGRAMME PREREQUISITES, MAJORLY GUIDED THE FORM FINDING EXERCISE
THE NEED FOR A DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR FORM EXPLORATIONS AND BY EXTENSION, SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF A FACADE SCREEN. SOME ITERATIONS IN FORM AND FACADE THAT I HAD WORKED ON EARLY IN THE PROJECT TO ARRIVE AT THE FINAL SELECTION, HAVE BEEN SHOWN BELOW.
ORIENTATION OF THE BUILDING WAS GUIDED AS MUCH BY THE LOCAL CLIMATE AS BY THE NEED FOR PROMOTION. SINCE THE STRUCTURE WAS SET BACK INTO THE SITE, IT HAD TO BE EMPHATIC IN ITS DESIGN TO STAND OUT AS A STATEMENT IN THE REGIONAL CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE.
PLACEMENT OF STRUCTURE ON SITE ENSURES MAXIMUM VISIBILITY FROM THE ADJOINING ROAD.
THE GYM AND THE STUDIO HAVE SEPARATE ENTRANCES, SPLIT UNDER A SHADED DROP OFF AREA, COURTESY, A BRIDGE AT UPPER LEVEL WHICH IN TURN BINDS THE SPRAWLING ARCHITECTURAL FORM AS ONE ENTITY
GYM ENTRANCE IS TO THE LEFT AND THE AR STUDIO THROUGH THE EXTENSION ON THE RIGHT
THE NORTH FACE OF THE BUILDING HAS A STRETCH OF FENESTRATION TO MAXIMISE DAYLIGHT ACCESSIBILITY INTO THE STUDIO AS WELL AS INTO THE GYM
MEANWHILE, SINCE THE HOT AND DRY CLIMATE IN AHMEDABAD, IS PERSISTENT MORE OR LESS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, AIR CONDITIONING PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE. TO THAT END, I HAD INCLINATIONS TOWARDS USING SUSTAINABLE METHODS FOR ENERGY CONSUMPTION
I INTENDED FOR DENSE LANDSCAPING OF THE SITE WITH LOCALLY OCCURRING HEAVY FOLIAGES. COVERING THE SOUTH FACE WITH A HEAVY FOLIAGE GROUP WOULD ALLOW THE FACE TO REMAIN COOL DURING PEAK SUMMERS
IN THE STUDIO, THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS THAT WERE TO BE CATERED TO, WERE, AN OFFICE SPACE FOR THE DESIGN STAFF, SEPARATE CABIN FOR THE PRINCIPAL, SEMI ENCLOSED SPACE FOR THE DESIGN DIRECTOR, WORKSHOP, LIBRARY, STAFF LOUNGE, PANTRY AND CONFERENCE AREA
WORKSHOP STRUCTURE WAS TO HOUSE CARPENTRY INSTRUMENTS, 3D-PRINTING AND LASER CUTTING MACHINERY, ETC. ALL PHYSICAL EXPLORATIONS WITH DESIGNS WOULD BE CARRIED OUT HERE
THE GYM REQUIRED A LARGE SPACE WHICH NEEDED DESIGNING AS PER THEIR BYE-LAWS, WITH OUR ASSISTANCE A R STUDIO
SOUTH FACE/ CORNER
EAST FACE AND BEND
NORTH FACE, ALONG DRIVEWAY
347 UNITS IN EACH ROW, A, B, C 152 UNITS IN ROW D
AR STUDIO ENTRANCE
CHILDREN’S TOILET DROP-OFF POINT
C 69 C 70 C 68
A FEW SAMPLES OF FINS NESTED INTO STANDARD 8’x 4’ MGO SHEET SIZES FOR CNC CUTTING
All iterations of the façade were a play at making the structure less revealing, with the intention that initially, it holds focus purely on its aesthetical merits, stirring intrigue in both children as well as adults - the end users. The idea for a seemingly fluid surface stemmed from discussions about ‘hiding’ the true nature of the building’s function with a metaphorical ‘shroud’. After exploring various materials, such as metal sheets and WPC, we ﬁnalised on Magnesium Oxide Boards, for its durability. The conceived fluid form was abstracted and CNC cut into ﬁns, ﬁxed onto an aluminium box structure, at varying angles. This vertical louvre-like arrangement of the skin, set at different, pre-deﬁned, angles along the facade, allows for partial shade and optimal perception of the outdoor spaces from inside. For a viewer on the outside, a monolithic structure captures attention; a direct view to the inside is inhibited, except where the skin splits to reveal a glass wall on the ground floor, merging again towards the end. façade
AR STUDIO RECEPTION
AREA– 5400 sq.ft.
GROUND FLOOR LAYOUT - CHILDREN’S GYM
ALUMINIUM C CHANNEL
LIBRARY, MEETING, OTHER FUNCTIONS
MGO BOARD FIN SPLIT
D GROUND FLOOR
A TYPICAL FIN FIXTURE FROM THE TOP
MGO BOARDS ARE CNC CUT INTO FINS OF REQUISITE SHAPES, TYPICALLY THE TOP SET IS MADE UP OF THREE SUCH FINS (SERIES A,B,C) PLACED END TO END, ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER, WHILE THE BOTTOM SET IS JUST ONE FIN (SERIES D) FITTED ONTO ALUMINIUM C CHANNELS, THE FINS ARE FIXED ONTO HORIZONTAL ALUMINIUM BOX SECTIONS, WHICH IN TURN ARE FIXED TO THE WALLS
TYPICAL WALL SECTION WITH DETACHED FINS
DESIGN STAFF SEATING ADJACENT GLASS WALL
GARDEN/OUTDOOR DINING SPACE
PANTRY CONFERENCE ROOM RESTROOMS
AREA– 5600 sq.ft.
FIRST FLOOR LAYOUT - APICAL REFORM STUDIO
CURVED TRANSITION OVER DROP-OFF
LOGGIA ABOVE DROP-OFF
BEND AND EXTENSION
FACADE FINS LAID OUT FLAT AND DETACHED; CHANGE CURVATURE ON THE SURFACE IS VISIBLE HERE
TOTAL 1193 UNITS OF CNC CUT MGO FINS
The building was meant to break the locally prevalent notions of design, without being opulent; an icon that would speak for the studio’s design aptitude. However, due to cost and time constraints, we had to let go of some schemes. Passive cooling strategies to reduce temperatures, extensive green cover, an open ofﬁce layout, a building automation system to monitor energy usage and on-site solar energy plant, were some of the compromises. As Project Architect, I had to also coordinate the sequential execution of various processes on site. I had to supervise and delegate work to juniors and keep the design director updated. I now know, how planning in advance, from designing to execution, can be likened to maintaining an optimal distance from vehicles in front, while driving. If the current stage suffers changes, following a blueprint can help restructure the plan so that work on site is not stalled. I also learnt how monitored allocation of resources can ensure cost effective execution. In this project, I saw some of my contributions reach execution while many more did not. However, instead of dejection, I became aware of the vision of other stakeholders and experienced how collaborative optimisation may churn out the best ﬁt results from the multiple aspirations held for a project. I made my share of blunders and suffered oversight: the price I paid for the lessons learnt. conclusion A R STUDIO
January 2014 - September 2014; Completed Timeline & Status Judges Bungalow Road, Ahmedabad, India Location Design Director – Darshan Soni Architect – Maharshi Bhattacharya Architect – Aditya Bhatt Design Team
Following are the elements in the project that I was involved with: Conceptualisation, Design engineering and execution -Lift Lobby Entrance Foyer -Kitchen Space/Counter -Staircase andStairwell Ceiling -Terrace and Artworks Design engineering and execution -Living, Dining and Bedroom Ceilings I had joined the studio (Apical Reform) as a Junior Architect, at about the same time when the renovation and interior of this project had begun on paper. Mine was a guided role in terms of design concept development, where I worked directly under the design director and on site I was co-supervisor with another architect who was part of the team, overseeing implementation on site. responsibilities
1102 penthouse was designed as a reflection of the client’s lavish yet austere lifestyle. The duplex penthouse comprises of the internally connected, two west wing apartment units on the 11th and 12th floor of Paarijat Residences. The client wanted a serene escape from the riot of sounds and sights of the city. The spaces enveloped in neutral tones are intended to have a calm effect on the senses. Grey and white surfaces with discrete, novel forms unify the house, and provide the ideal canvas for a splash of colour. Be it climbing the dramatic staircase or dining at the breakfast table, the attempted blending of artistry into every space elevates its humble function to an event. context
aluminium proﬁles along the grooves. The foyer was one of the ﬁrst aspects of the project that I did entirely on my own, including the electronics. In the living space, the design element used in the ceiling is a recurrent feature throughout the penthouse. Mood Lighting is integrated into the 'Ceiling Bowls.' The Stairwell ceiling and the Breakfast table both share the same design language, albeit slightly modiﬁed.
11TH FLOOR – 2471 sq.ft 12TH FLOOR – 2505 sq.ft. AREA
The entrance foyer unites motion controlled ambient lighting with a linear design language, where the door to the apartment merges with the surrounding discreetly. The character of the space is such to entice the visitor while she/he waits for the door to open. A patterned screen, along the side wall, highlights the client's details for visitors. The entire space is cladded in 3mm thick tiles, inlaid with
FLOOR HEIGHT : 3000mm
RISER : 167mm
TREAD : 300mm
# OF STEPS : 18
LARGEST TREAD : 2550mm
SMALLEST TREAD : 1220mm
A dominant element in the penthouse is the dramatic staircase. More importantly, for me it acted as an initiation, into the studio. I was charged with designing both the concept and the fabrication details of the staircase. Jackson Pollack’s work acted as an inspiration during the iteration process., The ﬁnal form took shape after considerable deliberations made in the aspects of both structure and aesthetics.
I worked on multiple iterations, out of which I was directed to work on a form which closely resembles the ﬁnal structure. In my ﬁnal iteration, the director made some changes in context to the aesthetics. Fabricated in steel, the staircase is braced between the adjacent walls. Independent of its function, I designed the staircase as an artwork, striving to defy gravity while connecting two spaces. The result is the space in transition as an event. diegesis APART FROM BEING THE ONLY ELEMENT OF THE STAIR THAT TOUCHES THE FLOOR, THE RISER PLATE AFTER THE BOTTOM MOST TREAD PREVENTS THE ‘JUMPING’ ACTION OF THE TREAD WHICH IS A SIDE EFFECT OF THE CANTILEVER
SUBSEQUENT RISER PLATES CONNECT THE REST OF THE TREADS TO EACH OTHER. THIS WHOLE ARRANGEMENT, MAKES THE STRUCTURE A LIGHT, RIGID, FRAME THAT CAN WITHSTAND A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF LOAD
PREFERRED ITERATIONS HAVE BEEN DEPICTED HERE ALONG THE SIDE; THE BACK WALL OF THE STAIRCASE IS EAST FACING WITH A DOUBLE HEIGHT WINDOW WHICH PROVIDES A SPLENDID EARLY MORNING LIGHT. IN SOME
EACH TREAD IS A SET OF HORIZONTALLY, LAID 1” MILD STEEL BOX SECTIONS, PLACED ADJACENTLY AND COVERED WITH A 2MM METAL PLATE
ITERATIONS I TRIED TO ENCLOSE A SITTING SPACE SO AS TO HARVEST THIS LIGHT
METAL JACKET OVER BOX SECTIONS A 6MM VERTICAL PLATE (RISER) IS SECURED TO THE LOWER TREAD BY MEANS OF A BOLT THAT PASSES THROUGH THE LOWER TREAD AND A SPACER. THE RISER PLATE ALSO PASSES BETWEEN THE FIRST AND THE SECOND BOX SECTION OF THE UPPER TREAD
METAL RODS WELDED BETWEEN BOX SECTIONS EACH TREAD AND THE LANDING IS FIXED TO AN 8MM THICK MILD STEEL PLATE THAT IS EMBEDDED IN THE ADJACENT RCC WALLS; THIS PROVIDES THE STAIRCASE WITH BRACE SUPPORT
WALL PLATE RISER PLATE BOLT THROUGH BOX SECTIONS
suspended from the ceiling at varying depths and have integrated lighting. ceilings & lighting The staircase is designed as a performance that transforms the foyer into a rhythmic play of planes. A potentially mundane element becomes a visual and sculptural delight. It lends itself to the setting of an ideal family portrait but could just as easily steal the show. The influence of its form extends to the spaces adjoining it, and when seen from a certain vantage point, the drama ceases and the hard liners melt into the monochrome. staircase The staircase leads to the terrace- a small measure of the sky secluded for the residentswhere the family enjoys their evening meals with the ever-rising city skyline as background, complimented with a Zen - like approach to landscape. The soft lighting helps create an almost meditative atmosphere.
During ideation I was guided to focus on the designing the ceiling elements around light. This is made evident with the detail; how the source is both revealed and concealed. Light seems to be 'served' in inverted bowls and ooze out of narrow slits through the walls and ceiling. Multiple conﬁgurations of LED and low-energy fluorescent lamps create suitable ambiances for any occasion. The Stairwell Ceiling can be seen as comprised of the residual negatives from the Living space ceiling. The 'bowls' are
The Point of View artwork in the terrace area is the Angled Mirror composition, which essentially incorporates mirrors of three different sizes (a bigger square, a rectangle and a smaller square) with flat bases and tops tilted at three different angles. Permutations of these shapes reflects the partially visible sky for the onlooker in the shaded part of the space, becoming an intriguing experience. terrace & artworks
Penthouse 1102 was the ﬁrst major project residential project I worked on, that provided me with a thorough experience in almost all aspects of design: from concepttualisation on paper to execution on site. As I come from an institute that pays more weightage to the technicalities of design and architecture, I learnt new approaches to design and aesthetics by being instrumental in developing a uniform language for the project. At the time, the neophyte in me was sincere, obedient, still developing taste, and just happy to help. The volume and the wide spectrum of work involved, helped my situation. Artworks, staircase, ceilings, kitchen counters, screens, entrance foyer, motion detectors, circuitory: the project was a designer’s cornucopia. And learn from it I did.
that the experience was necessary to glean a larger picture years later. If I had to redo it, I would do so much of it differently. Now, to me, a lot of my contribution in this project seems driven by vanity and was opulent in nature; too much done for too little a space with too little consideration given to the attributes and integrity of it.
Looking back, I rememeber how fulﬁlled I was at having accomplished the range of tasks assigned to me and having been praised for it. Now, however, there is satisfaction in the fact
The introspection at once humbles and upbraids and but is not without a small measure of optimism for the future. conclusion PENTHOUSE 1102
THE BETULA CHAIR February 2016; Ongoing reﬁnement Timeline & Status Darshan Soni, Maharshi Bhattacharya Design Team
At the time of the design of this chair, Apical Reform was in the process of exploring various avenues of design. As part of such an exploration we were using various articulation techniques to come up with aesthetically intriguing furniture pieces. A self-initiated task, the Betula Chair was made in Birch Ply as it was one of the materials abundantly available to us then, due to its extensive use in parallelly ongoing explorations. context As part of the design team I was involved in the design and form reﬁnement process of the ﬁrst prototype. Further, during the execution stage, I resolved the fabrication technique, complete with joineries and the assembly sequence. Positive about how the form had taken shape, I had plans for its further evolution, weight reduction, etc. but I was unable to participate in any subsequent prototyping, due to other pressing assignments. role
CREST AND DIP
BACK ELEVATION L
ERGONOMICAL FLAWS: SINCE THIS WAS THE FIRST PROTOTYPE, FEW ERGONOMIC FLAWS THAT MAY SEE CORRECTION IN SUBSEQUENT PROTOTYPES WERE THE BACK REST, THE ELBOW DIP AND THE OVERALL WEIGHT
BACK REST ARM REST
MEASUREMENTS/SPECIFICATIONS - (PH) POPLITEAL HEIGHT: 382mm (15”) - (W) WIDTH: 912 mm - (H) TOTAL HEIGHT: 900 mm - (L) LENGTH ON THE SIDE: 1000mm - BIRCH PLY CNC CUT
BIRCH PLY WAS USED FOR THE CHAIR; SHAPES WERE CUT FROM THE STANDARD 8’x 4’ BIRCH PLY SHEET SIZE USING A CNC MACHINE
WOODEN FLUTED DOWEL PINS - 8MM Ø, 12MM LONG; ONE PIN PASSES THROUGH 2 UNITS; TWO ADJACENT UNITS SHARE 7 OR 8 SUCH PINS, SO EACH UNIT HAS 14 OR 15 HOLES, TO ACCOMMODATE PINS FROM THE PREVIOUS AND TO THE NEXT UNIT
5’-5” and that of an Indian woman is 5’-0”. For such a height numbers, the length from the knee-pit to the base of the foot (popliteal height) may likely be less than the minimum 18” for a recliner. As a result, people with short popliteal heights, experience the ‘dangle’, where their legs hang from the edge of the seat, and the knee joint may not necessarily coincide with the edge. People with the longer lower limbs do not experience this problem. This results in an uncomfortable and often painful sitting posture.
JOINTS ON CONSECUTIVE PIECES ARE STAGGERED (JOINT POSITIONS, ALTERNATED, POSITION # 1 AND 2) TO PREVENT ANY ACCUMULATIVE SPLITTING; THIS MAY OCCUR IF JOINTS ARE ADJACENTLY PLACED
EXPLODED LEFT HALF; 38 UNITS
For a recliner or a comfort chair, with a deep seat cavity, the global popliteal height varies between 18” and 22”. Even though this range caters to a vast demographic worldwide, it, more often than not poses an unaddressed problem in the Indian subcontinent. The average height of an Indian man is around
TYPICAL JOINT POSITION#2
TYPICAL JOINT POSITION#1
CENTRAL PIECE; THE LEFT AND RIGHT HALVES ARE FIXED TO ITS EITHER SIDE EXPLODED RIGHT HALF; 38 UNITS FOR EACH UNIT IN THE LAYERED FORM, THE EDFGES WERE SANDED; THE FINISHED EDGES WERE COATED WITH CLEAR PU PAINT BETULA CHAIR
To better understand, I took the seat depth and popliteal heights from a range of chairs and recliners (the Eames Lounge chair, Omstak, Barcelona, Child’s bucket, etc.) and also found global averages of corresponding measurements in people. Next I selected 20 subjects randomly within my community and ofﬁce, of varying heights, and measured their popliteal heights and the knee-buttock lengths. I also kept a record of average akimbo spans, seating heights, hip breadths and knee-heights. Based on these data I assigned the seat depth and the seat height to the Betula Chair and also determined the other anthropometric derivatives of the chair. Although the chair is designed with the intent to serve universal anthropometrics, for the ﬁrst prototype, I tried employing ergonomics that would also address some issues faced by people of a short stature. ergonomics The ﬁnal outcome, a sinuous structure made entirely out of birch ply, is an example of fluid decontructivism that is pleasing visually and should ideally be comforting, ergonomically. A non-strenuous reclining posture was set into a form, guided by a notion of layers and visual continuity of the lines, to conceive a monolithic structure with no visually separate aspects: all fuctions (hand-rest, back rest, legs, etc.) meld to form one uniform whole. Concealed within this simple form of the chair is the meticulously resolved stability and comfort. The ideation for this project remains ongoing with further resolved prototypes under development. When I ﬁrst started with the project, I was inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry; the lack of use of any material other than wood in the ﬁnal product, the deft use of interlocking systems and the use of frictional resistance, were some of the aspects that I found quite 17
fascinating. In the end I was able to avoid the use of nails. Only dowel pins and adhesive were used to hold the furniture together. concept This project had a satisfactory outcome for me; ﬁrstly, I was able to implement knowledge gathered during the design process and secondly, I was able to ﬁnish it all within a week. I realized how an understanding of the overall form and the material used, helps devise fabrication and assembly techniques. However, the ergonomics of the chair had failed at certain points. The back rest for example, was almost normal to the seat, which along with the crest-like design of the hand-rest, caused the elbow to have no support. The elbow would fall in the dip, resulting in an uncomfortable posture. The two solutions to this are, either a back rest that is inclined further (>8°), or the dip be pulled up with a shallower trough. lessons Early this year, AR was approached by Universal Studios, Canada for use of the chair in a movie. Both parties are currenty in talks.
AUDIRE WHILE AT APICAL REFORM, I WORKED ON A COMMISSION FOR June 2012 December 2016
Before beginning with the Academic section, this page gives a quick look at some artworks, installations
AN ARTWORK IN METAL.
and fabrication works carried out in four years as a professional architect/designer.
‘AUDIRE’ WAS INSPIRED BY THE HUMAN EAR AND EMPHASIZES THE SENSE OF HEARING IN ISOLATION. THE CONTRASTING FINISHES DEPICT THE NATURE OF FACT AND FICTION.
untitled THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAD SPONSORED THIS THREE PART INSTALLATION AT A SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE IN AHMEDABAD. IT DENOTES THE TRANSFORMATION OF A SECOND TIER CITY TO A FIRST TIER CITY AND IS MADE IN METAL, FINISHED WITH POWDER COATING. EQUUS THIS TWO PART INSTALLATION WAS COMMISSIONED BY AN ART GALLERY IN AHMEDABAD. THE IDEA WAS TO EXPRESS RELATIVISTIC WORLD. THERE’S A HORSE COMING OUT OF ONE WALL WHILE THE OTHER HALF IS GOING INTO THE OPPOSITE WALL, PRESENTING A SURREAL SCENARIO. SKAAR THIS WAS AN EXPLORATION WITH STONE CASTING, WHERE A MOULD WAS MADE IN MDF IN WHICH STONE WAS CAST TO MAKE A THIN WALLED (8MM THICK) LAMP. MULTIPLE ITERATIONS OF THE SAME WERE MADE WITH VARYING CONSISTENCIES OF THE STONE MIXTURE. SKAAR #2 AN EXPLORATION USING TE SAME SHARD LIKE FORM OF SKAAR WAS CARRIED OUT BUT WITH THIN SHEET LIKE MATERIAL (PAPER, ALUMINIUM). THE FINAL ITERATION WAS TO BE SCALED IN SIZE USED AS A LAMP COVER.
SHARD THIS ARTWORK/BENCH WAS DESIGNED FOR AN ART GALLERY USING THE STONE CASTING
METHOD MENTIONED EARLIER, ALBEIT ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE. MANY PROTOTYPRS OF THE SAME HAVE BEEN MADE SINCE THE FIRST ONE.
ARTWORKS & INSTALLATIONS
ALTERNATUM PRAXIS July 2011- December 2011; Academic Timeline Post Apocalyptic Settlement at Sea and Under-Water Habitat Undergraduate Thesis Project For more on the project, please go here
Nature, in its entirety, persists through adaptation, change being inevitable. The ďŹ rst life forms on earth, endured underwater, wherein survival-instinct and eventually, adaptability, caused some of them to move to land. Millions of years later, when the simple celled life forms have metamorphosed into complex biomechanical machines, the essence of adaptability remains unchanged. A lot of the damage that has already been inflicted upon the environment cannot be undone, although efforts are underway.
race; solutions that can withstand large scale calamities. Presently, there are various possibilities, although at an embryonic stage, that may lead to a pragmatic outcome for the future
Apart from mobilizing resources to reverse the effects we must also look to Sustainability through Adaptability. It is imminent that alternate solutions for human habitation be found to sustain the human
o What can be the future of habitat? o How and where will the living thrive? o What can we do through architecture, to persist in the occurrence of an abnormal natural event?
This Thesis explores such an avenue: an amalgamation of the concept of vertical cities and underwater habitation; a fact ďŹ nding exercise, to ascertain the current scenario of architecture on a similar scale. I have essentially tried to answer a few questions;
Alternatum Praxis is an Energy Efﬁcient Urban Settlement in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Mumbai, which primarily accommodates and caters to an Underwater Residential Complex; it is an attempt at designing an alternate habitat module for comfortable human sustenance, in view of the current situations of land crunch and unstable weather conditions, which can withstand cataclysmic natural events in the near future. Apart from the Underwater section, there are provisions for residential, commercial, educational and healthcare facilities provided above water in the same structure which may give it the distinction of being an Urban Settlement to some extent. It is intended as
a template that can be replicated in function as per need. It must be noted here that the structure will be advancedd enough to prevent any hazardous mishaps for example caused by ﬁre, etc. On a different scale, consideration for Nature and the local ecosystem, is as imperative in this project, as its primary goal. The Site is at Sea; this itself implies numerous junctures where care must be taken to not intrude into the natural scheme of things. Three aspects that will be addressed here, Structure , Waste management, and Energy Solutions. project profile
THE STRUCTURE HAS TO BE SUCH THAT IT CAN WITHSTAND ABNORMAL WEATHER CONDITIONS, NATURAL CALAMITIES, STRONG SEA WEATHERING AND EFFECTS OF MOISTURE, ETC.
Apart from the main structure, various features of the project take inspiration from nature. For example, the shape of the underwater pods which would essentially be housing below the surface of the sea, is derived from the shape of a shark. Key elements that were mimicked were the angle between the tail and the snout and the overall shape of a Great White. Ant colonies were studied and inspired the organisation of the vertical structure into various districts, so as to better channelise and streamline the circulation/trafﬁc within the structure. bio-inspiration
MICRO-SCOPIC STRUCTURE OF HUMAN BONE TYPICAL CONCRETE ARMOUR UNITS USED IN BREAKWATERS STRUCTURE & FORM STUDY THE TRABECULAR STRUCTURE OF BONE TISSUE AND THE COMPLEX CRYSTALLINE SILICA STRUCTURE OF THE CORTICAL SHELLS OF RADIOLARIA HAVE JUNCTIONS THAT CAN BE REDUCED TO FORMS SIMILAR TO THAT OF A CARBON MOLECULE, A TETRAHEDRAL. THE FINAL FORM WAS THUS DERIVED FROM THE TETRAPOD LIKE STRUCTURE
TETRAPOD STRUCTURE USED TO BREAK WAVE INTENSITY FIRST DERIVATIVE TO WORK WITH
Sustainability is deﬁned as meeting our current needs without compromising the needs of the future generations. In that regard, energy generation and use plays an important role in this project. To sustain a structure of this scale, without causing harm to the surrounding environment, is of paramount importance. An aim was to gain total energy autonomy, with no dependency on fossil fuels. For this structure various alternative sources of energy were looked into, such as wind power, solar energy, tidal energy and seaweed biofuel. energy Essentially the structure functions as a self sustained unit with minimal need of outside assistance. The project was ﬁrst conceived during my Dissertation as an Underwater Habitat. However, it seemed that such a housing venture would be too isolated from civilization. The obvious solution seemed to be, to provide all necessary amenities to such a housing project.
Eventually a settlement at sea with the features of a small with schools, commercial areas, business sectors, housing above water as well, was decided upon. In the Design process spaces that were excluded from Design Requirements were the Auxillary facilities such as commercial, educational, healthcare, etc. Emphasis was laid on the following: -Residential Type 1 (Underwater Experimental for a 100 families) -Underwater Research Facility -Waste-Management, Energy Production Facility and Other Services -Observation Floors/Decks -Parking (Public Transport/Private) -Harbour -Coast Guard Facilitie -Mainland to Off-shore Structure Transport Facilities -Vertical Transportation System within the structure -City Resource Centre scope
LOCATION: MUMBAI BACK BAY AREA, APPROX. 3.2KM FROM RAJ BHAWAN AND 4.5 KM FROM NARIMAN POINT
TWO TIERED APPROACH; THE ONE ABOVE IS FOR INHABITANTS AND VISITORS, LEADING TO MUSEUM AND THE PARKING, WHILE THE ONE BELOW IS FOR RESEARCH AND MONITORING FACILITY STAFF AS WELL AS SOME INHABITANTS.
GROUND FOUNDATION AREA: APPROX. 104 HA HEIGHT: APPROX. 900M FUNCTIONS: MULTIPURPOSE URBAN SETTLEMENT WITH RESIDENTIAL, BUSINESS, COMMERCIAL, RESEARCH, CULTURAL & LEISURE FUNCTIONS
WASTE MANAGEMENT AND WATER DISTRIBUTION TIERS UNDER WATER
ESTIMATED POPULATION: OVER 15,000 PEOPLE (BOTH WORKING AND RESIDENTIAL) VARIOUS DISTRICTS; ARRANGEMENT INSPIRED BY ANT COLONIES
INFRASTRUCTURE AREA: APPROX. 70 HA DEVELOPER/OWNERSHIP: B.O.O. (BUILD, OPERATE, OWNERSHIP) ENTERPRISE BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR
The building can be divided into two partsUnderwater and Above Surface (of water). The scope of this thesis involves designing the parts that are underwater along with a Museum and Resource centre, at the approach of the building, above water. Underwater there will be a Residential Complex for 100 families, a Research and Monitoring lab for Submarine Habitation Sciences and living quarters for the staff, water and waste management machinery. Above water, the structure will house 6 giant Pods called Districts, which have been modelled on the architecture of Ant colonies, and here each District will have a separate signiﬁcance. There will be three Residential Districts for 1000 families, one Commercial District, one Business District which will have ofﬁces and also house the services of the building, i.e., water desalination, water supply, energy storage and distribution, etc. There will also be an Educational/Hospitality District which will have a school, hospital, hotels, etc. facilities
CENTRAL CORE WITH INTEGRATED MICRO WIND TURBINES
THREE SERVICE LEVELS UNDER WATER FIRST LEVEL IS WATER PURIFICATION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. SECOND LEVEL IS WASTE MANAGEMENT, GRAY AND TOILET WATER TREATMENT PLANT. THIRD LEVEL IS SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE COLLECTION
UNDERWATER HOUSING PODS (100)
The structure will be connected to the land through a bridge that will be an extension of the existing Marine Drive (starting at Nariman Point, and into the Sea). It will be a 24 lane road, out of which 12 lanes separate out and go underwater into the sea at about 500m from the structure. The other 12 lanes enter the structure at approximately 14m above water. On land, a toll booth at the point of inception of the bridge will control trafﬁc flow as only private vehicle owners either residing in the structure or working there will be allowed. For everyone else there will be special shuttle services to bring back and forth from the structure. accessibility
OPEN DECK ACCESSIBLE THROUGH THE RESOURCE CENTRE
THREE TIERED PARKING WATER LEVEL; FOR EASE OF UNDERSTANDING, WALLS HAVE BEEN REMOVED IN THIS MODEL
A central Core runs through all the Pods keeping them connected and holds over 40 elevators to cater to the buildings transportation needs. Extensions within this core will have integrated micro-turbines throughout its length to harvest wind energy. Also dealing with the energy issue, the double-walled envelope of the building provides a vast surface area that will have Solar Panels to harvest solar energy. The building’s giant base is only structural in nature. It is roughly 1400 m x 1100m and is made of carbon nanotube trusses in-ﬁlled with HPC (High Performance Concrete) and steel. The three legs of the structure take the load of the entire core and the rest of the building and transfer it to the surface underwater. facilities
THE RESEARCH FACILITY HOUSES SIX LABORATORIES, TWO GENERATOR ROOMS, AHU AND PURIFICATION UNITS,CAFETERIA, COMMON ROOM, HOUSING FOR RESIDENTIAL STAFF AND AN OFFICE SPACE THE FUNCTIONINGS OF THE UNDERWATER HABITAT ARE CONTROLLED AND MONITORED FROM THIS FACILITY
MUSEUM AND RESOURCE CENTER IT IS ABOVE THE ENTRANCE LEVEL AND HOUSES A MUSEUM OF APOCALYPSE ALONG WITH EXHIBITIONA AND SEMINAR SPACES; THE RESOURCE CENTER HELPS RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT IMPENDING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
ENTRANCE LEVEL RESEARCH AND MONITORING FACILITY APPROACH; SIMILAR TO THE APPROACH DROP OFF OF THE LEVEL ABOVE, THE RESEARCH FACILITY ENTRANCE WIDENS TO A 14 LANE AREA, TO ACCOMMODATE ONCOMING TRAFFIC HEADED EITHER TO THE FACILITY OR TO THE PARKING
ENTRY FOR INHABITANTS OF THE TOWER AND VISITORS TO THE MUSEUM WHICH IS ONE FLOOR UP; HERE ACCESS IS ALSO PROVIDED TO THE PARKING LEVELS. PARKING FOR OFFICE GOING PEOPLE IS ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL FROM THE INHABTANTS
968 METERS FROM SUB-WATER SURFACE
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT - A H.I.G. RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX WITH A CAPACITY FOR 350 APARTMENTS OF APPROXIMATE AREA 220 sq.mt.
THE ACCESS WIDENS FROM A 6 LANE ROAD TO A 14 LANE DROP OFF AREA TO CATER TO TRAFFIC ONE OF THE SETBACKS OF LIVING ON SUCH A SETTLEMENT IS THE LIMITATION FOR OWNING VEHICLES. THIS HELPS UTILISE SPACE FOR OTHER SIGNIFICANT USAGES AS WELL AS CUTS ON THE EMISSIONS
THE LOWER BRIDGE LEADING TO THE RESEARCH FACILITY APPROACHES THE STRUCTURE UNDERWATER; ABOUT 400 METERS BEFORE REACHING THE STRUCTURE THE LANES SPLIT; ONE REACHES THE ENTRANCE LEVEL FOR INHABITANTS AND VISITORS
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT - B H.I.G. RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX WITH A CAPACITY FOR 300 APARTMENTS OF APPROXIMATE AREA 200 sq.mt.
MICRO TURBINES INTEGRATED AROUND THE CORE AND THE BUILDING STRUCTURE UTILISES THE WIND PASSING THROUGH FOR ENERGY; THIS ALSO SERVES TO REDUCE TURBULENCE ON HIGHER LEVELS
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT - C H.I.G. RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX WITH A CAPACITY FOR 300 APARTMENTS OF APPROXIMATE AREA 180 sq.mt.
FRONT ELEVATION 23
REVENUE GENERATING VENTURES SUCH AS EATERIES AND SOUVENIER SHOPS ARE ALSO PROVIDED
COMMERCIAL DISTRICT COMMERCIAL SPACES, SHOPS, PARKS, MULTIPLEXES, ETC
BUSINESS DISTRICT OFFICES AND SERVICES FOR THE BUILDING ARE AT A LOWER LEVEL AS COMPARED TO RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER FUNCTIONS; THIS WILL GREATLY REDUCE TRAFFIC FLOW TO A GREAT EXTENT
EDUCATIONAL/HOSP SCHOOLS, HOSPITAL
UNDERWATER SURFACE IS 60 METERS BELOW SURFACE
BACK ELEVATION ( APPROACH SIDE)
FLOORS LEADING TO UNDERWATER HOUSING PODS AND WATER AND WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANTS
A DECK FROM THE RESOURCE CENTER OPENS INTO THE SEA, RIGHT ABOVE THE WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM AND THE SEA WEED FARM; IT ACTS AS A CONGREGATION SPACE
The water depth at the site is approximately 60 m and it is arguably the deepest part of the sea in the immediate surroundings. There are 5 floors below water in which 3 floors house the 100 residential pods. The Sea floor underneath the structure will be adequately lit with LEDs to provide good viewing capabilities. The uniqueness of the structure lies in the fact that these 5 floors underwater are hanging from the main structure and have water under them (a depth of around 30m). The Residential Pods have been placed between depths of 6 to 26 m. So pressure isn’t much of a problem for the residents as the depth isn’t large. Also, natural light has a penetration of upto 31m, on an average.
ITALITY DISTRICT S, HOTELS, ETC.
The Residential Pods are two floored, where one may enter in the top floor and move on to the lower one. Its design has been inspired from that of a shark’s shape, basically, to make it aerodynamic in order to break water current intensity and also to provide proper viewing features to both the floors. The Residential Pods interiors are designed as per
Bio-geometry; as is evident in the plan, there are minimal amount of sharp edges. They are modelled on the grounds of an H.I.G. Each Pod houses an A.H.U. to control the air movement, a P.M.U. to manage the pressure differences that may arise and a small Planter which has artiﬁcial Sunlighting and water plants.
UNDERWATER HOUSING POD LAYOUT
LOWER LEVEL UNDERGRADATE THESIS
SCHEMATIC SECTION OF THE BUILDING STRUCTURE DEPICTING THE VARIOUS LOWER LEVELS, THE FOUNDATION DEPTHS AND THE SPAN OF THE TETRAPOD STRUCTURE
For efﬁcient waste movement, each toilet is provided with a dewatering device, that separates the solid waste and then a suction pump sends them to different reservoirs for collection and treatment. The structure of the Pod is such that it can withstand shock waves quite flexibly. The pod is a carbon nanotube shell inside a steel and nanotube amalgam cage with shock absorbers. The cage is then ﬁxated to the main body of the structure. underwater When I started researching for my thesis in 2010, I was still a student and did not have any substantial industry experience. As I go through the project now, I can identify many flaws and oversights. The rationale behind the actualisation of such a project would take much more justiﬁcation. Or at least that’s what my 28 year old, money-making, professional architect self would have told my younger version. And he would have been right too. The detail of the services, transportation within the building, maintenance works, and many more such aspects would need a lot of ironing out. I took ample liberties and made numerous assumptions, which in a real world scenario 25
may cause such a project to be stalled even before it begins on paper. For example, the use of carbon nanotubes, micro turbines and solar panels integrated into the building skin, building automation systems and desalination methods on this scale are technologies that are still in developmental stages. By conceiving such a project I am also assuming that the population, for whom it is being built, is capable of running and maintaining the endeavour and is willing to make quite a few sacriﬁces to inhabit such a settlement. Knowing the cities I’ve lived in and knowing my people, such assumptions make me an optimist. However, the thesis project remains one of my most cherished works, if not the most fulﬁlling. I intended to do a lot more, but six months proved too short a time. What remains same even after all these years is the intension behind conceiving such a project: to look forward, with a solutionist’s sight, at the impending problems. One of my jurors, during the ﬁnal examination session, questioned the justiﬁcation for the cost of this project; in return I had questioned the justiﬁcation for the defence budgets of the leading nations of the world. In response he called this project a ‘flight of fancy’, ‘a wasted
effort.’ However, I choose to differ slightly there. Flight of fancy it may be, but I think the effort I put into my dessertation which, inturn led me to work on this topic has set me on a path, armed with an outlook that has since guided me in some way into deciding what course I take in life. lessons
Semester 7, Year 4; August 2010 - October 2010 Academic Timeline Institute for Promotion of Green Architecture Ranchi, India Architectural Design Problem
GR -EE -N
Fourth year of Architecture studies formally introduced us to the incorporation of environmentally concious measures in architecture. Our studies were utilized in the designing of An Institute for the Promotion of Green Architecture in India located in Ranchi, India. The building is an institute for promotion of green buildings, structured on the guidelines of L.E.E.D., U.S.A. and hence aims at promoting Green Architecture in the Eastern Zone through year round, short term training programs and in the process be a platinum rated green building. As part of this assignment I also prepared a report detailing out the buildingâ€™s various features and its consistency with the LEED framework. The report can be accessed here brief
To study the aspects and implementation of environmentally inclusive architecture we studied the LEED guidelines and used them as standard in the semester’s ﬁrst design assignment - An Institute for the Promotion of Green Architecture in India located in Ranchi, India. The project scope was not about the basic design of the buildings within the facility but rather involved the design of a system that keeps in line with the proposed methods for
efﬁcient functioning of the facility. To that end special emphasis was laid on aspects such as Site Sustainability, Water Efﬁciency and Energy Generation, and Indoor-Outdoor Air Quality. The site is developed such that a substantial amount of land is used for plantation of locally abundant trees such as eucalyptus, which also help break high speed winds from the north-east, east and south-east in winters, preventing wind erosion of loose soil. Covered parkings provided vast areas for photovoltaic cell installation and have provisions for
charging electric bikes and cars. An on-site water treatment plant helps with storm-water sequestering and treatment processes. The storm-water is then made ﬁt for irrigation of an onsite medicinal plantation. A bank, a museum and a restaurant are within the campus are constructed using environment friendly methods; the use of Trombe wall and Earth Berming, reduce Heat – island effect to a great extent and keep the interiors warm in winters.
Apart from these, an efﬁcient waste water management, building automation system with advanced control applications, a building that takes from the Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe and among other things, uses heat exchange mechanism for cooling by circulating water along the facade, are some of the key features that helped the proposal submission reach 56 credits on the LEED scale (4 more than the requisite 52 for a LEED Platinum rating). details
THE FACADE HAS MICRO TURBINES WITHIN THE PUNCTURES IN THE TOP OF THE BUILDING
TOWER WITH MICRO WIND TURBINES; HOUSES RESEARCH FACILITY AND LABORATORIES
THE FACADE IS INTEGRATED WITH CONDUITS THAT HELP IN HEAT EXCHANGE AND REDUCE THE HEAT LOAD INSIDE THE BUILDING
SITE ALLOCATED FOR GROWING MEDICINAL PLANTS
THE CURVATURE OF THE FACADE SERVES THE DUAL PURPOSE OF INCREASING THE SURFACE AREA OF INTERACTION AS WELL AS ADDING AESTHETIC VALUE TO THE FORM
TREE PLANTATION CONSISTS OF LOCALLY AVAILABLE EUCALYPTUS TREE WHICH HELPS IN BREAKING LOWER DEAD WINDS. HELPS NEGATE HEAT ISLAND EFFECT CAUSED BY EXISTING STRUCTURES IN THE VICINITY
AUDITORIUM AND CONVENTION CENTRE
VEHICULAR PARKING COVERED WITH HEAVY DUTY SOLAR PANELS. WATER POND FOR BIOGAS PRODUCTION PURPOSES
WASTE WATER TREATMENT & BIOGAS PRODUCTION PLANT
EARTH BERMING; HOUSING RESIDENTIAL QUARTERS AND EATING JOINTS
PLANTATION FOR LOCALLY AVAILABLE EUCALYPTUS, SAL AND OTHER TREES, FARMED ORGANICALLY
In the ﬁve years of Archtiecture school, this is one of the projects in which I was able to deliver an all round performance and enjoyed the process. As a result, I managed the highest score in this project. The amount of research that this project entailed greatly improved my knowledge about sustainable practices in the ﬁeld of architecture. I had to look up vernacular as well as new age methods of environment friendly construction, to make this project align with LEED requirements. One of the key elements that I would like to work on, later in life is the heat exchange facade that helps reduce the heat load within the building; conduits along the face take up a curvaceous form to increase the interaction surface area and provide an intriguing elevation. Overall, it was good learning experiece and enhanced my perspective regarding the characteristics and prerequisites of a “Green Building.” I believe that one of the most important lessons I’d learnt in the course of this project is that any rating or credit (be it LEED Platinum or otherwise) is pointless unless the project is symbiotic in nature with its immediate environment and assures long term beneﬁts. lessons
Semester 5, Year 3; October 2009 - December 2009 Academic Timeline Museum of Mathematics & Art, Bombay, India Architectural Design Problem
In third year of architecture school, one of the things that we studied about was pedestrian trafďŹ c in public places. Our studies were put to use when we were tasked with designing a Museum of Mathematics and Arts in Bombay (Mumbai). Special attention was to be paid to concept development, circulation, audience movement within the facility, and services. Taking lessons from previous design assignments, by now I had begun formulating a methodology that would help maximise creative output. As part of that process, in this semeter and with this particular assignment, I took liberties in how I approached the design problem. It is also the semester in which I failed the subject. introduction
For the Museum of Mathematics and Arts, concept development began with looking into aspects of mathematics that have common occurence in arts. Needless to say there were numerous such instances where the Arts have explored realms that have been of interest to Mathematics. Out of a many obvious choices, I picked one that was more of interest to me. The Mobius Strip is an interesting surface in mathematics that has only one side and one edge. In order to integrate into the concept, I looked at its various possible applications to the problem at hand. The way I looked at it was that the wall might become the floor and become the ceiling, and the wall again, continuing so in a loop, within this loop the audience can enter and exit as they choose. Ultimately, through a myriad of iterations I was able to further reﬁne this conjecture formally. I divided such a strip with a line passing through the center of the strip and extruded it out from the face such that where a cross-section of the strip was only a straight line (equivalent to the width of the strip), now the cross-section was a right isosceles triangle with the width of the original strip being the base. This gave rise to the ﬁnal form of the museum - a möbius volume. concept The structure was detailed as two trussed arches, springing and landing twice. Within this building the circulation - public movement was so devised that the audience follows a
SCHEMATIC LEVEL PLACEMENT
path that gradually rises, starting with the reception, passing through the seminar and lecture areas on different yet sequential levels and lands on the exhibit level. On completion of the tour, the audience pours out into the central courtyard outside the volume circulation This project is a particular favourite because of the intense learning process that it initiated - a layer by layer unvieling that ﬁnally led to the resolution of some of the issues put forward in the brief. By the beginning of this project I had grown comfortable with visualising spaces ﬁrst instead of starting the design work on a layout, as was recommended by some of our faculty. Although it resulted in a much 31
more satisfactory outcome concept-wise, academically, I started falling behind on representational submissions. When Plans were asked for I had 3D visualisations of spaces, when Sections were required I had Layouts, and so on. By the end of the semester I was both satisﬁed and frustrated; on one hand I had made my brain sweat for an assignment, on the other I was short of credits needed to clear the semester. This proved a lesson in devising a design process as per one’s aptitude as well as paying heed to certain incompatible constraints. I completed the design but didnt receive proper feedback, due to a lack of congruity and compliance with requirements, which were equally important. conclusion
Semester 4, Year 2; January 2009 - March 2009 Academic Timeline
In the fourth semester of Architecture studies (second year) we were assigned our ﬁrst major Architectural Design problem.
Graduate Students’ Hostel in New Delhi, India Architectural Design Problem
The Management Studies department of our institute was in the process of setting up a new campus in the capital of India, and to accommodate Business/Management students there, they were getting a hostel designed. It acted as a mock project for the fourth semester students (us). We were encouraged to focus on the form, and disregard norms - “let go of ballasts.” brief
VENTURI EFFECT NARROW WINDOWS THAT SPAN THE ENTIRE HEIGHT OF THE BUILDING, PRESENT BETWEEN ROOMS CATCH THE ONCOMING WIND AND OFFER COOLING IN THE SUMMERS
At the time, sustainability in architecture, more than a necessity, was a trend that everyone wanted to be a part of. As a way of breaking away from the template of hostel design that has been prevalent in India, while designing I focused on rethinking the arrangement of functions within the hostel keeping in mind some key points: 1. individual privacy 2. encourage engagement of resident students 3. visual access to nature; natural light 4. conscious sustainable practices Individual rooms were stacked to four storeys, with each room being offset above the previous. In this arrangement, 120 rooms generate a facade that gives the impression of a beehive 33
like cluster, and within such a cluster, functions such as common rooms, congregation space, library, food-court, kitchen and store, etc. are enclosed. Temperature regulation was an important aspect that influenced the design. The building uses Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) to heat and cool the space through extreme temperatures in winters and summers. Further, between each consecutive stack of four apartments, the walls curve into an opening - a vertical slit, that captures high velocity winds. The wind is forced through the narrow opening, causing expansion and cooling. highlights
VERTICAL SLITS (WINDOWS) RUNNING ALONG THE HEIGHT OF THE BUILDING
FOOD COURT LIFT SHAFT SITTING AREA INDOOR WATER BODY UNDERGROUND RAIN WATER RESERVOIR
INDOOR WATER-BODY CONNECTED TO UNDERGROUND RAIN-WATER RESERVOIR IS PART OF A GSHP LOOP. THE WATER STORED THROUGH THE MONSOON HELPS MAINTAIN A HIGH TEMPERATURE IN THE COLDER MONTHS
The preparation for this project proved quite enlightening. Through the research and reading that ensued, as part of the design process, I learnt about sustainable development of the built environment, and cultivated a sensitivity to climate, socio-economic factors and region-speciﬁc environmental vulnerabilities. Overall, I gained insight towards a holistic approach to sustainability. However, in my academic milieu there had
been an enduring notion that the fulﬁlment of any sustainable endeavour requires substantial compromise of formal aesthetics. Beginning with this project, I took it upon myself, at ﬁrst as a meandering musing, but in time, actively, to explore ecologically inclusive designs without surrendering aesthetics. This project was pivotal in helping me train myself to dismantle and overcome trepidations that come with wanting to drive change. conclusion HIVE
“The trees can’t grow without the sun in their eyes And we can't live if we're too afraid to die..” The Black Angels, Young Men Dead
My regards to the reader. For more academic and professional works that didn’t make it to the portfolio, please scan the QR Code.
Acknowledgements All my work has been made possible with unyielding support from my mother and father, brother and sister-in-law and friends, flatmates, teachers and employers. Cover Art A section of the painting Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time by artist Agnolo Bronzino c. 1545; oil on wood (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus)