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Nudes, an architecture firm founded by Nuru Karim introduces The Forest as a place that encourages hands-on learning, green learning possibilities, networked communities, and experiential learning while improving air quality and student health.

Pune, a city in Maharashtra, has seen some substantial urban growth in recent years. This increase in urban density has led to very scarce recreational spaces around the city. These spaces, also known as green pockets, are what act as the lungs for the city. Mumbai based architectural firm, NUDES have taken this case up to design an urban forest like school in the city. The design is a part of the winning entry of an invited competition for design on ecological change.

Architecture by NUDES

Concept of the School

Titled “The Forest”, the school is built on five major concepts of ‘grow,’ ‘learn,’ ‘reuse,’ ‘plant,’ and ‘play,’ and investigates the link between nature and education. The proposal includes two cylindrical “green towers” and attempts to bring some landscape amidst a crowded area. Located at a distance of 3 hours from the city of Mumbai, the design for the school has a rooftop “infinity” loop track connecting the two “green” cylindrical volumes.

Design in Detail

The ‘loop’ on the top has been created as a cycling track that will host a variety of activities, including workshops, student exhibitions, student-led marketplaces, and other events, in addition to its primary role. With the increase in pollution, the school’s architecture acts as a beacon of hope to meet the community’s wider requirements. “The track was a consequence of our consultation with stakeholders who expressed concerns about gaps in the city’s infrastructure, such as secure pedestrian walkways, universal accessibility, and cycle tracks, among other things, the architect Nuru Karim chips in about the project.

Architecture by NUDES

The school will also include a double-height theatre on the bottom floor and five stories of classrooms above it, reaching a height of 32 metres at its tallest point. The exteriors of both buildings will be surrounded by stepped balconies with plants, creating a vertical forest. Phytoremediation is a technique in which certain plants absorb harmful substances through their leaves or roots, allowing them to remove contaminants from the air. Photosynthesis is another way they convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.

A Futuristic Proposal

Nudes’ Forest School intends to tackle Pune’s urban challenges by planting trees at every level and building a “bicycle track for a city in desperate need of pedestrian walkways and cycling tracks.” At the basement level are a tennis court and a pool. There are also service pathways for access to the landscape at the facade, which has restricted access for safety purposes.

Architecture by NUDES

This kind of architecture that imbibes the values of climate change and environmental protection at the structural level will be an efficient stage for the students to learn these values from. The programmatic functions and the interiors are also tastefully placed to ensure an open learning environment. Hands-on learning, green learning possibilities, networked communities, experiential learning, improved air quality and student health, passive cooling, sensitivity to climate change and global warming, and social responsibility are all some features included in the ideation of the project.

Architecture by NUDES
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Sunoo Temple House is a private worship space that is designed to feel like a galaxy. Saket Sethi, the architect has explored forms, textures, and emotions in a very creative way for his client, who wanted to surprise her husband with a home and a place of worship surrounded by greenery.

The Sunoo Temple house lies on the outskirts of Mumbai, giving a magnificent look and feel for a private worship space. Saket Sethi, the architect designed the house to have an angled rooftop garden, amidst all the paddy fields in the surroundings. A view from here leaves us flabbergasted with an egg-shaped, galaxy-like, garden temple, coated with glittering mosaic.

This building was sculpted according to the likes of the very creative client, who arrived from Holland wanting to gift her husband a house surrounded by a thriving landscape and gardens, says the architect. This was designed in sync with her spiritual requirements and acted as a calm space to be able to meditate and feel the power within us.

The egg shape of the temple is surrounded by a circular pathway around it, indicating the circumambulation of the moons around the planet. The shape was also made to resemble the Shivling, a sacred form of Lord Shiva in the Hindu tradition. The architect remembers a conversation with the client describing her requirement of the space being in gratitude to the Universe. He then decided to make the facade complete with sparkling tiles, as a way of reflecting that idea. The inside gives the feeling of being inside a conch, which is heavily tiled and has spiraling interiors.

The context of the building has been cleverly matched with the lush greenery with the overflowing, yet serene rooftop garden. This attracts numerous birds, bees, and other pollinating insects helping the environment thrive. This rooftop garden also helps the house remain cooler during the summers and acts as a private garden to relax and unwind.

The house has a very open plan, with spacious living and dining, a kitchen, and four well-furnished bedrooms. There are large windows opening up from each space, giving a visual connection to the outside. The interiors have a subtle vintage decor, with collectibles from all around the world adorning the walls. This house is a very creative take on spiritual and mindful living.

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A creation of Diana Kellogg Architects, Rajkumari Ratnavati School is a rural school for the girls of Jaisalmer built with the concept of sustainability and was designed keeping in mind the symbols of femininity.

Diana Kellogg Architects an Oval-shaped Institution

Rajkumari Ratnavati’s Girls School in the Thar Desert, India is an anomalous architecture designed, looking for ‘symbols of femininity’ by a New York-based studio Diana Kellogg Architects. The oval-shaped building was made with sandstone, easily accessible at the location, and built near the sand-dunes to reflect curvilinear shapes of the local forts and universal hieroglyphs of female strength.

Diana Kellogg Architects an Oval-shaped Institution

“I ultimately landed on this oval shape that is representative of femininity and resonated with me as the formulation of infinity.” Diana Kellogg said in an interview with Dezeen.

diana-kellogg-architects-rajkumari-ratnavati-girls-school-india

The project was commissioned by the New York-based non-profit organisation CITTA that aims to serve communities all over the world. This particular school was built to provide education to girls in a region where the female literacy rate is just 36 percent.

The school is built in an area of 9000 square feet and the structure consists of a paved courtyard which is surrounded by a large oval wall that encloses the classrooms. Sections of these stone walls are perforated, a recreation of the traditional jali screens, to prevent the sun and keep the space cool. “I wanted the design of the school to provide shading for the girls in the courtyard,” said Kellogg on this idea. “I lessened the width so we could have a canopy cover the open space in the hot months.”

The ten classrooms are also connected to these winding corridors and have clerestory windows for natural light and ventilation. The furniture is made of rosewood with the traditional charpai weaving, continuing the idea of being economically sustainable.

A ramp between the walls forms a shaded corridor that leads up to the terrace. The perforated balustrade surrounds the elevated walkway and tapers its height. A blue tiled-mosaic floor stretches across this walkway, adding a bright and cool contrast in composition to the Yellowstone.

Diana Kellogg Architects an Oval-shaped Institution
Diana Kellogg Architects an Oval-shaped Institution

The solar panels that supply energy for lights and fans in the building have been fitted to a steel structure, creating a canopy that gives shade to the children’s play area and also providing them with privacy. “I came up with the idea of a solar-paneled shading canopy on the roof of the building – to work as a kind of old fashion jungle gym with seesaws, swings, monkey bars – the works, and even put up a screen to shield them for modesty,” the architects added. They also incorporated rainwater harvesting in the design as another instrument of sustainability, recycling rainwater throughout the school.

In addition to Rajkumari Ratnavati School, the Diana Kellogg Architects team has added two buildings for performances, exhibitions, and women cooperative lessons for weaving and embroidery.

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In a sustainable initiative by Social Design Collaborative, ModSkool has been created as an anti-eviction module for farming communities in Delhi. These schools are made with the idea of easy dismantling if the settlement would be demolished.

Sustainable and anti-eviction school

ModSkool is a simple and adaptable low-cost school in Delhi. It was conceived as a reaction to the forced evictions of a farming community in India’s Khadar area. The ModSkool was created with the purpose of “Dismantle not Demolishing” against legal clearance. It was designed to provide the basic educational needs of children living in agricultural settlements known as “Squatter Settlements.”

This school was designed in response to the conditions by a community-driven architecture practice called the Social Design Collaborative, led by Swati Janu. This project was also the winner of the Berkeley Design of the Year 2020 for its features. The project was conceived after a school for 200 children in a hamlet along the Yamuna River was demolished due to clearance laws.

Sustainable and anti-eviction school

Since the colonial era, this farming population has lived in the region. It is controversial to comment on who the true squatters of the city are – the farmers or the metropolis. Swati Janu decided to walk the talk of helping the farmers and planned and executed the project to the last detail. A series of talks with school employees, an evaluation of community requirements, and consideration of available financial resources led to the final design. The school was erected on-site in three weeks. It was a collaborative achievement with a highly motivated design team, dedicated volunteers, students, and members of the community.

The basic construction of ModSkool is a bolted steel frame that surrounds a single classroom. This frame is made of bamboo, recycled wood, and dried grass, all of which are popular building materials in the region. The school’s façade consisting of rotating bamboo screens open the classroom entirely to allow for natural ventilation. A corrugated steel pitched roof is elevated above the school’s walls, creating ventilation spaces and sheltering it from severe rain. The school was built in less than three weeks with the aid of students, teachers, and the surrounding community. Within a year of operation, the school relocated further down south. This helped rebuild the surface suiting to the new location. The basic structure was maintained, yet the school got a new form.

Sustainable and anti-eviction school
Sustainable and anti-eviction school

This kind of construction provides a sense of strength to the community which can now move without losing out on their children’s education. Making the structure with their bare hands, and known materials give a sense of togetherness, even in such volatile situations. Such community designs work towards empowerment, safety, and a sense of place within their place of living.

Sustainable and anti-eviction school
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Sameep Padora & Associates creates an architecture (temple) that is part landscape and part building. This building absolutely marries the socio-cultural expectations with the ecological framework and dynamics of the site.

Balaji Temple in Nandyal
Balaji Temple in Nandyal

The Balaji Temple in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh designed by Sameep Padora & Associate. This piece of architecture takes a modern take to the traditional Hindu temples with its contemporary design, nevertheless maintaining the conventional decorum.

Balaji Temple in Nandyal

The design of the buildings and water pond was inspired by a 10th-century temple that is located in Tirupathi, Southern India. As Padora explained, “The planning of our temple carries forward the historic precedent of temple plans which addresses the two shrines and the bathing pond for the deity at the entry.”They also added how all of the planning was done in dialogue with temple priests who had input on what was placed where according to tradition.

The Temple for the residents of the adjacent Nandyal village comprises two tower-topped shrines, where the larger one contains the Balaji shrine, while the smaller temple contains the Varahaswamy shrine, along with an elongated building that contains a kitchen for preparing offerings, public toilets and the priest’s quarters and is build around a moat.

The assimilation of this pool was said to be the most complex phase of the construction as the region chosen was majorly an arid land. Overcoming this challenge, Padora diverted wastewater from a nearby quarry into an area of low lying land and created a water retention basin that was planted with vegetation to naturally clean it.

Balaji Temple in Nandyal

“This single programmatic addition, begins the dialogue, between the temple form, the access steps and the water,” Padora continued.

Balaji Temple in Nandyal

On creating the temple with black limestone slabs that were locally accessible Sameep Padora & Associates said,” Modernity wasn’t really a preoccupation for the design of the temple. It was about how the temple was located in its physical context, the available resources and what real value we were able to create using the temple as a catalyst.” These slabs were also used to create the stepped forms of the temples, which are planted with greenery on the lower levels to buffer the interiors from the heat.

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Matharoo Associates believe in clear emphasis on functionality, use of materials in their natural form and exercising restraint while designing a house or building. Their buildings are designed to unfold and reveal their secrets and meaning.

Matharoo Associates House
Curtain Door House with Wall of Light

1. The House with Balls

The 600 Sq-Yard weekend home for an aquarium owner comprises four separate fish breeding tanks, an observatory that could double up as living space and a private sleeping area, all with provisions for biogas, rainwater collection for fishes and ETHE. On opening the house’s distinctive shutters, this linear space transforms completely into an infinite one, continuously mingling with and perpendicular to its original direction.

Matharoo Associates House
House with balls, Ahmedabad
Matharoo Associates House
House with balls, Ahmedabad

The house assumes a squat position and the curving wall to one side allows one to walk up the gentle slope on to the terrace running over the length of the house. Rainwater is harvested throughout the year to be used for the fish tanks and space made by this curving wall is used as a tank.

Matharoo Associates House
Prathama
Matharoo Associates House
Prathama

2. House with the Warped Court

The intention here was to use traditional design solutions, one of which is to centre the spaces around a courtyard that provides a reclusive family area. The other was to use ‘Haveli’ inspired closed outer shell and hollow insides.

 

Irregular site lines act to generate a skewed wood form the finished concrete box that encloses the house and provides a vision, climate, and noise buffer. These lines also help in making the best of the required margin space, engendering individuated clear and green spaces on all sides of the house enjoyed through the selective openings into these landscape gems.

Matharoo Associates House
Queen Mary’s High School

3. House with Wall of Light

The dwelling emulates the various facets of a diamond in several ways through the use of contrasting materials. The rough diamonds are represented by the concrete walls poured in stone casts and the polished ones are represented by the light emanating the onyx wall.

Matharoo Associates House
Matharoo Associates Studio

One is opaque, the other transparent. One envelops the house and the other ties the house together. One absorbs, the other radiates. One is neutral, the other colourful. One is rough and the other is smooth. The core family and private areas are placed in a “black box” characterized by the use of Kadapa stone representing carbon, another avatar.

Matharoo Associates House
Patel Residence
Matharoo Associates House
House of Warped Court

One is opaque, the other transparent. One envelops the house and the other ties the house together. One absorbs, the other radiates. One is neutral, the other colourful. One is rough and the other is smooth. The core family and private areas are placed in a “black box” characterized by the use of Kadapa stone representing carbon, another avatar of the diamond. The base flooring is economical and common but robust Kota stone represents continuity and is set against the chic neutrality of travertine representing contemporary living.

Matharoo Associates House
India Pavilion

The three identical staircases are aligned to the three site angles converging near the entrance; one is placed on the floor, the second on the wall and the third on the ceiling; signifying the illusionary world of diamonds.

Matharoo Associates House
Sand Stone and Water, house in Jodhpur

Published in Issue 01

With cover illustrations by Archan Nair, this issue brings inspiring Digital illustrations, Extreme Graffiti, expert’s insights on space design and many more!

 

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SD Corporation, a joint venture of Shapoorji Pallonji and the Dilip Thacker Group approached Patch Design Studio for space design of their marketing and sales office in Mumbai ‘Sarova Experience Centre’. They are responsible for several acclaimed real estate projects nationwide. Their vision is to create extraordinary spaces through the process of redevelopment by infusing new life to old and dilapidated buildings, giving a fresh and modern look to cities. Here is the brief case study of the ‘Sarova Experience Centre’ project by Patch Design Studio.

Space Design of Sarova Experience Centre
Space Design of Sarova Experience Centre
Space Design of Sarova Experience Centre

Brief

Sarova Experience Centre is a sales and marketing office for prospective home buyers for a large residential complex project proposed in Mumbai’s western suburbs. The centre wished to establish an informal connection with the customers and desired to break away from the typical sales spaces of the real estate developers.

 

Hence, it is necessary to invoke the sense of warmth and comfort of a home while retaining the functionality and professionalism of office space. Space must not only be welcoming but also provide a sense of belonging and security to the customers while remaining contemporary, informal and lively.

Space Design of Sarova Experience Centre

Solution

Clean contemporary design with key custom-designed fixtures provided a sense of warmth, informality and liveliness to the place while also satisfying the client’s desire to create a space with a youthful appeal. The formal meeting rooms have been tucked in at the edges, in niches created by existing RC shear walls clad in wood-like laminate.

 

A stepped seating amphitheatre type of space has been designed to showcase audio-visual presentation to potential customers, who are embraced by the warmth of wood-like flooring which frames the large graphic wall art, which brings life and colour to space.