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varoon KELEKAR design portfolio

The portfolio seeks to introduce the authors approach towards envisaging a city. Through his undergraduate thesis on studying an analogous street, the design attempted to stitch a narrative between the scattered scenarios contained by architecture. This investigation between man and his environment was further broken into 3 afterthoughts. 1. Decoding (re)coding as a process of deconstructing the syntactic and the semantics to assert a continuity of the collective memory of the

place within which architecture situates itself. 2. Systems: materials and tectonics which establishes technique of crafting the tactile qualities of architecture to arouse emotions and values that fosters a sense of individuality. 3.Between Humanity and Nature as a negotiation in finding the moment between being inside a man made environment and outside appeased by nature.

contents 1.0 an analogous street


2.0 decoding (re)coding


2.1 the syntactic: mill land rejuvenation 2.2 the semantic: museum extension

3.0 systems: materials and tectonics


3.1 a zoologists retreat 3.2 vocational training center

4.0 between humanity and nature


4.1 kasauli housing scheme* 4.2 kuan-pu elementary school* 4.3 k-west ward manifesto: for open spaces*


chronological list*

*only the images, maps and models that have been worked upon by the author have been displayed in the portfolio.


Part Models

Existing Corridor


Undergraduate Thesis 2014-15 | KRVIA Location : Mumbai, India Guide : Kalpit Ashar, Kaiwan Mheta

Location Plan

an analogous street The project questions the increasingly utilitarian [vehicular centric] nature of modern streetscape in Mumbai. It envisions to plant a new genre of connections that disseminate through the city, providing for a place to be, interact and learn. A 15km [9.3miles] defunct water pipeline corridor is identified for the pilot. Through its adaptive reuse, it is developed as a multi-functional connector. By nurturing new environmental, economic and social programs, it fosters the existing ecologies of the city it traverses.


western expressway

western railway

tulsi pipeline corridor

powai lake

jogeshwari vikhroli link road

andheri kurla metro road

santacruz chembur link road

mithi river

Site Analysis

urban natural geography management center

demonstration park for urban agricultural sciences

vertical greenhouses/ pre-schools

metro station/ farmers market

sewage treatment plant/ flood buffers

wetland trails/ film media park

a) Master Plan - Ecological Spine A self-sustaining, green artery for the city is proposed through a series of separate interventions. Each of these interventions is a unique programmatic mix relating precisely to its context, connected by a pedestrian corridor. Institutions for innovation in urban agriculture and growth of the corridor are located at major transport hubs. Social welfare programs and community farms are planted amidst dense residential neighborhoods before dissolving into the peripheral natural geographies.

Proposed Corridor 2

Top View - Part Model

Process Sketch - Demonstration Park for Advances in Urban Agricultural Sciences

Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go. - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


View - final stage

Step I

Step II

Conceptual Evolution

b) Demonstration Park - Advances in Urban Agricultural Sciences The corridor locates its agricultural research institute within the rapidly commercializing precinct of Marol. Doubling up as educational park, it connects the metro with two opposing urban typologies - one vertical and consolidated (commercial) and the other horizontal and dispersed (residential). Over time, a set of separate buildings are introduced on site, having a distinct design and identity consistent with its function. The overall scheme reflects the diversity and

Step III

idiosyncrasies of the city. Step I - Identical blocks of vertical greenhouses are introduced as markers. Each of these house a separate public program derived from its immediate context Step II - Part of the corridor is lifted onto a green roof, which shelters the research institute underneath. Step III - Deconstructed sections of the pipeline are reintroduced, as canopies and walkways cutting across and displaying the institute. Also connecting with the surrounding open areas to provide new gateways into the site


main road/ metro corridor

entrance plaza

Entrance Plaza

auditorium / exhibition gallery

organic cafe

Entry from neighboring open spaces

temporary market

green roof corridor

Corridor rising over the institute

Ground Floor Plan creche / aqua botanical culture library pond

administrative wing

research labs processing and packing units aqua culture labs plant growth rooms

plant nursery

hovering walkway

plantation fields

Transverse Section

The corridor relies on ambiguity, at the same time an institute, event space, thoroughfare and a recreational center. It provides a platform that can accommodate all the events of the larger city. The form recedes away from the main road, to contain an urban plaza under a dense cover of trees. Floating sections of the pipeline, pull the corridor in through public programs of waiting areas, library, auditorium, cafe and gallery spaces. It opens up into the second void, which is designed to hold temporary markets.

The corridor splits and rises up onto the green roof of the institute, revealing glimpses of its program. A concrete tower rises up to anchor the project with its urban high rise context. The existing water channel is sculpted to navigate people along its flow at the same time forming ponds required for aqua culture. It acts as a soft boundary between the public and the private ensuring security. The section finally terminates as a walkway hovering over plantation fields, connected to a plant nursery.


pedestrian corridor

outdoor amphitheater/ indoor lecture room

green roof

creche / botanical library

pedestrian corridor

existing school

Cross section - vertical green house

pedestrian corridor

aqua culture ponds

research and development labs/ processing units

Cross section - research lab.






decoding (re)coding Dismantled, fragmented to every nut and every bone. Each in isolation, each on its own. Its indivuduality expressed. Hammering, bolting & welding, a new order is arrived upon. A machine is created, a transporter recreated.

Spring 2014 | KRVIA Self Initiated Experiment

A transporter of thought.


Exploded axonometric

Site Plan


Spring 2014 | KRVIA Location : Kozhikode, India Team : Vinit Nanivadekar, Varoon Kelekar Guide : Aneerudha Paul, Jerry George

Existing Mills

the syntactic: mill land rejuvenation The Kallai river edge, once harbouring a thriving wood industry, has been derelict for more than two decades. It [edge] acts as a barrier between the growing town of Kozhikode and the river. The project maintains a contemporary relevance of the abandoned structures by bolstering the collective memory of the riverscape. The pure functional structural order of the mill land is ruptured by a series of formal insurgencies to re-establish an interface between the city and the river.


Master plan

Existing riverscape




Master Plan - Kallai River, Mill land rejuvenation The project lies between negotiating the commercial interests of the [private] mill owners and the aspirations of the [public] city dwellers. Through a series of architectural interventions the mill land opens up to the city, accommodating spaces of commerce, sports, healthcare and recreation.

The project isolates existing elements of architecture and landscape, and juxtaposes them with new ones that reinforce, distort and negate the pre-established order of the mill lands. Surfaces - Flat horizontal grounds, that conceive a moment of release, opening up to vistas of the river. These groundsgenerate opportunities for social interaction and shared

activities. Containers - Simple geometric volumes, that are inserted within the existing grid, to provide for intimate spaces of privacy and quietness. Connectors - Catalysts of circulation and activity on the site. They allow for the continuation of the urban fabric, linking it to the waterfront.


Visitors Center

Rental Offices I


Rental Offices II

Health Care Center

Sports Center


Front Elevation

Cross Section

Transverse Section

Sectional Perspective - container | connector

Rental Offices II Exposed brick containers are introduced within the industrial framework of the saw mills with a monotonous rhythm. Their varied sizes creates a play and accommodate a variety of spaces - rental offices, conference rooms, AV. rooms and other support spaces. Conical concrete volumes pierce this monotony to create intimate

spaces for pause. Rising above the roof to establish a connection with the sky, they assert a new identity to the mills. Corridors and bridges cut across making the overall organization permeable and porous to promote accessibility between its parts. They play with the ambiguities between indoor and outdoor, architecture and landscape.


View - Exploded Axonometric

Concept photomontage auditorium

plam leaf manuscript library

existing library

outdoor court

thanka paintings gallery

Cross Section - Auditorium | Thanka Gallery


Spring 2013 | KRVIA Location : Thimpu, Bhutan Guide : Nemish Shah

Palm leaf manuscript archive & Thanka Painting Gallery The museum extension is planned on a seemingly intimidating site, surrounded by strong historical precedents of vernacular Bhutanese Architecture. The project assembles traditional elements of bhutanese craft, culture and architecture within a modern framework. The design of the extension pays loyalties to the existing library by defining a strong axis connecting it to the street. This creates a central street which will be used for

the semantic: museum extension ceremonial processions and performances. A skewed grid of parallel stone walls, direct people into the Thanka painting galleries. Workshop spaces are encased in glass bricks, in order to exhibit the making of art itself. An auditorium is placed at the opposite end, allowing it to function separately if required. The palm leaf manuscript archive establishes a connection with the existing building of the library.



systems: materials & tectonics “If I was to realise new buildings I should have to have new techniques. I should have to design buildings that they would not only be appropriate to materials but design them so the machine that would have to make them could make them surpassingly well.� - Frank Lloyd Wright

Rasmanch, Brick Temples. West Bengal, India.


Sectional Axonometric

Skylight Detail

Window and Floor Detail

Sectional Model


Spring 2012 | KRVIA Location : Bishnupur, India Guide : Rohan Shivkumar

a zoologist’s retreat Criss crossed within vectors of use / abuse memory and desire the home is the portal for transportation of the self. The Zoologists house, becomes one such portal allowing him to transport between the realities of childhood memories. As one moves through the structure he is appeased with the earths envelope as if the house was sculpted from the ground. Skylights, and windows are located to make connections with the nature and create moments of pause in the introvert form.


Design Model

Concept Sketch


vocational training center Cyclical motion of hands, legs and shoulders, The brain continuously adapts and evolves with the rhythm of the machine, Unconscious information and signals emitted, The body now transforms into a living machine.

Spring 2012 | KRVIA Location : Bishnupur, India Guide : Apurva Parikh, Mayuri Sisodia


Transverse Section

Cross Section

Interior Views - Detached Roof | Floating Decks

The roof of the building is detached, in order to display the inner workings of the institute on an ensemble of floating decks, corridors and staircases. This structural isolation of the roof allows for a greater visual and physical integration between the individual crafts. The portals of the roof are further detailed for structural and economic efficiency. A system of alternating steel portals is developed, where each transfers its load on the opposite two. The I-sections are molded along the direction of the load transfer also achieving aesthetic beauty.

Transverse Section of the Roof | Portals - Design Development


Ground Floor Plan - Working Drawing

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

In contrast to the lightness of the roof, the base of the building is heavy and grounded. The load bearing system of ground floor, accommodates all the admin and support functions. As one progresses on to the higher floors, the structural walls being to disappear making the boundaries between various spaces more ambiguous. The circulation culminates into the lecture room suspended from the roof. This becomes a vantage point overlooking various parts of the institute.


Site Plan

View - shared courtyard


between humanity and nature Man dwells when he can orientate himself within and identify himself with an environment, or, in short, when he experiences the environment as meaning. - Chrishtian Norberg-Schulz

“Panchmura - A Potters Village“ doccumentation and exhibition | Group Work Spring 2012 | KRVIA Location : Bishnupur, India


Plan @ 144.0m

Plan @ 146.0m

Plan @ 148.0

Site Plan


Academic Internship | Studio Mumbai Location : Kasauli, India Team : Vrinda Seksaria, Varoon Kelekar

kasauli housing scheme Learning from vernacular Indian architecture, the project involves itself in negotiating the moment between being inside a man made space and outside, appeased by nature. Set in the foothills of the Himalayan range, the project is an ensemble of cascading roofs embedded within the mountainous terrain. The scattered roofs generate an intricate network of living and social spaces integrated with the natural environment.

0m 19

Sectional Perspective

Detailed plan - Master Bedroom Unit

Detailed Section - Living Room

View of the valley from the front opening

The cascading roofs shelter a dual connection with nature, one is intimate and enveloped - calling for a pause, while the other distant and open - projecting panoramic views of the surroundings.


Exploded - Masonry, Carpentry and Roofing

View - Under Construction

Animals used for transport

Lime Plaster - Solan sand : Washed Sand : Lime = 3:3:1

Lime Flooring Samples Developed


Roof Plan

Model @1:200

View of the intermediate courtyards

4.2 Concept Sketch

Junior Architect | Fieldoffice Architects Location : Hsinchu, Taiwan Team : Ja-Scheng Chen, Varoon Kelekar, Su-Su

kuan pu, ele. school The rapid transformation of Hsinchu, Taiwan, as a IT hub of the country called for an oasis acting as a deliberate relief from its rapidly urbanizing periphery. The site, located at the intersection of two major urban corridors embraces the cities delima, and envisions a larger green thoroughfare. While itself acting as a respite, where the education extends seamlessly from the formal classrooms to informal dialogue under the shaded trees.

Circulation 22

Cluster Plan

Lower Grade

Middle Grade

Higher Grade

Detailed Model @1:50

Cross section

Classrooms are scattered like the fallen leaves of a tree, setting a ground to learn, play and meander amidst a dense tree cover. Each class is a free standing unit extending into the nature. And is repeated in groups to form clusters encompass variety of shared spaces. The repetition becomes a tool to break the monumentality. While the overall organization - open and porous provides for a humble escape into the nature.


Detailed Section


GIS Map - Development Plan Allocation

GIS Map - Existing Land use Allocation

No Development Zones

Open Scapes

Mangrove Forest

Natural Vegetation

Parks And Gardens

Vacant Land

Recreational Parks

Primary Livelihood



Pvt. Parks And Gardens

Water Body


H west Ward - 313

Land Use - Proposed

Land Use - Existing

H east ward - 292 Open Spaces - 66 Lakh Sq.Km.

Open Spaces - 14 Lakh Sq.Km.

Built Areas - 150 Lakh Sq.Km.

Built Areas - 202 Lakh Sq.Km.

Preserved Forests - 37 Lakh Sq. Km.

Preserved Forests - 44 Lakh Sq. Km.

K east ward - 289

K west ward - 301

P south ward - 148

Comparative Ward Population Density per Hector


Mumbai : Population: 11978450 (2001 Census) Area : 49704 hectares Density : 241(Persons per hectare)

K- w ward : Population: 700680 Area : 2328 hectors Density : 301 (Persons per hectare) Fall 2014 | KRVIA Urban Design Studio | Group Work Location : Mumbai, India Guide : Rupali Gupte, Shrish Joshi

k-west ward manifesto: for opens spaces Mumbai today experiences a dearth of open spaces, that are essential for meeting the requirements of its growing population. The project, uses GIS software analysis to map all the proposed Open Spaces. Further in put values of their existing usage to plot the difference between proposed and implemented. The study further maps the detailed usage of the site, and suggests specific strategies of its development.


Natural Areas

Parks and Playgrounds

Under Developed

Built - Upon




Existing Condition

Observations decks cantilevering above the wet lands. Existing side walk completely opened up to give panoramic views of the wetlands.

Bays created harbouring the existing the vegetation on site.

Secondary walkway raised on stilts, allowing for pause points at regular intervals.

Artificial ponds created for fish irrigation, generating revenue for the wetlands.

Section Across The Main Road

Proposed Site

Flood Prone Areas

Location Plan

Proposed Condition

Existing informal settelments along the edge.

Shaded spillout spaces along the edge, acting as gathering spaces in the evening time. Raised bunds and bridges across the site provide for pedestrian movent throIugh the wetlands.

Section Across The Pisciculture Farms

Design Strategy for Under Developed Sites. According to the 1991 D.P. the existing site has an unclassified usage. In the current under developed condition the site harbors dense natural vegetation throughout the entire area. It also acts as a wetland allowing for excess water to percolate during rains from the surround 3 flood prone zones. Looking at the current characteristics, the site exhibits potential to be developed as a city level open space. Retaining the wetlands,

Recreational spaces along the water front

Section Across The Edge Along The Informal Settelments

programs such as fish irrigation, rain water percolation, promenade, open spaces and recreational areas for the informal settlements are proposed.

bio diversity preservation will be opened up as a tourist attraction, and for recreational purposes.

The site also shows potential for carrying out fish irrigation, in pockets of water formed by creating bunds. This will help to generate a revenue for the maintenance of the entire park, and also creates job opportunities in the surrounding settlements. Further on the entire program of





[AD] - moragaon, an urban village A proposal for innovative housing was developed for the fishing community, working in a group. Later a single house was detailed individually.

[AD] - a zoologists retreat Brick house designed for a zoologist. Later detailed in construction.

[AD] - community center A community center designed as an extension to the neighborhood.

Cross Section - Lake

Cross Section - from the neighborhood

Urban Village view

202 [AD] - vocational training center Designed and detailed the construction drawings of the institute.

Cross Section - from the sea

Individual House Axonometric

102 [BD] - design esquissee Awarded the first price, for a toy design competition.

View of the toy

View of the Model

View of the Community Center



[EX] - shrikuman housing, shanghai The exchange looked at mapping the condition of the shrikuman housing and proposing interventions.

[AD] - museum extension Thangka painting galleries and plamleaf manuscript archives designed as an extension to the existing library.

View of the proposed intervention

Concept Collage

304 [CP] - School in Amalsad

The design deals closely deals with the student space and time relationship, keeping the individuality of the student in mind.

Competition 2nd Prize

5.0 Exploded Axonometric

chronological list Academic Projects [AD] - Architectural Design [BD] - Basic Design [UD] - Urban Design [EX] - Exchange Programs Professional Projects [SMA] - Studio Mumbai Architects [FOA] - Field Office Architects Group Projects [CP] - Competitions

Front View





[AD] - mill land rejuvenation Interventions developed to accommodates functions of commerce, sports, healthcare and recreation.

[AD] - railway staff housing A residential tower with units spiraling upwards with a extrovert connecting staircase, the staircase acts as a public tribune.

[UD] - k-west ward manifesto Mapping the condition of existing open spaces in the city and developing proposals for improvement.

Containers, connectors and surfaces

Wetland Development



[EX] - jiao xi transportation hub Using Axial line and VGA analysis to solve the issues regarding vehicular traffic and over crowding.

[CP] - CTBHU: skyscraper A structural grid and a system of partitions developed to accommodate the changing family structure in residential buildings. Part Section

Stage I Axial line analysis - Existing Networks

Stage II Axial line analysis - proposed connectors

Lower Floor Plan | Upper Floor Plan

Stage III

Model of a single unit

View of Central Communal Space

VGA - Existing

VGA - Proposed Connector



[SMA] - victoria house museum Existing warehouse, redeveloped to house a museum. The building allows for open flexible plans, and a translucent roofing system to capture a diffused sunlight.

[SMA] - kasauli housing scheme A series of houses designed, as a system of elements from vernacular architecture.

Competition 1st prize.

Transverse Section

Cross Section

Exploded Axonometric

503 [TH] - an analogous street Adaptive reuse of the pipeline corridor of Mumbai. Gold Medal Citation

Flexibility Diagrams

Part models of the corridor




[FOA] - dongshan river Landscape design, recording the seasonal changes of nature.

[FOA] - long en zun - recreational park An urban park along the Long En Zun river, the design features 7 urban couryards at the intersection of the streets. Each with a specific function related to its context. The park also acts as a green connector between the surrounding open spaces. Competition 1st prize.



Section - Entrance Court


Section - Picnic Decks

602 [FOA] - future housing vision

Section of overlapping narratives

Exploded - 7 urban courtyards

604 [FOA] - kuan pu elementary school A green respite in the rapidly urbanizing city of Hsinchu.

First Floor Plan

Birds eye view


Varoon Kelekar - Design Portfolio  

A collection of built, speculative and research projects in the field of architecture and allied design. The selected projects are a combina...

Varoon Kelekar - Design Portfolio  

A collection of built, speculative and research projects in the field of architecture and allied design. The selected projects are a combina...