Amidst an overwhelming landscape of the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra nestles the Sahyadri School. Designed by Pune-based Khushru Irani Design Studio, the architecture is an ensemble of spaces sewn together with tactful geometry and generous circulation.
Situated on a remote site, the school was established as a residential campus in 1996 for students from class four to ten. The educational philosophy of the school has its roots in the profound teachings of J. Krishnamurti who envisioned a space of learning free from obstacles, close to nature. A proposed extension of the school to include class eleven and twelve presented itself with an opportunity to express the workings of two synergised design philosophies through architecture.
Set against the vast, arid landscape of Wardha, the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalay [M.G.A.H.V.] Student and Faculty Housing does not flaunt its existence, despite a seemingly overwhelming scale. Designed by the Mumbai-based MO-OF Architects, the project is an attempt at a ‘non-design’ process in which “architecture is no longer either implicitly or explicitly seen as a dominant system, but rather simply as one of the cultural systems.”
Amidst central plains of India, lies the inconspicuous town of Wardha – among the most historically significant centres of the Indian Independence Movement and Gandhi’s avant-garde socio-educational experiments. In this spirit, it nurtures the growth of the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalay [M.G.A.H.V.], established to globally promote and develop Hindi language and literature. Continue reading M.G.A.H.V. Student and Faculty Housing : MO-OF Architects→
Inspired by an effectual educational approach, The Atelier by Bengaluru-based Biome Environmental Solutions embodies a conscious architecture which stems from the understanding that, “The permanence of a building may no longer be a prerequisite in its design.……it is necessary to allow material recovery and recycling, or reconstruct the same building elsewhere – anything but create debris that will occupy landfills.”
It is well known that children in their formative years are responsive to their everyday surroundings, experiences, and routines. Borrowing from this, TheReggio Emilia Approach focuses on the centrality of the hundred languages of children wherein they require utmost freedom in order to value the infinite resources of their hands, eyes, and ears and of forms, materials, sounds, and colours. Designed by Bengaluru’s Biome Environmental Solutions, this pre-school is an example of a sustainable building whose design submits to the enhancement of a sensorial, exploratory learning experience. Continue reading The Atelier: Biome Environmental Solutions→
The Design.I.Y HOUSING project offers a refreshing perspective to the monotony that otherwise defines contemporary commercial housing. In the context of Lonavala, this project by S+PS Architects proposes an alternative approach wherein the preferences of the inhabitants become integral to the development of architecture and essential to the richness of design.Continue reading Design.I.Y HOUSING: S+PS Architects→
D A Studios designs a crematorium that intuitively concentrates on the encounter of ritualistic orders of funeral obsequies for Hindus, appropriating individual and collective spatial layers, a subdued palette and a silent language of architectural gestures.
The architectural genre belonging to utilitarian buildings such as crematoria in India remains conventionally non-descript. It forms an invisible part of the built fabric, one that is not stitched into the aesthetic explorations of a city’s transforming viscidity. It may be read as a singularity in this space. The notion is perhaps of the bare and essential that need not be formally inscribed with ideas but which can be waylaid with smaller, agile solutions – neither necessarily artful nor thoughtful. In rare instances such as this, designers do get involved in the process. Continue reading Mahaprasthanam, a Crematorium: D A Studios→
Working with an intuitive palette of materials and minimal interventions, Pune-based Khushru Irani Design Studio (KIDS) artfully restore an old structure combining contemporary detailing with much of its original splendour, partly to be used as their studio and a space for events open to the community.
Occupying an idyllic corner of a busy thoroughfare within the Pune Cantonment area is a 100 year old building. An unassuming verandah peeps down on to the street midway from its three-storeyed façade – the entrance to the studio of Pune-based architectural practice Khushru Irani Design Studio(KIDS). With its sloping roofs, a verandah with wooden railings, seasoned doors & windows, a stone staircase and plastered brick walls, the building bears a distinct characteristic. It may feel akin to chancing upon on a long-forgotten secret. Continue reading Studio 877: Khushru Irani Design Studio→
A unity of unassuming mediations, forms and experiences, Casa Rana is a foster home for HIV-positive children in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu – an expression of the purposeful and paracentric intentions of Italy-based Made in Earth ONLUS.
The form sits low; an intriguing image occupied by several fleeting instances: colourful volumes interrupted by intricate textural pattern of bamboo inset within speciously unmoored solid planes anchored readily amidst patches of shrubs. An assembly of these fragmented scales, the structure is raw, compact and porous acknowledging the light, its users’ desires and the site. Continue reading Casa Rana: Made in Earth ONLUS→
Eye on the Lake, a weekend retreat in Khadakwasla, principled by Lonavala-based Shabbir Unwala’s critical understanding of architecture, is a veritable effort to intervene responsibly in a natural landscape.
How not to build on mountain slopes and how I learnt to design ‘Diet’ buildings.
Having relocated to Lonavala in 1988 to get away from the architectural madness called Mumbai, I started my practice in 1989 in Lonavala and began immediately to unlearn all the lessons learnt of how to build in an urbanscape that the college and offices I had worked had taught me.Continue reading Eye on the Lake: Shabbir Unwala, Design Workshop→
Melbourne and Mumbai-based practice Young Citizens curates the transition of a derelict bus shelter into a training centre for WomenWeave with a hands-on engagement with the process, context and the users. Sian Pascale, Founder of Young Citizens elaborates on her ideas and experiences with the project in an interview accompanying the feature.
Away from the urban context, a conspicuous red office and laboratory block designed by Sachin Agshikar injects substance and presence into the banalities of an unconscious, utilitarian aesthetic of a cement factory.
While the architectural discourse of the day is focused on diffusion and the unease of influence and inspiration of globalisation, there exists a set of environments far more informed and standardised by thoughts and needs, an identifiable cyclical progression untouched by visually referenced design, located often in the fringes of our cities. Continue reading Office & Laboratory Block, Goa: Sachin Agshikar→