VOL 27 (9)
INDIAN ARCHITECT & BUILDER
ARCHITECTURE Crematorium - Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd Stack House - Kamat & Rozario Architecture CAMPAIGN: Architectural Education The Creation of an Architect: Crisis and Challenge - Christopher Benninger Young Designers ‘14 Architecture: Poolside Pavilion – IORA Studio Interior Design: Anticlimax Exhibition – fala atelier Landscape Design: Wadhwa Residence – 3Fold Design Tribute: Piraji Sagara By Sharmila Sagara
VOL 27 (9) | MAY 2014 | www.iabforum.com 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), Chandrima Padmanabhan, Anusha Narayanan, Shreya Shah Copy Editor: Sachi Atul Shah Design Team: Mansi Chikani, Prasenjit Bhowmick, Kenneth Menezes Event Management Team: Abhijeet Mirashi Subscription: Dilip Parab Production Team: V Raj Misquitta (Head), Prakash Nerkar, Arun Madye
IIID Anchor Awards for Excellence in Interior Design 2013
A summary of the 17 th edition of the IIID Anchor Awards for Excellence in
Interior Design held in Bengaluru on 22 March 2014.
arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture 2014
The arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture 2014, an international
architecture award for female designers instituted by the Italcementi Group.
The latest news, events and competitions in architecture and design from
India and abroad.
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Designed by Goa-based Playgroup Studio, the Coffee Pavilion in Coorg,
placed on a tiny island surrounded by hills, confronts the landscape with its
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Printed & Published by Maulik Jasubhai Shah on behalf of Jasubhai Media Pvt. Ltd (JMPL), 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Printed at M B Graphics, B-28 Shri Ram Industrial Estate, ZGD Ambekar Marg, Wadala, Mumbai 400031and Published from Mumbai - 3rd Floor, Taj Building, 210, Dr D N Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001. Editor: Maulik Jasubhai Shah, 26, Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Indian Architect & Builder: (ISSN 0971-5509), RNI No 46976/87, is a JMPL monthly publication. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or any other language is strictly prohibited. We welcome articles, but do not accept responsibility for contributions lost in the mail.
Coffee Pavilion, Coorg
Reforming a Cultural Construct
Situated in the locale of Coimbatore, the Crematorium by Chennai-based
Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd is a functional and solemn funerary space in a
An Enveloped Enclosure
Like a womb carrying life inside it, the Stack House by Kamat & Rozario
Architecture is located on a plot locked by residences, exploring an inward
approach to space modulation.
Designed by IORA Studio, the recreational Poolside Pavilion in Ahmedabad is
a youthful, minimal pavilion sitting on a lush green site, beside the blue of
Interiors – Anticlimax Exhibition
Installed at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Anticlimax Exhibition
in Portugal by fala atelier traces the evolution of the Nakagin Capsule Tower,
from conception to execution to a projected future.
Architecture – Poolside Pavilion
Landscape – Landscape Design of Wadhwa Residence
The landscape design of the Wadhwa Residence tackles numerous parts of
the site with individual designs addressing the immediate needs of
CAMPAIGN: Architectural Education
Stating his opinion on present-day architectural education in India,
Professor Christopher Charles Benninger sheds light on endemic challenges,
shortfalls and possible approaches to bring reforms.
A tribute by Sharmila Sagara to the life and work of the renowned artist
and committed teacher, Piraji Sagara.
The Creation of an Architect: Crisis and Challenge
Piraji – a friend and a father
Himalayan Cities – Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture
A review of Pratyush Shankar’s monograph on the Himalayan landscape, its
human habitats and the multiple relationships therein.
Doob Gaya Hum, Dooba Diya Hum Ne…
Drenched in the hues of grey, teal and blue, this series, a part of Dr Mathew’s
exhibition titled the same, captures the subject of water and submersion at Tehri
Dam in Uttarakhand in the concluding edition of this column, curated by
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.
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IIID Anchor Awards for Excellence in Interior Design 2013 The seventeenth edition of the IIID Anchor Awards for Excellence in Interior Design, organised by IIID in Bengaluru on 22 March 2014, in collaboration with Anchor by Panasonic, was received with much enthusiasm by the interior and architecture design community of India. ↑
On the night of the IIID Anchor Awards in Bengaluru.
he recent felicitation of the young and fresh as well as the well-known and established design firms in the country, at the IIID Anchor Awards 2013, was attended by some of the leading professionals in the field of architecture and interior design. The Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID), with a membership base of over 6000 members in 24 chapters across India, was established in 1972 and is among the largest networks for working professionals in the field of interior design in the country. The Anchor Awards, instated by IIID in order to honour some of the finest works in the field of interior design in a year, were organised in collaboration with Anchor by Panasonic, the 50 year old company which merged with Matsushita Electric Works in 2008 to be rechristened as Panasonic Corporation, Japan. The Awards are conducted in two stages – a regional round and a national round, which sieves the winners from a vast pool of entries into a consolidated list of shortlists for the year. The national winners automatically qualify for the Asia Pacific Space Designers Alliance (APSDA) awards, which are an extension of ASPDA, a collective forum of design associations from most parts of East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Oceania regions.
Exhibition of all the winning entries for 2013.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The national awardees this year were LAB: Language Architecture Body, KNS Architects Pvt Ltd, The Ashleys, Samira Rathod Design Associates, Kamat & Rozario Architecture and Tejal Mathur from the West-1 region; Architecture Discipline, Team 3 and M:OFA Studios Pvt Ltd from the North and East regions; Rahul & Associates and Lovekar Design Associates from the West-2 region; Sparsh and Hiren Patel Architects from the West-3 region; and Group 4 Architects, Common Ground Architecture, Sujit Nair Design Group, Sanctuary Architects & Designers, mayaPRAXIS, Cadence Architects, Kaaru and Moriq from the South-1 region. The establishment of the Anchor Awards as an annual event addresses some of the core issues of IIID such as providing a common platform to showcase and share design solutions for multiple spaces in response to changing social needs, to establish benchmarks in the profession, to provide cues to the entire design fraternity through those benchmarks and to create opportunities for introspection. With the increasingly enthusiastic response of professionals in submitting entries every year, the Awards are growing into a marked calendar event for many professionals in the country.
Ms Samira Rathod with a colleague, receiving the Award from the jury members.
Ms Shabana Sadikot Ghoghari receiving the Award from the jury members.
arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture 2014 The arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture 2014, an international architecture award for female designers instituted by the Italcementi Group was awarded to Ines Lobo of Portugal. Honourable Mentions were also presented to Shimul Javeri Kadri, Anna Heringer and Cecilia Puga.
he arcVision Prize is an annual award instituted by the Italcementi Group which is presently in its second installment. As an international platform for female designers, it celebrates women whose research and design work reflects excellence, with special attention given to the key ideals of quality, technology and innovation, while providing a distinctive and powerful expression of the values of social, environmental and economic sustainability. The nominations for the Prize favour female architects working under particularly challenging conditions, in terms of both project type and scope, in relevance to the context in which they live and work. The members of the jury this year, all outstanding professional women that have distinguished themselves in promoting a responsible and innovative socio-economic and architectural vision, were Shaikha Al Maskari (member of the board of the Arab International Women’s Forum – AIWF), Vera Baboun (Mayor of Bethlehem), Odile Decq (owner of the Odile Decq firm in Paris), Louisa Hutton (English founding partner of the Sauerbruch Hutton architectural practice), Suhasini Maniratnam (an Indian actress, producer and writer, deeply involved in community service), Samia Nkrumah (President of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan African Centre), Kazuyo Sejima (owner with Ryue Nishizawa of the SANAA architectural practice in Tokyo), Benedetta Tagliabue (founding partner with Enric Miralles of the EMBT architectural firm in Barcelona), Martha Thorne (Director of the Pritzker Prize), Elena Zambon (Chairman of the Italian pharmaceuticals company Zambon). The meetings of the jury were co-ordinated by the Scientific Director of the Prize, Stefano Casciani. Twenty-one designers were shortlisted for the prize, from 15 countries: Austria, Chile, Egypt, France,
Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, USA. The Prize winner was announced in Bergamo at the i.lab, the Italcementi research and innovation center designed by Richard Meier, a building which itself integrates leading construction solutions and technologies. The jury unanimously selected Portuguese architect, Ines Lobo as the winner of the 2014 edition of the arcVision Prize, awarding recognition to her ability to work at different scales, integrating new buildings within the existing urban fabric and creatively attacking complex architectural problems. Among her outstanding projects, many of which are in the public realm and located in Portugal, is the Art and Architecture Faculty in Évora, where annexes were substituted with new construction and the courtyard newly configured. The jury spoke of the rich counterpoint that she establishes between existing buildings and the new additions she creates, highlighting the integrity and authenticity of her works. Her buildings reflect her independent and unrestrictive approach to architecture, as a creator of social spaces. The jury also awarded Honourable Mentions to Indian architect Shimul Javeri Kadri, German architect Anna Heringer, and German and Chilean architect, Cecilia Puga. The jury’s citation for Kadri’s work read, “Kadri with her firm, SJK Architects, is particularly interested in reconciling an egalitarian and democratic form of architecture with the need for individual expression. The result is an eclectic language, ranging from citations from the Indian tradition, to the elegant modernism of the offices for Nirvana Film, one of her best-known projects. This ‘flexible inspiration’ enables Kadri to develop work environments that are both innovative and comfortable, balancing the needs of the company with those of the workers”.
Jury (L to R) Elena Zambon, Benedetta Tagliabue, Odile Decq, Louisa Hutton, Samia Nkrumah, Vera Baboun, Martha Thorne, Suhasini Maniratnam, Shaikha Al Maskari, Kazuyo Sejima. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Category Type Deadline
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International Open to students May 31, 2014
The David Salisbury ‘Future of The Conservatory’ design competition calls for entries from design and architecture students. The agenda of the competition is to receive entries from students that show concern towards the Conservatory design considering the use of material and building technologies involved in constructing them. Design process and details will be appreciated and will be the base of the judgement criteria, which will be undertaken during June and July 2014. The participants are expected to send a graphic three dimentional model and a brief write-up to support their research and design project. For further information, log on to: www.davidsalisbury.com/conservatory-competition.htm
Under the Bridge Competition Category Type Deadline
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International Open to all June 15, 2014
The Social Revolution organises Social Revolution Festival 2014, one of the first architectural festivals in Yaroslavl, Russia titled ‘Under the Bridge’ for the year 2014. The competition aims to receive entries from architects, landscape architects, urban planners, civil engineers, structural designers and students in a group not more than seven members. With the notion of utilising the space beneath a bridge, the brief of the competition emphasises on designing this space that can serve the urban crowd. To encourage the usability of such spaces, the master planning will be accordingly more focused on public use under given conditions. For further information, log on to: socialfest.ru/w/
UIA - HYP Cup 2014 International Student Competition in Architecture Design
Category Type Deadline
: : :
International Open to students June 30, 2014
Workshop on Low Carbon Materials and Building Systems Date Venue
June 23-28, 2014 IIS, Bengaluru
Seventh workshop under the Energy Efficient Workshop Series on ‘Low Carbon Materials and Building Systems’ have been organised from the June 23-28, 2014. The workshop over the six days will be co-ordinated by Prof B V Venkatarama Reddy and Dr Monto Mani from IIS, Bengaluru and Mr H Hemanth Kumar from Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST). The workshop comprises of lectures, hands-on training and demonstration of construction techniques. The event intends to discuss energy efficient buildings and green building concepts. Low-carbon building materials such as stabilised soil blocks, rammed earth, fly ash bricks, soil based building products, materials from solid wastes, etc. Open for students as well as professionals, the workshop shall be conducted at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bengaluru. For further information, log on to: civil.iisc.ernet.in/eebworkshop_brochure_June2014.pdf
Inside Outside Mega Show Date Venue
June 27-29, 2014 Coimbatore, India
Inside Outside has organised the Inside Outside Mega Show, a flagship production of Business India Exhibition from June 27-29, at Smt Padmavathi Ammal Cultural Centre in Coimbatore, India. It is going to be the largest event in India that brings together a community that aims and serves the parallels of design. Entrepreneurs dealing with interior design, furniture and furnishings, building and construction industries will get a chance to exhibit their products and designs through exhibition stalls. The show will be an event that will provide a common platform to the designers and dealers from across the nation to come together and understand the design needs from the perspective of market and demands. For further information, log on to: 10times.com/inside-outside-megashow-coimbatore
The London Festival of Architecture Date Venue
June 1-30, 2014 London, UK
Hosted by UIA, the HYP Cup 2014 International Student Competition in Architecture Design focuses on the theme of ‘Architecture in Transformation’. The topic of the competition is ‘Unexpected City’ which refers to a city in transition and a city of future. The goal is to design a city proposal that has no architectural limitations and the participants are free to explore all technological means to design a city of their choice. Permitted to choose a site of the participants’ choice, the competition intends to receive entries which bear importance to the space of living, nature, respecting the architecture and urban planning as a contextual consideration. Aimed to understand the thoughts of future architects and their decisions on exploiting the available resources, the competition will be an open platform of experimentation.
Initiated by The Architecture Foundation, British Council, New London Architecture and RIBA London, in the tenth year of its being, the festival will be a month-long event from June 1-30, 2014, opening forums for lectures, discussions and debates. The theme of the event is ‘Capital’ to which the participants are expected to respond to through the projects designed/undertaken by individuals, architects, planners, artists and curators. The event targets to provoke the concern about the future of a city while discussing the current architecture and planning of London with the involvement of artists, architects as well as the urban crowd of the city. They have opened competitions wherein the participants can send entries in the medium of their interests such as films, models, design proposals, etc. Events like film screenings, walks, cycle rides, open studios and family events will ignite the discussions and debates on the theme of this year, ‘Capital’.
For further information, log on to: hypcup2014.uedmagazine.net/Eg_index.html
For further information, log on to: www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/index.php/about
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The Future of The Conservatory Design Competition
World Heritage Living Festival 2014 The 2nd World Heritage Festival was held at Udaipur, Rajasthan from March 13-16, 2014. Conducted on the campus of the City Palace, Udaipur, the four-day event scheduled exhibitions, lectures and photography sessions concerning the ‘living heritage’ of Mewar region in Rajasthan along with the cultural evenings representing diverse yet core culture of Rajasthan through performances and concerts. The ambassador of France to India and Embassy of France in India were invited on the inaugural day as chief guests. UNESCO showed active participation by way of imparting a lecture associated to culture. Dr Shikha Jain, Dr Rachna Khare, Ms Yaaminey Mubayi, Ms Vrinda Raje, Dr Ravina Aggrawal, Dr Anjoo Upadhyaya, Ms Mary McCarthy from National Sculpture Factory in Ireland and many more discussed about concerning factors about the heritage of Rajasthan. The event celebrated the festival of Holi with ongoing sessions for the assorted congregation. The festival brought together people from various backgrounds of art, architecture and history, and left an interrogating impression with regard to the idea of ‘living heritage’.
19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire The fourth oldest biennale in the world, the Sydney Biennale, organised the 19 th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire from March 21, 2014 to June 9, 2014, under the decisions of Juliana Engberg. The ongoing event showcases the art works of about 90 most recent and well-known artists from almost 31 countries. The management has included venues such as heritage-listed locations like Cockatoo Island and Carriageworks, along with Pier 2/3, The Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Australia for different exhibitions and occasions. Free for all, the Biennale is among the largest and most attended events bringing forth the visual arts of Australia. Also, 20 artists have already exhibited their work with 39 other guest artists’ works at the Art Gallery of NSW for a brilliant start of the event that receives a lot of visitors. The MCA will also house works of eminent artists like the Scottish artist Douglas Gordon, the first video artist to win Turner Prize.
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Launches a Prize Open to all architects and architectural firms, the prize launched by the Royal Architectural Institute and architect Raymond Moriyama will be among the largest prizes in the history of architectural prizes of amount of $100,000. The Award will be called Moriyama RAIC International Prize. The competition is aimed to raise the stature of the RAIC internationally and also to promote Canada which shall also inspire Canadian architects to aim for creativity and innovation in the architecture of Canada. The RAIC further aims to raise $5 million CAD to create endowment fund for the prize. The winner of the competition will be selected through an open jury; which will be announced, for the first edition, by August 1, 2014. The Award ceremony shall take place on October 11, 2014 at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Three selected students from Canadian schools of architecture will receive scholarship of $5000 through an essay writing competition. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
On-site Work for the Arts Resource Centre for LUMA Arles Complex Designed by Frank Gehry Begins After a four year long research and design, the foundation of Arts Resource Centre for LUMA Arles Complex in France was laid in the first week of April after a long delay of the physical manifestation of the project. The Swiss collector Maja Hoffmann’s LUMA Foundations have given 100 million pounds to establish this ambitious project for the betterment of the civic life. The inauguration was a well-directed ceremony. Targeted to be accomplished by 2018, the Centre shall encompass research and reference facilities, workshop and seminar rooms, artist studios and presentation spaces. As a team, their core agenda was to design an environment that would allow artists and thinkers to work in their own way that would not cumber their freedom of expression and a place where the artists can expand their connections and create new projects through interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition to this building, the redevelopment of five industrial buildings will also take place, headed by Selldorf Architects.
The BIG U: BIG’s New York City Vision for Rebuild by Design BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is a Copenhagen- and New York-based firm comprising of architects, designers, builders and thinkers. BIG along with nine other teams including OMA and WXY, proposed a plan for the New York City Vision for the competition entry organised by Rebuild by Design. The BIG U conceptualises social infrastructure and aims to serve the people with amenities that are important in architecture and its implication on the city state. Stretching from West 57 th Street, South to The Battery and up to East 42 nd Street, the Big U covers 10 continuous miles of low-lying geography that comprises of of an incredibly dense, vibrant, and vulnerable urban state. The proposal emphasises on the social life wherein the main consideration being for developing waterfronts that would shield the city against floods, and landscape design with trees and shrubs to facilitate the users with a better atmosphere. It also includes flood control zones, maritime museum and environmental education centre.
OMA Won the Competition to Design the Axel Springer’s Media Campus in Berlin Rem Koolhaas with Ellen Van Loon, partners-in-charge under the name OMA won a competition to design a new media campus for the Axel Springer Media Group in Berlin. OMA’s concept was considered the best in the competition along with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Buro Ole Scheeren by the jury. The project was developed in collaboration with Chris Carroll from Arup London, Duncan Phillips from RWSI for microclimate consultation, Eckhard Kahle of Kahle Acoustics, Christian Wernicke and Christoph Winter of SMV Bauprojektsteuerung and Emproc GmbH for cost consultation, Peter Stanek for fire safety consultation. The company decided to go from print to all digital. The new building of the campus design complements the existing one, which is divided by the Zimmerstrasse Street, will be situated at one of the prime locations in Berlin. This new campus will consist of open and semi-open spaces for exhibitions, canteens and restaurants, while the building reflects a ‘valley’ through stepped terrace gardens and covered spaces for informal discussions.
THE STORYTELLERS A photo-competition on spaces and places
By: Amrit Narkar Equipment used: Canon 600D Title: Every window hides a story behind it. . . Description: As we pass through the infinite spectrum of life in a city, we are so engaged in our own ideas and finite range of vision that we ignore stories happening around us. It is only when we free ourselves from our own visual barriers, mental and physical, that can we flow like a river, openly and without any goal, any intention; open to every experience coming our way. One should see these doors and windows like a bordered canvas giving a glimpse into the range of stories trapped and painted inside it, so dynamic, so volatile. . . Submit your entry today! Each month, the winning entry will be published in the magazine and will receive a complimentary annual subscription.
Submission Format: 1 Photograph â€“ JPEG Format. Brief write-up of upto 100 words describing the image. Required Details: Name / Email Address / Contact Number / Camera Used. Send in your entries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. See selected entries on IA&Bâ€™s Facebook page: facebook/Indian Architect and Builder For queries, please call 022 40373660
LogIN, designed by Ujjaval Panchal, is a one-of-a-kind rustic looking piece of furniture which is perfect for any home or office interior setting. Text: Sachi Atul Shah Images: courtesy Ujjval Panchal
ogIN, a compact coffee cum sofa table, is conceptualised by Ujjaval Panchal â€“ an architect and interaction designer who runs an Ahmedabad-based studio called 72by3 Studio. The rustic piece of furniture is made out of raw Neem Tree log wood and is supported by an acrylic base. LogIN is created by using a folded transparent acrylic sheet as its base. The acrylic sheet is folded at two exact folds in such a way that it does not require any additional support to remain standing while carrying the weight of the wooden log. The most peculiar part of the furniture is that the surface of the table is made out of a wood block slice of a fallen Neem Tree retaining one natural bark side and the other side characterised with a rough saw cut finish. The wooden block is rightly sliced as per the exact dimensions of the folds of acrylic sheet to fit in the self-supported base which is then inserted in the wooden block, rendering it with an appearance of a heavy log of wood resting or rather floating in the air.
Designer: Ujjval Panchal, Architect and Interaction Designer Contact: Ujjval Panchal, 72by3 Studio Ahmedabad Email: email@example.com Web: www.ujjvalpanchal.com, www.72by3.in Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Concrete Bench, made with glazed ceramic by international ceramic artist Lee Hun Chung who is devoted to reviving ancient Korean ceramic techniques.
CONCRETE BENCH Text: Sachi Atul Shah Images: courtesy Gallery SEOMI
nspired to craft contemporary aesthetics using traditional Korean techniques, ceramic artist Lee Hun Chung sees his medium as ‘three-dimensional landscape painting’, imbued with the colours of his native – Korea. The artist, who believes in the spirit of craftsmanship, prefers to model his pieces with minimalistic ideals and does so to craft chairs, tables, and decorative objects. For the Concrete Bench, he begins by mixing earth with ready-made lithic clay, sand and kaolin to make ceramics. The combination of these materials allows expansion and contraction when firing, in a hand-made kiln, adding a mysterious element for the result of the glazing process, which could be unpredictable. It creates a complex patina of painterly layers in greyish-blue powdered celadon glaze. Having worked in pottery, sculpture, installation and furniture, Lee continually pushes the boundaries of his medium. Lee Hun Chung is part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Gallery SEOMI. Based out of Pierre Koenig’s historic Case Study House #21 in Los Angeles, Gallery SEOMI goes beyond the realms of traditional design to present a new concept that encompasses boundaries of art, design, and architecture. Gallery SEOMI has been a part of Design Miami for five years. Most of their clients live in metropolitan cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Zurich.
Designer: Lee Hun Chung; www.leehunchung.com Contact: Gallery SEOMI Case Study House #21 9038 Wonderland Park Avenue Los Angeles CA 90046 Tel: +1 310.994.9538 or +1 310.734.9686 Web: www.GALLERYSEOMI.com Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The Pavilion sitting in the valley of Coorg region.
Coffee Pavilion, Coorg
Residing in the placid landscape and pleasant climate of Coorg, installed on an island centred by three hills on the sides, the Coffee Pavilion is more than a place for coffee-tasting from this county and across the world, innovatively designed by Goa-based Playgroup Studio in collaboration with Abdul Hameed Consultants, Calicut. Text: Shreya Shah Images & Drawings: courtesy Playgroup Studio
lotted on the resort property of 120 acres, developed by Abdul Hameed Consultants, Calicut, the Coffee Pavilion by Playgroup Studio, schemed as a singular unit on an isle in the tropical Coorg region, is intended to be a place for experiencing the serenity of the setting. Cradled on three sides by gently sloping hills, the fringes of the lush 1,850sqft site expanse, relax soulfully into a lake which is a result of many monsoons. At the nexus of this scenic interplay, and as an epitome to the rooted tradition of growing coffee in the region, the Pavilion caters to spaces for coffee drying, brewing, tasting and a coffee shop. The idea of serving fresh coffee on-site enhances the tranquil atmosphere of the context. Enriching the remnant of an extant tiny pond and a concrete platform, the planning is conceived in an incremental but simplistic approach. The existing pristine vegetation is left undamaged
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
and the tiny pond along an existing stream was developed into a lake after studying the topography, soil conditions and the existing natural landscape. To optimise the resources, the existing platform left by the previous owners has been skilfully recycled as a plinth for the entire unit. The functionality is contrived under a low-slung flying roof medianly anchored, its cantilevered edges straying upwards in opposite directions reclaiming the dramatic views on the eastern and western ends from the frameless glass faรงades that it rests upon. Fixed in the centre of the glass faรงade, the wooden door is marked as an entity for transition from the inside to the outside and vice-verse. In a levelled and stratified appropriation, the circulation matrix locates the immanent activities of a coffee lounge such as the preparation, serving counters, the bakery within and coffee drying yards on the deck. In the elementary layout, the architects have curated moments and
1 Legend 1. Entry 2. Coffee Lounge 3. Serving Counter 4. Preparation Counter 5. Toilet 6. Bakery 7. Storage 8. Coffee Drying Deck ↑
Legend 1. Deck 2. Coffee Lounge 3. Serving Area 4. Preparation Area 5. Kitchen ↑
SECTION Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Steel girders used as scaffolding to hold the roof structure.
materiality for the users to engage with the surrounds unstintingly. The entrance bridge forms a corridor flanked by tall vegetation on its sides and is precisely planned along the edges of the waterbody to reveal the locale in pockets. Contrary to the typical typology of the region, the modern ensemble facilely responds to the climatic concerns and bears a maintenancefree character. Composed of a monolithic concrete slab, the roof that refines the identity of the Pavilion, relies on a structural framework formed of inverted beams flushed with the slab that ensures a clear surface in the interiors. Projecting from the central beam, its cantilevered spans stretch upto six meters in the front, each secured by two thin linear columns in the front and two at the back. Using a naturally available material known as the ‘chocolate Andhra’ stone, the floor is being fabricated as if ‘woven’ and will be polished soon.
The deck projecting out of the land piece. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Walls erected after constructing the roof slab.
Celebrating an intimate relationship with the lake and the encompassing hills, the Coffee Pavilion is a personification of simplicity. As a stark, solitary space knitted within this fabric, it reciprocates as a built gesture to the quietude and the architect’s intent for it to ‘become a meditative/contemplative space.’ FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design Team Landscape Architect Client Project Area Civil Contractors Carpentry Contractors Structural Engineers Site Engineers
: : : : : : : : : : :
Coffee Pavilion IBNI, Coorg Bhavana Hameed Abdul Hameed, Anjana VT, Bhavana Hameed, Harsh Patel Anjana Bhagyanathan Capt Sebastian 120 Acres KAP Construction, Mangalore Arunjith, Calicut Basil Thomas, Abdul Hameed Consultants, Calicut Prasanna, Madikeri
The articulated door acting as an element for transition.
The subtle interiors will be done with bare minimum furniture.
The roof, as it flaps outside, invites the tropical context inside. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
REFORMING A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT Nestled in the scenic locale of Coimbatore, the Crematorium by Chennai-based Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd is a crafted, befitting rejoinder to the need for a precedent in funerary architecture that is responsive to its function. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan Images & Drawing: courtesy Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd
here exists a multilayered historic parable and philosophy behind the culture of cremation and death in India. Given that Hinduism has essential rituals for honouring the deceased through the narrative epitomised in the process of cremating, one would idealistically expect the funerary architecture of the place to be perceptible as a distinctive landscape in the urban realm. Crematory spaces, however, have long since become an apathetic blind spot in the urban sprawl, an unimportant element in the city dwellers' consciousness, although an integral part of their culture. With very little occupiable land available in cities, cremations usually take place in small open grounds in the fringes of the city or in buildings with electric furnaces, making very little of the procession of rites that accompanies a death in the family. The lack of space for these ceremonies makes cremations today mainly repositories for the deceased rather than spaces for the living to gather, grieve and pay their respects to them. Prudently negotiating a typology that requires a careful positioning on the fine line between being respectful of the Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
privacy craved by the immediate family and being comfortable to the larger gathering, the Crematorium in Coimbatore, designed by Chennai-based Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd is a poetic and ritualistic synthesis of landscape and architecture. Structured to accommodate a pavilion on both flanks, the eastern pavilion is closed off from the surrounding buildings, while the western pavilion, though physically cut off by thick shrubbery, visually opens out completely onto the landscape beyond. Inside, the Crematorium manages to immediately immerse one in the elemental character of its spaces. The austere planes of concrete, though heavy elements, seem light and liberated by virtue of the multi-jointed form of the columns and the ample light and wind that flows through them. The large rectangular pavilions, through which one enters the space from the paved walkway outside, are designed to comfortably house a communal assemblage or gathering of relatives and family for the pre-cremation rites. The deceased is placed on the concrete pedestal in the centre of the room, which is oriented north to south, in keeping with custom. The fence-like wall encompassing the pavilions is strongly
The small entryway on the northern side leads out onto a paved, meandering pathway to the toilet block.
The four-pronged composite column with its fixed dowel supports the paired primary beam which spans across the entire space.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
First Floor Plan
LEGEND 1 Pavilion 1 2 Pavilion 2 3 Ante Space 4 Furnace 5 Firewood Storage 6 Tool Kit 7 Ladies Toilet 8 Gents Toilet 9 Existing Office Building 10 Van Parking Lot 11 Bike Parking Lot 12 Genset Room 13 Electric Panels (0.6m X 4.3m) (2' X 14' 2") 14 Ritual Pavilion 15 Existing Store 16 Verandah (2m X 4.30m) (6' 6" X 14' 2") 17 Front Office (4.65m X 4.3m) (15' 3" X 14' 2") 18 Gents Room (1.63m X 1.55m) (5' 3" X 4' 11") 19 Wash Area (1.85m X 1.40m) (6' 1" X 4' 7") 20 Ladies Room (1.85m X 1.60m) (6' 1" X 5' 3") 21 Ladies Toilet (1.63m X 1.60m) (5' 3" X 5' 3") 22 Counter (1.20m X 1.50m) ( 3' 11" X 4' 11") 23 Ash Lockers (0.60m X 0.50m) ( 2' X 1' 8") 24 Gents Toilet (2.76m X 1.50m) (9' 6" X 4' 11") 25 Lunch / Conference Area 26 Wash Area (1.35m X 1.05m) (4' 5" X 3' 5") 27 Toilet (1.35m X 1.50 M) (4' 5" X 4' 11") 28 Manager's Cabin
The Crematorium in its stead moves beyond these constraints to craft a space that is spirited yet pragmatic in its openness and intricate yet subtle in its structural ornament.
Detail B: Seat Detail
The design of the pavilion allows for ample natural lighting and ventilation.
A paved pathway connects the spaced ritual pavilions. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The western pavilion visually opens out into the landscape, although physically cut off by thick shrubbery. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The small gateway through the office block serves as the entrance to the ritual pavilions.
suggestive of the grounded tectonic logic of its structural design while the intricacy of its detailing floods the space with light and views of the landscape. Every alternate set of four concrete posts serves as a composite column holding up a dowel, which supports paired primary beams that span across the space, and which in turn support the secondary beams under the roof slab that float independently of the encompassing concrete wall. The dowel also has small embedded light fixtures that are used during the night-time and emanate vertical bands of light that sufficiently light the space without seeming too overwhelming. In situ concrete benches are integrated into the posts, again emphasising and drawing the eye to regale its orderly structural finesse or understated aesthetic, as one chooses to admire it. The consequent opening out of all the spaces, compounded by the responsive efficiency of the slatted wall and the additional skylights above the pedestal and along the edges of the roof slab, allow the spaces to revel in the natural lighting, negating the need for any artificial resources during the day. The small entryway on the northern side of the pavilion leads out onto a paved pathway that meanders toward the toilet block, placed a little way in the distance in the landscape. Both pavilions coalesce in the middle, to form two separate ante spaces that act as a transitory foyer and as a secondary viewing space to the adjoining furnace room, which is separated by a sliding glass door. The furnace room also proffers views across the landscaped garden outside, disallowing any semblance of claustrophobia or moroseness by keeping them light and airy, both tangibly and intangibly. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The shrubbery separates the western pavilion from the ritual pavilions.
The eastern pavilion is closed off to the surrounding buildings, but in compensation, still brings in sufficient light into the space through the skylight. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
In situ concrete benches are integrated into the posts, emphasising the detailing in the columns.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The vertical bands of light subtly yet efficiently light up the space without seeming overwhelming. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
After the cremation, the subsequent day involves other rituals and communions that commence with the collection of the ashes from a counter in the office block. The main crematorium is physically separated from the office block by the thick shrubbery, against its western pavilion. Accessed from the small adjoining gate outside, one is made to move through an ambulatory pathway to three individual ritual pavilions. These smaller, open pavilions are bound by seating piers, plinth-level concrete monoliths with black granite tops, shaded by a simple roof made of corrugated aluminium panels. Each of the three ritual pavilions are at a sufficient distance from each other and with intervening trees and shrubbery, allowing the simultaneous occurrence of ceremonies that do not interfere with the other. This is further helped along by the fact that the main crematorium space is cut off from these ritualistic secondary spaces, allowing people to consequently move into them for a shared yet more informal gathering, if necessary. The ability of the Crematorium to create a sense of sanctity while remaining wholly secular, in form and reference, is a noted self imposition. The existence of a strong culture of cremating the dead, yet the ironical absence of a tradition of building for the purpose, rather than serving as a reprieve from dogmatic expectations of typology, only further emphasises the difficulty of creating a space well-suited and balanced enough to serve a function usually regarded as dismal. The Crematorium in its stead moves beyond these constraints to craft a space that is spirited yet pragmatic in its openness and intricate yet subtle in its structural ornament. It breaks through the dichotomy between
the nature of familial privacy and the culture of communal grief through a procession, as people are made to move, by way of ritual, from the pavilions into the inner chambers. A necessary pilgrimage, in lieu of the present custom that constitutes performing the pre-cremation rites at home and transporting the deceased to the distant funeral pyre by a vehicle before setting the pyre alight, the design of this space brings one back to marvel at the inherent creation of a sacred space through a modest preoccupation with the natural elements and a deft integration of simple detailing. Giving form to the unbuilt landscape of funerary architecture, the Crematorium bridges the gap in the architectural semantics with a befitting tradition of departure from the erstwhile, nomadic transience of the typology today.
FACT FILE: Project : Crematorium Location : Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India Architect : Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Chennai Design Team : Niels Schoenfelder, J T Arima, Bharat Ram K, Ganesh, Priyanka Rao, Priyanka Bobal, Sridharan, Rijesh, Divya Client : G K D Charity Trust Project Area : 4,856sqm Civil Contractor : Ramya Associates, Coimbatore Landscape Architect : Mancini Enterprises Pvt Ltd Initiation of Project : March 2012 Completion of Project : January 2014 Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
AN ENVELOPED ENCLOSURE
The Stack House, sandwiched between residential plots, makes space for itself despite the constraints. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The intriguing pattern in burnt brick and compressed earth block on the boundary wall.
Designed in a plot sandwiched between two existing residences, the Stack House by Bengaluru-based Kamat & Rozario Architecture sits peacefully in the surrounding mass, assuring one of openness within its premise. Text: Anusha Narayanan Images & Drawing: courtesy Kamat & Rozario Architecture
n a plot locked between two bungalows, within the bustling urbanity of Bengaluru, the Stack House patiently sits retaining within itself layers of privacy, looking more inward as a response to the tropical moderateness of the city. In a small 1,200sqft site in a packed neighbourhood, there is a very thin line between compactness and dinginess that can be tipped over by the designer anytime, if not carefully crafted to construct less, yet manipulate the space to judiciously use it. Working within this dense urban fabric, the designers were posed with an issue of providing a peaceful abode for the occupants within the chaos. The challenge was to design a house for five family members that bore an expanse on the inside, maximising on every available inch, alongside being perceptive enough not to orchestrate a dispassionate architecture that clutters and stuffs the plot. Unusually, the design leaves more than half the plot unconstructed. In the climatically pleasant Northeast corner of the plot is the ‘urban garden’, with the rest of the house oriented towards it. Extracting from the plot, its own share of the sky, the entire house is stacked tall in the front, overlooking the open half behind it. The idea was to encourage other owners in the neighbourhood to also leave a portion of their plot open or green to decongest the locality.
the private domestic activities from the public. The ground floor contains the living room which opens up to the garden outside by means of large glazed sliding doors that enlarge the room spatially giving ample space to entertain guests in gatherings, small or large, inside and outside. Sitting atop the ground floor is a singular mass of two floors which encompasses all the other essential spaces. This core contains the family room, kitchen, dining, and parent’s bedroom, packed together compactly yet intelligently, disallowing the cramping of spaces. All the floors are tied together by the sleek staircase that runs along the length of the building.
While the ground floor of the House is meant to entertain guests and visitors, the upper floors, although inclusive, differentiate
Structurally, the residence has clearly defined systems for the upper and the lower floors. The lower floor has been made in RCC
The design, in its need to use as much of the space as possible, does not neglect climatic comfort in the process. The zoning of the areas ensures that the comfort levels of the occupants are well taken care of, with ample natural light and air flowing through all areas. The hottest corner of the site, the Southwest corner, accommodates the staircase, creating a natural buffer and a corridor for air circulation. Bathrooms are stacked on the southern wall again, buffering the heat away from the occupied areas. The stacking of the upper floors, their massing and location provides shade to the courtyard below, allowing it to remain much cooler and pleasurable during the daytime.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
C LEGEND 1. Car Park 2. Garden 3. Living Room 4. Kitchen 5. Utility/Laundry 6. Dining 7. Bedroom 8. Bathroom 9. Family Room 10. Study 11. Utility Balcony 12. Balcony
5 4 2
up 7 up 1
GROUND FLOOR PLAN
FIRST FLOOR PLAN
C lvl: 31'
7 8 lvl: 21'6"
lvl: 12' 7
SECOND FLOOR PLAN
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Unusually, the design leaves more than half the plot unconstructed. In the climatically pleasant Northeast corner of the plot is the ‘urban garden’, with the rest of the house oriented towards it.
The living room extends into the garden space at the rear.
The core of the residence, all private spaces, are placed on the upper level connected by a straight-flight staircase along its length.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The white mud-plastered compressed earth blocks contrast with the natural red of the exposed blocks, balancing the raw and the treated.
Wood and glass are used in tandem to bind and open up spaces and allow them to breathe with ease.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The materiality represents the humility and functionality of the house within its dense urban context.
bearing the load of the entire upper floors which have been made in compressed earth blocks in a wall-on-wall structure. All white walls have been plastered in mud on the outside as well as the inside acting in stark contrast with the deep red of the exposed compressed earth blocks. The boundary wall of the green space in the backyard of the House is raised higher to create a visual barrier from the road. The compressed earth blocks used in the House are made from the earth excavated for building the foundations and therefore fall short of the quantity required for building the entire boundary wall. The improvisation of brick patterns combining wire-cut burnt bricks with compacted earth blocks to compensate for the shortage of the latter, with edges twisted in a zigzag pattern weaving an artistic façade for the boundary wall, envelopes the lower floor marking the confines of the House. The House is uncomplicated and yet is layered. It is fulfilling for the occupants and is also sheltered from outsiders. It makes most of the space it has, and upholds a bold preference for the open space upfront. It encloses openness.
Project Location Architects Design Team Consultants Contractors Year of Completion
: : : : : : :
Stack House Bengaluru, India Kamat & Rozario Architecture Smruti Kamat, Lester Rozario, Sowmya A S Xntrik Structural Consultants Suresh MC Engineers & Contractors; Pratibha Interiors 2013
The open green patch at the back of the plot is the pivot of the entire house in itself. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
POOLSIDE PAVILION IORA Studio, Ahmedabad
The Poolside Pavilion in Ahmedabad, intended as an extension of the pool for unconventional gatherings, a simple and elusive structure objectified as an integrative approach towards architecture and landscape is designed by Ahmedabad-based IORA Studio. Text: Shreya Shah | Drawings: courtesy IORA Studio | Images: courtesy Piyush Rana
IORA Studio is a design firm specialised in architecture, landscape architecture and planning. The Studio was set up in November 2006. The Studio takes a holistic approach to every project, creatively addressing the micro-level and macro-level agendas into a built environment that is appropriate to the region, both in a geographical as well as cultural context. Each project is approached with the understanding of the programme and context at various levels. This process eventually derives the language of architecture which is unique to the project. The attempt is always to create built environments through a seamless coming together of the natural and the designed along with an objective of creating built environments which addresses universal and the contextual dimensions. In this regard, interpretation of regional dimensions and cultural associations is the guiding principle behind IORA Studioâ€™s endeavours. Founded in the year 2006 in Ahmedabad, IORA Studio is a young firm intending to provide architecture, landscape architecture and planning services. Ranging from small scale projects like residences, the firm courageously works on large scale projects like townships and community parks, where they proportionate their idea of landscape and architecture. The fresh team at the Studio also conducts research on various aspects related to design. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
YD â€˜14 | architecture
The Pavilion structure sits in the serene landscape of the plot.
The columnar framework induces a transparency in the structure. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Legend: 1. Main Entrance 2. Existing Cottage 3. Pavilion 4. Swimming Pool 5. Shower Rooms 6. Barbeque Platform 7. Event Stage 8. Lawn 7 6
5 4 3
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
A neat composition formed by use of conventional materials.
esilient in its bodily existence, a space provokes an intangible desire to the living entities; sometimes to bring more functions to it, the other times just to be left untouched. The Poolside Pavilion symbolised this idea by the IORA Studio based in Ahmedabad, where the challenge was to design a palpable structure and yet let the space be open for abstract experiences. To generate something beyond the clientsâ€™ brief that asked for a pool and a space to be used for rare assemblies, the architects decided to build a structure in accordance with the existing cottage. Residing on the eastern half of the site, the Pavilion with the cottage and service block occupies about one tenth of the plot of 96,815sqft as built mass, while the rest of the site is developed as open woods, a conscious decision that complements the fabricated functional spaces, thoughtfully designed to keep most of the site as an unobstructed sprawl of landscape. Dispersing into the landscape, it is more of a translucent object constructed of conventional materials in human scale designed for occasional gatherings.
Considering the hot climate of Ahmedabad, the planning of the Pavilion allows in filtered air through the woods. This supplements the idea of creating a semi-open space in accordance with the functional requirements. The building is majorly a transparent structure through which the landscape spreads in composed proportions of hardscape and softscape. Crisp edges forming a clean geometry wherein the new physical form continues to reflect the modest language of the existing cottage. The structure of the roof is a striking element, catering to the basic function of a shelter. It is supported on MS steel columns with the sides opening to the landscape on all four sides providing the users with a view of the complete site while using the space under the roof. The lawn expanse also comprises of a small informal stage for rare and casual performances. The storeroom is the only solid mass inside the pavilion spread that divides the linear semi-open boxed form. One part accommodating the pool bar is designed as a groove in the pavilion base, while the other part houses the main gathering space. The other edge of the pool is a well-ordered border that opens into the lawn area. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The swimming pool as it grooves in the Pavilion base.
The Poolside Pavilion as it sits in the wide spread plot invigorates the users to physically experience the presence of the lawn and spaces through the woods.
The planning of the pool and the pavilion beside is thoughtfully done such that the roof organisation casts a shadow over the pool. Signifying a space for gatherings, the Pavilion expands into a barbeque platform along a corner of the pool adding connotation to its use. An independent platform for serving is a sensible addition to the storeroom that opens towards the main gathering space under the roof. Keeping the built mass meagre, the shower rooms take up an edge of the site, secluded in volumetric assembly yet connected through the hardscape. Multifaceted, the Pavilion has potential to accommodate untold meanings owing to the serenity delivered by the campus. Tailored to the client’s aspirations, the Pavilion serves its purpose for a congregational space; nonetheless the careful design creates pockets of meditative experiences for the owners. The Poolside Pavilion as it sits on the widespread plot invigorates the users to physically experience the presence of the lawn and spaces through the woods. Serene in its being, the space attempts to explore intangible notions of solid and void, physicality and non-building as it gently houses the assembled form.
The main gathering place containing the service table.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Project : Location : Architect : Design Team : Client : Civil and Carpentry Contractors : Project Estimate : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :
Poolside Pavilion S G Highway, Ahmedabad IORA Studio Milind Patel, Tapan Modi, Shreya Bhavsar Anandbhai and Pranjaliben Vraj `90lacs 2011 2012
The crafty service table adds to the simplistic design approach.
The shadow of the roof provides implied shelter to the pool. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
ANTICLIMAX EXHIBITION fala atelier, Portugal
The Anticlimax Exhibition, for the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale by fala atelier, documented the present condition of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, showcasing, through a process of installation, a future that never happened. Text: Chandrima Padmanabhan | Images & Drawings: courtesy fala atelier
When we start a project, after understanding the problem we are faced with, we sit down and talk. Sometimes we talk over several days, again and again, and usually we do not sketch; our few drawings are quite diagrammatic. We believe in ideas and concepts, but we often settle for a compromise with compositional parameters. Pure ideas are impossible to achieve but at the same time so are our goals. We like to position ourselves in that limbo. Every project is defined by its own single theory and the best situation would be if that theory would design the building itself, every aspect of it. So we focus our discussions on the idea itself, on what we are trying to achieve, and the final result is the translation of our thoughts, reasons and emotions into a canvas – texts, images, walls and windows. We are not struggling with its beauty or plastic appeal: if the idea has potential (and provocation) and is consistent in every aspect, the final result will be perfect. There is something parametric about our working process: the discussion defines the idea, the idea defines the rules and the rules define the final outcome. Understanding why and how we do what we do is very important. Although feelings and intuition have a big role in the process; architecture should be rational. - Filipe Magalhães + Ana Luisa Soares An architectural practice based in Oporto, fala atelier was founded by Filipe Magalhães and Ana Luisa Soares. Having both studied in the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Portugal, they went on to work with Harry Gugger in Basel. After the stint in Basel, they moved to Tokyo, Filipe to work with SANAA and Ana to work with Toyo Ito and Associates, Architects. They believe that each project is the product of a design process open to new formations, a disciplined innuendo surfacing through specific boundaries and provocations, yet not afraid of becoming utopia. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
YD ’14 | interiors
The Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan.
The layout of the exhibition was defined by a scaffolding structure in a 1.05 x 1.05m square grid. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
ilipe Magalhães and Ana Luisa Soares of fala atelier have both lived in Tokyo for a substantial period of time in the Nakagin Capsule Tower, the characteristic Metabolist structure built by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972, two years after the Expo ’70 which was largely hailed as the apotheosis of Metabolism. This movement of post-war reconstruction in Japan necessitated the need for buildings with a limited lifespan, prefabricated and replaceable when required. The Nakagin Tower, a slender structure with small capsules forming individual units and independently cantilevered from the core, was thereby characterised as mutably adaptable and responsive to the needs of the time, as each capsule could be separately removed and modified without affecting the others. However, forty years later, it is clear that this has not been the case, as the Tower stands in complete disarray with derelict, abandoned capsules and leaking and rusted infrastructure.
Moving along the pathways between the panels, visitors were able to visualise being steered through an abstract tracing of the lifestyle induced in the Tower.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
In the production of the Anticlimax Exhibition at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale in Portugal, fala atelier presented to the public, the current anticlimactic condition of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, one of the most emblematic buildings of the 20 th century that was expected to revolutionise urban renewal. Housed in two rooms in the Sinel de Cordes Palace, the layout of the exhibition
was almost negligently defined by a scaffolding structure organised in a 1.05 x 1.05m square grid. While the first room displayed 5 x 6 modules, the second room was structured into 4 x 6 modules. Each 2 x 3 volume defined the exact proportions of a Nakagin capsule. While tracing the pathways between the panels that were suspended from the metal skeleton of the installation, visitors were able to independently and collectively envision the indeterminate experience of being steered through the abstract tracing of the lifestyle induced in the Tower. The idea was not to guide viewers through a specific process, rather to allow a discovery of space through visual layers. Though the Exhibition, as a curatorial dead-end, exemplifies the building’s technical failures, it also showcases the sense of community created between the 40 residents who still live there. The panels, apart from narrating the history of the construction of the Tower, also allow the observer a peek into the homes and lives of its inhabitants. Having lived there themselves, Filipe and Ana were able to bring a personal touch to the exhibition, allowing people in that proximity to understand a sense of communion and shared understanding of space much like the inhabitants were able to evolve amongst themselves as they negotiated private and public space in the close constructs available to them in the Nakagin Tower.
Interior view of one of the capsules in the Tower.
FACT FILE: Project Location Architect Design Team Client Project Area Project Estimate Initiation of Project Completion of Project
: : : : : : : : :
Anticlimax Exhibition Lisbon, Portugal fala atelier Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares Lisbon Architecture Triennale 100sqm 1500 Euro October 2013 October 2013
Visitors were forced to negotiate the close spaces in the installation, much like the inhabitants of the Tower. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
LANDSCAPE DESIGN OF
WADHWA RESIDENCE 3Fold Design, Bengaluru
The landscape design of the Wadhwa Residence in Bengaluru stitches together different spaces of the house under the underlying theme of efficiency, enhancement and functionality thereby integrating the occupants, the spaces, the greens and the built into one organism. Text: Anusha Narayanan | Drawings: courtesy 3Fold Design | Images: courtesy Apoorva Lakshmi
For us, landscape architecture is about making a series of calculated interventions using â€˜living pieces of artâ€™, adding value to outdoor spaces and providing a usable, private green space in a tight urban context. The most exciting part is that these interventions are in a constant state of flux. The materials weather, the plants grow, flowers bloom and this pulls us back to the projects well after we have completed it. We share a bond with our work and always visit whenever we are in the neighbourhood. This, for us, is the biggest reward. Wadhwa Residence was one such project where the architects (Balan & Nambisan Architects, Bengaluru) involved us at a nascent stage so that we could give our inputs to unite the architecture and the landscape. The process of design was organic as we made most of our design decisions on the site, looking at and feeling the spaces from different angles, making sketches, talking to the clients, figuring out what they wanted from the space and how we could make it so much more. This conscious attempt to articulate the designs on the site breathed life into our interventions. Our practice thrives on the exchange of ideas and initiation of dialogue which is absolutely crucial for us to enjoy the work that results from this process. Contrary to the popular belief, landscape is not always about plants and greenery, more often than not it is just an extension of the architecture; the greenery is used to blend the solid and void, soften edges and create privacy. At the end of it, we felt content with our attempt to design spaces that respect the individual sensibilities of the occupants and stay true to the context. - 3Fold Design Initiated by partners Santhosh T V and Praveen M, 3Fold Design is a youthful firm specialising in three fields namely architecture, interior design and landscape design. 3Fold Design was born in February 2008 and has since grown to work on a variety of projects ranging from residential developments to restaurants, offices and airport retail. The firm comprises of a team of twelve young, enthusiastic and motivated architects who intend to keep their practice small in the future, thereby ensuring more efficient output per person in the long run. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
YD ’14 | landscape
The trees outside the main entrance, visually borrowed from the street.
↑The waiting area and planter tucked into a compact entrance space, on
one side of the house.
The bedroom deck opens to a terrace garden and seating outside, assembling hard and softscapes together. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
SECTIONAL SCHEME OF THE LANDSCAPE DESIGN SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE LANDSCAPED AREAS WITH THE OCCUPANTS AND THE ROAD
project with multifarious activities to address, the landscaping of the Wadhwa Residence provided the opportunity to Bengaluru-based 3Fold Design to explore variations in the ambience and space management with a good sense of restraint and control. Divided into eight focus points within the site, the assortment of spaces ranging from decks, balconies, courtyards and terraces were first earmarked and then detailed out, within 4,250sqft of landscape area, to fulfil their specific requirements. As one enters the plot, two tall trees visually borrowed from the streets welcome one into a nonchalant front yard proceeding to a hidden entrance to the house, nestled between two parallel walls, invisible from the access road outside. A planter and an outdoor waiting adorn one corner of the space. The flooring here is in leather-finished Cudappah stone. This stark contrast with the white mass of the House, balances the dark tones of grey and black of the floor. Before entering further into the house, one encounters this peculiar relationship that the road makes with the house which is raised from the level of the outside due to the transformer tucked underneath the deck. The raised deck of the bedroom, which is devoid of parapet walls or any boundaries, acts as an extension Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
of space from the bedroom, making the user feel closer to the outside and the tall trees at the mouth of the plot thus, inviting them to enjoy the view, sitting on the planters that constitute the edge of the deck. The landscape herein bridges the house with its surroundings such that the house does not become indifferent to the street outside or introverted as one may perceive it to be. In another corner of the house, a small niche which is earmarked as the mother’s sit-out is designed as an inward looking open space with Koira stone flooring and cane furniture carving a quaint private seating within the built mass. Privatising the mother’s sit-out in one part, the house brings the outside into the family spaces in another, evident as one moves further inside. The Dining Deck has been provided with a feature wall clad with leather-finish black and steel grey granite that screens the space from the adjacent plot for privacy. The niches in the wall light up in the night giving warmth to the space. Complementing the warm ambience of a meal together in the family areas, spaces have been treated much differently in the areas for socialising like the Bar Terraces on various levels. On the upper level, the Bar Terrace visually connects with the bedroom court below. It is primarily designed to entertain close friends and family and has a marble-clad seating and wicker
The balcony terrace with a wine coloured wooden flooring and a glazed parapet that contrasts with the variety of wooden textures.
The seating embedded into the landscape of the bedroom deck on the first level. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
The sombre Bar Terrace partially screened by a ‘jaali’ and greens.
Linear walkway of the Bar Terrace on the uppermost level.
A semi-covered lounge with planted greens, lit seating and feature walls on the uppermost Bar Terrace.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Guruji’s Terrace with platform for him to sit on and preach to the disciples seated on the artificial turf.
furniture lined with peripheral plantation and a lattice wall on one side. The flooring here is in wood giving a familiar sense of nature against the white of the house. The marble bar recessed into one corner of the space overlooks the activities from a distance. On the second floor, the Balcony Terrace looks into the tropical tress outside and remains buffered from the noise because of them. It accommodates 15-18 people for small gatherings and is protected by a glass roof, making it an efficient party space. The flooring is in wood with a feature wall clad in marble with diffused lighting that adds to the blues. The last of the party spaces is the uppermost Balcony Terrace which has a bar, a covered lounge area, a linear walkway in wood flanked by thick clusters of Equisetum Hyemale hiding the solar panels behind it and a linear stretch of Fibre Reinforced Polymer planters with Golden Melaleuca on trolleys placed to screen the services. Detaching from their social engagements, the family also leads a spiritual life wherein the family Guru, their spiritual leader, also resides with them for some time every year. The Guruji’s Terrace is a wheelchair-friendly space with a clear and calm setting, anti-skid white vitrified tile flooring and no level differences in order to facilitate the movement of aged people conveniently. The up-stand beams at the periphery of the terrace act as the seating finished in 3” thick 3-line dressed Koira stone. A small portion of the terrace also has an artificial turf making the space more close to nature, for the disciples to sit on during the Guru’s sermons. Facilitating activities with varying degrees of private and public screening, the landscaping of the Wadhwa Residence indeed is a compact pemutation of spaces. Every portion of the landscape, each open space channelises a flow of activity between the covered
and open spaces, increasing the capacity of the House beyond just a machine that fulfils its functions, to a living part of the family, engaging in, participating in and accommodating for their lifestyle as a whole.
The house creates an ensemble of open and covered spaces in a relatively small space.
FACT FILE: Project Location Landscape Architects Design Team Landscape Area Architect Civil Contractors Planting Contractors Client Initiation of Project Completion of Project
: : : : : : : : : : :
Wadhwa Residence Sadashivnagar, Bengaluru 3Fold Design, Bengaluru Santhosh T V, Praveen M, Kavitha G 4275sqft Balan & Nambisan Architects, Bengaluru Sam G Jacob Living Greens Nain Wadhwa May 2012 April 2013 Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
THE CREATION OF AN ARCHITECT: CRISIS AND CHALLENGE
In this concluding essay of IA&B's campaign on architectural education, veteran architect and educator Prof Christopher Charles Benninger dissects the challenges of practice in context of pedagogy to outline key ideas within the framework of contemporary architectural education as he proposes some paradigm shifts that will make learning architecture more relevant in modern times.
By Christopher Benninger
profession is distinguished by the quality of its practitioners, even those who never completed their degrees. It is their record of contribution to the society that makes our profession of architecture profoundly important. As far as centres of education are concerned, India is a young centre, considering that the University of Paris is over nine hundred years old, and even in a new culture, Harvard is closing in on its four hundredth anniversary. So while one could define India, having created ancient universities like Nalanda, as one of the oldest societies in the world; it is amongst the youngest nations on earth, in every way one can imagine, including the age of its citizens. Unfortunately, none of our ancient centres of education have survived, and we inherited an alien western education. Hence, I am tempted to look at the future of architectural education rather than its past. I am tempted to place the mantle of the present crisis I see in the architectural profession and the challenges this crisis offers on the shoulders of a few great institutions and on some of the dynamic emerging new schools and their leadership.
Architects are called professionals, because in thinking and in doing, they profess a system of values that motivates them to change the world.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
At independence, there were only two schools of architecture – Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Architecture and a night course at the Delhi Polytechnic. Two decades later, when I arrived in India as a Fulbright Scholar, there were only nine schools of architecture. Come this June, there will be more than four hundred; the number is growing at the rate of more than one new school each week. There
is amazing energy in action here, like a nuclear ball of fire growing larger and larger, as it expands outwards, ever further. We now have 18,000 members in our Indian Institute of Architects, and about 65,000 registered architects, but we will have 32,000 new students of architecture joining our fellowship as first year students in the coming academic year. This raises a question whether this explosive energy has not grown out of control? Can we manage and direct this energy towards mankind’s good? Is this crisis so large that we need to invent a new definition of an architect? Where do we go from here? How do we create the teachers to teach architects? These are questions in the minds of all thought leaders who are concerned about the future of the profession and the nation. What we are talking of is a question of the life or death for our profession. If we sleep on this, within five years we will all belong to a small minority of professionals in a sea of screaming and yelling, uneducated and illiterate, yet officially qualified architects. They will simply use their democratic majority to push all that we believe in aside and throw it out of the window. Ancient philosophers have said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past; if you are anxious, you are living in the future; and if you are peaceful, you are living in the present”. But I say we must learn from the past to formulate actions in the
architectural education This article is drawn from the Centenary Lecture delivered on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Architecture in Mumbai on 13 th December 2013. Subsequent lectures at the National IIA Convention at Chennai and the Education Summit at Gandhinagar expanded on the Centenary Lecture.
present, changing the future. That is what architects are actually educated to do. That is what architects must do. Architects are the 'thinker-doers' who are thrust with reconfiguring the environments within which they live. Architects are called professionals, because in thinking and in doing, they profess a system of values that motivates them to change the world. No other profession is thrust with this mandate or has this unique mindset making them always think of alternative futures for humanity. I repeat, no other. Let us also be clear, that we are ’technologists’. What we do in our studios is laboratory work: analysing rational functions and logical interconnections, studying measurable site and climatic conditions, stating problems clearly and making hypothesis of possible options to resolve those problems, defining performance criterion and evaluating which design option best provides the answers to questions posed by the context. We study engineered materials and structural systems that support and span a variety of spaces. We give patterns to networks of water supply and drainage, electrical and IT cables, and we decide on air quality and management. We analyse enclosing envelopes, applying systems analysis, to select the ’best fit’ simulating hundreds of components, elements and parts. Does our education prepare us for this kind of scientific analysis? Should we not be approaching design and fabrication
like aeronautical engineers and marine architects who create great aircrafts or sea ships? Can our teachers and our professors think like this, as simulation analysts resolving complex puzzles? I fear not. This speaks of a crisis. It is important that we critically analyse our past in order to chart an appropriate course of action for the future. Hence, let us take a quick look at the past and some of the critical assumptions that we need to revisit. It is important that we understand those key areas of change in order to comprehend the challenges that face our profession and our role in society. Let me briefly expand on some areas where centres of excellence can take the lead: One: We must move from Dramatic Individualism to Thoughtful Technologists We have projected architecture as an act of idiosyncratic creation rather than an act of promoting the useful arts through rational procedures and logical methods. In moulding schools of architecture, we have looked at education in terms of individuals and ’star performers’ rather than as creating programmes, procedures and systems. We have neglected the team nature of our empirical processes and the importance of managing complex processes. Our failure in this area has opened the doors for large contractors and project management consultants to jump into our professional work, who have applied cost cutting, schedule shrinking Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Prof Christopher Benninger has studied urban planning at MIT, architecture at the University of Florida and at Harvard, where he later taught. He has worked under the Spanish architect Jose Lluis Sert and has studied planning under Kevin Lynch, Herbert Gans, John F C Turner and Constantinos Doxiadis. Professor Benninger has been a consultant to many well-known organisations including the UNCHS [Habitat] where he wrote the Theme Paper on education for the Seventh United Nations Commission Meeting on Human Settlements. He is also an avid writer, who authored the book titled ‘Letters to a Young Architect’. He is a Distinguished Professor at CEPT University, the President of the CDSA Trust, Honorary Trustee of the Pune International Centre, and has served on the boards of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and the Fulbright Foundation in India. and ’pleasing the client’ as their values. We must be leaders in making architecture a profession which is holistic, scientific and humane. Two: We must move from the Great Man Theory to moulding Capable Professionals
We have projected the architect as a persona – a great man; a singular individual who would become an immortal genius; we followed the western Renaissance model of putting an individual man in the centre of the universe, instead of our own great tradition of 'gharanas'. Rather than passing a body of knowledge down from 'guru' to student, improving and contextualising it incrementally, we thought each generation produces its unique, contemporary wisdom, embodied in a few select geniuses. We thought that buildings must yell and scream like anal-retentive babies grabbing for attention and claiming to be new revelations. In fact we are all just doing our jobs, and we try to do our jobs well. We can lead the way in bringing the image of ’the architect’ down to earth. While doing this we can also inculcate poetry, hope and art into the fabric of our environment. Three: We must move from Romanticism to Objective Reality We have neglected objective reality in favour of romanticism. We never saw Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
the slums mushrooming up all around us, and we rarely saw the villages that are the very fabric of this great nation. We imagined the architect sitting in a colourful, air-conditioned studio, designing beach houses, mountain retreats, iconic museums and monuments, instead of analysing society’s problems and solving them through relevant built fabric. We architects have the collective capacity to design systems of access to shelter; create educational facilities and health services for all; make offices, workplaces and industries that drive the economy; detail out streets, footpaths and transport nodes; and plan our townships and cities. For example, instead of Special Economic Zones [SEZs], where the government acquires vast tracts of land for industry, we can invent Special Habitat Zones [SHZs], where the government [which claims there is no land for mass shelter schemes] can facilitate making farmers as shareholders in large, integrated housing amenity and industrial training and working places, holistically creating humane habitats and boosting the nation’s development, all in one concept. Thought leaders amongst us can take the lead from here, catalysing our present centres of excellence to analyse and act on the possibilities. Our thought leaders can buck the trend of making pretty little artefacts and focus design on the creation of humane habitats reclaiming our place in the society.
Four: We must move from Fuzzy Logic to Systems Thinking While it is meaningful that we start off teaching sketching and sculpting in the first year, we never impart youngsters with an understanding of the ’anatomy of a building’. We never put forth a consistent, holistic and systematic image of what a building is. In medical studies, during the very first year students devour Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body. If a beginning medical student does not grasp this systematic view of the skeleton, the muscles, the nervous system, blood circulation and the organs, they cannot go further. They stay back; they are failed; and they must try once again. In the same spirit, if you do not know all of the basic systems of a building: structural, electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, IT networking, kitchens and solid waste, fire escapes and fire fighting, basic concepts of sustainability and building management systems; one should not be allowed to go forward into their second year of studies. However, our colleges lack the courage to guide students by using honest marking and grades. I fear our colleges of architecture are too addicted to the fees their students pay, so they fear to fail anyone who is really a failure. They need the money, not the student. Let us turn that ugly paradigm upside-down.
Here is where we can immediately lead the way: I challenge all thought leaders, be it in the great cities or in small towns, to give themselves one year to produce the Anatomy of an Indian Building. Rope in your professors of technology and your design teachers to work together vigorously toward this target. Start off with notes on each topic and mature it into a textbook. Get it out. Subsequent editions can improve the content and style. This should form the basis of a first year, 'make-it-or-break-it' course. After a few years of testing and revising it in classes, other schools can take it up. All first year students, in all schools of architecture, must pass this course. A test may even be conducted by the Council of Architecture to weed out mere ’fee paying’ students who will never be architects. We owe it to these students to ‘show them the exit door’ and let them find their true occupation and passion in life. They can move on to more useful lives and our profession can be a stronger fellowship of capable leaders. Five: We must move from Random Acts of Creativity to Systematic Innovative Thinking We put in a huge effort in studios teaching what cannot be taught – creativity; completely neglecting what can be taught to everyone: technology and logical thinking. We cannot make a person creative, we can only recognise creative traits and encourage them. However, we can teach
building systems, building materials and building methods. We can teach evaluation techniques, design criteria and deductive logic. I am yet to find a school that teaches students how to put a building together. I am yet to find a master’s degree programme that focuses on what we actually do in professional studios.
’finishing schools’ have been promoted for the professionally disabled and for the psychologically challenged. It is true that we are producing graduates who graduate from colleges crippled and incomplete. Centres of excellence can ameliorate this tragedy by filling the gaps in our system of education.
In our professional studios, we manipulate technologies of construction materials and processes to solve architectural problems. It is the poetry with which we do this that makes architecture a great art. Poetry can only rule over science, if poets know the science of their art.
We must design a master’s degree programme around the creation of construction documents, building technologies, mechanical equipment systems, construction details and their standardisation, and around construction management and making buildings.
I personally believe that most of the master’s degree programmes are a huge step backwards in a youngster’s career. Postgraduates from abroad return crippled, losing two critical years of real building construction experience, while becoming financially indebted. They have been diverted sideways into a no-man’s land of problems they can never solve. And, they expect to be paid higher salaries for their newfound confusion!
In postgraduate learning laboratories students must integrate complex functional, contextual, structural, mechanical, and spatial systems that fulfil stated performance criterion. If any school of architecture does this now, it will be the leader tomorrow.
Bachelor’s degree programmes must produce complete professionals. Master’s degree programmes are to focus on areas that require more specialised knowledge, skills and sensitivities. However, no architect needs a master’s degree to be a good professional. He needs a good bachelor’s degree and a lot of experience. However, the reality is that we do not have good bachelor’s degree programmes. Thus,
Six: We must move from Text Messaging on Mobiles to Writing and Drawing Serious Texts on Paper Our schools of architecture create an illiterate lot of good talkers. Our graduates cannot write intelligent professional letters, minutes of meetings, site-visit reports, contracts and project proposals. They cannot express their poetic intentions in words as a mirror against which to assess their creative intentions in built form. They are denied the use of an introspective tool allowing them to have Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
critical dialogues with themselves, and maybe even with others. Writing can be taught in ’writing studios’ where a writing professor guides students through in-class writing exercises, improving their skills by correcting errors on-the-spot, during writing sessions focused on creating essays on architectural theory, history, technology and the social issues being confronted in other classes. Let me be clear. Though I have not put emphasis on it, our students must learn how to draw by hand too. Drawing diagrams and images of our intentions is yet another essential means of having introspective dialogues with oneself, and we cannot deny students the ownership of this great tool also. Seven: We must Increase Mind-Body Skills Drawing is a skill and it can be taught. Drawing is not there to make beautiful pictures or photographic images, it is to build the link between the imaginative mind and the body, so that the sketching hand becomes an extension of the mind. The mind cannot imagine without the hand moving with a device to make real-world images with pencil, pen or other instruments. Neither can the hand move intelligently, unless the mind is thinking of ideas and concepts and moulding the two with facts. Architectural sketching should usually be of spaces from the ’eye level’, and not birds’ eye views. Practice is a very important aspect of this skill development. Sketching is less the ability to draw human faces, landscapes and flower pots and more the ability to ’diagram’ spaces, to analyse the interrelationships between spaces, to study interior spaces and exterior connectivity of spaces, to Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
understand the kinetic visual movement that is structured in a framework of axes, enclosures, focal points, scale and proportions. Sketching is not reproducing reality like a photograph, it is creating new realities of three-dimensional spatial arrangements through architectural diagrams. Eight: The Architect Works with His Own Hands Equally important to sketching and ’diagramming’ is working with one’s hands in a workshop. Building models from paper, cardboard, wood and wires bring the mind into contact with materials, their connections, their natural capabilities and how different materials want to be different things. When the architect works with his own hands, he begins to love the truth of real materials and to scoff at artificial laminates, fake marble or Plaster of Paris imitations. When the architect works with his own hands, he understands what is ’measure’, and what is ’craftsmanship’. He knows that the joints only work in certain ways, and that shear, bending moment and compression are real aspects of materials and the structures that materials can make. Every school of architecture must have a well-equipped workshop. Nine: We must Rediscover the Imagination Digital technology has robbed our youth of the need to yearn and wander in their minds. It has robbed our youngsters of the need to constantly create imagined realities within their minds. When one reads a book in black and white, one must imagine the character’s faces, the rooms in which stories happen, and what the protagonists see out of their windows.
This imagination too must be in colour. One must continuously be challenged to create, in one’s own mind one’s own intimate, personal ’picture of the world’. If a two-year-old child is given a motorised electric wheel chair, he will never learn to walk. By giving our youth the crutch of digital and internet images to ’see’ and to ’imagine’ for them, we have made them poetic cripples. Through endless clicking, they can scout the world without discovering anything. Each era of history has its own spirit. Some eras are periods of change and hope, others are cynical ages of repeating things, making the biggest things and feeling, “I will never change the world”. Perhaps the history of the imagination puts individual thinkers into little cubby holes of thinking, either narrowly or vastly, either creatively or through repetitive cut and paste. As I began this treatise, I noted that we cannot teach ’creativity’, but I do think we can expose our youth to creative thinking. We can expose them to beautiful music, paintings, urban spaces, true architecture and transcendental moments of ecstasy that they alone can hold and cherish. Maybe from this they can evolve images of hope out of images of despair. Ten: We must move away from the Blind Leading the Blind We are inducting an army of very young, ill-equipped teachers. New teachers are barely out of college, with little knowledge of what ’a practice’ is, with no site experience, and no clue of various contractual, technical, legal and ethical issues that professionals handle. The vast majority of our teachers can neither draw an architectural concept nor write a descriptive sentence about a piece of art they intend to create. They lack even basic
I challenge all thought leaders, be it in the great cities or in small towns, to give themselves one year to produce the Anatomy of An Indian Building!
knowledge of building technology and construction methods. Would we have such people teach medicine or trust them as our doctors? We seem to think that by requiring teachers to complete a PhD they will become knowledgeable or wise intellectuals. We think that they can learn building systems by osmosis, while studying abstract theories in weak doctoral programmes, having no intellectual content. With a few notable exceptions, PhD guides have never had an original idea or penned a useful teaching text. There are few great teachers of architecture who ever had PhDs, and even fewer PhD guides who are respected in society as thought leaders in the field of architecture. How many great architects are there who have PhDs? We are making a mockery out of the doctorate of philosophy and idiots out of our teachers. It is painful for me to say this, but even more pitiful to watch this happen. All architects must first work in a professional office for some years, know the practice of architecture, and then be in a position to share their knowledge as professionals through teaching. Passing statutory professional exams, qualifying graduates to practice as architects, will certify their knowledge, and their right to be called an architect. This must also be the first qualifying hurdle to become an assistant professor of architecture. Eleven: We must Rediscover our History In my discussions with students and recent graduates, I find an amazing gap in their interest, knowledge and understanding
of history. Architectural history must be embedded in the study of technology, its evolution and progress, and the major innovations that tempered with what we have built and what we will build. Students must know when geopolitical, economic and technological ’turning points’, either in the form of inventions or disruptions, took place and how these led to almost inevitable innovations, parallel to scientific evolution and the global power matrix. A student should know why there is nothing outstanding about a copy of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, while the original tower in Paris was iconic because of its exploitation of new understandings of steel and its fabrication. They should know that new quantitative techniques allowed more reliable simulation of the forces flowing in structures than had previously existed. Similar knowledge of the great ‘Chola’ temple complexes and the Gothic cathedrals would create an ’architect’s mindset’. The students should have a broad historical framework of the technological, political and economic systems that generated building typologies, historical periods and related architectural and urban planning responses in India’s geo-climatic regions over time. Twelve: We must move from Sick Buildings and Cities to Healthy Buildings and Sustainable Cities The subject of sustainable cities and buildings needs to be integrated into our teaching of mechanical equipment, materials science, landscape design and into the way we think about buildings. We must see ’living buildings’ operating, not just still, static and iconic sculpturesque objects on a computer screen. Healthy
buildings have fresh air, good sunlight, views to the outside of buildings, recycled water systems, energy saving mechanisms, low carbon consumption, maximum natural lighting and ventilation, and minimal solid waste outlets. The TERI team and many GRIHA experts are working on this and we need to respond with a valid curriculum. Moreover, our ideas about sustainability need to include the life cycle costs of built fabric and the extent to which costs make habitat inaccessible or accessible to people. A sustainable building is also poetic, uplifting and is a statement of ’hope’. There is an indelible link between our concepts of sustainability and the vibrancy of humane habitats. Thirteen: We must bring the Focus of Education Back to Practice We seem to have forgotten that architecture is a ’practice’. Let me repeat, ’Architecture is a practice’. It is not theory, it is not talking and it is not meetings. Managers constitute a kind of ‘talking class’ and we are a ’working-class’. We need to teach people how to work, how to do a professional job, not how to be phantasmagorical creators or famous pretentious little Michelangelos. We need to teach construction techniques, design, detailing and documentation, not just how to do Sketch Up renderings of upside-down buildings. In our practices, we follow a clear process of work from a client’s brief, on textual analysis, an inception report, concept and final schematic designs, design basis reports by all the technical team members, statutory clearances, detailed designs, tender documents, construction documents, and closing-out procedures. All of these phases and steps are based on contractual Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
documents between the architect and his consultants and clients; and the client and his contractor and vendors. It is important that we create new leaders in teaching ’the business of architecture’, including accounting, legal liabilities, insurance, contracting, taxes, HR and the essential ethical concepts that spin out of these. All architects must work in the studio of a registered architect for a minimum of two years prior to participating in professional certification examinations. That goes for teachers too. Teaching is not a profession isolated from architectural practice. It is a part and a parcel of professional practice. Teachers must pass the professional exams before beginning any teaching appointment. I prefer this professional approach to the PhD ’theoretical approach;. the PhD should be reserved for exceptional intellectuals who have invented a new theory, explored a new building system, or created a new material and who have something very original to say about architecture or its practice. At this point, we need great textbooks and these could be the subjects of PhD theses. However, very few of our young teachers can write even a magazine article, much less an important thesis or text! Fourteen: Centres of Excellence India has at least twenty-five centres of excellence in architectural education. Our centres of excellence can be laboratories for new ideas, putting them to practice, and models for a plethora of evolving, lesser-prepared colleges to follow. I could foresee a system of Mentoring Schools of Architecture, each having about fifteen to twenty Protégé Schools whom they are guiding. These Mentors and Protégés will be Excellence Clusters. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
An Excellence Cluster need not be a micro-geographic region, but there should be a reasonable travel distance from the Protégés to the Mentor Institution. Rather than regional clusters, they should be intellectual networks of committed teachers who are jointly developing ideas, concepts, didactic methods and materials. Any new promoter who wants to start a new school of architecture must first find a willing Mentor Institution. The Mentor Institution will request all of its Protégées to comment whether they would accept this new Novice Institution amongst their intellectual circle, as a participant in their Excellence Cluster. Then only the Mentor Institution will join the commercial promoter of the new college in applying jointly to the Council of Architecture for permission to begin a new school. Established schools should cast their nets and form groups of colleges that symbiotically strengthen and support one another. Fifteen: Urban Crisis Now I would like to call attention to the present socio-economic scenario in which schools of architecture function and to the objective reality of the urban crisis in which we find ourselves. Our profession must operate in the real world of people's problems to have something important to contribute. Here, we can engage our new army of young architects in useful work. As ’thought leaders’ I am sure that all serious architects have at one time or another realised that architects design a good deal of what we see from roads, but very little of what is actually built and lived in by the vast majority of Indians. We have written books about Colonial Bombay, British Madras, and their interesting styles of buildings, mostly
imported by culturally disruptive rulers. Did we write books on all of the shelter types, neighbourhood patterns, urban layers within layers of where everyone else in India lives? How much analysis has been done of sub-divided old houses, ‘chawls’, slums, huts and urban villages? Do we know where the people of India live and work? Did we make the people of India the centre of our thoughts, our dreams and our plans? Now all of our cities are going through a process of profound transformation, unpredictable change and disruption. It is not just that some of our metropolitan populations almost doubled over the past two decades, but our country’s demography also has radically changed. About a quarter of our population subsists below the poverty line and a third of the country’s poor households live in our cities. That means proportionately there is more abject poverty in cities than in rural areas. Cities have a greater ability to absorb different levels of human existence in ’their economic food chains’ than villages do. Desperation and the need to survive are sucking people into our cities, just as technology and media are pulling people in for a better life too. As our youth, and our poor, are drawn into this great, churning dreamland of hopes, desires and aspirations, the reality is that about 75 per cent of the population of our metropolitan urban regions cannot afford the equated monthly instalments for any commercially viable housing scheme on the market. They will never become homeowners, stakeholders or true citizens. Moreover, half of our people are less than 25 years of age. They are starry-eyed, ambitious and full of aspirations. Therefore, our community of a lac or more students
of architecture, that will soon number twice those of us who are registered with the Council of Architecture, are part of this Generation X who are media driven, attracted to cities and are avid consumers, yet have very superficial and unrealistic visions of the world around them. Upon maturing they will not be able to afford the simplest of shelters. It is not the size of the learning community in architecture that is threatening; it is my doubt that we can teach them to confront the new challenges that face them. Sixteen: We must move from Pretty Architecture to Serious Urbanism While we need to focus on construction technology, we also need to enhance our understanding of urban patterns and infrastructure networks. We need to weave the social sciences of urban demography, economics and social structure into our curriculum. A strong stream of courses on social change, technological innovation, and transformations in modes of production are required. Graduates should have a basic idea of how geopolitics nexus between vested interests and urbanisation including migration patterns and the economic structure of urban populations, mould what we design and build. Herein lays my last hope for architectural education. Let us break down the walls we have created between the teaching of architecture, urban planning and urban design. Cities are too important to be left in the hands of urban planners alone. Cities are the macro-structure and micro-fabric within which every building finds its appropriate place and its nature. We must integrate an understanding of urban structure and patterns into our
teaching of architecture: students must know about urban infrastructure networks and land utilisation patterns.
The crossing paths of these two truths are a toxic mix that must be confronted. This indeed is the crisis and the challenge.
India has some of the world’s true urban schools of architecture and who must take the lead in inventing a truly urban architectural curriculum. Urbanism must be woven into the curriculum of architecture and be made a thread in the studios and subject matter in academic courses. I am not suggesting that we neglect rural areas and small towns. I am suggesting that we understand the integrated network of all human settlements and realise that they all fall into a framework of interrelated habitat systems all linked together through urban economic systems.
For those educationalists that are wise, for schools of architecture that are well meaning, well organised and carefully directed, this is a golden moment to become a leader, a model and a centre of excellence. Tomorrow’s leaders, centres of excellence, and trendsetters will not be in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai; they will be in Gorakhpur, Jamshedpur, Imphal and other emerging nodes of creativity where people face ’the conundrum of India’ harshly and head on.
Seventeen: For Great Teachers this is the Crisis and the Challenge Great teachers inspire students to know themselves and to become themselves, growing into being that important self that every architect has to be. These new ’selves’; these new kinds of architects, these new kinds of citizens must be masters of the emerging urban networks and systems around them that will either be moulded by them OR WILL MOULD THEM. Today we stand at a critical point in the evolution of architectural education in India. It is critical because a weak system of teaching is exploding into a gargantuan incompetent, commercial production system that will produce an army of unemployable misfits, along with some excellent professionals. Today is critical because the challenge of urbanisation is the duty of our profession to resolve; yet beyond the reach of the skills, knowledge and sensitivities of what we presently teach.
Christopher Benninger, May 2014
This column invites eminent academicians, ethical teachers, teaching architects, institution builders and design educationists to comment on architectural education (and design education as an extension) in the context of India. Concerned architects / academicians / educationists / teachers and students are invited to write to us / call us / email us for further discussion. Your deliberations / observations / critique / counter-arguments and agreements will be deeply valued. We must create a meaningful community of like-minded people to negotiate our future as professionals and responsible citizens of a globalising India. We must hold ourselves responsible for the quality of architectural and design thought in the coming decades. Please send your feedback / comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. IA&B believes that this issue is of prime (and unprecedented) importance at the moment for the future of architecture in India. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Piraji - a friend and a father (1931-2014)
o write about Piraji has always been a task. Writing an obituary is the toughest since Piraji neither appreciated anyone talking about him (not at least like this) nor would he now. Even at this moment, wherever he is, I know he must be saying, â€œdo not waste your timeâ€?. I met this man, in respect to be approved by him as his daughterin-law. My nervousness was at the peak but here was a man who just took me in his gait as the most common chord had hit amongst us â€“ love for beauty in that first meeting. My real education in art or as I like to call them, life lessons, began after coming into the Sagara family. Piraji and I were not connected only through art but there were many aspects that made us understand each other better such as art, literature, people, friends and love. Piraji loved to tell me old stories of people coming to their house, enjoying his hospitality and how many of them stayed on for years. The scene he has created for me of those times is of a courtyard with a huge red table. There are chairs at one side and a long wooden carved bench at the other. He always sat at the head, sometimes putting his legs up and sipping his drink. Then the flow of Socrates to Plato to Kant to Nietzsche may end at Neruda or Marquez if the night were still young or it could go on till Nargis and Nutan and other beauties of his time. This picture is true to its image as I have seen it through many eyes and have had the honour of being present in many of them. The talks were endless and each anecdote, memoir image from his stories morphed into another and created a narrative that was simply worth experiencing. Piraji walked to CEPT campus every day. His hands were empty, like a sponge absorbing in the atmosphere on his route that Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Untitled; medium- burnt wood, paint on block wood.
connected him to human life and this echoes in his art. His works speak of humane aspect even in its abstraction. He was always surrounded by people and these people surfaced in his manifestations, in forms and colours, in shapes and sizes, materials and matters. Even the birds and animals morphed into humans, as he understood empathy very well. He connected with them without any discrimination of class or size. Even the houses he created on wooden blocks spoke to viewers and reflected their stories. For Piraji, his forms existed, breathed and lived with him. Today, he is not here but as the pages of his sketchbook turn, each form inquires about him. Here was a soul that touched so many souls. At the same time I must share that he could be very critical too. He never claimed to be saintly and if the person was of not any interest to him, he could refuse to share a single moment. These were our laughing moments. We could laugh at the characters from novels to some real ones with their queerness. His last days were spent in an intensive care unit at a hospital, and a fellow patient kept peeping into our conversations. One particular evening he was talking about the poet Umashankar Joshi. The fellow patient could not fathom what the topic was that we were getting so excited to discuss. Piraji’s tired yet sharp eye caught this awkwardness and he turned his face to look at me and we burst out laughing. The hilarity of the situation was augmented by his witty comment directed at the confused patient, “That is why no one comes to meet him!” Piraji, it is only you who ruled at the red table. We will never be able to handle that. Goodbye my friend! ↑
Man with fish; medium- wood, paint, glass beads on block wood.
- Sharmila Sagara, April 2014 Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
After years of study, travel and engagement with the landscape of the Himalayas, Pratyush Shankar authors a beautiful monograph – a unique and intimate insight into the human habitats of the region – all illustrated with drawings, photography and sketches.
A spread from the section ‘The Himalayas - Landscape of the Mind’.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
ightly, the book does not attempt to provide a descriptive and encyclopedic list of sites. Rather, it constructs new ways of looking at available evidence”, writes Julia A B Hegewald in the foreword. So how much ‘evidence’ do we have in order to fully comprehend the settlements of Himalayas? As a landscape of incredible beauty and mystique, the Himalayas have always captured our imagination – a land of nature, a land of peace, a land of rivers and glaciers, a land of captivating splendour and resilience. From the dense pine forests to the fragile ecosystems of the snow-clad peaks, the Himalayas have challenged human habitats from ages to adapt and co-exist. Cutting across national borders, the topographies of the Himalayan ranges have defined the geo-politics on the region by uniting and dividing lands. There have been many studies – some by universities and the others by interested groups and individuals on the cities, towns and human habitats that dot the Himalayan landscape. This book is an imprint of accumulation of one such study. Since a decade, Pratyush Shankar has been repeatedly making trips to the region. His involvement with the subject dates back to his college days of travel which subsequently took form of a serious inquiry into the nature of architecture and eventually – of human settlements in the Himalayas. “To my mind the lens of cultural landscape was an important and much ignored area in the scholarships of the Himalayas”, writes Pratyush in the Introduction. Deviating fundamentally from many previous studies on this subject, Pratyush’s work deals with the domain of the intuitive. Here, the word ‘Landscape’ addresses multiple layers of cultural, social, religious and tectonic constructs
A page from the book with diagrams of Monastery Settlements.
that influence the built environs in the Himalayas. Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture – the primary concerns of the study are not isolated from the realities in which they exist. The physical is seen as a consequence of the forces that shape it and through the writings, images, sketches and drawings, the book conjures a complete image in the mind of the reader – an image that is multidimensional like the habitats of the Himalayas. Four sections compose the book into four fundamental domains of the author’s inquiry. The first titled ‘Landscape of the Mind’ deals with inherent dualities in the readings of the region: the physical and the cognitive, the mythical and real, the historic and the geographical...and so on. This segment of the book – through incredible imagery – looks at the terrain of the Himalayas in its many roles. The terrain is seen as a generator of the form of the habitat, ‘the Source and the Backdrop’; the container and the contained. The writing and images within, introduces a reader to the intrinsic multiplicity of the Himalayas. The second section ‘Cities of the Himalayas: Patterns and Settings’ deals with the urban domain of Himalayan towns. With diagrams and photographs, Pratyush tries to decipher consistent patterns that shape the built landscape of the region – patterns of the tectonic, the micro-economic systems, the political realities and references to historical situations – inherent hierarchies and the domains of the public – the influencers and the influences. Appropriating Landscape: New Typologies’, the third section, discusses the urban form and details therein. The illustrations and writings relate to the towns and cities of the Himalayas as
Rich illustrations – sketches, intuitive diagrams, drawings and photographs are composed in generous spreads.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
‘a modified form of nature’. The section deals with evolution of the urban form and type over time and the forces that shape them. The writing implies fundamental relationships between the natural landscapes of the Himalayas and the forms of the settlements therein – relationships that are critical to the living patterns that characterise the settlements and relationships that are critical to the continuous change that development brings to the region. Pratyush stresses on the limited imagination with which contemporary planning and building practices deal with these relationships as the book attempts to decipher these complexities in order to make sense of the continuities that exist – continuities that need understanding and consideration. The final chapter of the book: ‘Following Landscapes: Spaces of Reverence’ deals with the detail – the experience of the habitat and its many facets. From collective spaces to spaces for worship, ritual and life, the writings discuss typologies as generators and containers of life. Beautiful drawings, sketches, photographs and schematic diagrams compose immersive spreads in the book
A spread with the a figure: Ground showing interconnectivity of courts in a dense cluster.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
postulating the multiple negotiations that human intervention has with the landscape. This section discusses the spatial qualities of public spaces, monasteries, houses and the domestic realm, the physical constructs that form the city and the recurring typologies that form these constructs are studied with the terrain and ecology forming the backdrop. The writings of Pratyush Shankar and the flow of the images and illustrations within the book makes it an important reading not because it is the first of its kind – but because it takes a unique position. Pratyush’s interpretation of everything Himalayan comes from years of observation and assimilation leading to this document. This document chronicles the intuitive and the sublime through the lenses of the ordinary. Pratyush writes with an amount of restraint that urges the reader to know more, to seek further. The fact that this book is beautifully laid out and illustrated substantiates the regard with which it is written.
The writings of Pratyush Shankar and the flow of the images and illustrations within the book makes it an important reading – not because it is the first of its kind – but because it takes a unique position.
A page from the fourth segment ‘Following Landscapes - Spaces of Reverence’. The book has incredibly rich images.
Diagrams from the book.
FACT FILE: Book : Himalayan Cities: Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture Author : Pratyush Shankar Publisher : Niyogi Books Language : English ISBN : 978-93-83098-16-3 Reviewed By : Ruturaj Parikh Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Doob Gaya Hum, Dooba Diya Hum Ne… Photographing the environs of Rishikesh and the Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand. Capturing the environs of the Tehri Dam and its mesmerising hues of blue, Dr Deepak John Mathew tries to understand the immersive surroundings of the man-made waterbody. Text & Photographs: Dr Deepak Mathew
any times, a photography project takes long to complete. I started this project on Rishikesh and Tehri in 2009. I was, at that time, doing a logo design project for Tehri Dam and I made frequent trips in context of this project. In the beginning, my photography was spontaneous – I shot whatever came along the way. Normally, these kinds of shoots go to my hard disk and never come out. After the second or third visit to Tehri Dam, one of the supervisors there was showing me around the place and I noticed a tip of the old Tehri Village – submerged in water. As I asked him about it, he casually replied that it is the tip of the temple of the old Tehri Town.
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
As he talked about the nice resettlement they received, I could see what he was telling me about the new village not being true. Maybe they all were forced to say that they were happy. I continued chit-chatting with him and after some time, gained his confidence. He said that most of the villagers in Tehri got a job in the construction of the Dam and as they built the Dam, the Dam slowly submerged the village. Then he said, “Doob Gaya Hum, Dooba Diya Hum Ne”. I could see his eyes swell as he talked about the drowned village. I thought ‘this is the project’. I could see a link between my random shots and now my meaningful engagement with the environs there. I continued shooting after this incident and my shoots became more focused. I started avoiding people, religions, activities, crowds, market places and other nuances of the place. I was set on the cooler temperature to 4000’k and that set a mood for my pictures. I was shooting landscapes and water. My pictures became more and more minimal, a sense of submergence was felt while I was shooting. On many days, I got up at five in the morning and went to Rishikesh and captured the feeling of submergence – with the water and the fog. In 2013, when I decided to come out with an edit of 18 pictures from my four years of shooting, I knew my title should be “Doob Gaya Hum, Dooba Diya Hum Ne”. Indian Architect & Builder - May 2014
Deepak John Mathew Dr Mathew was Head of Photography Department till 2013 and Founder of the Photography Design Department at NID (National Institute of Design). Currently he is working as an associate professor in the Design Department at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). Dr Mathew has developed the curriculum and designed the first post graduate Dual Master level programme in Photography Design in India. With an experience spanning over eighteen years in photography, painting and graphics, he has published several papers and conducted workshops on photography worldwide. Dr Mathew has taught as visiting professor at many institutes in India, New Zealand and UK. Deepak John Mathew’s Website: http://djmphotography.in/ Space Frames investigates issues of architecture and environment through the medium of photography. To contribute, write to us at email@example.com or to the curator Dr Mathew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2014: Doob Gaya Hum, Dooba Diya Hum Neâ€Ś Indian Architect & Builder Magazine
Deepak John Mathew Dr Mathew was Head of Photography Department till 2013 and Founder of the Photography Design Department at NID (National Institute of Design). Currently he is working as an associate professor in the Design Department at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). Dr Mathew has developed the curriculum and designed the first post graduate Dual Master level programme in Photography Design in India. With an experience spanning over eighteen years in photography, painting and graphics, he has published several papers and conducted workshops on photography worldwide. Dr Mathew has taught as visiting professor at many institutes in India, New Zealand and UK. Deepak John Mathewâ€™s Website: http://djmphotography.in/ Space Frames investigates issues of architecture and environment through the medium of photography. To contribute, write to us at email@example.com or to the curator Dr Mathew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIAN ARCHITECT & BUILDER
Indian Architect & Builder's May 2014 issue.