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The paper-based recyclable design by Studio VDGA was created for an electric-components manufacturing firm that is transitioning away from its past activity of producing gasoline and diesel car components.

Curving Walls Office Made of Recyclable Materials

Studio VDGA, an architecture firm based in Pune, founded by Deepak and Varsha Guggar in 2004 in India, has rebuilt an office utilising recyclable materials, cardboard materials cardboard and MDF partition walls. The four-story workplace for 100 workers in the Pimpri Chinchwad district has been given a new makeover, with recyclable materials. The architects say that the 1,3500 square-foot office area was designed with the notion of removing the traditional solid barriers and replacing them with honeycombed cardboard, which added texture and form to the space. Privacy, acoustic characteristics, and material stability were all kept in mind during the design process.

Curving Walls Office Made of Recyclable Materials
Curving Walls Office Made of Recyclable Materials

This workplace for an electronic components manufacturing company needed a distinctive brand to reflect their strategy of continual innovation. They desired a place that was distinct from the norm while maintaining utility. As a result, the concept of using honeycomb walls as the primary interior feature was developed. They have created textured dividers by enveloping the workstations, meeting zones, and lounges with free-flowing cardboard walls. The remaining interior components are kept modest while experimenting with the powerful texture.

Curving Walls Office Made of Recyclable Materials

Cardboard is technically as robust as any timber divider. It also does not need to be polished or painted. The usage of cardboard has been raised to an art form here since it is biodegradable, low cost, 100 per cent recyclable, and manufactured from the trash. The result is undulating, textured walls with a come-hither look that appear to be both sculptural and installation art.

Curving Walls Office Made of Recyclable Materials

In this stunning interior, the honeycomb board used is a low-cost carton product that is 100 per cent recyclable. Its excellent raw material and hexagonal inner cellular structure give great compression strength and stiffness, allowing it to endure impact and heavy loads. It also provides great sound absorption due to the thickness of the board. “We wanted to emphasise one aspect while keeping the others understated”, said Studio VDGA. The honeycomb board provides an appealing as well as a functional solution for the reception backdrop, partition walls, and doors.

Because space was not an issue, each wall is nine inches thick and covered with MDF, providing excellent sound absorption and temperature insulation. Architects Guggar explains, “However, our use of cardboard is not only decoration or cladding. It is a component of the structure itself, and because it is lightweight, it reduces the dead load. Due to its excellent compression characteristics and stiffness, the recyclable material is frequently used in the shipping sector for pallets. It can bear impact and heavyweights. The manufacturer was surprised to learn of our planned usage when we purchased the cardboard, specifying the adhesive as well as the colour of the paper. He had never seen it used before.”

 

Photography: Hemant Patil

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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Krushi Bhawan is a building built for the Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment by Studio Lotus. The 130,000-square-foot administrative centre houses a staff of almost 600 workers, as well as contains community interaction and learning areas.

An administrative building in Orissa

Located in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital of Odisha, which is home to several agricultural villages and is India’s third-largest grain supplier – is Krushi Bhawan. Zooming in from an aerial view, you can find the new campus next to the old ministry office. The architecture is subtle, yet stands out from the other power structures nearby, including the Police Commissionerate Building and the State Guest House.

Originally, the intention was to create a solely administrative facility for the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment of the Government of Odisha. However, Studio Lotus, the Delhi-based architectural company tasked with designing this space, believed that it was time to rethink government building architecture. The architects’ idea to integrate public activities and communal spaces in order to construct a building that would contribute to the city’s social infrastructure was immediately accepted.

An administrative building in Orissa
An administrative building in Orissa

The inclusion of a stilt level in the courtyard provides excellent air circulation, while the facility’s series of staggered masses shield it from intense sunlight. The architects have maximised the use of locally produced materials resulting in a low carbon impact throughout construction. The structure even has a rooftop solar power production system.

An administrative building in Orissa
An administrative building in Orissa

The Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment’s administrative offices is located in the complex, which is surrounded by courtyards with ponds and trees. The upper floor’s brickwork components form a pattern that resembles Odisha Ikat, a traditional dyeing method from their state. Studio Lotus has used three distinct colours of clay from the local region to replicate the patterns in bricks. The holes in the facade assist to keep the building cool naturally.

“The ground floor has been designed by the architects as a free-flowing public area that extends out onto a Plaza, which is an extension of the street, in an attempt to bring the building into the public realm”, Studio Lotus explained. The bottom level has a learning centre, a gallery, an auditorium, a library, and training rooms, all of which are in line with the project’s goals. Likewise, the rooftop has been intended to accommodate urban farming displays and agricultural best practises demonstrations. The plaza features an amphitheatre as well as a garden with a pond for natural cooling. The entrance is via a tree-lined walk with stone colonnades that also serves as a shaded spot for employees to take their lunches.

An administrative building in Orissa
An administrative building in Orissa

Krushi Bhawan is a unique piece of architecture made fully with regional materials and methods. Laterite and khondalite stone from local mines were used to construct the pedestal and a portion of the north wing. The khondalite was hand-carved into lattices that surround the central courtyard, which features a stone inlay floor with an annual calendar based on the crops. Rice paddies are shown in bas reliefs carved into the laterite on the complex’s main plaza in the manner of Odisha Pattachitra scroll paintings, which are traditional cloth-based scroll paintings. Dhokra, a form of metallurgy mastered over 4,000 years in India, may be found on screens in the building’s hallways and on the light fittings on the columns.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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The Rajasthan School is an interesting creation by Sanjay Puri Architects playing full tribute to the site, the context, and the functions. Designed to suit the climate of Rajasthan, the school has a facade of red angled fins, along with a towering entrance. The school is also energy efficient with its layout planning, and sources of energy.

Rajasthan, the largest state in India, which contains the Thar Desert, is well known for its extreme climatic conditions. Amidst the dry breeze, one cannot miss out on the towering red beams that make the walkways of this school here.

Architects by Sanjay Puri
Architects by Sanjay Puri

Designed by Sanjay Puri Architects, the Rajasthan School, is set over three storeys. The criss-cross alignment of the pathways creates an interesting shadow play right at the entrance. There is a large central courtyard amidst these walkways that gets shelter from the pergolas aligning them. They are red, bold, and larger than life. As we traverse within them, towards the interior of the school, we notice the primary coloured interiors behind the deep red-walled facades.

Architects by Sanjay Puri
Architects by Sanjay Puri

The school’s east, west, and south walls are slanted to deflect the sun, sloping such that they are broader at the bottom than at the top. Sanjay Puri Architects, established in 1988, in Mumbai, Maharashtra always ensures to provide contextual solutions in the built environment. The school has also been fueled by leftover energy generated by a local cement industry, making it environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

The energy efficiency is further articulated from the design of the red beams which provide shade, ventilation, and circulation ensuring breathability within the spaces. Every classroom has been designed to face north to make maximum use of the indirect sun. This is also a sustainable move ensuring maximum daylight utilisation. Angled fins protrude from either side of the recessed glazing sections. These act as a design element for the facade, while ensuring protection against harsh climatic conditions.

The complex’s southern side has primary school classrooms, a triple-height auditorium, and administrative offices. Secondary school classrooms, a library, and a cafeteria are located on the other side of the shaded courtyard area.

Architects by Sanjay Puri

The school’s layout was also said to be inspired by the urban style of an old Indian city, with narrow lanes covered by high walls, according to Sanjay Puri Architects. The inspiration from the organic old towns, with an informal layout, alternating open and enclosed volumes resulting in a climate-responsive design is a highly exploratory space.

Architects by Sanjay Puri

The classrooms are surrounded by semi-open courtyards, and the adjacent grounds include sports courts and a jogging track. Inside, the walls are painted in the same vivid red, with blue and yellow accents. Internal organic circular cut-outs or perforated facades interrupt these blocks of primary colours, offering fascinating visual linkages across corridors and staircases while also enabling air to pass through.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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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
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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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.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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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.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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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