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arch | folio

prithul saha

about me: I started my journey in Architecture from a city, once known as the City of Palaces, Kolkata. Honestly, it has been quite an engaging one in quest for meanings in the way of life, as moulded and shaped by the meandering course that it took. In terms of formal education, I completed my Bachelors in Architecture from the Department of Architecture, Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 2014. After that I tried to explore the several facets of designing built environment, including interior design, landscape architecture etc. After a year of exploration I decided to enhance my academic interests and did my Masters in Architecture with Major in Architectural Design & Minor in Sustainable Architecture from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and completed it in 2017. I believe in the role of an Architect to be the one to better others’ lives through meaningful design interventions. A believer in research-oriented architectural design, I have always tried to explore less traversed paths and tried to experiment with inclusive ideas. To meet the challenges of tomorrow is what I understand to be the primary goal of architecture today. My areas of interest lies in primarily Architectural Design, Urban Landscape, and Materials & Methods of Construction. CV: This portfolio is a preview of my selected academic & professional architectural works.

academic design projects

in search for solitude 2016 studio: architecture & water instructors: meghal arya, purvi bhatt, inigo carnago bonal

The studio focussed on the relation between architecture and water. The site of Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur, Rajasthan was given. Based on the response and understanding of the site on visit, individual programmes were designed. My response was to engage with the interaction between land and water- the surrounding hills and the vast extent of water and let the people find their own place. In a fragmented journey along the edge of water, the attempt was to weave the elements of pause. The experience involved parts of a meandering journey, which, at points, took one individual into the depths of the hills and at points make one stand at the edge of the vastness of the lake. And at each point, the attempt was made to make one take a pause and engage in a dialogue with his ownself, at an edge of solitude. Sculpted primarily into the existing land along the edge of the lake and the mountain the design attempted at providing personal spaces to the individuals in the nooks and corners of its meandering form, a space for one’s ownself, a place to find solitude, within the vast expanse of nature.

In a voyage towards within, Towards a skin against the ochre, I found a sky full of stars, Of infinite dots and threads. Within the pensive contemplations Of paradoxes, I found a sky full of stars, In me, and beyond.






the fractions in site






fragments in architecture 2016 studio: fragments_a paradox instructor: snehal shah

The studio was based on the idea of fragments in architecture, an insert in an urban chaos. Following Neil Levine’s article on the idea of Fragmentation in Louis I. Kahn’s works, the idea was to design a library amidst a historical context of Ahmedabad, with overlaps of infinite layers, or in other words, with reference to Braque’s Cubist paintings- a collage of chaos. The design tried to explore the idea of fragments in whole as well as in parts. In an attempt to establish a dialogue in space-time syntax with the strong historical context and its multiple layers, the design also attempted to address the dialogue between the building elements and materiality, such that there is a constant exchange between the elements of the building within themselves, as well as the building as a whole with the context. The design elements consisted of a series of repeatative parallel walls with the functional spaces occupying the in-between spaces looking into the historical monument in context as fragments within itself, while as a whole accentuation the axiality of the historic monuments amidst the chaos.

tagore centre for cultivation of poetry 2014 undergraduate thesis thesis guide: prof. suchandra bardhan

Poetry exists everywhere around us but not built. But whatever built is existence. So why not a building for Poetry, or vice versa? Poetry is a string of words. The centre of poetry was a reflection of that idea only. Taking the buildings as words, they were inerlaced together by the outdoor spaces, the landscape. The evolution of structure of poetry from strict rhythm to free flowing verse and the independance of creation in poetry which was reflected in the free flowing form of the design.The meandering course of the river Kopai adjacent to the site and the undulating landform of the nearby Khowai region played an important role to define the built form. Also significant were the philosophies of Rabindranath Tagore who always stressed on the integration & interaction of built environment with nature. Bengal is a land of seasons the cycle of which is represented in the series of interlinked courtyards and the movement through them.

Few words are held In strings or frames, The whispering dreams Of concrete veilsThe dwelling grains. Shall you breathe the grass, Shall you drink the wind, Shall you chase in shade, The million sons of rain. For that would sculpt the dreams Of words built across greensThe painted folklore stands Weaved in silent breeze.

courts and seasons





city centre 2013 studio: undergraduate viii instructors: prof. shubhrajit das

A City Centre is the identity of a city.Kolkata and Howrah are twin cities, two neighbours with the Ganga flowing in between.Kolkata has a flamboyant life, while Howrah is subtle. What they lack is communication. Then how do neighbours communicate? A Window. Located symmetrically opposite to the Howrah Railway Station with the Howrah Bridge as the axis on the bank of the river, the site offered a deliberate context for an identity of the city.The height of the City Centre was so defined that it could act as an identity for the monotonous backdrop of the city behind it and a series of frames acting as a window for the dialogue with Kolkata on the opposite bank.

professional projects

bhubaneswar town centre 2017 BDP. India & BDP. Manchester competition entry Role: Masterplan Development, Building Design, 3D Visualization & Walkthrough

Strategically located in the heart of the city in Bhubaneswar’s New Town Zone, BTC site consists of 20 parcels encompassing a total area of approximately 12 acres. The site falls under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation jurisdiction, is generally defined by the Master Canteen Chowk/ Janpath on the west, road leading to Reliance Mall on the north, Railway Station to the east, and road adjoining Ashoka Market forming the southern extent. The immediate surrounding of the site on the western side has planned city- Unit-2 and Unit-3 abutting Janpath whereas on the east the site extends till Bhubaneswar Railway Station and station road. Redevelopment of the railway station precinct area encompassing a total area of 4 acres which includes addition of two more platforms with anew iconic station building structure introducing a new identity for ‘Smart Bhubaneswar’.

The project scope was further detailed and reorganized into three main components: 1.Multi-Modal Integration 2. Redevelopment of the areas 3. Safe Access

The key objectives: • • • • •

Implementable Vision Vibrant Town Centre & Multi-modal Hub Future Transportation Needs Traffic Management Plan Sustainable Design

Massing inspiration from ‘Kalinga Architecture’ Form of the towers have been inspired from the ‘Shikhara’, which is known as one of the prime elements of ‘Kalinga Architecture’. South-facing facade will have a buffer skin which will protect the building from direct sun-light. North-facing glass facade will allow maximum diffused light within the building.

metropolis 2017 BDP. India under construction Role: Facade Design, Vertical Fins Design, 3D Modelling

The Metropolis is an upcoming commercial centre in the city of Valsad, near Surat, known for its traditional commercial history. The building is going to be one of its kind in the developing town. The client brief required contemporary aesthetics in minimal lines and more transparency. The fixed vertical fins were designed according to the solar trajectory so as to provide optimised sun protection without hampering visibility.

lodha social housing 2017-18 BDP. India phase 1 under construction Role: Construction Drawings

Lodha Social Housing in Palava is a combination of 1 BHK apartments to be handed over to MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority). The site spreads over 29.72 acres with an overall built up area of 5,23,663 sqm. The apartments have been designed as prototypes which are repeated across the site to ease prefabrication methods of construction. This would help save time, keep construction cost-efficient, and result in an affordable yet functionally well designed product.

site plan explorations


apartment typology

apartment typology

1bhk typical : 30.03 sq. m

1bhk typical converted : 50.48 sq. m

1bhk corner : 33.79 sq. m

1bhk corner converted : 50.66 sq. m

part tower plan

part tower section

part tower unfolded elevation

site photographs

chakdah shoppers’ hub 2017 personal work design development Role: Architectural Design

The commercial centre at Chakdah stands right on the bustling Station Road. The client breif asked for a multifunctional place, catering to the daily business people as well as to the student community of the surrounding institutes. The brief included a 2-screen movie theatre, an anchor shop, shop spaces, a fine dining restaurant and an open food court, all fitting within a small space. The design takes into account the environmental factors and attempts to minimize air conditioned space. Instead, the building is divided into 2 parts, one catering to the service requirements, and the other the primary functional space, connected via skybridges, with an open to sky courtyard in between acting as a passage for barrier free ventilation along the natural wind direction. Along with that a contemporary aesthetic language is applied.



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tatva home 2014 design virtuoso completed Role: Design Development, Revit Modelling, Working Drawings

The building is a residence on a hill in Uttarakhand. Built on stilts within the forest, the residence was designed such that it may have minimal direct footing on the ground, so that the hill can flow below it. The southern side was designed fully of glass and kept entirely transparent so as to have a beautiful view of the valley beyond, and also to bring the nature inside.

revenue house 2012 shirish beri & associates completed Role: Design Development, Working Drawings

Built on a small but steep site along the hillside of Kolhapur, the building used a significant percentage of recycled materials, including reinforcement bars from local demolition sites, locally made fly ash bricks, reclaimed wood, broken ceramics etc. Also the steep slope was negotiated with different levels in the building. It was designed to maximize the view of the valley adjacent to the site.

blue sky explorations

infinite city 2016 studio: experimental urban lab instructors: owen o’carroll, mary jane rooney, antara patel

Exploration into Branzi’s radical ideas about democratic space and the grid, forming the hypothesis – Architecture can function as Livable Urban Furniture responding to its time and beyond. It is explored in the proposal where it has been attempted to contextualize Branzi’s idea of No-Stop City as a connection along the infinite expanse of the Sabarmati riverfront. It also tried to address the common universality, interchangeability and transference within the overlaid infinite grid, aiming to demolish hierarchy and the freedom of people. In this experiment, an infinite grid of 5m x 5m is laid over the entire city. The connections between the old and the new city, the bridges, stand across the river as a passage between the 2 hierarchical spaces, but along a series of democratic public space. In the attempt to diminish hierarchy, the bridges act as generating spines for non-specific cubical volumes of 5m x 5m x 5m which can accomodate a variety of functions. This cubes generate infinitely along all the 3 dimensions across the city, forming a network of non hierarchical spaces.

pier to peer 2016 seattle intensive workshop instructors: owen o’carroll, mary jane rooney, gavin keeney

The piers of Seattle have always been a significant part of Washington’s history. This project was to explore the Pier 63, currently to be redesigned and provide alternatives. The positioning of Pier 63 is very significant as it falls at the junction of two different city grids. On the other hand, along the same line also lies the Convention Centre & the Paramount Theatre, the central site for the 2013 WTO Protests. Taking cues from the history, city form and the grids, the design attempted to celebrate democratising the public spaces. Representing the nodes and the city grids, the fragments of platforms were generated, with a central void, representing the timeless.

research projects

research: exploring bamboo for permanent sustainable construction in seismically vulnerable regions of India

design: assam state assembly building 2017 postgraduate thesis thesis guide: prof. urvi desai

The thesis attempted to explore sustainable permanent bamboo construction in the seismically vulnerable areas of India. Bamboo, by virtue of its properties, is denoted by some as the 21st Century Steel, by some as the Green Gold. Yet, Bamboo construction has not been accepted in the mainstream. Apart from the technological challenges, what dominates are the social connotations that restrict it to remain as a poor man’s timber. On one hand, when the North Eastern parts of India are some of the most seismically vulnerable regions, especially after the Nepal Earthquake of 2015, they have been moving away from their traditionally rich bamboo culture, especially in the field of construction. The thesis attempts to address both. From the engineering point of view, it tries to explore the design of multi-level and large span construction in bamboo using modern industrial technology, and simultaneously, by taking up the programme of a State Assembly Building, it symbolically tries to address the social reservations regarding bamboo construction.

DESIGN CONCERN Bamboo construction can be a sustainable alternative to mainstream construction practices in earthquake-prone areas of India (here, Guwahati in Assam). RESEARCH AIM To understand the challenges faced by bamboo construction in terms of engineering and social perspective and build a response to address those. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • Understanding the seismic vulnerability of the context • Understand the properties, mechanisms and construction methodology of bamboo • Understand the challenges faced by bamboo construction • Respond to the major challenges through design approach RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Understand earthquake scenario in context • Understand the sustainability context • Understand the overall site context in relation to bamboo as a material • Understand applicability and challenges related to bamboo construction • Application of the studies in design to response to the challenges COMPREHENSIVE METHODOLOGY OF UNDERSTANDING BAMBOO: • • • • • •

Sustainable Perspective from resource, energy & environmental points of view Seismic safety standards Construction methods and practice Social & Engineering Challenges Assam and its relationship with Bamboo Design implications of the understanding

*For the detailed research work please refer to the Thesis Report.

DESIGN OBJECTIVES • Inquiry into bamboo for a seismically safe construction material • Explore large span and multistoried structures in bamboo • Approach the social stigmas associated with bamboo construction The design will attempt to address the former two, while the third challenge is intended to be confronted with the program of the design. DESIGN TOPIC AND JUSTIFICATION The program: THE ASSAM STATE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY BUILDING, Dispur, Guwahati. Through the demonstration of an iconic public building, the State takes a strong symbolic position of promoting the material, in order to confront the social stigma and conflict of aspirations associated with a material which has always been historically entwined with multiple cultural dimensions of a specific society, apart from its material properties and appropriateness to the context. DESIGN STRATEGIES • The Climate is marked by a hot and humid summer and a cold winter, with a heavy rainfall with occassional floods, hence deep overhangs are to be used as protection. • Also higher plinths will be needed to prevent the bamboo from ground moisture as well as during flood. • The structural bamboo should not touch the ground directly, as the hygroscpoic nature of bamboo can damage it faster. • For the wet service areas, bamboo cannot be used, instead conventional masonry and RCC will be used. • Keeping in mind the specific dimensions and structural property the bamboo species are chosen, • Bamboo in the columns need to cover larger spans, and should be elastic, to allow the dissipation of the seismic energy when an earthquake hits. • The horizontal members need to hold up to the gravitational load, as well as the compressive load, so species with higher allowable compressive strength need to be used. • Keeping the spanning limitation of the bamboo elements, instead of deeper and longer vertical members, a mesh of smaller elements, connected with aluminium joineries are used, which is also helpful to distribute the lateral movement. • Aluminium Joineries are used instead of steel because of comparable strength, but also to reduce the weight of the entire structure. A few of the joineries are to be custom designed to fit the diameter, thickness and internodal distances of the specific bamboo species they are used with.

Throughout the world, in Asia, Africa, South America, the most common typology of bamboo construction is found in the form of wattle-and-daub construction system in the earthquake prone areas.

BUILDING PART: Columns REQUIRED PROPERTY: Flexibility to dissipate the Seismic Energy to counter buckling, Higher allowable Compressive strength, Higher Tensile Strength, Longer span. SELECTED SPECIES: Dendrocalamus giganteus BUILDING PART: Beams and Slabs REQUIRED PROPERTY: Rigidity to counter the Gravitational load as well as to perform as a stronger monolithic unit during lateral movement,Higher allowable Compressive strength, Longer Span. SELECTED SPECIES: Bambusa pallida BUILDING PART: Walls REQUIRED PROPERTY: Flexibility while performing individually when subjected mainly to seismic force (as the columns, seperate from the walls will carry the gravitational load as well and walls will mainly counter the seismic force), Longer Span. SELECTED SPECIES: Dendrocalamus hamiltoni BUILDING PART: Doors and Windows REQUIRED PROPERTY: Smaller dimension in diameter SELECTED SPECIES: Melocanna baccifera

The Hexagon is a regular form, which is easy to build with in modules, repeatable in all directions, and can be divided into equilateral triangles, which follow the same grid overlaid, as does the horizontal structural members. From a seismic perspective, the angle formed in a hexagon helps to dissipate the seismic energy evenly and simply.

Instead of a single unit, columns are designed of 3 bamboos, connected, which act as a single unit while transfering the gravity load, but also helps in the better dissipation of the seismic energy because of avoiding concentrated load.

A triangular mesh of shallower and shorter horizontal members is used in place of deeper beams for better distribution of the seismic energy. The roofs are indepenent structures, connected with pin joints to avoid damage during an earthquake by allowing movement,also not imposing direct load on the walls, but transfering the load directly into the columns through the horizontal mesh

The walls are independent of the columns. While the vertical members carry the gravity load, the horizontal maintain the integrity of the structure during an earthquake. Also the timber members at the ends maintain the stability and dampens the seismic force.

research: renegotiating human - nature relationship a case of sabarmati riverfront development

design: enhance city-river connections 2017 studio: foundation studio thesis guide: sankalpa, surya kakani, uday andhare, mehul bhatt

This project attempts to find the relation between the people and the river as a natural element and makes a critique of the sabarmati riverfront development project which is showcased as a precedent to many such projects from an ecospheric point of view. The riverfront development project has changed the organic nature of the river through human interventions and transformed it into a stagnant canal. The research traces back to the historical connections between the river and the people and how our perspectives towards the river has metamorphosed over technological evolution, and how the anthropocentric outlook has put the riparian ecology to a threat. The design interventions include restoration of the river to its original seasonal nature, and making the edges more porous so as to enhance the connection between people and the river. It also looks at the dynamic nature of such spatio-temporal relationship

other interests

poetry & paintings

photography +91-9874237432 / 8758819260

Portfolio Prithul Saha 2018  
Portfolio Prithul Saha 2018