Page 1

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The completion of this thesis could not have been possible without the participation and assistance of so many people whose names may not all be enumerated. Here, I would like to take an opportunity to appreciate their contribution. However, I would like to express my indebtedness particularly to the following‌ Firstly and most importantly I would like to thank Roma Tayyibji, my guide for her time, involvement and patience. For helping me in understanding my vague ideas and giving it meaningful shape. Her inputs and insights have been instrumental throughout the process while developing an understanding of the topic. To my family for their support, patience and the encouragement. A big thank you to Chhaya sir, Srivathsan sir, Sonal Mithal, Gurdev sir, Shabbir sir who indulged the discussions over the topic and played a role in directing the thesis topic. To David Seamon who spent his time and gave inputs to gain an understanding of the topic. I would like to thank HCP for providing the drawings, IIM Ahmedabad and Sangath for their assistance during the site visits. To Mustafa, for being a major helping hand throughout the thesis years and for tolerating all ups and downs of the journey. Also, to Devashree for sharing an empathy and walking along throughout the long journey. Special thanks to Purvi for shaping a tangible form of the thesis. To Rajkumar, Farhaz, Roy, Parshish, Roma, Rushabh, Vedanti, Ravi, Aanal, Jada, Hitisha for their key contributions and all the lovely people who made this journey memorable. Last but not the least, Librarian and library staff for their generous help finally to the school for providing an ideal atmosphere over the years.






Preface Research proposal


UNDERSTANDING HEIDEGGERIAN THOUGH..........................................................................


UNDERSTANDING THE THINGNESS IN ARCHITECTURE...........................................................


1.1 Interpretation of ‘the thing’ in architecture 1.2 Abstract: The Thing 1.2.1 Earthen pot as ‘the thing’ 1.2.2 Key themes of ‘thingness’ 25

2.1 The Elements / ‘Fourfold’ 2.1.1 Earth and Sky 2.1.2 Mortals and Immortals 2.2 Meaning Making / ‘Nearness’ 2.2.1 The Experiential Journey 2.2.2 Sensorial elements of Experience 2.3 Making 2.3.1 Context 2.3.2 Building Material 2.3.3 Form Construct 2.4 levels of engagement / ‘Two fold holding’ 2.4.1 Locale: Pastoral Life 2.4.2 Contextual Engagement: Built Form 2.4.3 Inhabitation 2.4.3 Appropriaiation


CASE STUDY................................................................................................................................


old IIMA new IIMA






ILLUSTRATION CREDITS..........................................................................................



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Thingness of the things Forests spread Brooks plunge Rocks persist Mist diffuses Meadows wait Springs well Winds dwell Blessing muses - Martin Heidegger




Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

PREFACE The Journey of research started with a question, Why some buildings appeal and impact more than others? This question was raised from the lived experience of few buildings which left one wondering, e.g., Sagrada Familia, Thermal baths, Jewish Museum, etc. The significance lies not in just the visual, nor the functional nor the spatial. It is the experience the most encompassing of the end-result which matters in the built environment. Architecture is the expression of ‘being-in-world’ of human beings which belongs to circumstantial time and place. Man embodies the three-dimensional space with all his sense, his/her perception of the built environment is cognition of all information derived from his senses as an end-result which elevates an emotional state.

Sensory information received from an object or space works as a gateway for the experiencer which goes through his/her body goes beyond, also affecting the emotional state of the experiencer. This imprint of the embodied experience is stored in the one’s psyche. When one experiences similar object or space again, it strikes his/her previous encounter which was lying deep in the psyche; establishing a connection or creating a new memory with the object or the built form. The theatre is a space which disconnects the spectator from rest of the world. This isolation encourages to attend to the film and allows the spectator to share an empathy with the characters of the film, to make the spectator part of the story.



Experience of the built form elicits the compelling experience when it unveils the nature of elements like earth, sky, wind, light, water, etc. as it connects and strikes the psyche of an experiencer. Throughout the centuries, man’s basic need for shelter and space to perform day-to-day activities like cooking, bathing, eating, and gathering is influenced by the time. It is not completely changed. Yet, the physical surrounding supporting these activities has changed and evolved significantly with the aspirations of the respective group of people and their technological advancements. At this very stage, use of technological and material innovations in environmental practices are at its peak. Spaces and buildings which were just fictional few decades back are occupying the urban edges at the current time. All kind of global materials and contextual experiences can be regenerated anywhere in the city by controlling the climate. We can recreate spaces from universally available materials or by sourcing the materials from across the globe. Through narratives imbued with the building elements and visuals, experiencer can associate with its occupants or group of occupants of the built form. The materials which are used in ancient architecture, e.g., stone, wood, etc. were sourced from the local areas which will respond to context and transforms with time. In south Indian temples which are made of stone, the edges of the steps and platform have smoothened because of its constant use throughout the years. The experiencer can feel the time it has withered though, one can relate to the narratives and stories associated with these buildings. Those spaces take the visitor into past eliciting the same experience of the same spaces in present times and heighten the experience of the space, leaving its imprint on the human psyche. Erecting a permanent structure involved an enormous amount of effort in earlier times, where most of the structure was built from the materials sourced locally. These structures are standing in the twentieth century after withering from the forces of time and place, telling a visitor its story in all possible way, interacting with a visitor; offering a tactile experience of the past in the present through its materiality, giving a rich sensorial experience. In earlier times people were rooted in their context, were occupying their surroundings with the sense of belonging. They were connected with their natural surroundings like a sky, landscape, seasons, water bodies; physically and mentally both through occupying it and through stories/narratives, rituals connected with their built environment. x

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Coexistence of the natural and human-made elements in an equilibrium made dwelling a healing and enriching experience, in the clean and pure environment. Man being a manifestation of five great elements of earth, sky, water, wind, and fire; can associate with these materials and its primordial feel, being a part of the collective consciousness of human anthropology and history, natural materials seem appealing to man. In current times man has achieved a great amount of skill and knowledge and has developed technologies inbuilt environmental practices, but it’s challenging to find peaceful neighbourhoods. Our modern houses are not yet so modern to deal with all dwelling issues and provide us comfort within an apartment house in the chaos of an urban area. People living in airconditioned spaces hardly open those windows in their house, balconies open up onto noisy roads where an individual can never sit to contemplate the nature around, and it ends up being a storage space. Experience of living in our built environment doesn’t comfort either it disturbs. It’s not just building materials of the modern times which are creating homogenized experiences of the built environment, but the meaning of the building elements and built forms are too drifting away from their true nature, directed by utilitarian ideologies. What is the point of the progress if a man cannot achieve comfort and feel at home in his own house? Experiential spaces of historic structures were designed to fulfil the physical requirements of the aimed activities, but its design and making also incorporated the cultural and psychological needs of its occupants. However, they were manifested by its occupants only. Tactile materials offered something more than just fulfilling the functions. This quality seems lacking in modern buildings. “What is happening here when, as a result of the abolition of great distances, everything is equally far and equally near? What is this uniformity in which everything is neither far nor near—is, as it were, without distance? Everything gets lumped together into uniform distancelessness. How? Is not this merging of everything into the distanceless more unearthly than everything bursting apart?”(Heidegger, 1950)



GLOSSARY Inhabiter – A person who occupies the built space irrespective of time duration. Self- sustaining – An entity which is independent Nearness – perception of meaning Fourfold – earth, sky, mortals and immortals. Here mortals are people and immortals are culture, religion, and beliefs. Making – Gathering of earth, sky, mortals and immortals Two-fold holding – the process that initiates inhabitation in the built form


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

AIM The study aims at gaining an understanding of experiences offered by certain built forms.

OBJECTIVES - To inquire into the lived experience of a built form through the framework of the Heideggerian theory. - To extract the themes related to experience from Heidegger’s writing, interpret the themes and derive architectural parameters. - To analyze the selected buildings using derived parameters and discover how the underlying principles are latent in the case studies manifesting ‘The Thingness’ in lived experience.

SCOPE The study is based on a philosophical idea as presented by Martin Heidegger, and the study uses one of the chapters - ‘The Thing,’ from his book ‘Poetry language and Thought’ as a framework. (Heidegger, 1950) The study provides the framework to analyze work of Architecture to gain an understanding of a lived experience. There is a possibility to select many more examples as case studies to conduct a study on experience. It being an undergraduate research thesis, two corresponding case studies based on context and program type are taken. Resonances between this theory and phenomenology are suggested for future discourse but not taken forward, bearing the limits of an undergraduate thesis.

LIMITATIONS The search for meaningful experience in the built environment has been opening up several research opportunities simultaneously in the areas of existentialism, phenomenology, and spirituality. Merleu-Ponty, Christopher Alexander, NorbergSchulz, and others have written extensively on the subject. Hence, several other interpretations of ‘The Thing’ exist; this interpretation is based on an individual’s understanding of the theory. In order to facilitate frequent site visits to the buildings selected for the case-studies and to understand the experience, they have been selected in the vicinity of Ahmedabad. The interpretation of the Heideggerian theory is limited to understand the experiential aspects of the built form. Introduction


METHODOLOGY The study is initiated by establishing an interrelation between Heideggerian theory and the experience of the built form, through which the framework is formed to conduct a study on the lived experience of the built form. (chapter 1) - The preliminary study of four different buildings is done to draw parallels between the aspects of the theory and the built form. The buildings fr these studies are selected to emphasize on a particular aspect of theory which is being emphasized in the experience. Through the preliminary study, the architectural parameters are derived (chapter 2) - Having done this, two case-studies are selected and analyzed using derived architectural parameters. The main case studies are selected based on a common program and context, and different lived experience that the built forms provide. (chapter 3)


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture





Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture




Understanding Heideggarian thought


UNDERSTANDING HEIDEGGERIAN THOUGHT Practitioners, Critiques, and Scholars have always been referring to literature and philosophy to understand and evolve the discourse of architecture. Martin Heidegger is one of the philosophers whom architects have been referring to grasp the essence of experiencing the world. Heidegger is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century who has affected the practice and theory of architecture. His book ‘Being and Time’ is one of the most important works of philosophy, where he explores the concept of Being. Heidegger did not write particularly on architecture but his key essays - ‘The Thing’ (1950), ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ (1951) and ‘…Poetically, Man dwells…’ (1951), is concerned with the art of dwelling. ‘Poetry Language and thought’ is a collection of Heidegger’s essays dealing with art and existentialism. His ideas about architecture emphasize the human experience of being in the world. Here is one example of Heidegger’s on architecture, which is part of the essay - Building Dwelling thinking((Heidegger, 19501).


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

“The bridge swings over the stream “with ease and power.” It does not just connect banks that are already there. The banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream. The bridge designedly causes them to lie across from each other. One side is set off against the other by the bridge. Nor do the banks stretch along the stream as indifferent border strips of the dry land. With the banks, the bridge brings to the stream the one and the other expanse of the landscape lying behind them. It brings stream and bank and land into each other’s neighborhood. The bridge gathers the earth as landscape around the stream. Thus it guides and attends the stream through the meadows. Resting upright in the stream’s bed, the bridge-piers bear the swing of the arches that leave the stream’s waters to run their course. The waters may wander on quiet and gay, the sky’s floods from storm or thaw may shoot past the piers in torrential waves—the bridge is ready for the sky’s weather and its fickle nature. Even where the bridge covers the stream, it holds its flow up to the sky by taking it for a moment under the vaulted gateway and then setting it free once more.

The bridge lets the stream run its course and at the same time grants their way to mortals so that they may come and go from shore to shore. Bridges lead in many ways. The city bridge leads from the precincts of the castle to the cathedral square; the river bridge near the country town brings wagons and horse teams to the surrounding villages. The old stone bridge’s humble brook crossing gives to the harvest wagon its passage from the fields into the village and carries the lumber cart from the field path to the road. The highway bridge is tied into the network of long-distance traffic, paced as calculated for maximum yield. Always and ever differently the bridge escorts the lingering and hastening ways of men to and fro, so that they may get to other banks and in the end, as mortals, to the other side. Now in a high arch, now in a low, the bridge vaults over glen and stream—whether mortals keep in mind, this vaulting of the bridge’s course or forget that they, always themselves on their way to the last bridge, are actually striving to surmount all that is common and unsound in them in order to bring themselves before the haleness of the divinities. The bridge gathers, as a passage that crosses, before the divinities— whether we explicitly think of, and visibly give thanks for, their presence, as in the figure of the saint of the bridge, or whether that divine presence is obstructed or even pushed wholly aside. The bridge gathers to itself in its own way earth and sky, divinities and mortals.”

Understanding Heideggarian thought


1.1 INTERPRETATION OF ‘THE THING’ IN ARCHITECTURE ‘The Thing’ is a complex and dense essay, proceeding in Heidegger’s typical circular manner of writing. Throughout the essay, he uses different analogies for particular phenomena of life-world. For example - fourfold, nearness, thingness, gathering. At few places, these analogies are used to emphasize its essence as the phenomena. The essay starts with an argument of the shrinking distances due to mass media and modern transportation which has impacted negatively on man’s proximity to his own existence which Heidegger calls - Nearness. Everything is available within hand’s reach, yet man is detached from his surroundings. He connects the notion of ‘nearness’ with the notion of ‘thingness’ by proposing how the Thing’s existence is connected with its preconditions. This precondition is ‘The Fourfold’ - earth, sky, people, and divinities. He argued that every ‘thing’ gather its ‘fourfold,’ connecting man with his world and hence establishing the ‘nearness.’ through which man makes sense of his world. Science and technology are not adequate for people to make sense of their everyday life experiences. These concepts of ‘Nearness,’ ‘Fourfold,’ ‘Thingness’ concern man’s sense of proximity to the world and worldly things. It also deals with the repercussions of their engagements with their surroundings. Further, Heidegger describes by giving a tangible example of an earthen pot to distinguish between an object and a thing. He explores the preconditions of the existence ‘fourfold’ through an example of a pot discussing the making, the purpose, the use and meaning of an earthen pot.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

1.2 ABSTRACT: THE THING 1.2.1 THE POT AS ‘THE THING’ Jug - an earthen pot, made of clay is an everyday life object which we use as a container for water, wine or juice. It is made of clay, and the potter has shaped it on a wheel with his skilled hands. He has shaped the clay in a shape that can act as a holding vessel - the jug. We use the jug as a holding vessel because it can stand independently and it is stable, this way it is self-standing. (Fig.1.2.1) There cannot be a jug which cannot stand. This self-standing quality of a jug has a sense of stemming from somewhere, self-created or being created by another. (Fig.1.2.2) Self-standing marks the jug as an independent entity made from clay. The jug is self-standing because it is made in such a way. ‘Making’ aims at self-standing and it lets the jug come into ‘being’ on its own. (Fig.1.2.3)

fig. 1.2.1 Jug as a self-standing entity made of earth

As a standing object, clay/earth from which the jug is made is also standing. This way the jug unconceals one of the natures of the earth. What the jug consists can also stand on earth. The jug was once a lump of clay. This self-standing pot came into being through the process of ‘making’. (Fig.1.2.4) Heidegger propounds: ‘The jug is not a vessel because it was made; rather, the jug had to be made because it is this holding vessel.’ While making the jug, the potter shapes the void; he shaped the clay into a void which can hold water. The holding of the water occurs through three actions pouring, keeping and pouring out. Through sides and bottom made of clay, the jug can stand, but it is the void -an emptiness of the jug which holds the water. This void determines the nature of the jug as a thing. The jug can take water inside its form, the void will store the water, and the material of the pot will cool the water while storing it. An opening of the jug will allow the water to be poured out slowly, pouring out water to drink.

fig. 1.2.2 Lump of clay, being prepared for the making of the Jug

fig. 1.2.3 Potter shaping the clay into a holding vessel

This water quenches the thirst of man, wine stored in it will revive the conviviality of man, it can also become a consecration in church when mere pouring out will become giving, and ‘Giving’ is something more than just pouring out. Jug holds the water, and water comes through rain, rain comes from the sky. Rocks dwell in water while plants and trees grow near water. The jug gives water for mortals and wine for divinities. Jug reflects all of these in its being. It reflects the natural and human context of its being. Thus the jug responds and recalls the fourfold - earth, sky, people and divinities.

fig. 1.2.4 Jug standing as form manifested through the process of making

Understanding Heideggarian thought


We can hold the pot with our hand or by a handle attached to it. We feel the earth while holding a jug. A smell of water poured out from the earth smells of wet earth. It responds and recalls the fourfold. We are associated with the jug through our five senses and memory. The way we engage with the jug by holding a physical vessel, we build a relationship with that, which is an embodied experience of the jug. We all have these associations with objects, and that is how objects are near to us and near to us is what we call things. One experiences the jug by holding it, feeling its texture and temperature, carrying the weight. The shape of the jug allows an experiencer to hold it in certain ways, engaging the experiencer with its form. This lived experience of the jug cannot be represented through any medium of representation. The jug is made of the fourfold, for the fourfold and by the fourfold. As a being jug connects people with earth, sky, people, and divinities. Jug reflects the climate, context, people and narratives of the location it belongs to. Gathered in one place, fourfold - earth, sky, people and divinities - reveals their true nature. They stay in one place and mutually they belong to each other. While staying, they also appropriate each other. Their individuality is reflected on each-other(which Heidegger calls a mirror play), yet they have an identity as the independent entity (Heidegger, 1951). Earth, sky, divinities, and mortals - being at one with one another of their own accord - belong together by the way of the simpleness of the united fourfold. (Heidegger 1950) In this process of nearing the fourfold, jug becomes the thing. Jug as the thing appropriates - cools down, filters - the water it is storing for mortals to drink, Jug reflects the context through its shape and visuals. ‘The thing’ gathers the fourfold and also appropriates them, yet it retains the true nature of the fourfold. As a being, the jug presents and preserves the thing in the human-made world.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture



In the chapter ‘The Thing,’ Heidegger delineates the intangible qualities of the tangibles. This intangible quality of the tangibles brings the distinction from one to another tangible object and man comes to know this distinction by the experience. These intangible qualities occur from its tangible manifestation, without that it would not exist for man to experience. Hence, there is something in the tangible itself which contributes to its intangible qualities. ‘The Thing’ helps to understand this phenomenon occurring in our world by being. For example, as Heidegger has discussed an example of a bridge that swings across the banks of the river with ease and power. It is the nature (intangible quality) of the bridge. Similarly, a brook, a forest, shoes, poetry, a temple – each of them has their own nature as a ‘being’, which is called ‘the thingness’ by Heidegger. An object differs from ‘The thing,’ as the thing occurs due to its nature of being. Also ‘The thing’ is modest in numbers when compared to countless, valueless objects found everywhere in this time of mass production, and a measureless mass of human beings living on earth. To explain the essence of nature of being (‘The thing’), Heidegger uses specific concepts, and his own analogy to name these concepts. Here the chapter of ‘The thing’ is divided and interpreted as the four parts to analyze the ‘the thingness.’ These four concepts are, 1) Nearness – the meaning 2) Fourfold – earth, sky, mortals, and immortals 3) Making – gathering of earth, sky, mortals, and immortals 4) Two-fold holding – the potential of the tangibles Abstracting this four concept is an attempt to understand the intangible aspects which altogether brings out the nature of the tangibles. This is done by drawing parallels to architectural concepts and thereby deriving architectural parameters.

Understanding Heideggarian thought



The meaning The experience of the built form where everything, built and unbuilt unfolds its nature and allows people to engage, associate with their physical surroundings. Beholding the values experienced in spaces through lived experience, people would get attached to space/building and establish a relation, giving it a meaning; which we call nearness. Nearness also maintains the appropriate distance among the things so that everything is perceived in its true nature.


Earth, Sky, Mortals, and Immortals Mainly there are two aspects to man. One is the history and past which has made what he, himself is today - The metaphysical aspect, Second is his present reality ‘ here and now ’ where he is made of five elements of earth, sky, wind, water, and fire- the physical aspects. Man and his world are composed of these two which we call the fourfold - earth, sky, mortals and immortals. Where man is mortal and immortals are his beliefs, culture, social aspects, religion etc. which he is carrying forward being a part of evolution.


gathering of earth, sky, mortals, and immortals Materials reveal its properties to the maker when the maker attends to his environments, while making the maker redistributes the material and redefines the existing space for the inhabitation, So he hollows out or builds while making. Through the process of making, the maker creates the space while creating the form and simultaneously he is creating the space while giving it a form.

Two-fold holding

The potential of the tangibles The environment has its inherent value and quality whether it being occupied or unoccupied. The immediate environment offers an experience for the inhabitor to engage with it. Once space/built form is occupied or inhabited, the interaction between man and space will transform both, the environment as well as the inhabitor. This way both transform, evolve and grow together.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture





Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.1 Man and the Built form : as made of the fourfold

fig. 2.1.2 The first hut as depicted by Viollet-le-Duc. Built-form as a pause in a life-world.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.1 THE ELEMENTS/ FOURFOLD UNDERSTANDING THE RELATION THAT BUILT FORM ESTABLISHES WITH EARTH, SKY, MORTALS AND IMMORTALS Mainly there are two aspects to man. One is the history and the past which is his innate intellect; second is his physical reality where he is made of five elements of earth, sky, wind, water, and fire- the physical aspects. Man and his world are composed of these two which we call the fourfold - earth, sky, mortals and immortals. Man is mortal, and immortals are his beliefs, culture, social aspects, religion, etc. which he is carrying forward being part of the evolution.(Fig. 2.1.1) Man and his world are made of five elements of earth, sky, wind, water, and fire. Man is also attached to morals, narratives, rituals, and stories which make the metaphysical part of his world, Heidegger calls it the fourfold – earth, sky, mortals and immortals. All of this is interconnected. In the state of thingness, they co-exist and appropriate their stay in space/building. The relation of the Earth and Sky, Earth and People, Earth and Divinities, Sky and people, Sky and divinities, People and Divinities is established in a built form through the organizational principle and archetypal elements. As Christian Norberg Schulz talks about the dwelling in the ‘Architecture: meaning and place,’ the dwelling is a pause point of the human journey. Initially, Man was living his life as a wanderer, as a nomad. The dwelling is a resting place for the man during his journey which creates a sense of being within a shelter providing security from external natural forces. The inner world of the dwelling slows down the journey of the man and provides a pace to look inwards, to contemplate while inhabiting the inner world of the dwelling. So this way dwelling does not disconnect with the outer world, but it anchors man in a place and lets him interact with the world outside while being inside. (Fig. 2.1.2) Explaining the thingness of the earthen pot, Heidegger says: “The giving of the outpouring can be a drink. The outpouring gives water, it gives wine to drink.” “the spring stays on in the water of the gift. In the spring the rock dwells, and in the rocks dwells the dark slumber of the earth, which receives the rain and dew of the sky. In the water of the spring dwells the marriage of sky and earth.” (Heidegger, 1950)

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.3 A unique tradition of West Africa, a celebration of an indigenous rural culture in which the women are the artists and the home her canvas, painting figures they relate with the landscape and narratives.

fig. 2.1.4 Nalukettu : Traditional House of Kerala representing the natural element of rain(sky).

fig. 2.1.5 A courtyard of Nalukettu house, connecting inhabiters with earth and sky.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The life breathing in the built form is the giving of the built form – the quality of life of people living in it. The sky, wind, water, light affect the built form and building responses to these elements in one or the other way; by locking them out or by modulating their interaction. Standing on the ground and rising towards the sky, Built form establishes the connection with the fourfold. It is made of these elements itself and is made by the people who inhabit it. The beliefs, narratives, and the culture is reflected in the built environment; the influence of the people who have built it and who inhabits it. (Fig. 2.1.3) With definite relation with the ground, the order of spaces, orientation, axis and direction, and openings; built form manipulates the interaction with the fourfold to appropriate the desired conditions inside the built form for the dwellers and co-dwellers. Hence, the built form gathers the fourfold, it articulates the interactions of the fourfold and appropriates their stay in the built form and preserves their true nature. For example, the form of Nalakettu house type of Kerala has a pitched roof and a courtyard. Pitch roof bears heavy rains and the courtyard creates a recreational space within the house while providing sufficient light and ventilation. (Fig. 2.1.4 and 2.1.5) Made of the five great elements himself man can relate to natural elements. He modifies his surroundings and weaves symbols and his beliefs into it to establish a meaning, where he makes his world. He builds the shelter to do routine activities and to dwell. Apart from that, there is a need to express his emotions and feeling, and that is seen in the physical surroundings of different communities which live in settlements across the world. Through symbols and forms, man expresses his beliefs, aspirations, ideology. These symbols of the expressions resonate with the landscape and context in which man dwells. Man relates to various natural elements for his feelings. Like rain conveys happiness in the communities which depend on agriculture, domestic animals are important in people who earn their livelihood from milk-based products. Depending on their occupational activity, these communities also have customs and festivals where they worship and celebrate natural elements and phenomena. These elements energize day-to-day life and feed the conviviality into dwellers. We are betrothed with our world through the fourfold. Elements of the fourfold are the fundamental means of all the sensory experiences.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.6 Storage niches decorated with mud and mirorwork, representing th elocal culture.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

These elements are ever thrilling with life, constant threads of our lives wherever we go in the world, yet they are never the same; constantly changing with time and space, they create numerous experiences and revitalize everything that exists on earth. Built form responds to these natural elements and establishes a relationship with them, which inhibitors experience through archetypal elements like a roof, openings, ground modulation, steps, ramps. All these architectural elements come together eliciting an experience in the built form; every element of the built form is an expression and manifestation of the correlation of the five elements and human senses. Through the sensory experience, it elevates an emotional state into the inhibitors. There is a meaning behind each architectural element, being rooted in its geographical location, climate, anthropology of humans. The dwelling is a place where human beings are protected under the shelter, they can express themselves, and they can live together. They share their empathy for the celebrations and misery, they evolve and prosper together, follow their beliefs and live their way with their co-dwellers, celebrating their togetherness and yet enjoy solitude. Conjointly earth and sky also dwell in the built form nourishing and flourishing dwellers’ dwelling in the same time and space. Dwelling transforms and evolves with the dwellers and visa-versa. For a building to hold a meaningful stay of human beings, it is necessary to provide the physical and emotional shelter and spaces where they can express themselves and perform their routine activities as well as stay nourished and flourish.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.7 Sangath, Ahmedabad, view from the entrance pathway.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

SANGATH, AHMEDABAD Sangath is an office building for Vastushilpa consultants and Vastushilpa foundation, located in Ahmedabad. Sangath accommodates the architectural firm of Architect B V Doshi. The construction of the building was completed in 1981. Sangath is built on a plot area of 2425 sqmt, where the office building sits in the north corner with the built-up area which is of 473 sqmt. Office building contains the studio spaces, meeting rooms, reception, library, gallery and office spaces. The built form is an assembly of parallel walls, vaults, and flat roof. Double height space under vault houses the studio spaces. Barrel vaults placed in north-south direction bring the natural light within interior spaces from the tympanum cut-outs and also maintain the thermal comfort by capturing natural breeze coming from the south-west. The entrance pathway opens up into a courtyard, where the built form appears as a composition of vaults, terraced garden and water pools. The building is half buried into the ground, merging the earth into itself and creating a harmonious earth form. The halfsunken built form works well in the hot and dry climate of Ahmedabad, using the earth mass as insulation. Placement of the vaults and the openings maximizes the natural ventilation of the interior spaces. The water channels, placed along the vaults collect the rainwater and bring it downward into the pools, creating a cascade of water. Along the journey from the entrance to the office spaces, one is guided by different floors, pathways, steps where the symbols and patterns woven with architectural elements play a major role in imbuing notions; leaving an imprint of the atmosphere created around the built form. One experiences the office building not as just an office but as a place to just ‘be.’ Among beautiful amalgamation of the natural and human-made landscape, the work-spaces inspire one for the rigorous work that goes on in the architectural firm, creating and continuing the culture which Balkrishna Doshi has built throughout the years with his work and academic contribution.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.8 angular vertical and horizontal surfaces creates immense entry which engulfs and takes into the entrance court.

fig. 2.1.9 An enclosure created by the layers of vegetation grown from the ground creates a narrow pathway.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.1.1 EARTH AND SKY The building establishes a strong relationship with earth. The ground forms a datum with respect to the building. Various spaces built at different levels create atmospheres which vary in temperature, inside-outside relation, light, and ventilation quality. At Sangath, from the entrance the mounds and elevated vegetated land induce the sense of being within, whereas the courtyard is an open volume leading towards the steps and terraces, elevating the built form from the ground and opening an opportunity to meander around. The narrow pathway created among mounds and gardens at varying levels – from the entrance to the courtyard- elicits the feeling of walking in a forest while moving through the modulating earth,under the roof of trees foliage surrounded by vegetation. A narrow stretch of flat ground with patterned flooring suggests the movement, the branches of trees and climbers add to the sense of pathway in a forest. One is directed towards the office space with the transforming landforms and with the textured floor. At the end of the pathway, a small lotus pond stretches the pathway, taking a turn into a huge open courtyard created by the clearing of the sky. The courtyard puts forward the office building again as a modulation of ground rising towards the sky with steps and levels going upwards. The vaults are jutting out from the modulating ground form the skyline. The exterior of the Sangath is like a three-dimensional porous space created by the ground moving upward and downward, with the trees and vegetation of varying scales. From the entrance till the end of the journey the built form gives a different experience of its relation with the ground. The building is half sunken into the ground. The ground modulation presents surprising views of the outside in linear looking office space, and it also breaks the order of spaces. Vault creates dominant and defined spaces, but the play with the datum breaks its monotony, letting one explore the spaces further with curiosity. An office is a repetitive form and composition of linear forms, yet the interior spaces have varied heights, levels, steps and mezzanines which diffuse the experience of being within linear forms, it all together creates complex juxtapositions of spaces. “Earth is the building bearer, nourishing with its fruits, tending water and rock, plant and animal. When we say earth, we are already thinking of the other three along with it by way of the simple oneness of the four.” (Heidegger, 1950) Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.10 Pathway ends into the open courtyard where the built form appears as a modulation of the ground ascending towards the sky.

fig. 2.1.11 Pathway created by modulating and elevating the ground and the plantation around it, creates a sense of enclosure.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The built form is sunken and the roof being vaulted, the spaces give an experience of being within earth which feels safe, cool and the openings connect insider with the natural surroundings of the exterior. Roof defines the relationship with the sky at the same time it creates a sense of enclosure, of being within. The pathway created by modulation of grounds leads the way into the courtyards, and from there the irregular edge of the built form opens up the opportunity to explore around, creating an entry inside the office accidental encounter. As Heidegger says, “The sky is the sun’s path, the course of the moon, the glitter of the stars, the year’s seasons, the light and dusk of day, the gloom and glow of night, the clemency and inclemency of the weather, the drifting clouds and blue depth of the ether.”(Heidegger, 1951) The roof initiates a dialogue between the built form and the sky but the orientation of the built from determines the interaction of the inhabitants and sky. Within a built form thermal comfort is an important aspect for its inhabitants to be at ease and do their daily activities where the orientation of the built form plays a critical role. Orientation determines the relation of inside and outside with the openings, on which the light quality and ventilation depend. The sky is a most dynamic aspect of the built form which changes every hour, every day and night and though seasons, where the openings become the most useful device to bring the dynamism of outside within the built form. Looking at series of vaults surrounded by trees, one can relate mountains and forest to the architectural form of the Sangath. The vaults placed north-south, resting on parallel walls has a dominant quality of being open-ended on both the sides bringing natural currents within the spaces. The nature of openings varies here in all four directions, creating dynamic atmospheres in all spaces. In the hot climate of Ahmedabad, southwest gets the harsh sun. Here the built form has light shafts to diffuse harsh sunlight and bring it into the spaces. It also creates natural ventilation and makes use of wind coming from the south-west direction. In the exterior of the Sangath, an experiencer can connect through the shadows of the trees on the ground, as though the pathway until the courtyard; it is covered with the tree, layers of trees. At the end of the pathway, the trees are set apart, creating a huge open space – like a courtyard, from where one can experience sky and skyline set up by a series of vaults. The experience of the sky changes from the pathway to the garden which is at a higher level than the pathway, where trees form another small opening. An experiencer experiences the vastness of the sky Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.12The built form gradually rises from the ground through the steps and terraces

fig. 2.1.13 View of the vast sky from the terrace and the ambiguous skyline created by trees v


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

from the terraces, where the bright glossy surfaces reflect the sky. Looking over the office campus the experiencer walks on the ground that leads one downward, under the roof of the trees and above it the vastness of sky makes its presence felt with light pouring on the china mosaic floors of the terraces and filtering on the ground through the foliage of the trees, creating a play of shadows. It gives an experience of climbing the mountains from the dense forest where the sky is experienced in the form of sun rays falling on the ground from the porous roof of the tree foliage and where one attends to the vastness of the sky and looks over from the higher point, observing the inhabited space from far.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.14 The employees spending break-time on the steps.

fig. 2.1.15 Main working space for the employees.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.1.2 MORTALS AND IMMORTALS Sangath is an office of Vastu-Shilpa consultant but as stated in ‘Harnessing intangibles,’ it is treated more like an institute. The reception, the meeting space, Ar. Doshi’s office, the working spaces with mezzanine, sunken model workshop each space is dealt with distinction and relates in a specific manner to the street – the main axis - onto which they open. This distinct quality of spaces, each deal with outside natural surrounding differently creating a world within it for its inhabitants, allowing them to personalize their spaces and yet be connected with the on-goings of the office. Beneath the repetitive vault system and among the parallel walls, space which is manifested varies with ground modulation, openings and orientation of each of them, creating different working atmospheres. The office is located in the north corner and occupies a one-third of the whole site area set back by enough margins from the busy roadsides, the built form is more like a composition of terrace gardens and water pools which creates many informal spaces to accommodate various activities. The courtyard steps provide space for small to big gatherings and create spaces to meander around. A user passes through the long pathway being directed towards the built form by mounds, levels and water pools every day while reaching the workplace. Mealtime gatherings happen in the courtyard, providing refreshing break time during work hours. Here, the user experiences the harmony of the built form with earth, sky, context and culture. It is an overwhelming experience to encounter a place like Sangath among the dense city fabric which provides a compelling experience. The experiencer walks on diagonal pathways, upward and downward on steps or levels among the lush green vegetation, rambling ways created by textures surfaces or smooth finishes, courtyard manifested with huge trees around and though ground modulation, crisp and straight lines of the built form meeting soft natural forms of trees and water pools. Built from not just being a shelter, also conveys the identity and beliefs of its occupants. Sangath being an architectural office campus stands for the intellectual resources spent on the tangible outcome as a built form.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.1.16 The mango tree figure embedded in the flooring, making it the immortal part of the office campus.

fig. 2.1.17 Miniature painting of the Sangath.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

From the starting point of the experiential journey with the office campus, one encounters many metaphors taking place relating to Indianness, the culture of a workplace which Doshi has evolved with his works as an architect and as an academician. The sculptures, symbols, and forms imbued with the built surroundings elicits enlightening atmosphere. The background Indian classical music adds to it and calms down the chaos, anchoring one with the present reality of being there. As stated, “The actual experience of the work shows a different and divergent set of interests. A sense of playful ease, and enjoyment of difficult juxtapositions, a preference for multifarious and often fragmented parts coming together, the acceptance of circumstance overriding or leavening the purity of the concept, a sensuousness of material articulation, a joyful inclusion of the capriciousness of natural r human actions – all these are typical of the so-called folk or Desi mode!” (Chhaya, 2014) After independence, India had a daunting task of constructing a new nation. The youth were following one of the two ideologies either Nehru’s or Gandhi’s. Nehru’s vision was of an industrial and technological progress whereas Gandhi believed in the villages and the core values of Indian lifestyle. Doshi had lived in an orthodox Hindu family and had worked with modern architects like Le Corbusier. Through his works, Doshi has defined an enriching balance of both – the town and rural base, his architecture combines the spirit of modern movement with his keen interest in Indian spiritual traditions. Doshi has explored the poetic and mythical dimensions of nature through the elements of water and breeze, the play of light and shadow, the relation of sky and ground. His architecture is like a return to vernacular, in the time of urbanization. At Sangath is the prominent built form where beneath the vaults the juxtaposition of smaller spaces – a central street, mezzanines, smaller off-the-grid diagonal spaces – it all together creates a sense of living in a village. Other elements like steps, terrace, and garden of different levels, lotus pond, ambiguous edges, etc. add to the created atmosphere. Doshi’s sketches of the design process of Sangath reveals his associations with elements like a turban, the temple.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture



fig. 2.1.18 The sculpture placed in the the courtyard following the long central axis.

fig. 2.1.20 Doshi’s study sketches exploring ways of insulation in Indian context.

fig. 2.1.19 Doshi’s study sketch showing the characters of urban roofs and street.

fig. 2.1.21 Doshi’s study sketch understanding the mass and form of the Gopuram.

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

There are hints of the life which Doshi aspires for and remnants of where he comes from; woven in the architecture of Sangath where people ramble around, sit and stare at the sky, enjoy the chirping of birds and sounds of moving trees in the cool wind. The architectural elements dramatize with the natural elements of sun, sky, rain, land. Half-sunken built form resonates with the subterranean architectural type known in Gujrat. Built spaces of rural India are made in a way to use as multi-functional spaces with its flexible nature as same as the nature of people and their clothes. This flexibility is found in the ambiguous spaces of Sangath where steps are used for small to big gatherings as well as for lectures, concerts. Sangath is a fragment of Doshi’s private dream, a microcosm of his intentions and obsessions. For Sangath the earliest conceptions were of a subterranean community hooded by vaults, and of a village climbing up a hill. Sangath is a demonstration of Doshi’s ideal of a “new Indian architecture”. The building is raised on a plinth and buried in the ground( as happens with certain temples) and there is a keen interest in spatial ambiguity, duality and mysterious effects of light. Sangath is both a community committed to the production of architectural quality and a semi-rustic fantasy. (Curtis, 1988) Here, the configuration of the building creates a composition of the five elements(mortals) of earth, sky, wind, water and fire such a way that each element is connected with the other and appropriates each other while interacting with each other. It is the pedagogy and narratives of the maker of sangath - the immortals - on which the sangath is established.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture



2.2.1 The Experiential Journey 2.2.2 Sensorial elements of Experience - Approach - Ground Modulation and Skyline - Degree of Enclosures - Order of Spaces - Light and Materiality - Temperature and Smell - Symbols and Motifs 2.3 MAKING DHYANLINGAM 2.4 LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT/ ‘TWO-HOLDING’ BHUNGA HOUSE

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.1 Ritual of shiv pooja in hindu religion eliciting the sense of touch, smell and sound.

fig. 2.2.2 Custom of washing feet in Gurudwara associated with the sense of touch.

fig. 2.2.3 Cut-outs made in ceiling acts as a skylight and relates with the stars and moon, Mandu.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


We engage with the worldly environment through our senses. We perceive our physical surroundings through the sensory information that we receive via sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. Senses are the mediums through which we ‘make sense’ of our surroundings. The senses are the complex integrated system through which we perceive multi-sensory experiences. Architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world, and this mediation takes place through the senses. (Pallasmaa, 1996) Our engagement and perception of the four elements of earth, sky, people, and divinities is something that responds and recalls to the embodied knowledge. Standing on earth means standing under the roof of the sky. Rain falls from the sky, and it is stored in the ground. Trees and forests rise from the ground and get nourished through sunlight, wind, and water. Being responsive and connecting to each other, the four elements hold importance for humankind. The built form - experienced by the inhibitor - where everything, built and unbuilt unfolds its essential nature and allows people to engage, to associate with their physical surroundings. Beholding the values experienced in spaces through lived experience, people would get attached to space/building and establish a relation, giving it a meaning; which we call nearness. Nearness also maintains the appropriate distance among the things to preserve everything into its true nature. 1 What is nearness? 2 What is the need to question the state of Nearness in Built Environment? As discussed earlier, functioning for the aimed activities is not the mere task of the building as a shelter. A shelter indeed fulfills people’s basic needs of everyday life and also denotes a fundamental pace to the human journey. More than a shelter, the built form is a manifestation of the ‘meaning’ of human life. We respond to something by attending to it when we first see things in thier physical surroundings. We perceive our physical surroundings through the sensory information that we receive from them, and we attain directives from the archetypal elements of the built environment and respond to it. Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.4 Significance of jharokha and courtyard in the palaces of rajasthan.

fig. 2.2.5 Venetian Villa in the suburbs of Ahmedabad

fig. 2.2.6 An element embedded in floor to drain water, Mandu.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Buildings offer shelter and allow us to perform different activities which is the functional aspect of it through which human beings engage. It is the attachment that grows with engagement through which a relationship is established with the built form, leading to meaning. Such meaningful encounter in the built form allows people to connect with their surroundings. With time, One invests oneself making the spaces more livable and suitable for him/herself. With this investment, the built form and the inhabiter both evolve while appropriating each other. In this process of meaning-making, inhabiter tends to preserve his surroundings due to the relation he/she has established for the meaning, he has derived in it. Providing a space for a shelter or performing a function is a primary task for which the buildings are designed and created. Apart from that man needs a sense of identity, sense of belonging and security in the space to dwell in. Dwelling happens with the relations he makes with his physical surroundings, without that the built environments remain meaningless, which can be called ‘an object architecture.’ As Heidegger states ‘The failure of nearness to materialize in consequence of the abolition of all distances has brought the distanceless to dominance.’ Many contemporary works of architecture have failed to engage tactile senses of human beings, by being a collage of imaginaries. Technological advancement is bringing everything ‘near’ in a literal sense without actually allowing people to inhabit ‘nearness’. Ocular centric architecture has blinded other senses, creating ‘photo architecture’ in today’s time. E.g., Venetian villas in the suburb of Ahmadabad To achieve nearness, an individual needs to attend to what is near. By attending to what is near, an individual encounters the essential nature of the surroundings, while he also invests his/her time. Spending one’s time, energy, attention, mental and physical resources, will lead to an association. So an individual would inhabit the physical surrounding with the sense of belonging and preserve its true essence. A place which emerges from this kind of relationships, or which can create this sort of relationship with the people inhabiting it, becomes meaningful. Thus, built environment/built form which can engage human senses and establish a relationship with the inhabitor becomes meaningful and ‘near’ to them. People become near to their surroundings which provides them with the sense of association. When experienced, these places reflect their

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.7 Built form reflecting the identity of inhibitors.

fig. 2.2.8 The staircase tower jutting out at the corner, Mumbai University.

fig. 2.2.9 Shape and levels of the water body enhances the imagery as well as the use, Mandu.

fig. 2.2.10 Jali creating a play of light and shadow, Sarkhej Roza.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

association with the inhabitors. Interacting with the experiencer, it brings the inhabitor and experiencer near to each other by presenting inhabitors’ identity. E.g., Bhunga house of Kutch expresses the interaction between inhabitor and the built form(see chapter 2.4) Through different engagement with built/unbuilt elements of the built form, people interact and build relations with the building. e.g., sitting in the verandah with a cup of tea and contemplate rain, reading a newspaper in a terrace garden feeling morning breeze, play in the mud pit in the backyard, pluck flowers from the pot kept on the window sill. These opportunities to engage with the elements like earth, sky, water, wind, people and their culture; and divinities is provided through the architectural elements of the built form. Architecture with this quality to engage human senses enhances the experience of performing given activities and opens up new opportunities to engage with built space and creates new experiences. With this relationship, all the elements of nature and human will dwell together, unfolding their true nature, which we call ‘thingness.’ This relation does not just bring the elements near to each other but also influences each other and appropriates their stay in that place. For example, a family moves into a new house, but it takes a while for them to make it their home. With time the inhabiter understands the spaces and modifies its use while experiencing it in different time and seasons. Elements of built environment when present in their true nature bring each other into a meaningful relationship and transform each other to preserve their true nature, connecting them with each other. Thingness cannot be achieved by bringing things near to each other, ‘nearness’ is not in ‘proximity’ but it is at work to connect four different elements in their own different ways.(Heidegger, 1950) Man will engage with these kind of places and build his perception of the places which will reconnect with his memory or create a new memory in his mind, establishing the association with that place. Here are few examples of building elements which are devised to perform particular functions. Apart from that, they engage human senses by directing certain acts. For example, the form of water channel creates a circling movement of flowing water, which connects the experiencer to attend to the flow of the water(fig. 2.2.9). The pattern created as askylight assimilate the play of light and shadow(fig. 2.2.7).

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.11 Sun temple, Modhera


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

SUN TEMPLE, MODHERA Modhera temple complex, dedicated to the Sun god is located on the bank of river Pushpavati. It was constructed on the west side of the river in 1026-27 A.D. by Chalukya King Bhima I. The Sun temple is a splendid example of Architecture evolved during Solanki Dynasty. Solankis belong to Suryavanshi dynasty, who is believed to be the descendants of Surya (Sun). The subterranean water tank is the significant typology that is unique to this region, and it is manifested in the most elaborate from here. The Temple complex consists of three main bodies – The Surya kund, Sabha Mandapa, and Gudha Mandapa. All three units are oriented east-west and share the same central axis. The Surya kund is also known as the Rama kund, which is rectangular water body sharing its shorter axis with the main axis of the temple complex. The kund forms the first part of the spatial experience. It has many levels and platforms descending towards the water level, which is 15-meter meters below from the ground level. On the sides and corners of the kund, shrines of different sizes are located which is dedicated to various deities. The walls of the kund are adorned with the variety of motifs and idols of goddesses like Jalasavi Vishnu, Trivikrama, Shitala. On the other side of the kund, steep steps of the kund lead to the wide staircase; approaching the arched gateway before the entrance of the Sabha Mandapa, which is also known as Torana. Torana is a trabeated structure made of multi-faceted columns. Sabha Mandapa is built on a high plinth which is an inverted lotus-like structure with thick walls and rows of columns in the center. The roof sits on the octagonal nave, supported by eight columns in the central space. The internal walls have been broken and weathered with time, which is embellished with figures of Surya. The Gudha Mandapa is a rectangle divided into two parts. The first half is like a small hall, and the main shrine is built in the second half of the rectangular unit. Within the thick walls, the Parikrama Marg is created around the main shrine. The parikrama Marg is covered with the flat slab, and the Shikhara rises above the shrine. The main shrine is a closed dark volume with one opening into the hall, where the idol of Sun God was seated once.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.12 View from the entrance

fig. 2.2.13 View from the end of the pathway

fig. 2.2.14 The front view


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.2.1 THE EXPERIENTIAL JOURNEY A long narrow pathway passing through the lush green area leads the way towards the temple. Trees on both the sides complement the long pathway. The Pathway and linear greens on both the sides emphasize the movement. This stationary looking path becomes live when trees swing in the air with the wind.(fig. 1.1.12) At the end of the pathway, a linear formation of the trees slowly transforms into a huge oval background, placing the temple complex in the center, allowing the sky to come in. One stands under the huge sky, confronting the Sun Temple as an intricate articulation of earth in the form of the Kund, stage like steps and the temple. (fig. 1.1.13) Driven out of curiosity, moving towards the articulated excursion of the ground- The kund- one moves forward and experiences the vast kund spreading in front of the temple. Kund receives the water from the sky, storing it back to the earth. (fig. 1.1.14) Experiencer’s sense of natural enclosure is changed while entering into the vast open volume from the narrow pathway; seeing the temple sitting front of the kund, with its Shikhar rising in the sky from the earth. It is the architectural manifestation of the religious and spiritual beliefs into the temple, where the Gudha Mandapa of the main shrine receives the first ray of sun in equinox in the form of Sun Temple. This built form brings the earth, sky, people, and god

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.15 View while descending towards view

fig. 2.2.16 view while walking along the edge of the kund


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

near to each in both terms, physically and spiritually. The experiencer comes to the temple of the Sun God from the worldly environment. He begins his journey within the temple premise with a pathway, walking among green surroundings. Stepped Kund leads the way to the water. One has to take the steps along the longer axis of the kund. Steps created in symmetry on all the four sides being narrow and steep while walking requires attention. The experiencer feels the uneven and aged surfaces of the steps, adorned with carvings, while walking on steps, one encounters many small shrines and idols carved on sidewalls of the kund. (fig. 1.1.15) These imaginary connects the experiencer with the narratives and stories of Hindu epic, e.g., Ramayana. While standing at the last steps of the kund, experiencer perceives the sense of being within the earth and under the sky. Surrounded by the steps, the only thing visible from here is the flanked gateway and the Sabha Mandapa. Being subterranean one sees Torana and the Shikhara of Sabha Mandapa rising above. (fig. 1.1.16) Before reaching to the main Gudha Mandapa of the temple, one takes steps going inside the kund, towards the water, where water is a symbol of ablution. One’s materialistic thoughts are filtered in this atmosphere. The subterranean kund with water, under the open sky, gives refreshing experience while the cool breeze comes from the green surroundings.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.17

View from the bottom of the kund

fig. 2.2.18 View while ascending towards Sabha Mandapa

fig. 2.2.19 View while passing through Torana


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Interior of the Sabha Mandapa has symmetrical volume, created on a high plinth and supported by heavy columns carved with intricate details. One enters the cool volume of Sabha Mandapa which is lit up with filtered sunlight. Before reaching to the enclosed yet porous volume, one attends the vast spread of the kund under the sky before entering into the enclosed yet porous volume of the Sabha Mandapa. The journey slowly brings one into Sabha Mandapa and leads one forward towards the Gudha Mandapa. Journey to the main shrine starts with surrendering to the water, climbing down into the earth or the water. The ritual related to it cleans one’s sins(misdeeds) and one rises above the ground while climbing steep stairs. While going upward on steep stairs, one always looks up, confronting the majesty protruding from earth towards the sky. Steps and platforms of the kund are made of stone relate to earth. One encounters shrines of various deities of different scales while walking along the steps of the kund, through steep flight one sees the massive arched gateway rising above, creating a narrow entrance in the Sabha Mandapa. (fig. 1.1.19) From there the experiencer is enclosed by the space made of massive stone columns adorned with patterns and figures connecting with Hindu narratives and stories. Standing underneath a dome roof, in symmetrical space made of experiencer inhabits the space while sharing proximity to his body with columns. Before continuing the journey ahead, the experiencer pauses in Sabha Mandapa, observing the columns and stories woven within the structure, connecting with the narrated history and myths of the times.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.20 view while entering into sabha mandapa

fig. 2.2.21 view from the south towards the temple


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Gudha Mandapa is a rectangular volume that is divided into two halves. The main shrine is another volume inside Gudha Mandapa which is closed from all four sides, but it has the opening in the other halve. Gudha Mandapa has one entrance door and two windows. Light filtering from the window renders the volume inside the Garbhagriha with mild light, creating comparatively dark and cool volume. (fig. 1.1.24) Entering the Sabha Mandapa one inhabits the asymmetrical volume, standing under splendidly carved dome supported by octagonal nave. It feels like standing in a forest of columns. (fig. 1.1.26) Yet the openings direct towards four directions connecting with four worlds. The layers of columns filter the light within the volume under the roof. The Garbhgruha - Abode of the God, has pitch dark volume, created within thick stone walls. (fig. 1.1.27) From the kund to the main shrine, one experiences the transforming atmospheres, conceived by architectural elements, through varying light and shadow, textures, mass and volume weaving the narratives and notion of Surya Pooja. The built form provides a compelling sensorial experience of a sacred place. The experiencer goes through the inner journey of transformation. The spatial sequence of the temple complex attracts one with its grandness and gulps into its dark-warm womb-like volume, experiencer does not see God at the end of the journey but creates an imaginary perception of his/her beliefs, with the understanding and notions which is gained from the journey of the temple.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.22 View from the garbhagriha


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The acts that experiencer performs during his journey and the time which he/she invests at particular pause points; build a relationship with the built form. The encounter of imaginaries and elements relating to past narratives and stories connects the experiencer with glorious past, notions, and myths. One establishes a relation with the built form during his journey. Spaces and architectural elements varying in scale engage experiencer and draw his attention every time. The temple poses its standby conveying the relation among natural elements of earth, sky, water, wind, etc. and the people, divinities, culture, and notions. Experience of such built from leaves an imprint in experiencer’s psyche and becomes the part of his/ her memory.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.23 view from the south towards the temple

fig. 2.2.24 An approach through a long pathway


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.2.2 ELEMENTS OF EXPERIENCE Heidegger starts explaining the thingness through the concept of nearness. As he has stated, ‘Near to us are what we usually call things.’ As interpreted here, in the case of architecture, nearness is about Meaning. One connects with the built environment through his/ her memory of the built space which is in the form of images, smell, activities, sounds, elements of built space, etc. When a person first experiences a built form, he relates and connects with his surroundings through his sense and engagements, which is stated as the meaning-making journey here. From the approach to the final destination, directed with the architectural elements one would engage with the built form will take place in a particular sequence which will delineate the meaningfulness of the experience for the experiencer. ‘The meaning-making journey’ is the subjective description of the experience at the Sun temple of Modhera. Here, the parameter outlines the aspects of the built form which forms the described experience as a meaning-making journey.

APPROACH Approach to the temple complex is 130 meters long and 4 meters wide pedestrian pathway. The area on both the sides of the pathway is vegetated with lawns, shrubs and huge old trees. Pathway, being tilted in the plan keeps an entire temple complex hidden, revealing only a part of the temple. The vegetation along pathway creates a pleasant atmosphere in the hot and arid climate of Modhera.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.25 The sky peeping through the trees.

fig. 2.2.26 An array of trees creating vast opening for sky.

fig. 2.2.27 Steep staircase and high plinth directing vision upwards.

fig. 2.2.28 Modulation of ground gradually becomes temple.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

GROUND MODULATION AND SKYLINE The spatial organization of the spaces, e.g., approach, stepped water body, pillared hall and the shrine are arranged in a way that while moving through the temple complex transformation of the skyline is experienced. With the spatial organization, ground modulates creating subterranean water tank, stages, staircases, and plinths. The water tank is more than two stories deep (8 m) from the ground, the Sabha Mandapa and the main shrine is situated 5 meters higher from the ground. At the entrance on the pathway, trees frame the narrow sky. The wide open area around the temple allows having a look at the temple from all sides, putting the temple complex as the object of observation in the cone of vision. While descending and ascending in the water tank, the skyline changes majorly placing the Mandapa in the center of the water tank. The steep angle of the stairs allows having a look at the Mandapa from the bottom of the kund, from where experiencer sees the Mandapa rising above the ground, towards the sky.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.29 Bodily proximity with space at the Garbhagriha


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

DEGREE OF ENCLOSURE Scale, portion, and form of the elements like steps, side walls of the water tank, columns, walls, and roof creates varying spaces with different levels of the enclosure from open to semi-open to close. Ground modulation and change of axis in the spatial experience also contribute to the experience of the varying sense of enclosure. The water body is open to sky space, standing at the bottom of the kund experiences closeness, being subterranean. With the degree of the enclosure, the proximity of structure with the human body changes drastically. The spatial sequence takes from wide and open volume to narrow and close volume.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.30 Wide water body placed before main temple and where horizon expandes.

fig. 2.2.31 submerging in earth towards water.

fig. 2.2.32 Semi-open symmetrical volume of sabha mandapa like a forest.

fig. 2.2.33 Closed, rectangular volume of garbha griha like a cave.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

ORDER OF SPACES The spaces in the temple complex vary in terms of open to close, scale and proportion, orientation and axis and are located below or above ground level. The kund placed with its longer axis being perpendicular to the main façade makes the kund look wider. The space experienced from the bottom of the water tank is a wide open space, being subterranean it has a sense of enclosure from all four sides. Ascending from the water tank towards the hall is where the steep and wide staircase is placed which leads to the hall. Before the hall, there is a gateway made of thick and heavy stones with trabeated structure. Pillared hall has 24 columns supporting the inverted dome roof. The semi-open space of the hall creates many small sub-spaces among the rows of columns. The Gudha Mandapa is a closed space with only one entrance door and two small openings. The main shrine is another closed volume within the Gudha Mandapa which has pitch dark volume created from stone walls with no light inside. From the entrance pathway till the end of the journey one goes through the experience of the varied kind while moving from one space to another. An experiencer submerges into water body while going through a ritual of cleaning oneself, emerges looking upward at the sabha mandapa and finally enters into a dark volume of garbha griha.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.34 Dark and cool volume within enclosed volume of garbhagriha.

fig. 2.2.35 Multi-faceted columns and steps on huge surface of kund creating play of light and shadow.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

LIGHT AND MATERIALITY The temple complex is built using stone. The water tank is like an inverted pyramid having steps of varied sizes on all four sides. From the ground one sees four multi-faceted surfaces of the kund, creating patterns with shadows on the surfaces of steps. The direct sunlight falling on the sculpted surfaces breaks down the elements and make it more inviting to the tactile senses of the experiencer. One urges to touch and feel the material and get acquainted with its warmth. The main shrine is a tight volume compared to rest of the temple complex, made of thick stone walls, where the internal volume is dark. Two small openings in the side walls are the only source of light. Light entering from these openings illuminates the stone texture with high contrast of light and shadow, revealing the time it has weathered through. The bright direct sunlight exposes the harshness of sun whereas the filtered indirect sunlight renders the stone with softness. The massive elements like the columns look like sculptures with the textured multifaceted surfaces created with detailed carvings of different animals and human figures, motifs of plants and flowers, etc. This play of light and shadow creates dynamic atmospheres in and around the temple with the changing position of the sun. Throughout the day shadows move with varying length, every time rendering the temple complex with different shadow patterns.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.36


Dark volume filled with filtered light, coming through the openings made on thick walls.

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

TEMPERATURE AND SMELL In the spatial experience moving across the spaces of varying degree of enclosure and as per the order of the space, experiencer feels the change in temperature. Open spaces – kund and the surroundings of the temple complex are warmer than the hall and shrine. Open spaces are pleasant in the wind coming from south-west direction; also the vegetation around the temple complex and the water tank cools down the micro-climate of the temple complex to a certain extent. The temple is situated near the river pushpavati, which flows in the north to the temple. The sabha Mandapa has semi-open space, with less amount of direct sunlight entering the hall; the temperature inside the hall is not as warm as outside. The Gudha Mandapa is made of thick walls has dark and cool volume. The narrow pathway around the shrine inside Gudha Mandapa smells like a typical old stone structure with its ceiling being cover with bats. the temperature at the bottom of the kund feels cooler in the hot and arid region, with the cool breeze coming from vegetation around.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.2.37 Group of shrines placed on steps.

fig. 2.2.38 Figures and patterns on multi-faceted walls.

fig. 2.2.39 Carvings forging textures on the faces of massive columns


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

SYMBOLS AND MOTIFS Surya Mandir is primarily dedicated to the god of the sun. the temple complex responds to the divinities with three aspects – orientation of the built form, its axis, and with the imbued symbols and motifs. Apart from the main temple shrine, there exist 110 small shrines located in the kund on the side walls. it is visible while ascending or descending the steps. the columns, walls, and roof in the temple have carvings depicting human figures, animals like elephants and cows, plants-leaves-flowers as well as other motifs and carvings depicting the scenes of Hindu epic- Ramayana. The sculptures carved of humans and other figures are placed at the eye-level on walls and columns. Amongst these, hardly few sculptures exist as the Mughal invader broke many of them in the past. The south-north orientation of the temple complex allows the first ray of the sun to enter the main shrine during the equinox it acts as an architectural manifestation of the belief of sun-temple worship. the rising Shikhara of the temple is connected with the sky, relating to the heaven and the main shrines if dug two meters relating it to the patal lok. The overall sequence of movement, going subterranean and rising from the kund and ascending towards the temple – the whole spatial sequence pass through the water imbuing the notion of cleaning the sins. The staircase ascending towards the temple lets the experiencer rise towards the ultimate destination of temple shrine where the idol of the god sun is situated.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture



DHYANLINGAM 2.3.1 Context 2.3.2 Building Material 2.3.3 Form Construct


Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.3.1 Process of making


fig. 2.3.2 Wetlands of Assam



fig. 2.3.5 Cane bamboo mud


fig. 2.3.8 Stone and Wood

fig. 2.3.3 Desert of Thar

fig. 2.3.6 Mud and Straw

fig. 2.3.9 Mud house

fig. 2.3.4 Hills and valleys of Himachal Pradesh

fig. 2.3.7 Stilt house

fig. 2.3.10

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Kath-khuni house

2.3 MAKING Making is a part of the process of Nearness. Where through making maker, dwellers and the four elements – earth, sky, people, and divinities - come near to each other and appropriate their selves in the form of making to dwell together. Material reveals its properties to the maker when maker attends to his environments, while making maker redistributes the material and redefines the existing space for the inhabitation, So he hollows out or builds while making. Through the process of making, the maker creates the space while creating the form and simultaneously he is creating the space while making a form. Once the built form is free from the maker and making it has its own way of being when the built form unfolds newer possibilities and experiences. Stability and independence of the built form attract dwelling. This self-standing characteristic is denoted to built form through the process of making. Selfsupport is what making aims at, regarding structural stability, resisting natural forces and providing comfort in given conditions. Built form is a manifestation of the materials that are available locally; which resist and resonate with climatic forces. Making involves the knowledge of building materials concerning its structural, thermal and tactile properties; where construction technology is derived from the topography, material properties, and climate conditions. Makers inhabit the properties of the built form and build a shelter where he and his generations live. Being made or designed by a maker, no way constitutes what is essential and peculiar in the built form. It is the forces through which a particular shape and form of the building are driven by. In the process of making, built form first shows its exterior first. It conveys the idea from which it is conceived. Once it is free from the making, it prepares itself for the task of inhabiting its dwellers and to accommodate their activities. It is then built form again changes and evolves as per its use.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.3.11 mountains

Site : Velliangiri

fig. 2.3.12 Form : Composition of a Dome and colonnade

fig. 2.3.13 Function : Accomodate large group of people for meditation


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


2.3.1 CONTEXT Isha Yoga centre is situated in the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains near Coimbatore. The Ashram campus comprises many units leading different yogic and spiritual practices. Dhyanalinga is one of the units built for meditation purpose.It is a temple for meditation; its sanctorium is a brick dome under which the Dhyanalingam sits. The ellipsoidal dome is 22.16m in diameter and 10.1 in height. The Lingam is 4 meter in height, made of high-density black granite. As a place for meditation, there was a requirement for a free-flowing space without any obstruction; also the need was to create a built form which can provide calm and peaceful atmosphere inside. The program requires a place with the shelter where a group of people can sit together and meditate. Huge numbers of people come to visit Isha Yoga Centre every day. The layout of the Dhyanalinga is a composition of basic geometrical shapes in a plan. People pass through the parikrama which is a linear pathway taking towards the dome. Interior of the dome is a warm earthy shade of bricks. The lingam is placed in the centre, and the visitors sit around the Lingam. There are 4x4 feet cubical spaces in the wall, where one can sit without being disturbed by visitors, inhabiting intimate space for meditation. The water dripping on the central lingam keeps the inside temperature cool and wet. The lingam looks floating in the center of the rectangular waterbody. The flowers and dripping water create a fresh and live atmosphere inside the dome. The hemispheric volume of the dome creates a slight eco, where visitors become quiet being conscious and silent, as their activity is reflected inside the dome. The only sound inside of the dome is of dripping water. From inside dome gives a prominent sense of covering, It feels heavy. It creates a silent volume inside giving a sense of thick/massive structure when experiences the inside. The small source of light coming from the top in the center connects one with the spiritual entity, making its presence manifest in the form of light and Lingam.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.3.14 Construction of granite vault and circular walllarge group of people for meditation.

fig. 2.3.15 Masons building brick dome.

fig. 2.3.16 Construction occurring on the upper part of the brick dome.

fig. 2.3.17 Completion of dome construction.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.3.2 BUILDING MATERIALS The dome is built by Auroville earth Institute in 1999. The cross-section of the dome is a segmental ellipse. Its thickness from springer to the apex varies in four courses. There were few guidelines to be followed for the dome as per Guruji Jaggi Vasudev. The built form is supposed to last for 1000 years hence the materials stone and brick have been selected to avoid concrete and steel, as their lifespan of reinforced concrete is not yet proved to last so long. As per available materials – stone, sand, brick and lime, the structure is derived which stands with compression forces. The foundation and the circular wall is built with random rubble masonry and lime mortar. The circular wall is around 2 meters thick with cut-outs creating small cubicles – aura cells - to sit inside. The dome sits on the stone lintel, and it has triangular openings at the bottom to bring natural light and ventilation. The large dome is built through a technique where the labourers build the dome by adding layers of brick, following the changing diameter at every layer. The material is true to its making technique as it allows to build the desired form with its small unit - brick which can be handled without any machinery help. The labourers add brick layers one by one and the layers meet in the top centre. Small bricks create a rough textured surface which looks monolithic dark hemispheric volume from within.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.3.18 Materials construction of the dome.


fig. 2.3.19 Structure defining the space and form of the dome.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.3.3 FORM CONSTRUCT The dome with segmental ellipse needs a heavy load on haunches to be stable hence another layer of random rubble is added from the end of the wall and along the dome surface on haunches. The thickness of the dome was required to vary from bottom to top in order to keep the line of thrust in the middle third of the masonry. The haunches were loaded with random rubble masonry to maintain the line of thrust. The making of a form is derived from the given materials and requirements of space. The circular thick stone wall is made of the stone which is available in the Velliangiri Mountains. The brick dome sits on these thick stone walls; it also creates small niches aura cells - an intimate space for meditation facing the lingam. Under a dome is a large circular space which suits the activity of meditation. Here, the maker is creating a form by building and also creating space within the dome. The dome represents the symbolic meaning of a temple for meditation and space provides shelter for meditational activities.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture





2.4.1 Locale: Pastoral Life 2.4.2 Contextual Engagement: Built Form 2.4.3 Inhabitation 2.4.4 Appropriaiation

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.4.1 Granada



fig. 2.4.2 Kitchen in the cave restaurant.

fig. 2.4.3 Cave converted into a boutique hotel


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.4 LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT/ TWO-FOLD HOLDING LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT Holding is about understanding how inhabitation takes place in the built form. The enclosed space is created with archetypal elements - floor, walls, and roof. The built form stands on the ground through these elements as well as it facilitates shelter. The environment has its inherent value and quality whether it is occupied or unoccupied. The immediate environment offers an experience for the inhibitor to engage with it. Once space/built form is occupied or inhabited, the interaction between man and space will transform both, the environment as well as the inhibitor. This way both transform, evolve and grow together. The inhabitation of the built form is a gradual process which occurs as the inhibitor engages with the context. Inhibitor engages mainly at three levels where the full-fledged life springs in the given context. He engages with the local conditions and evolves contextual built form which provides appropriate shelter to the inhibitors and encourages further appropriation among the context, built form and lives of the inhibitor. Standing on its own makes it an independent entity. Archetypal elements are put together to facilitate the function of which the built form is being built. For everyday life activity man needs shelter, and hence the shelter is created in the form of the building. Built form accommodates the spaces which are derived based on aimed activities of the built form. Spaces are conceived concerning closed, semi-open or open. Built form after inhibition becomes a house, or a store, or a marketplace based on the intentions it carries while it is making. Thus, the building provides shelter not because it was made; rather, it had to be made because it is this shelter providing form. Built form occurs out of the need to provide shelter to accommodate particular activities. While making, there are spaces allocated for particular functions and elements for particular activities. Spaces and architectural elements altogether determine the form of the building. Building allows one to enter through openings; openings also connect inside and outside, providing ventilation and natural light. The floor gives a concrete ground to perform activities. Staircases and ramp allow vertical movement. Floor allows horizontal movement, and walls work as enclosures and roof provide shelter.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.4.4 Cave being used as a place for cultural interaction.

fig. 2.4.5 Cluster of the bhunga house, Kutch


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

When the process of building is over, building prepares itself for the task of accommodating aimed activities. When the building is occupied, it changes according to inhabitants. Use of spaces change. Informal activities take place in residue spaces. The built form does not have designated spaces for all the activities that can occur, but it directs and facilitates informal activities when it is experienced. Even Though being created for particular function, the built form can accommodate various changes in activities and inhabitants, being a self-standing entity. Built form stands independently in the built environment, over the span of one month to a century built form stands independently. It stands in day and night, in all the season through the years. Day passes, year passes and decades passes, with that the context changes. Built form bears all these changes and provides an opportunity for inhibition all the time with its inherent flexibility. The atmosphere held at these different times are the essence of the built form and not the walls, floors, and roof. The characteristics of the built form support the evolution. The essence of the built from lies in the spaces it creates. The expressions of the architectural elements add to the atmosphere of the built form. In these terms, the essence of the built form is not created by any means. Spaces - the void was there from infinity but by the process of making it is modified, through archetypal elements. Spaces change in day and night and a different season, hence the quality of the spaces emerges and exists on its own.

BHUNGA HOUSE Kutch is located in the eastern coastal area where desert and ocean meets. This area has an arid climate where the temperature in winter falls to 2°C and in summer it goes up till 45°C-50°C. Kutch is an earthquack pro-zone; in 2001 this area withstood a huge devastation. The grasslands of Kutch which is located between the great run of Kutch and the mainland of Bhuj is mostly occupied by pastoralist communities where the Bhunga house form is found.Bhunga house-form is believed to be evolved and adopted by the communities after 1819 earthquake. In 2001 this area withstood a huge devastation. Bhunga is a stable circular built form which can sustain in the prevalent geographical and climatic conditions of Kutch. The occupation of pastoralist community, their house form, an external and interior envelope of house form and their art-craft have emerged from their engagement with the given surroundings.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.4.6 Shepherd taking sheep for gracing, Kutch


fig. 2.4.7 People shifting with there luggage and animal in the desert of Kutch


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.4.1 LOCALE: PASTORAL LIFE The pastoral communities occupy the desert area in and around Banni grasslands and lead nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle being secluded from the villages and towns. They depend on Life of these communities has maintained animal genetic resources and the ecosystem of the grassland. Each community living in these areas has its distinct identity by their caste which is reflected in their daily lifestyle and their built surroundings. These communities depend on the livestock management for their livelihood activities which make animals an important part of their lives. Apart from their houses, clothes, and jewellery they also decorate their animals with colourful cloths. The people living in this area possess rich conventional knowledge about animals, breed conservation, man and animal healthcare and water harvesting system in the desert climate. Through their knowledge and wisdom, they have maintained and developed a way of living to survive and thrive in the harsh local conditions.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.4.8 Aerial view of bhunga house

fig. 2.4.9 Cluster of bhunga forming a bhunga house

fig. 2.4.10 Female applying mud slurry on the floor


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.4.2 CONTEXTUAL ENGAGEMENT: BUILT FORM Pastoralist communities spend their lives living in the extreme climatic and geographical conditions where the adaptation and articulation of life have evolved over the years. It is the local condition through which this life has emerged. The adaptation in given situation takes place when one attends and engages with given context. The lifestyle which has evolved is the manifestation of engagement of people with the landscape at different levels. This engagement changes and evolves both – the context and the inhibitors; how and what of these changes depends on the type of engagements and interactions among natural and man-made context. Bhunga house is one of the outcomes of man’s engagement with his surroundings which provides a shelter where lives thrive among harsh environmental factors. Being on the earthquake pro-zone, on the flat terrain, bhunga house sits on the plinth. A bhunga one unit - is for one family, sometimes one family has more than one units. Before the construction of the bhunga, a plinth is constructed, which is big enough for the future extension of the house, where they can add more units. The circular form of the bhunga is conceived as a most stable (self-standing) form to sustain against the earthquake and storms of the desert. In the making of the bhunga house men dig the foundation. From the mud dug from the foundation, mud bricks are made to construct walls. Towards the completion of the bhunga female of the house become more active in plastering activity. They decorate the interior and even exterior of the house with motifs and patterns and give a sense of aesthetics to the house. One house contains more than one unit but all of them are bound together through the medium of the plinth. Morning and evening time which is relatively pleasant, family members spend their time outside. Apart from the bhunga, in many cases, they also make pavilion kind of a structure on the plinth. This traditional house type has emerged from the geological condition of the region. It gives the flexibility to expand the house. In earlier times all the houses were built with the help of the community. The built form allows the activities of inhabitants inside the circular wall and under the pitched roof, on a plinth. The house is mostly made of earthen materials like rammed earth or adobe bricks, sometimes it has stone masonry.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture


fig. 2.4.11 Meeting place for the trade of embroiled clothes within bhunga house cluster.

fig. 2.4.12 Articulated niches and shelves.

fig. 2.4.13 furniture pieces decorated with mirror work.

fig. 2.4.14Paintings and mirror work on the exterior wall of the bhunga house, Kutch.

100 Experiencing

‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The house is made of the plinth, wall and a roof; yet these archetypal elements are not what allows the inhabitation. It is the space which holds the activities. The evolved form of the bhunga creates safe and sheltered space within its wall, which protects inhabitants from natural forces. The small openings one door and two small windows keep the inside lit and ventilated. Extended space created by the plinth holds various informal activities at different times.

2.4.3. INHABITATION The house is maintained by the female of the house. They redo the mud flooring at certain intervals. The interior of the house is decorated with mud plaster and paintings, done by the females of the house. Exterior walls also have patterns and paintings done using mud plaster and prominent colours. These patterns reveal the inspiration and aspirations of the inhabitants. For examples the motifs depicting flowers, leafs, animals, stars etc. The decorated storage units are unique in each house where it’s not just the ornamentation but it is a system of organizing household objects. The objects of everyday use become the display for an interior. It also reflects the pastoral lives of this community where they live with minimal goods; objects of everyday use, jewellery which they were and their animals are their only equity.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture 101

fig. 2.4.15 females wearing hand embroided clothes.

fig. 2.4.16 Female doing embroidery sitting at the threshold of the house.

fig. 2.4.17 Interior details Bhunga house, Kutch.

102 Experiencing


‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

2.4.4. APPROPRIAIATION These communities do not own any other kind of properties as they live nomad life. Women in these communities wear heavy jewellery and embroidered cloths. They have no locker system, but their goods, gold jewellery, and animals are their investments. Each community possesses unique crafts and skills like – different kind of embroidery, leather crafts, pottery and painting techniques. Apart from that they also decorate their camels with colourful cloths. They move from one place to another and carry their luggage on camels. Hence these animals are integrated part of their lives. Men of the family take animals out for grazing during the day while women spend long sunny days in bhunga house and involve themselves in various crafts. The way of living which has sprung in these bhunga houses, on a flat terrain of desert climate is the outpouring of the bhunga house as a thing. People living in these houses have the strong sense of community. Through the time they live in this context, they achieve the skill of mud-plasters, paintings, and embroideries through the embodied experience of their context. These skills are the representation of the phenomena they observe in their landscape. They are skilled in embroidery work and mirror work, which is the famous artwork of Gujrat.

Understanding ‘the thingness’ in architecture 103

104 Experiencing

‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


Case study : IIMA



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

3.1 FOURFOLD The built form stands on the ground by what it consists of - its built mass, but it performs the task of facilitating a shelter through the space it contains. Standing on the ground already means standing under the sky. This ability of the built form to stand on the ground, to provide a space for shelter stems from its being made by the maker. Standing on the ground also means standing within a particular locale. Hence built form being an independent entity relates with the earth, sky, mortals, and immortals as it bears influences of local culture, religion, and the way of living of people in the given context. The built form is constructed with the consideration to abide contextual forces of the topographical conditions, climatic factors, and seasons. When experienced the through built form an inhibitor can relate to the elements of the fourfold - earth, sky, mortals and immortals. Here, earth and sky refer to the five natural elements - earth, sky, wind, water, and fire; mortals and immortals mean the history, culture, religion, beliefs, etc. Man is part of a living world and does not conceive meanings in a vacuum. Meanings necessarily form part of a totality, which comprises natural components. Everything created by man is in the world, it is between earth and sky, and has to make this state of affairs manifest. In doing this, the created thing gets roots in a locality or at least in nature in general. (Schulz, 1979)

Case study : IIMA


0 10 20

fig. 3.1.1 Composition of circulation spaces and functional spaces 0 10 20


100 m

fig. 3.1.2 Section trough library and Louis Kahn plaza

fig. 3.1.3 Section trough office wing and classroom wing, looking towards library block

fig. 3.1.4 Section trough dormitory blocks


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


100 m

3.1.1 OLD IIM EARTH AND SKY The built form indulges the experience of standing on the ground by allowing a bodily movement in horizontal and vertical directions. In the manner the built form meets the ground concerns the experience of being on, above, below or within the earth; the movement in vertical direction changes the relationship with the horizon. At IIMA, the brick walls bearing earthly colour and texture create strict geometrical enclosures forming volumes of various proportions. Large and massive brick surfaces create dark spaces eliciting an experience of being within the earth. At the same time, wide openings connect with the sky, allowing natural light and ventilation in the space. Circulation spaces are semi-open spaces adjoining open space, where corridor space suggests linear movement and the flat ground extending from semi-open to open space allows diagonal or orthogonal movement. A transition from semi-open to open space happen through low-height cutouts in the wall which creates curiosity by restricting the complete view of the outside and directs an experiencer to explore further. Large openings in the high-ceilinged spaces frame the sky and bring a significant amount of light within the dark volume of the brick structure. The long corridor spaces in classroom block and office block have openings on both sides which are placed in certain order (see fig), adds a sort of rhythm in the linear circulation space. The natural atmosphere of the exterior changes every minute, every hour, every day and every season throughout the year, the elements connecting inside and outside brings dynamism in the stationary interior spaces through establishing a relation between inside and outside. At the main entry, Imposing plain brick faรงade and the only visible opening accessible through massive staircase expresses the grandiosity and hides what lies behind the huge walls. Closed linear spaces adjoining diagonally or orthogonally with other open spaces gives freedom of choice. Specifically, a connection between classroom wing and dormitory area confuses the relation with the datum and provokes an experience to roam around. This curiosity is elicited by connecting the tower-like dormitory blocks through a continuous floor plane on the second level.

Case study : IIMA


0 0

10 20

fig. 3.1.5 Plan showing the order of the openings in academic block

10 20


10 20

50 m 50 m

50 m

fig. 3.1.8 View from elevated ground in dormitory area

fig. 3.1.6 Plan showing the approach to the built form

fig. 3.1.9 View from corridor space in academic block

fig. 3.1.7 View from the approch


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

fig. 3.1.10 View from the arcades in dormitory area

Throughout the campus building the sense of enclosure, proportion, and scale of the space change with the change of direction on the horizontal plane. In the spaces of smaller scale, an experiencer shares his/her physical proximity to the brick walls which imbues the dampness or breathability of the brick walls in the embodied experience. The colour of the floor plane and wall surfaces changes in the spaces whereas the texture remains rough for both the surface; because of this character, space becomes consistent in the absence of light, hiding the changing of the plane in the corners. The built form employs strict geometrical facade which frames the sky with straight lines whereas diagonal movements and freedom of choosing the direction on horizontal plane evokes the enterprising experience.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.1.11 The Harvard steps


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

MORTALS AND IMMORTALS The Indian Institute of Management is a large institutional and residential campus, located in Ahmedabad which is designed by the American architect Louis Kahn. In 1962 a group of Visionary industrialists Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Vikram Sarabhai and the first director Ravi J. Matthai envisioned and pioneered the institute. The intention of the founders was to establish a centre for training the next generation of Indian business leaders, and its method of teaching was also was inspired by the Harvard School of Business Administration. Louis Kahn was approached by an Indian Architect – B.V.Doshi to design a 60-acre campus of IIMA, at this time Kahn was designing National Assembly Building in Bangladesh. Initially, the project was offered to B.V. Doshi who had previously worked with Le Corbusier, but Doshi recommended Louise Kahn for this project and he remained an associate architect. Similar to Bangladesh project, Kahn interpreted and incorporated the local traditions, culture and aridclimate of Ahmedabad. The construction began in 1964; in 1969, Anant Raje – an Indian architect, who worked with Kahn in Philadelphia, took charge of the site office. Later on, he made few changes in the design and designed additional housing and auditorium very much following the same architectural language after Kahn’s death in 1974. Kahn was a man who was fascinated to take an idea of school to the institutional level. IIMA, conceived as a residential campus by its founders where the learning was based on the case-study method inspired by the Harvard Management School. The learning was based less upon the formal way of conducting lectures and more upon informal seminar discussions. Kahn believed that this educational model was similar to the manner in which he had long taught his own design-studio classes and the fact that students and faculty were both to live and to work on the campus reinforced Kahn’s consistent preference for the monastic enclave as a starting point for institutional design. (Ronner and Jhaveri, 1977) Here, the long airy corridor spaces are clearly not designed as a ‘servant’ spaces, as they are equally scaled as the classrooms spaces they serve. Kahn held that in designing a ‘school as a realm of spaces where it is good to learn…the corridors would be transferred into classrooms belonging to the students themselves by making them much wider and provided with alcoves overlooking the gardens... it would become meeting spaces and not merely a corridor, which means a place of possibilities in self-learning.’ Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.1.12 Plan of fatehpur Sikri

fig. 3.1.13 Brick arch by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in Rome.

fig. 3.1.14 Initial stagemodel of the IIM campus.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Kahn believed that learning takes place not only or even primarily in the classroom and lecture hall, but rather in the informal discussions occurring in shadowed foyers, breezeways, arcaded halls, stair landings, tearooms and courtyards. Kahn began his description of his initial concepts for the institute: “The plan comes from my feelings of monastery …The unity of the teaching building, dormitories and teachers’ houses-each its own nature yet each near to the other – was the problem I gave myself…Orientation to wind and shade from the sun has given architectural elements to the composition…The fullness of light, protected, the fullness of air, so welcome, are always present as the basis for architectural shapes.” While visiting the institute one can admire the experience created in the management campus. Kahn’s thoughts and beliefs about the initiation of the learning in the higher level education institute are reflected in his design. During this project, he made more than twenty site visits in Ahmedabad where he also visited other great buildings to understand the Indian precedents. Kahn visited modern works of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, Edwin lustiness’s capital at New Delhi, astronomical observatory of Jaipur, medieval temples and palaces of the Mughal period like the royal fort and the palace of Lahore and the palaces of Fatehpur Sikri. The design process of the IIMA went through several changes throughout the design process; one of the changes took place with Kahn’s experience of summer in Ahmedabad, also Doshi made vital changes in the design. While describing his designs of IIMA, Kahn often referred to his experiences of visiting these old buildings and the way their court spaces promoted ventilation by the breeze. The inspiration for the most famous circular openings comes from the intention of creating airy corridor spaces. Kahn has used the brick load-bearing structure and brick arches in the various building before he designed IIMA but he made the circular arched openings for the first time in IIMA. Another inspiration for the full-circle arch was one among the famous Piranesi’s etching of the ruins of ancient Rome – The section of the Ponto Fabrizio. In this time when IIMA has completed more than four decades, it has established its reputation as the prestige management institution. Also, it is the heritage campus from the architectural point of view as built by the great architect Louis Kahn. Today, the culture and life at IIMA have sprung in all dimensions. The campus hosts various academic and cultural events at national and international level. Case study : IIMA



10 20

fig. 3.1.15 Composition of circulation spaces and functional spaces

fig. 3.1.16 Section trough corridor space

fig. 3.1.17 Section showing the approach to the first level through ramp


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


100 m

3.1.2 NEW IIM EARTH AND SKY The entry into the built form and the transition from outside to inside the building happen through the kind of physical and visual approach building has. In the new campus of IIMA wide facades of the building spread in the front and on the right side, organization of the blocks in plan creates a huge open area in the front of the entrance whereas the recessed rectangular spaces and huge cut-outs in the concrete walls express the nature of space within the built form with the visual encounter (approach). The placement of the building blocks and the approach at first put the building as an object of observation. The spaces contained within the concrete surfaces and smooth reflective flooring amplifies the huge amount of light in the space coming through wide openings. Angular vertical surfaces placed between corridor and courtyard space directs the vision towards the open space while walking along the corridor. Cutouts made of the thin concrete wall and permeable metal faรงade, linear space of the corridor allows movement in the singular direction, and adjoining courtyard space forges pause points. Here, the courtyard overlooks onto the other parallel circulation spine and the residential built forms block the vision from expanding. The building blocks placed orthogonally frames the sky in a square and rectangular frames creating a sense of enclosure with the perspective lines.(see) Openings placed the front of each other on facing walls of the corridor space creates a porous space, which connects the corridor space with the open space outside the building block and restrains the movement with the ground relation. The relation with the datum from the first level remains continuous from a flat horizontal plane and vision expands across large openings in the vertical concrete surface. A circulation in the vertical direction occurs through a long ramp, massive staircase or a staircase embedded within the concrete walls, forging a view of the sky or by bringing the indirect light which elicits the opportunity of discovering further spaces. (see) Terrace-like open area created between two building blocks on the second level in IMDC pushes away two building blocks from each other and creates the pace to pause. The openings at the end of the corridor spaces on the second level evoke the experience of standing within the space of a floating object. The grooves on the concrete surfaces created in harmony with the geometry of overall space direct the vision along the depth of the space. Case study : IIMA



10 20


100 m

fig. 3.1.18 Plan showing the order of the openings in academic block



10 20


100 m

fig. 3.1.22 View from the approch

fig. 3.1.19 View of the corridor space on ground level in academic block

fig. 3.1.20 View of the corridor space on ground level in GMDC block

fig. 3.1.21 View from the first level terrace in GMDC block

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Semi-open space contained within the surfaces of similar colour (grey), hard and smooth surfaces made of concrete and Kota stone reflects the harsh and sunny atmosphere of the exterior in the summer and cold, dark atmosphere of winter evenings. The reflective surface of the floor and direct sunlight coming in the semi-open spaces creates a dynamic space throughout the day. The orthogonal placement of the academic block and diagonal placement of the residential blocks are visible from the main axis placed in-between the two zones which demarks them physically as well as establishes different identity. Linear plantation along the longer axis of open spaces forges orthogonal movement in the free space. Circulation paths bearing dead-end restrains the vision as well as the bodily movement, discouraging a possibility to explore further.

fig. 3.1.23 Plan showing the approach to the built form

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.1.24 A tunnel connecting new IIMA and old IIMA


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

MORTALS AND IMMORTALS Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad is an institute of international repute for management education, since 1961. In 1999, the extension of the campus was proposed to accommodate an increasing number of students and other activities. The site for the new campus is on the adjacent plot separated by a road from the original campus. Ten firms were invited to propose the design of the campus extension from which HCP Design and HCPDPM planning and management were awarded the project. The firm was founded by a modernist architect Hasmukh C. Patel in 1960 which is now led by Bimal Patel. The design philosophy of the new campus is modernist. The design ideology emphasizes on solving practical problems and to provide comfortable and pleasurable campus building. The extension of the campus accommodates an academic block, Admin block, IMDC hostels, Married student hostel, sports complex, kitchen and dining area and guest rooms. The old campus being an admired work of architecture which was designed by Louis Kahn, designing an extension of the same campus is a highly responsible and difficult task. As Bimal Patel said, “To copy Louis Kahn is to insult him. To honour him, the new building had to uphold the same values that he held dear. I think it embodies the same spirit.” “I have tried to keep the spirit of Louis Kahn alive. The striking feature of this building is its austerity, the restraint. Then, his brick and the poured-in-place concrete building is a challenge to the perceived notions of architecture. This creates an atmosphere where students develop a sense of critical thinking and are not mere conformists. The new campus inherits these qualities,” - Bimal Patel In the overall site plan of the new campus, the functional and spatial organization of the activities are kind of mirror imaged the old campus plan. The classroom wing is placed exactly opposite, creating a mirror image to respond to the open side of the Lois Kahn Plaza where he once imagined building the kitchen and dining area block. The student dormitory area is placed diagonally opposite the lecture hall axis, similar to Kahn’s organization. Here the proximity among the dormitory blocks is different than the old campus as well as one dorm unit forms the complete

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.1.25 Model showing massing of new IIMA

fig. 3.1.26 Sketch of the plan configuration, new IIMA

fig. 3.1.27 COrridor connected with courtyard, new IIMA


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

geometry while creating an introvert nature of dorms. The new campus facilitates wide, lit, airy spaces, equipped with modern services and climatically controlled; needs of the current generation. AS the director of IIMA Bakul Dholakia says, “There is a continuum, in both spirit and body. If one takes an aerial view and draws a straight line, the classrooms and dormitories in both the campuses seem to be placed along it. Even the room numbers are continued. The underpass acts as a physical link between the two. The old building is an important national monument. Like twins, they are similar but each has its own characteristics,” The building materials for the new IIMA is an exposed concrete, brick is used as a filling material, wood and mild still are used for fenestration. An elegant, perforated metal screens are designed by renowned artist Walter D’Souza which breaks the uniform surfaces. As one of the students Ravi Venkatesh says, “When you stand at the Louis Kahn Plaza and look at the library, the sheer experience throws you off your feet. The feeling is so intense, so inspiring, that it keeps taking the benchmark higher and higher. The new campus too has imbibed the spirit, like the circles that are omnipresent. Then, all dorms face the central open area that facilitates interaction.” The decision of selecting a building material - exposed concrete marks the great difference between old and new campus. The exposed concrete was chosen to express the newness as the campus was to be used by a new age and the “modernization of India as a whole”(Patel). ‘Bimal Patel hopes to have done Kahn an honour in creating architecture in his spirit where students are educated to think critically and attentively, just as Kahn once intended.’(Peter Gast, 60) The main pathway connected with the main road is a preliminary vehicular access of the campus. Beside the pathway on the left-hand side, is a huge open ground left for the future extension of the campus. The underpass across the road connects the New IIM with the old campus which is also used as an exhibition space to display academic and cultural achievements of the institute. The bridge between the new and old encourages the pedestrian movement. The choice of an underpass against overpass provides a shaded pathway allowing a pedestrian movement without being affected by road traffic and harsh climate.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.1.28 Plan showing location of the tunnel connecting both the campus.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.1 Pathway taking towards the academic block

fig. 3.2.2 Entrance to the main builtding

fig. 3.2.3 Harvard steps


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

3.2 MEANING MAKING/’NEARNESS’ OLD IIM One enters the IIM campus from the busy two-lane road of the city, into the large green area that is calm and disconnected with the city traffic and chaos. The pathway created by the linear vegetation on either side suggests the movement towards the main school building. The chirping of the birds and trees swinging in the wind creates a pleasant atmosphere and slows down the pace of the experiencer to make the journey further into the campus. Passing among the trees, at the end of the pathway the experiencer faces the huge, massive brick walls rising like a fortress wall. An opulent staircase between the two perpendicular brick walls creating concave welcomes the experiencer into the school building expressing the power and discipline, forging an only choice of entry and directing towards climbing up the staircase with a backdrop of the brick facade. As one climbs the staircase, the small openings become visible on a massive brick wall. Coming from the vast open area and ascending the massive staircase, the experiencer enters into a cosy low-ceilinged volume that is filled with soft light. While inhabiting the cosy volume, the experiencer takes a glance into the famous Louis Kahn Plaza.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.4 Entrance porch in the academic block

fig. 3.2.5 Corridor space in the office block

fig. 3.2.6 Stairwell in the office block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

From here one has to choose to continue the journey on the main spinal axis of the campus bearing in the plaza or walk through another small opening on the right which takes into the corridor space on the right building block of the plaza. A long deep corridor on the right side creates continuous square frames of light and shadow along the depth with its openings placed in certain order on both the sides. From outside the facade looks like a monolithic brick wall but it is porous while walking inside the corridor space because of its openings on both the sides which open up into a plaza on one side and into small courtyards on the other. A long corridor does not remain stationary while the experiencer walks from the dark to the light, as thick brick wall creates the high contrast spaces throughout the corridor. One feels the warmth of the brick in the winter and its coolness in the summer, sharing a physical proximity with thick brick walls. The porous volume and naturally ventilated corridor spaces along the courtyard on one side fill the corridor space with the vegetation smell, reminding the experiencer the time of the season. The staircase - an architectural element for vertical movements is an integral part of the IIM architecture, placed in well-lit areas which connect the experiencer with outside while ascending and descending.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.7 Louis Kahn plaza

fig. 3.2.8 Corridor space, ground level

fig. 3.2.9 Corridor space, first level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The humongous scale of plaza and library block makes the human scale feel smaller against it. Entering into the plaza one’s compelled to look at the sky while following the skyline created by the surrounding building blocks. The setting sun, clouds, birds and the swinging trees create a dramatic experience within the large open space set up by huge brick walls on three sides. When compared with the human body, the plaza denotes a monumental scale to the school building, leaving an experiencer in bewilderment. From the plaza, an experiencer walks in the left building block on the ground floor, which is dark and cool volume placed along the vast scale of the plaza. The first floor contains classroom spaces. The corridor outside the classrooms and along the building block is a high rectangular volume with huge openings on one side, opening into the plaza. The experiencer feels smaller walking into a double height volume of the corridor space. The openings placed at equal distance and front of each other in the corridor space create rhythmic frames of light and shadow. The end of the corridor space opens up into comparatively small space, looking towards the sky framed by a large circular window on the front wall, the experiencer inhabits a high volume filled with light. This space further connects with the vast open area connecting the dormitories. Huge tree foliage and the dormitory blocks rising from these levels makes the experiencer wonder about the relationship with the ground. Courtyards formed by dormitory buildings and the staircase going downward direct the experiencer to explore further, leaving him/her curious.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.10 End of the corridor space, first level

fig. 3.2.11 Elevated ground between academic block and dormitory area

fig. 3.2.12 Ramp connected with elevated ground


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

This open area is one level up from the ground which mystifies an experiencer to believe standing on the ground. The elevated ground continues and connects all dormitory towers creating pathways and courtyards. From here one can continue towards the dormitory area or take the ramp to descend. The elevated ground is shaded everywhere with the large tree foliage planted around the periphery. A vast terrace-like area has comfortable corners created by a parapet and the foliage of the trees to sit and contemplate the nature around. Descending from the ramp one walks towards the lush green area of the campus, where there is a farflung lawn surrounded by a jogging track. The path on the right side takes towards the dormitory blocks which has an interesting geometrical pattern on its enormous facade, created by the curved wall and the openings.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.13 Corridor space, academic block, ground level

fig. 3.2.14 Corridor space, office block, first level

fig. 3.2.15 Corridor space, academic block, ground level

fig. 3.2.16 Corridor space, academic block, first level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

ORDER OF SPACES There is a strict orthogonal organization of functional spaces, circulation spaces and services which has manifested hierarchy of spaces bearing volume of different scale and proportions. The enclosed spaces are adjoined with semi-open space which is connected with open spaces on one side. The residue spaces between orthogonally placed building blocks become informal meeting place as well as it provides light and ventilation to enclosed spaces of building blocks. The open space within an academic block is a Louis Kahn plaza whereas in the residential area there are courtyards being formed by dormitory blocks. The functional spaces are placed perpendicular to the circulation axis at a certain distance which allows cross ventilation in the semi-open circulation spaces. The corridor space having openings either side establishes a visual connection with the adjacent space. The open space further connects with next open, semi-open or close space. (see – open -semi-open) The order of space in terms of open, semi-open and closed remains similar through the campus but the volume of the semi-open spaces and the scale of openings very as per the functions. The semi-open corridor space in the office block, library block, classroom block and dormitory block varies in scale. Hence while moving through these spaces which are laid orthogonally following particular order becomes engaging while moving through with its changing scale, proportions and inter-connected.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.17 Corridor space outside classrooms

fig. 3.2.18 Corridor space outside offices

fig. 3.2.19 Louis Kahn plaza

fig. 3.2.20 Courtyard in office block

fig. 3.2.21 space



fig. 3.2.22 Elevated ground


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

DEGREE OF ENCLOSURE Apart from being within the close, semi-open or open space, the sense of occupying an enclosed space changes from one space to other as the spaces does not vary according to openness or closeness but the scale and proportions of very as well. The corridor of office space is a square volume and its deep along its length. The corridor in library block is a cosy and fat volume. The corridor along the classrooms is a tall volume. The open space of Louis Kahn plaza is enclosed from three sides by high walls of academic block. The spaces along the main spinal axis bear unified volume along the length whereas the axis perpendicular to the main spinal axis passes through spaces of varied volumes. In the dormitory areas, the open spaces are separated into small contained spaces within the enclosure created by huge trees. The parapet supports these instinctive spaces and allows informal activities under the shade of trees.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.23 View of the academic block from second level

fig. 3.2.24 Corridor outside office spaces

fig. 3.2.25 Corridor space with arches

fig. 3.2.26 End of the corridor space


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

LIGHT AND MATERIALITY The built form is erected by using the loadbearing structure of brick through its monumental scale and the array of controlled openings on the outer façade elicits the sense of being carved out from a monolithic material. (fig) The interior spaces made of thick brown brick walls having openings in a certain order adds a rhythm in a space where space becomes dynamic with the changing light and shadow through the day. Spaces with tight volume allow filtered light and breeze within the spaces through small openings and create cool volume, letting an experiencer feel the breathing material(bricks) of the walls. The spaces laid out orthogonally in plan become dramatic when the light coming from the huge circular opening render the space with sunlight. While moving within the spaces one experiencer the warmth interior spaces when the exterior is cool and the cool interior spaces when the exterior is hot. The rough texture of the brick creates the shadow on its surface which gives a high contrast surface when exposed to direct sunlight. Being rough textured, the brick doesn’t reflect the direct light and keep the surroundings cool. These qualities of the brick appeal visually in the hot and dry contextual climate and also provide thermal comfort.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.29 View from the landing at the entrance

fig. 3.2.30 View from the Louis Kahn plaza

fig. 3.2.31 View from the ramp

fig. 3.2.27 View from the approach

fig. 3.2.28 View from the approach, towards dormitory blocks


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

GROUND AND HORIZON Throughout the old campus, the relation with ground changes drastically but the change (vertical movement) remains subtle experientially. The massive brick facades and large openings denote a monumental scale to the built form where one enters the built form on the second level through the grand staircase. Viewing the precedent journey from the pathway to the final landing of the staircase, one penetrates the range of trees meeting the sky. (fig 3.2.29) Three building blocks enveloping the Louis Kahn plaza are placed orthogonally in the plan which frames the sky and the open-ended plaza on one side allow vision to expand towards the array of trees.(fig 3.2.30) The vast spread of the plaza makes human presence feel smaller against the monumental building. From the periphery of the building blocks, a horizon is defined by the array of trees diminishing the location of the campus within the city and evoking a sense of being within natural surroundings whereas within the campus the building blocks and huge trees create an ambiguous skyline. The academic block is connected with the dormitory area from the second level where one loses the relation with datum standing on the elevated ground and walking on the streets created on the second level in the residential area.

Case study : IIMA


0 10 20


100 m 0 10 20

fig. 3.2.32 Plan showing the primary and secondary paths taken while visiting the campus.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


100 m


10 20


100 m

fig. 3.2.33 Plan showing the primary and secondary paths taken while visiting the campus.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.34 An approach

fig. 3.2.35 The main entry point in the building

fig. 3.2.36 Double volume space at the entrance point in classroom wing.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

3.2 MEANING MAKING NEW IIM Placed far away from the busy-ness of the road the new campus of the IIM welcomes the experiencer with a pathway shaded with the trees planted on both the sides. Significant vegetation on left side disconnects the campus from the nearby noisy cross-roads. While walking on the pathway, under the foliage of the trees one sees the exposed concrete facade with circular openings, on the other side of the lane. Pathway ends in the vast open area where experiencer confronts facade of the low-rise, horizontally spread buildings. From here one can move further into the classroom wing in the front or can take a right into the IMDC block. At first glance a long ramp appears in the front, taking onto the second level. Wide openings on both the levels and the permeable metal artwork seem to make a porous facade which becomes a double height volume as one move towards the opening, bringing an enormous amount of light inside, the smooth reflective surface on the floor reflects more light in the huge space.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.37 View from end of the corridor on ground level

fig. 3.2.38 Staircase from ground level to first level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

A corridor on the right seems like a porous grey tunnel from far with openings on both the sides. While walking through the corridor space, one encounters the openings on both the side where one side is the long, linear lawn area another side has small courtyards with Champa trees. At the end of the corridor, a square frame filled with trees tends to create a surprise element, drawing one towards itself which opens up onto green surroundings, a diagonal opening takes way forward on the ramp. From here one can descend towards the canteen area leaving behind the concrete enclosure. In the corridor space, grasping a look through the circular opening towards the lawn area, the staircase becomes visible which is placed along the corridor length. An experiencer climbs the stairs while walking among the hard surfaces with smooth texture all around. The plain concrete surfaces forces to look up towards while ascending. Narrow stairs bring an experiencer on a platform which is open to the sky. One can have a look at the green surroundings from this platform, encountering the skyline and the way trees meet the sky. An expansive opening between the platform and the corridor bring a huge amount of light and natural ventilation inside the corridor space. Standing on a platform, the thinness of the concrete walls are experienced, creating a very porous surface on one side of the corridor. The permeable metal artwork surface adds up to the porosity of the corridor space.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.39 View from the landing, first level

fig. 3.2.40 Corridor classroom block


fig. 3.2.41 View of the ramp from first level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The reflective surface of the floor creates a blurry mirror image of the space adding dynamism in the space. The corridor on the second level is a high rectangular volume made of repetitive infinite black and white frames created by the concrete surfaces and huge openings on two vertical surfaces on both the sides. A recessed space on left sides creates small rectilinear offset spaces along the corridor where the openings of the classrooms are placed. An opening in the ceiling of this offset space brings the natural light within the rectilinear space and makes the opening of the classrooms visible. At the other end of the corridor towards the entrance area, the ramp takes downward in the huge open space. While coming back into the entrance area through the ramp, one descends looking at the boundless tree groves in the front. Standing in the open area an experiencer confronts a long, imposing facade of IMDC block made of exposed concrete and permeable metalwork surface. The linear water-body with lotus and small lawn area placed on a flat ground does not support the space division neither it engages an experiencer by providing any possibility to engage bodily experience.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.42 Front facade of IMDC block

fig. 3.2.43 IMDC double height space.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

An opening through metal surface takes into a double height space, which is again a grey volume filled with natural light with the huge openings on the exterior facades. A platform on the second level which looks like a bridge from below is accessible through a massive staircase from a double height space; it divides double volume space into two smaller volumes further. Below the bridge is a comparatively dark and low volume taking one into adjoining office spaces, dorms on the right and dining area on the left. A corridor on the right has offices on the left side, and it opens up into small courtyard spaces on the right side. A space contained in the courtyard divided the sky into two frames with its horizontal concrete member. Both the long blocks which are placed perpendicular to each other has a main spine which is the corridor, and the main spaces are placed adjoining the corridor at certain intervals which creates courtyards spaces on one side.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.44 Corridor space in IMDC bloc, ground level

fig. 3.2.45 Main circulation axis, behind classroom block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The openings of the corridor spaces create a facade which bears a geometrical language of circular, diagonal openings, creating recessed dark spaces on the vertical and horizontal exposed concrete surfaces of the courtyard. The new campus is connected with the old campus through a tunnel which is an extension of a concrete enclosure which has similar proportion and circular openings as the campus.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.46 Corridor space, IMDC Block

fig. 3.2.47 IMDC double volume, entrance point

fig. 3.2.48 Corridor space, Classroom Block, Ground level

fig. 3.2.49 Corridor space, Classroom Block, First level

fig. 3.2.50 Staircase landing, Classroom Block

fig. 3.2.51 Double volume, Academic block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

ORDER OF SPACES The organization of the close, semi-open and open spaces as per the functional requirement creates the hierarchy of spaces defining the nature of functional spaces. The Academic block and IMDC block are placed perpendicular to each other, following ‘L’ shape in a plan where the semi-open spaces open up into a linear open space in academic block and another side is adjoined with close spaces placed at a certain interval(see) creating courtyards spaces in between. While moving through the semi-open spaces, one is connected with the open space visually. Here, an organization of spaces is such that it does not allow visual connection beyond a certain distance. The semi-open is connected with courtyard space but courtyard being walled on all sides restricts movement and visual connection. Standing in semiopen space one can see the end of adjacent open space; this encourages the movement only in the linear direction where the adjacent spaces are experienced only through visual sense. In the classroom wing, the open space being a shallow jut out from the corridor and being connected with the corridor through wide openings creates open and airy corridor space but forces linear movement as restricts the movement towards open space presenting everything at first glance from corridor space.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.52 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch

fig. 3.2.53 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch

fig. 3.2.54 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch

fig. 3.2.55 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch

fig. 3.2.57 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch

fig. 3.2.56 Interior details of Bhunga house, Kutch


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

DEGREE OF ENCLOSURE The new campus forges transparency while inhabiting the spaces made of thin concrete walls. Large rectangular volumes made of reflective surfaces emphasize the transparency. Throughout this academic block, one experiences volumes of varies scale and proportions. The triple volume space in the classroom wing makes one feel smaller within the huge space. In the GMDC block, another huge volume of double height gets divided into smaller volumes further on creating smaller and welcoming spaces. On the ground floor, the corridor space is a square and linear volume along its length which opens up into open spaces through wide openings on both the sides which forms a porous space as one walks into a corridor. The linear corridor spaces become wider and connect with adjoined spaces in the classroom wing. In the classroom wing, there is linear open space connected with corridor space which leads towards the staircase placed along the length of the corridor. In the classroom wing, the boundary between inside and outside is created with the thin concrete wall where the sense of enclosure changes as one moves along the corridor space adjoined with linear open space. On the ground floor, comparatively narrow corridor spaces are connected with rectangular open spaces where one experiences openness within the closed corridor while moving within corridor space.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.58 Courtyard, Classroom block

fig. 3.2.59 Corridor space, Classroom block

fig. 3.2.60 IMDC block, first level

fig. 3.2.61 IMDC block, first level

fig. 3.2.62 Corridor space, IMDC block, first level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

LIGHT AND MATERIALITY The built form is made of thin grey walls and reflective floors which elicits the sense of transparency in the spatial experience. Wide openings merge the boundary between inside and outside. The built form brings the natural elements within the built space through its scale, proportions, organization and tactility where the natural elements are seen and experienced. Building materials reflect the light and heat or cold simultaneously. The plain concrete walls are absorbed and mirrored by the smooth flooring where one experiences the volumes gradually turning dark to light due to wide openings in the long corridor spaces along the class wing. In the narrower corridors space is well-lit with the controlled openings on both the sides which create a monotonous volume along the corridor space bearing same colour and texture on all the planes and with the volume filled with sufficient light. Apart from dephasing porosity the wide openings also fill the space with flooded light and wing, bringing the outer atmosphere within the built space where space cools down and heats up to the exterior temperature.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.2.63 Entrance

fig. 3.2.64 Residential block

fig. 3.2.66 Classroom block, first level

fig. 3.2.67 Classroom block, first level

fig. 3.2.65 Classroom block, ground level


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

HORIZON AND SKYLINE Throughout the old campus, the relation with ground changes drastically but the change (vertical movement) remains subtle experientially. The massive brick facades and large openings denote a monumental scale to the built form where one enters the built form on the second level through the grand staircase. Viewing the precedent journey from the pathway to the final landing of the staircase, one penetrates the range of trees meeting the sky. Three building blocks enveloping the Louis Kahn plaza are placed orthogonally in a plan which frames the sky and the open-ended plaza on one side allow vision to expand towards the array of trees. The vast spread of the plaza makes human presence feel smaller against the monumental building. From the periphery of the building blocks, a horizon is defined by the array of trees diminishing the location of the campus within the city and evoking a sense of being within natural surroundings whereas within the campus the building blocks and huge trees create an ambiguous skyline. The academic block is connected with the dormitory area from the second level where one loses the relation with datum standing on the elevated ground and walking on the streets created on the second level in the residential area.

Case study : IIMA



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.3.1 Site :Old IIM campus


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

3.3 MAKING OLD IIM As discussed earlier in chapter 2.3(figure no. ) making is the part of a process of nearing the fourfold for the thingness to manifest itself in a place and to be experienced by the inhibitor. The maker interprets the fourfold and responds to them during the act of creating a shelter in a particular locale which elicits certain experience in the built form. Here, the maker deals with the context which concerns local climate and topography, appropriate Martial, distribution of material and derivation of the structure. These aspects bring out the specific built form creating a shelter belonging and responding to that particular locale. In the case of a built form the maker reshapes the available material, he builds or hollows out to create a space for the elements of the fourfold to interact and live with each other on their own way. Context The site for IIM was selected from around 60 acres, in the Vastrapur village, around eight kilometres away from the city-centre. The site is near to many other institutes like Gujarat University, ATIRA, PRL, CEPT. The site for IIM was vast flat farmlands with small villages and other institutes around it. Ahmedabad has a hot and dry climate where the maximum temperature in summer goes up till 45 degree Celsius and in the winter it falls till 6 degree Celsius. The weather in Ahmadabad is also humid which requires many semi-open spaces to achieve thermal comfort. The vernacular house type – Pol House is a famous example creating thermal comfort through its courtyard system. The courtyard works well for the natural ventilation and also acts as a light well. Each closed space is adjoined with the semi-open spaces like verandah or balcony which creates a buffer reducing direct sunlight, and the semi-open space is adjoined with open spaces which bring natural wind and light inside the house. The site for the IIM was a barren farmland where a maker chose brick and concrete as a building material to erect the built form, brick and concrete are locally available materials in Ahmadabad.

Case study : IIMA


Brick wall 30 cm th Brick Arch 1 brick thick Concrete Slab 20 cm thick

Concrete Slab 20 cm thick Brick Arch 2 brick thick Concrete tie beam 15 cm thick

Concrete Slab 20 cm thick Brick wall 30 cm th Brick Arch 1 brick thick

Concrete beam 15 cm thick Brick foundatin

fig. 3.3.2 A section showing building materials and construction



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture




10 m

BUILDING MATERIAL AND STRUCTURE Brick is an earthy material which is porous and has a quality of maintaining temperature and humidity of the interior spaces. This quality of the brick suits for the hot and humid climate of Ahmadabad. Thick load bearing walls made of bricks also creates high thermal mass to maintain a comfortable temperature in extreme climatic conditions. The institute is a monolithic-looking structure made of seemingly infinite bricks and it is astonishing to see the extensive exploration of the techniques of using bricks. Load bearing brick structure makes use of thermal mass for the interior spaces as well as in Ahmadabad where the labour is cheap, a maker has an opportunity to build a comparatively affordable built form out of brick. Talking about the architect of IIM for Louis Kahn brick is his frequent weapon of choice which he continues to use masterfully in IIM. All the building blocks in IIMA are built from brick masonry and concrete floor slabs. Kahn employed load-bearing walls, brick piers to erect the built form where he integrated a systematic employment of the load-bearing construction for the different building blocks varying in scale. Dorm – The semicircular arches in the ground level arcades in the dormitory blocks creates minimal lateral thrust and the ‘flat’ (arch which is less than a semicircle) arches which are used throughout the institute needed lateral bracing where the freespanning concrete beams are used. Here the tiebeam creates the tension for the masonry arch. As Kahn said, ‘This is a brick and concrete order. It is a composite order in which the brick and the concrete are acting together.’ To express an appropriate scale and expression to each type of built form, Kahn has employed this ingenious device. In the dormitories, the spaces of the various range are derived by using arches of various types. An expression of an individual room, with the balcony, an arched end wall and concrete slab tension tie on the side walls, exposed surfaces revealing and relieving arches carrying the load on the buttressed walls. Main building – In the academic block, Kahn has created the wide range of scales with the range of brick arches and tie beams. Bearing a simple, geometric, grid-based elevation of the office wing has true flat arches which create recessed rectangular openings. The width of the brick piers changes at each floor, thick at the bottom and thin at the top decreases the dead load.

fig. 3.3.3 Structure defining space and form, Office block

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.3.4 Structure defining space and form, Dormitory block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

SPACE AND FORM As a maker Kahn was supposed to design a campus containing various programs like classrooms, library, faculty offices, student dormitories, faculty residences and services. Apart from the functional requirement, IIMA is a school of business management where founders envisioned anticipating a learning environment which can train young students to rise in the global economy. Where Kahn aimed to conceive a campus which doesn’t rely on Indian traditional style of learning within the classrooms, but he aimed at the institute where learning was an interactive process which happens inside as well as outside the classroom among the student-teacher relation as well as among the fellow students. Kahn conceived the master plan of the campus by dividing the space as per its use. The separation of administrative area, classroom facilities, faculty and student residencies create different zones of the public to private space. Louis Kahn described his plan as “A society of rooms. The rooms relate to each other to strengthen their own unique nature. The auditorium wants to be a violin. It’s enveloped in the violin case. The society of rooms is the place where it is good to learn, good to work, good to live.” Here, the nature of the built form creates in-between open spaces of the specific kind which varies in nature, formal to informal. The order and composition of the space according to its use plays a vital role defining the form of the building. Kahn has created layers of spaces and large openings on the exterior facades from which to view the world. Strict geometry found in the plan as well as on the façade resembles with the shapes found in the Indian Mandala which is a sacred geometry created using squares and circles.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.3.5 New IIMA, site image


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

New IIM CONTEXT The old IIMA building is designed by Louis Kahn between 1962 to 1974, and after his death, it was continued by Ananat Raje. In 1999 HCP was awarded the project to extend the IIMA campus. The site for the new IIMA was given on the adjacent plot which is separated by a road from the main campus. Designing an extension for IIMA which is a worldwide known great monument of late modern architecture, it was a massive task for HCP to analyze the existing built form of Louis Kahn and empathize the dialogue between the two buildings which have to be initiated with necessity. The new site was spread across 39 acres, and the building was supposed to accommodate spaces for dormitories, classrooms, seminar rooms, a hostel for IMDC, guest rooms, sports complex, kitchen and dining area. The design approach for new IIMA campus is modernist, and seemingly it is driven by a ‘problemsolving’ practical approach with an intention to provide a comfortable and pleasurable built environment. The old IIMA building being made of brick asked for a huge amount of maintenance hence for new IIMA there was a need for a requirement to use low-maintenance building materials. Hence the exposed concrete was chosen as a building material. The new campus is an independent entity which is accessible from a separate entrance from the main road. A decision to build a new campus on a separate plot from the existing site was a gesture of maintaining a respectful distance from the Louis Kahn’s building is a vital step taken in favour of both, the architectural monument and also as an educational institute. The old and new campuses are linked by an underpass which is placed beneath the main road that connects both the campus.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.3.6 Structure showing materials and construction.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

BUILDING MATERIAL AND STRUCTURE Building materials used for the new campus of IIMA are concrete, brick, metal, and wood. Here, the structure is of RCC where the dormitory has a structure is made of sheer walls with flat slabs, and beam-slab technique is used in the academic block. The building material for new IIMA seems to be chosen concerning the practical aspects of the building which is to lower the building maintenance. As concrete is a high-strength material, it provides freedom to span. The material also allows erecting a built form with thin surfaces and free-flowing spaces without any structural elements visible in the space. The material has allowed creating openings of large sizes which are in a rectangle and circular shape; also the concrete is used to create angular walls. The concrete as a material has allowed erecting a structure which seems light due to its thin and reflective surface. Here, the concrete is used to create a thin and porous structure which can achieve thermal comfort, being well-connected with outside through its large-spanning space but during the extreme outside climatic conditions, the thermal comfort is compromised. Moreover, in the areas where the openings are less the structure loses its light-ness and seems bulky in the absence of light. The free-spanning has encouraged to create spaces bearing volumes of various sizes where the building loses the uniformity.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.3.7 Structure showing space and form, Dormitory block

fig. 3.3.8 Structure defining form, Dormitory block

fig. 3.3.9 Structure defining space and form, Classroom block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

FORM CONSTRUCT It is an extension of the same institute there was a need to provide references of connection with the old Kahn building. This need to resemble the new building with Kahn building is attempted to achieve through following the diagonal geometry, an organization of circulation paths, a configuration of space division as per its use, the presence of circular openings in the facade. The circulation spine - corridor creates the main axis with classrooms and offices added to it at right angles in the north direction. Two wings placed in the L shape consist the main academic and administrative facilities. The dormitory blocks are placed diagonally opposite to the main axis following the Kahn’s concept, but facing the west direction in this case. In the new campus, the dormitory is a square in plan with the courtyard in the centre.

Case study : IIMA



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


Case study : IIMA



10 20


100 m


10 20


fig. 3.4.1 Various movement paths of the students in academic and residential block involving engagement


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

100 m


The inhabitation in the institutional and residential built forms of the IIMA campus takes place by an individual’s engagements with the built form at different levels. The built form facilitates the task of holding by providing space and atmosphere for activities bearing various nature and scale. For an individual – a student, the campus is a place of learning where one also resides and does daily life activities. The campus building holds an institute which trains and nurtures the young business management professionals. The built form made of a unit – brick – has spaces of various scales to engage an induvial and groups of an individual to perform and initiate various formal and informal activities. With the embodied knowledge gathered through the inhibition of the built form, the meaning of the built spaces changes and evolve as the built form provides an opportunity to engage and interact with the fourfold as a shelter. Student living in a dormitory at old IIM campus would take different routes to reach the classroom or library as a part of his/her daily activities. One would encounter spaces of various scale, proportions and nature while reaching the academic block. In the academic block, the organization of the buildings creates in-between spaces where the student will meet fellow-students and faculties. The in-between spaces would encourage informal discussions and allow learnings which happen outside classrooms. The in-between spaces in academic blocks, dormitory blocks, faculty housing blocks have different nature and order of organization.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.4.2 Section individual room

fig. 3.4.3 Section classroom





fig. 3.4.4 Section through a library

fig. 3.4.5 Section through Louis Kahn plaza


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


The dormitory block has symmetrical geometry plan with dorm on two sides and circulation, utility and gathering area in the centre. The individual cell where students live is a rectangular volume opening into central circulation space. The load-bearing structure creates a cosy volume for living within thick brick walls, keeping the interior temperature cool. The placement of the dormitory blocks in the grid-based plan allows a view into the in-between garden spaces from individual cells.


The learning space – classroom – has circular steps, on which the desks are set up. The visual axis of the students seated on the desks converges in the centre of the front wall, towards the faculty. Enclosed space with dark and textured wall disconnects one from outside world and provides a space to participate in class activities.


The double volume of the library connected with smaller volumes which are filled with books elicits the feeling of being within a castle of books. The monumental scale, light coming from the huge circular window, a pair of circular staircase placed in the centre of the library conveys the supremacy of knowledge. Also, the library being a composition of various volumes provides reading spaces of different scales.

Louis Kahn Plaza

While going to the classrooms or library, one would pass by the Louis Kahn plaza placed within the walls of the academic block. The facades with strict geometrically placed openings and the scale of the plaza express the discipline and power, creating a place where the interaction among the students and faculties would take place. Also, the plaza hosts various events of the management institute when the surrounding blocks connected with the plaza through an array of openings also become lively.

APPROPRIATION As an individual inhabits and engages with space during the span of time, the meaning of the space will evolve. The inhabitation of the space will change and evolve at the collective level as well, initiating a trend of the use of the space and defining its meaning which will continue to evolve. The informal built spaces would also accommodate the activities taking place apart from the academic hours, encourages certain trend and rituals among the student body. This way the nature of the activities facilitated by various spaces will impact on the overall culture of the institute. Case study : IIMA



10 20


100 m

fig. 3.4.6 Various movement paths of the students in academic and residential block involving engagement


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

3.4 TWO FOLD HOLDING NEW IIM LOCALE The new campus extension has sprouted from the old campus where the program and the built form both responds to the old campus. Yet the new campus has more urban nature where the cluster of built forms is dense in few parts and less in the rest of the part. The extension of campus has GMDC and CIIE which attracts extra-curricular activities. Other than the academic and residential, new campus caters to many other activities which take place informally in various spaces. The courtyards in the residential wing are used to play various sports. The built form made of thin concrete walls creates semi-open space or various scales which connect with open spaces allows large gatherings of formal and informal scales on the campus. The small spaces attached to create free-flowing spaces around the edges of the built form gives an opportunity for small informal gatherings. Yet the hard, rough and dry concrete surfaces maintain certain proximity to the surfaces. The lush green vegetation maintains a visual connection with bright spaces and allows an experiencer to engage with the fourfolds of the place. When the built form continues the legacy of Lois Kahn in the institution to create a place of learning and living, the campus follows the similar organization of the functions as per the old campus. A student living in a dormitory would take a pathway and reach the academic block across the other side. The dormitory blocks being an introvert entity does not encourage interaction with the open circulation space and provides calm leaving spaces within a block.

Case study : IIMA


fig. 3.4.9 Section through an individual room

fig. 3.4.7Section through a classroom

fig. 3.4.8 Section through an corridor space, classroom block

fig. 3.4.10 Section through an entry point, academic block


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


The learning space – classroom – has circular steps, on which the desks are set up. The visual axis of the students seated on the desks converges in the centre of the front wall, towards the faculty. Enclosed space of the classroom disconnects one from outside world and provides a space to participate in class activities.

Corridor space outside classroom

The tall volume of the corridor has porous space filled with natural light and wind creates continuous linear space outside the classrooms. The linear corridor is connected with the courtyards on one side and on another side, there are linear spaces for staircase landing jutting out on one side. The corridor space facilitates small formal and informal gathering among students and faculties and encourages the two-way process of learning.


The dormitory block is a square building block with the courtyard inside. The dorm provides modern and comfortable living space for the student which is connected with the other dorms through semiopen corridor and courtyard. The courtyard becomes open yet private space for the dorm block, being disconnected with the outer circulation areas.

The entrance porch

While going to the classrooms or GMDC block one would pass by the entrance porch placed within two huge concrete walls. The facades with strict geometrically placed openings and the scale of the plaza express the discipline and power, creating a place where the interaction among the students and faculties would take place. Also, the triple volume of the entrance porch can host small formal gatherings of the management institute. The huge scale of the porch space with one open side looking onto perpendicular axis through large square frame connects with an array of trees and gives a site of the sprawling campus on the other side.

CULTURE During the academic and cultural festival, the empty campus becomes alive when students occupy the campus engaging in celebration activities in the open and semi-open spaces of the campus. The small open areas on the periphery of built forms get flooded with small groups of people indulged discussions and talks. As people inhabit the spaces as an individual and groups the spaces become definite in terms of meaning while facilitating to the activities of certain nature. The small informal spaces in the academic block provide a pause in the breaktime and this repetitive activity acquires collective meaning and evolves the culture of the institutes supporting learning and living. Case study : IIMA



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture



4.2 END NOTE Conclusion



Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

4.1 INFERENCES The study has found the relation between the aspects of the building and lived experience which determines the level of engagement that a building provides. These aspects are - movement, sensorial engagements, nature of spaces, the relation between man and nature that building allows, light and materiality; contributing in engaging the experiencer when a person visit/inhabit the built space. When a person visits/inhabits the built space, these aspects - movement, sensorial engagements, nature of spaces, the relation between man and nature that building allows, light and materiality - engage an experiencer which will define the overall experience that a person would perceive from the building. The inferences derived from the study of two buildings offers an insight into how a building engages an experiencer at different levels and hence acquire the ability to elicit a compelling experience.



OLD IIMA CAMPUS Movement The campus is laid out on a strict geometry enforces directionality, however, the composition of open, semi-open and close spaces provides freedom of choice. Close and Semi-open spaces are well-connected with adjacent open spaces through openings of varied nature encourage one to explore further. The circulation paths are made of thick brick walls and have comparatively dark linear space which elicits contrast between inside and outside. The light coming from large circular window placed at the end of the corridor leads a person towards the light from the dark and connects with outside. The inter-connectedness of the building blocks encourages movement in the various direction providing freedom of choice. Sensorial engagement The monumental walls made of enumerated bricks make a person feel insignificant whereas in the corridor spaces as well as in the dormitory the smaller openings in the thick brick wall allows one to share bodily proximity. The thick brick walls provide insulation from external climate. The brick is a porous material with the rough texture which absorbs the heat/cold. The direct sun renders brick wall with bright light creating sharp shadows on its surfaces. The abundance of trees throughout the campus provides large shadowed spaces and the soft ground also helps in reducing overall heat. The spaces within bricks walls are dark and cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This contrast between interior and exterior increases the comfort level. One experiences the texture of brick, stone, grass and the bare ground below his/her feet while moving through the campus. One experiences ambiguity while moving through a campus which is laid out on a strict geometry due to varying scales and spatial connections.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


The corridor spaces enforce directionality at the first and connect with adjacent open spaces as one move further on the circulation path. The open spaces remain contained and close as it does not spill over into further spaces which restrains further movement and enforces one to continue on linear circulation pathway. The airy and over-lit circulation spaces connected with outside through large openings bring the exterior atmosphere within semi-open spaces merging the boundary between inside and outside and creates uniform linear space. The building encourages movement in a singular direction and does not provide flexibility to explore different movement patterns within the overall layout.

The large volume bearing reflective flooring is filled with enormous amount of light makes a person feel smaller. The semi-open spaces accentuate the outer atmosphere within the built form through its thin structure and nature of openings, compromising the thermal comfort. The concrete as a material has plain grey surfaces which reflect light as well as the heat/cold. The direct sun renders the grey concrete surfaces with orange light during morning and evening. Here the hot afternoon sun makes it difficult to walk within the campus where the concrete surfaces create glare and emit heat within the campus. The thin walls create transparent spaces which become hot during the summer and cool in the winter where the comfort level is compromised. The textures of the ground experienced while moving through campus remain similar throughout the interior and exterior spaces. Here, the linearity is emphasized while moving through the campus due to the composition of close, semi-open and open spaces.



OLD IIMA CAMPUS Nature of spaces Varying scale, proportions and enclosures create spaces of different nature but also there are flooring patterns, vegetation and other elements like a parapet/bench which determines the nature of spaces. In the dormitory unit level, the relationship between the configuration of the dorm and the adjoining open spaces is such that it allows for an enmeshment with the open spaces. The diagonals of the dorm connect and create vistas. The open corners establish diagonal visual connection. The overall diagonal layout gives visual access throughout the courtyards and the arched pathway allows a linear movement through and through the dorm blocks. The overall layout of the campus forms three types of courtyards throughout the campus. The proportion of the open space remains almost similar to the adjoining close space. One experiences the continuity visually as well as in the movement while passing through the open and semi-open spaces which encourages a person to explore further. While moving through the campus building one experiences a sense of ground; while moving from the ground level to first level. Relation between man and nature The green becomes an integral part of the overall experience while traversing through trees and buildings and thus, the relationship between trees and building is experienced. The vegetation cover in the courtyards among dormitory blocks creates cosy space with tall trees and soft ground. While visiting the campus one passes through series of volumes created within earthy walls and tree foliage. The walls bear strict geometry but trees add dynamism to the definitely built spaces. The earthiness of the building material, the vegetation and soft ground attracts various species of birds and creatures on campus keeping the eco-system alive.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


Varying scale, proportions and enclosures create spaces of different nature which determine the nature of spaces and encourage certain activities.

At the dormitory unit level, the configuration of the dorm block has introvert nature which looks into its own courtyard and looks away from adjacent open spaces. The closed geometry of the dorm limits the interaction with adjoining open spaces. The overall layout the linear movement is restricted as well as the visual connection is blocked throughout the dorms. A person remains disconnected with the overall layout visually as well as the movement is restricted which does not encourage further movement. The overall layout of the campus forms five types of courtyards throughout the campus. In the residential area, the proportion of the open space compared to the closed space is almost twice. While moving through the campus building one relates to the floor in terms of the first/second level; while moving from the ground level to the first level.

The building predominates the experience and the vegetation remains one of the elements along the way. The open-ended corridor spaces meet huge trees where the tree becomes an exhibit. The reflection of the trees in evening light adds a dramatic effect on the space due to reflective flooring. The definite area given to the girth of the trees and vegetation cover loses it’s the organic nature. Here, the trees are treated as one of the elements. Since the vegetation remains within the boundaries and ground are paved, the natural cycle is limited to the birds visiting the big trees.



OLD IIMA CAMPUS Light and materiality The light coming from the measured openings fill the space with oranges tint and softens the wall texture with uniform filtered light allowing a bodily proximity to the building elements. The rough texture of the brick wall breaks down the direct sunlight and creates a shadow of its own texture which looks pleasing to the eye in the hot and dry climate. The ordered openings add rhythm in the circulation spaces with the light it brings. The thickness of the material (brick) creates bulky walls bearing earthy colour have well-lit spaces which feel massive throughout the campus.

Structure and building construction The arched openings of lower height establish a connection within the spaces yet it does not reveal what all lies beyond which elicits curiosity and encourages one to explore further. The huge circular openings and arches made of enumerated bricks lead a person to look upward towards the sky and make his/her presence feel smaller. The construction technique is explored to create openings of various nature throughout the campus which establishes a connection between inside and outside at different levels.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture


The plain, hard and grey concrete surfaces enforce one to maintain a certain distance from the walls. Here, the corridor spaces become transparent and live while reflecting trees and sunlight coming from the array of openings. The plain surfaces of concrete remain dull. The walls become live when the sunlight coming within the space renders the concrete walls with an orange tint. An array of openings brings the natural light and the flooring creates the reflection of trees creating transparent spaces within thin walls. On the first floors, the thin structure brings a huge amount of light through wide openings whereas on the ground floor this transparency is lost and the walls feel bulky due to its scale and proportion where it creates comparatively dark grey volumes due to fewer openings.

The large openings in the thin walls create transparent and flowing spaces whereas in the areas where there are fewer openings it creates small dark grey spaces which restrict the movement. The material has allowed creating free-flowing spaces of large span without any distraction of structural member and the openness of the spaces connect a person with outer natural elements. The construction technique allows creating openings of varied size and shape but the variation of the opening is limited to its size and shape.



GENERIC CONCLUSION Movement The building provides a certain flexibility in movement/and freedom to choose and explore different movement patterns within the overall structure established by the primary spine. The movement remains open-ended and does not remain limited by the building, on the contrary, it is accentuated by the green. Sensorial engagement The varying textures of the ground break the monotony as well as the light and heat/cold. Visual connections and vistas are established at many levels within the building as well as between the buildings and outside. Nature of spaces As activities step down from collective to private, formal to informal; the scale of the building responds accordingly from a monumental to an intimate scale. This monumental, as well as the intimacy of the scale, is expressed formally, spatially as well as through architectural elements. The earthiness of the material and configuration adds to the cosiness of the scale. In the smaller buildings whereas elements like the singular gigantic round opening contribute to a formal expression. The diversity of the inside geometric order, to the outside more organic order is mediated successfully by the semi-open spaces and elements. Relation between man and nature It seems as though it is the green campus that is interspersed with the built all over and therefore there is a rich ecosystem maintained by vegetation, creatures, lower temperature and filtered light. Light – materiality The light is broken down on the rough textured surfaces and the interior spaces are rendered with filtered light. Structure and building construction The Structural system and material selection limit the span of the spaces as well as openings; hence the spaces acquires uniformity whereas the restriction of the span has encourages the variations in the structural elements. The structural elements also become an integral part of the space and add rhythm to the spaces. 196

Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

The building enforces rigidity in the movement within the overall structure and encourages movement in a singular direction. The movement remains limited due to the visual connection which is blocked by the building elements or screen of vegetation.

The building enforces rigidity in the movement within the overall structure and encourages movement in the singular direction. The movement remains limited due to the visual connection which is blocked by the building elements or screen of vegetation.

Although the building scales itself to cater to its functions, neither does it scale up for monumental expression nor does its smaller scale emanate intimacy. Moreover, the material selection and the particular configuration take away from it being of an intimate scale.

The geometric order of the inside continues in the outer courtyards formed the building facades.

Here, the plantation is treated as one of the elements and therefor is sparsely situated within the building.

The concrete surface reflects direct sunlight which creates glare whereas the indirect light creates transparency within the spaces.

The structural system and materials allow creating spaces and openings of various scales; hence the spaces are free-flowing. The limited variation in the placement and shape of the openings bring similar kind of light within space.




Built surroundings provide engagements at varying levels through lived experience; which differs one building from another. The diversity provided with the harmony is determined by the inherent order of the building. Level of the engagements which an experiencer initiates with the built form changes the relationship between an experiencer and building. It is like a relationship which changes among people, depending on the nature of person one is engaged with. In people engagements of various nature and the quality of the engagement leads to a particular kind of a relationship. The depth of the engagement depends on knowing the true nature of the person. Similarly, for the buildings, the depth of the engagements depends on the experiences which arise from the true nature of the fourfold (earth, sky, people, and culture) that is experienced through built form. The robustness and earthiness of the built form provide a sense of protection and the spatiality encourages the exploration whereas the thin structure emphasizes on the free-flowing spaces but compromises the sense of protection. The lack of order in spatiality, limited variations and freedom of choice; where the building falls short in conveying the true nature of the fourfold – restrains the depth of the engagements of the experiencer with the building. While revealing the true nature of the fourfold(earth, sky, people, and culture), building engages an experiencer in various ways. The person would invest his/her time, energy, resources and emotions while engaging with the building. This investment which takes place as a result of the engagement would initiate a mutual relationship between a person and building. While establishing this relationship one would explore many other aspects of the built form as the building would offer engagements at a deeper level with the investment that a person does. With these investments, the person and the building both will change and evolve with each-other. The meaning of the relationship will also evolve over the time when one building offers engagements at various and deeper level would become more meaningful, and the other would remain limited regarding its meaning that a person would perceive from the lived experience.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Perception of this meaning acquired from the lived experience of the building will leave a permanent imprint on one’s psyche and hence achieve meaningfulness. It is this imprint which building would embark on a person and therefore provide a compelling lived experience. Depending on the level of engagement a building would provide, an experiencer perceives a meaning from it. This engagement is the ‘nearness’ of the building. While engaging with the building an experiencer would become nearer to it, by the meaning he/she would attach to the building. This meaning will define the ‘thingness’ of the building as perceived by the experiencer. The building becomes something more than just a shelter when one attaches a particular meaning to the building. Such as, in the mutual relationship between a person and building, a person acquires a feeling of ‘being at home,’ that is when the building achieves it’s ‘thingness’ and becomes ‘The thing’; lifting it’s being from ‘house’ to ‘home.’ This ‘thingness’ distinguishes ‘things’ from the enumerated meaningless objects those are found in the life-world and gain the immortality in its locale.



BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Chhaya, Neelkanth, et al. Harnessing the Intangible. National Instititure of Advanced Studies in Architecture, 2014. Curtis, William J. R. Balkrishna Doshi: an Architecture for India. Mapin Publishing, 2015. Dimick, Krysta Mae, and Heather Dawn Wright, editors. Contemporary Responses of Indian Architecture vol. 1. 2012. Gast, Klaus-Peter. Modern Traditions: Contemporary Architecture in India. Birkhäuser, 2007. Harman, Graham. Heidegger Explained: from Phenomenon to Thing. Open Court, 2007. Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought. Translated by Albert Hofstadter, Perennial, 2001. Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Harper and Row/Modern Thought, 2008. Holl, Steven, et al. Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture. A+U Publilshing Co. Ltd., 2006. Norberg-Schulz, Christian. Architecture: Meaning and Place: Selected Essays. Rizzoli, 1988. Norberg-Schulz, Christian. Genius Loci : towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. Rizzoli International Publication, 1980. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Wiley-Academy, 2005. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Pandya, Yatin. Concept of Space: in Traditional Indian Architecture. Mapin Publishing Pvt Ltd, 2005. Ronner, Heinz, et al. Louis I. Kahn: Complete Work 1935-1974. BirkhaÌ User, 1990. Rykwert, Joseph. Louis Kahn. Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2001. Scully, Vincent J. Louis-I-Kahn. Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd, 1962. Sharr, Adam. Heidegger for Architects. Routledge, 2010. Shirazi, Muhammad Riza. Towards an Articulated Phenomenological Interpretation of Architecture: Phenomenal Phenomenology. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Thiis-Evensen, Thomas. Archetypes in Architecture. Norwegian Uni. Press, 1987. Zumthor, Peter. Atmospheres: Architectural Environments, Surrounding Objects. BirkhaÌ User, 2015.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Published Thesis Desai, Miki (Guide), S. J. (2006). Exposed brick masonry : influence of a material on architecture. Ahmedabad: CEPT Uni., School of Architecture. Kadam, Rajeev (Guide), N. M. (2008). Study of architecture of learning and living on campus from past to present (gurukul to present) in India. Ahmedabad: CEPT Uni., School of Architecture. Shah, R. J.(Guide), K. V. (1998). Investigation for restoration of Indian Institute of Management (Main Building), Ahmedabad: CEPT Uni., School of Architecture. Vasavada, Ravindra. J. (Guide), J. G. (1992). Explorations in to an approach to architecture : studies of the buildings of the IndianInstitute of Management, Ahmedabad and the architect Louis-I-Kahn. Ahmedabad: CEPT Uni., School of Architecture.

Websites 223365397749948. “Banni, Kutch.” Aζ South Asia, 21 Mar. 2017, architexturez.net/doc/az-cf-123665. Cil. Sun-Temple at Modhera (Gujarat), ignca.nic.in/nl002206.htm. Accessed 10 Dec 2016. Engjumaiah. “Modern Traditions Contemporary Architecture in India 3764377542.” Issuu, issuu.com/engjumaiah/ docs/modern_traditions_contemporary_arch. Accessed 8 Oct 2017. “Join Mahashivratri 2017.” Dhyanalinga, www.dhyanalinga.org/. Accessed 4 Nov 2016. “Pastoralist Communities.” Banni Breeders Association, banni.in/people-of-banni/pastoralist-communities/. “Sangath - A Day in the Life of B.V. Doshi’s Studio and Garden.” More Margie, moremargie.com/article/sagath-a-day-inthe-life-of-doshis-garden-studio. Accessed 23 Aug 2016. vitruvius10. “Contemporary Responses of Indian Architecture Vol. 1.” Issuu, issuu.com/vitruvius10/docs/india_book. Accessed 22 Sept 2017.



ILLUSTRATION CREDITS Chapter 2 fig. 2.1.2

The Evolution Of The House. Part 2, chestofbooks.com/architecture/House-Construction-2/ The-Evolution-Of-The-House-Part2.html. Accessed 10 Feb 2016. fig. 2.1.3 “African Canvas.” Margaret Courtney-Clarke: African Canvas, www.argaret-courtney-clarke. com/african-canvas.html. Accessed 12 April 2016. fig. 2.1.4, 2.1.5 “Home.” Pinterest, 10 Jan. 2016, in.pinterest.com/pin/436286282631767278/. Accessed 24 march 2016. fig. 2.1.6 “INdiaaa Everything i Love Here..” Pinterest, 19 June 2014, in.pinterest.com/ pin/397653842071593970/. Accessed 4 July 2016. fig. 2.1.17, 2.1.19 – 21 Chhaya, Neelkanth. Harnessing the Intangible: Collected Essays on the Work of Balkrishna Doshi. National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture, 2014. fig. 2.2.1 Ferrari, Livio, and Gull G. “Shiv Abhishek Canvas Print / Canvas Art by Kamal Rao.” Fin Art America, fineartamerica.com/products/shiv-abhishek-kamal-rao-canvas-print.html. Accessed 25 April 2017. fig. 2.2.2 Editors, Sikh24. “Ten Protocols To Follow When Bringing Guru Granth Sahib Ji Home.” Sikh24com, 9 Oct. 2014, www.sikh24.com/2014/10/09/ten-protocols-to-follow-whenbringing-guru-granth-sahib-ji-home/. Accessed 20 Dec 2016. fig. 2.2.3 CommonFloor.com. “Axis Venetian Villas in Thaltej, Ahmedabad | Buy, Sale Villa, Apartment Online.” Https://Www.commonfloor.com, www.commonfloor.com/venetian-villasahmedabad/povp-aif2jn. Accessed 20 Dec 2017. fig. 2.2.4 CommonFloor.com. “Axis Venetian Villas in Thaltej, Ahmedabad | Buy, Sale Villa, Apartment Online.” Https://Www.commonfloor.com, www.commonfloor.com/venetian-villasahmedabad/povp-aif2jn. “Udaipur Paintings of the Raslila.” National Gallery of Victoria, www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/udaipur-paintings-of-the-raslila/. Accessed 20 Dec 2017. fig. 2.2.5 CommonFloor.com. “Axis Venetian Villas in Thaltej, Ahmedabad | Buy, Sale Villa, Apartment Online.” Https://Www.commonfloor.com, www.commonfloor.com/venetian-villas-ahmedabad/ povp-aif2jn.Pratibha. “D’source Design Gallery on Habitats of Kutch - Bhunga.” D’Source, 29 Feb. 2016, www.dsource.in/gallery/habitats-kutch-bhunga. Accessed 30 April 2017. fig. 2.2.6 Water Treated Royally in Mandu’s Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace), www.indiawaterportal.org/ articles/water-treated-royally-mandus-jahaz-mahal-ship-palace. Accessed 30 April 2017. fig. 2.2.7, 2.2.9 reDiscoveryProject, Posted by. “Magical Mandu: Central India’s Afghan Heritage & a Love Story for the Ages.” The ReDiscovery Project, 3 July 2017, rediscoveryproject.com/2017/06/29/mandu-history/. Accessed 30 April 2017. fig. 2.2.8 “University Of Mumbai - National Accreditation and Assessment Council Have Ranked The Mumbai University 5 Stars.” Information of Top Indian Universities, 17 Aug. 2017, www.universityinfo.co.in/university-of-mumbai/.reDiscoveryProject, Posted by. “Magical Mandu: Central India’s Afghan Heritage & a Love Story for the Ages.” The ReDiscovery Project, 3 July 2017, rediscoveryproject.com/2017/06/29/mandu-history/. Accessed 30 Aug 2017. fig. 2.2.10 “Sarkhej Roza: Ahmedabad’s Acropolis.” Outlooktraveller, beta.outlooktraveller.com/trips/ sarkhej-roza-ahmedabads-acropolis-1007045#16651. Accessed 30 Aug 2017. fig. 2.2.23 Google Maps, www.google.co.in/maps?source=tldsi&hl=en. Accessed 27 March 2017. (Drawing based on Google Image) fig. 2.3.2 “India Environment Portal Knowledge for Change.” Order of the Supreme Court of India Regarding Wetland Conservation in India, 08/02/2017 - India Environment Portal | News, Reports, Documents, Blogs, Data, Analysis on Environment & Development | India, South Asia, www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/439733/order-of-the-supreme-court-ofindia-regarding-wetland-conservation-in-india-08022017/. Accessed 17 March 2017.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

fig. 2.3.3

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Thar Desert.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Dec. 2015, www.britannica.com/place/Thar-Desert. Accessed 11 Feb 2017. fig. 2.3.4 Thepostread. The Post Read, 20 July 2017, www.thepostread.com. Accessed 15 Jan 2017. fig. 2.3.5 “a Way of Seeing.” Bamboo Building, awayofseeingarchitecture.blogspot.in/2009/01/bambooconstruction.html. Accessed 12 Jan 2017. fig. 2.3.6 “Material Library.” Pinterest, 15 Mar. 2017, www.pinterest.dk/pin/839569555504094819/. Accessed 19 Jan 2017. fig. 2.3.7 “Vernacular Architecture copy1 copy1.” Emaze Presentations, www.emaze.com/@AFOFCCTR. Accessed 26 July 2017. fig. 2.3.8 2015, Mubina Akhta December 3. “Constant Floods Leave Assamese Children Easy Prey for Human Traffickers.” A More Vulnerable World, 3 Dec. 2015, climate.earthjournalism.net/2015/12/03/constantfloods-leave-assamese-children-easy-prey-for-human-traffickers/. Accessed 28 April2017. fig. 2.3.9 “House in the Thar Desert.” Swiss Nomads, www.swissnomads.com/desert-house/. Accessed 4 Jan 2017. fig. 2.3.10 “INDIA-Himanchal Pradesh.” Pinterest, 28 Nov. 2015, in.pinterest.com/pin/487233253416296824/?lp=t rue. Accessed 3 Aug 2017. fig. 2.3.14, 2.3.15, 2.3.16, 2.3.17 Webmaster, Auroville Earth Institute. Auroville Earth Institute, www.earth-auroville. com/dhyanalinga_dome_en.php. Accessed 23 Sept 2017. fig. 2.4.1 “Sacromonte Stock Photos. Royalty Free Sacromonte Images And Pictures.” 123RF Stock Photos, www.123rf.com/stock-photo/sacromonte.html?sti=o467pv7qayh35eaqgg|. Accessed 7 May 2017. fig. 2.4.2 Karsten, Matthew. “Granada: 2 Days On A Budget.” Expert Vagabond, 23 Jan. 2017, expertvagabond.com /granada-itinerary/. Accessed 19 Feb 2017. fig. 2.4.3 “Hoteles En Cuevas.” Pinterest, 10 June 2015, za.pinterest.com/pin/274367802275826167/. Accessed 12 Dec 2016. fig. 2.4.4 TÜRK, CNN. “Sacromonte’de Çingeneler Zamanı.” CNN Türk, 25 Aug. 2017, www.cnnturk.com/seyahat/ dunya/avrupa/sacromontede-cingeneler-zamani?page=1. Accessed 13 Aug 2017. fig. 2.4.15 “Banjara Beauties.” Pinterest, 8 Mar. 2015, in.pinterest.com/pin/433612270348988189/?lp=true. Accessed 9 Dec 2016. fig. 2.4.16 “Hodka Pictures and Images.” Hodka Stock Photos and Pictures | Getty Images, www.gettyimages.in/ photos/hodka?excludenudity=true&sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=hodka. Accessed 22 Aug 2016. fig. 2.4.17 “Interior Of Kutch House At Gujarat Stock Photos and Images.” Alamy Stock Photos, www.alamy.com/ stock-photo/interior-of-kutch-house-at-gujarat.html. Accessed 28 June 2016. Chapter 3 fig. 3.1.11, 3.1.14 vitruvius10. “Contemporary Responses of Indian Architecture Vol. 1.” Issuu, issuu.com/vitruvius10/ docs/india_book. Accessed 30 Aug 2017. fig. 3.1.12 “Fatehpur Sikri - The City of Victory by Ashish Nangia.” Boloji, www.boloji.com/articles/984/fatehpursikri-the-city-of-victory. Accessed 28 Nov 2017. fig.3.1.13 “Giovanni Batista Piranesi - Plan Elevation and Details of Construction of the Bridge of Four Heads.” Photorator, photorator.com/photo/57311/giovanni-batista-piranesi-plan-elevation-and-details-ofconstruction-of-the-bridge-of-four-heads. Accessed 17 Oct 2017. fig. 3.1.24 www.facebook.com/architecturelive. “New Campus Indian Institute of Ahmedabad by Architect Bimal Patel.” ArchitectureLive!, 8 Aug. 2017, www.posts.architecturelive.in/indian-institute-of-managementahemdabad-new-campus-ahmedabad-hcp-design-planning-management-pvt/. Accessed 10 Jan 2017. fig. 3.1.25, 3.1.26, 3.1.28 “HCP Design, Planning And Management Pvt. Ltd. | HCP.” HCP Design, Planning And Management Pvt. Ltd. | HCP, www.hcp.co.in/. Accessed 29 Jan 2017. fig. 3.1.27 “New Campus for IIMA HCPDPM.” Indian-Architects, www.indian-architects.com/en/hcpdpm-ahmedabad/ project/new-campus-for-iima. Accessed 3 March 2017. fig. 3.3.1 “Indian Institute of Management / Louis Kahn ArchEyes.” ArchEyes, 15 Sept. 2016, archeyes.com/indianinstitute-of-management-louis-kahn/. Accessed 12 March 2017.

Illustration Credits


fig. 3.3.2, 3.3.4 Vasavada, R. J. (Guide), Jayakrishnan, G. (1992). Explorations in to an approach to architecture : studies of the buildings of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the architect Louis-I-Kahn. Ahmedabad: CEPT Uni., School of Architecture. fig. 3.3.5 “Archello - How It’s Made. Discover the Products, Stories and Building Teams behind the Project.” Archello.com, www.archello.com/en/project/indian-institute-management-iima-ahmedabad. Accessed 19 July 2017. fig. 3.3.6 HCP Design, Planning and Manangement Pvt. Ltd fig. 3.3.7, 3.3.8, 3.3.9 “HCP Design, Planning And Management Pvt. Ltd. | HCP.” HCP Design, Planning And Management Pvt. Ltd. | HCP, www.hcp.co.in/. Accessed 27 Feb 2017.


Experiencing ‘The Thingness’ in Architecture

Profile for Swati Khambhayata

Architectural thesis: Experiencing 'the thingness' in Architecture  

Guided by Roma Tayyibji

Architectural thesis: Experiencing 'the thingness' in Architecture  

Guided by Roma Tayyibji