Architecture in the times of Pandemic

Architecture in the times of Pandemic

A series of discussions by architects from India’s major metros, on how the practice is re-emerging from the 2020 Pandemic recess.

Curated by Varun Kumar

"Focus on virtual work and a new magazine" - Compartment S4

Equipping a virtual workflow and a new magazine – Compartment S4

As a young and large bunch of designers, Compartment S4 experienced a distancing of the studio members alongside the halting of projects and monetary flow. The team, however, found the hiatus as an opportunity to equip virtual methods of collaboration with their work, such as co-drawing digitally. Compartment S4 also came up with their exciting new initiative in the form of a Magazine, that is in cohesion with their talk series called “Friday Night Conversations”.

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P.K.Das and Samarth Das

Rebooting Work Routines and Stalled Public Contributions – PK Das and Associates

Within the studio at PK Das and Associates, digitized work methods and remote meetings have revealed a better organization of work items thanks to the methodical online framework that the studio developed. Subsequently, fresher routines have evolved from these changes. Contributions to the public realm in Mumbai has been an important facet of the practice for over 25 years, but the curtailing of MPLAD expenditure during the lockdown has stalled this progress too. 

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"Evolving through past crises and pre-empting the pandemic impacts." - Nandini Sampat, Somaya and Kalappa Consultants

Evolving through past crises and pre-empting the pandemic impacts. – Nandini Somaya Sampat, SNK Somaya and Kalappa Consultants

SNK Somaya and Kalappa Consultants, Mumbai, has been practicing over the last 45 years and is witness to the influences that multiple national and global crises can impose to architectural practice. The office, with its conservative discipline and expertise in multiple areas of architecture, has been able to actively work around the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. With an unhampered salary flow to their team and cost cutting measures as highlights, Director-Architect Nandini Somaya Sampat shares some strategies by SNK to face the 2020 crisis.

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"Sustaining with core research and social opportunities" - Ketham’s Atelier Architects

Sustaining with core research and social opportunities – Ketham’s Atelier

Ketham’s Atelier has been focussed on researching the core concepts of architectural design and becoming well versed with the associated skill sets. Additionally, the studio also has been running an NGO practice to impart the learnings through teaching methods. Together, the studio witnessed the importance of their research in helping them sustain through a time like the pandemic.

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Rethinking practice, teaching and new collaborative initiatives - Shikha Doogar, Shridhar Rao, r + d Studio

Rethinking practice, teaching and new collaborative initiatives – r+d studio

r+d studio is led by principal architects Shikha Doogar and Shridhar Rao. The studio is founded on their experiences comprising a stint at Gehry and Partners. r+d studio witnessed opportunities to rethink their practice procedures, involve in teaching virtually and start-up a new city collaborative initiative called Gurgaon Design Collective. The pandemic was handled by r+d studio with a positive outlook, safety and security of the team and nurturing new tech ideas through their new venture RD Labs.

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Nurturing a technological and Socially relevant practice through the pandemic - DesignAware

Nurturing a technological and Socially relevant practice through the pandemic – Takbir Fatima, DesignAware

DesignAware has been working with tech-based design methodologies since their founding year, thanks to the team’s background in technological awareness related to architectural design. The studio experienced a multiplied impact due to the floods in Hyderabad during the pandemic. The lockdown and the post-flood situation has spurred the team to rethink their practice strengths and equip more resiliency. This direction has also pushed the team to nurture their studio practice itself as a physical entity, in addition to their successful initiatives in educational and socially relevant projects.

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Symbiosis Hospital and Research Center (SUHRC), Lavale, Pune, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

Symbiosis Hospital and Research Center (SUHRC), Lavale, Pune, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

The recently completed Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre in Pune is currently being used by the Maharashtra government as a Covid-19 quarantine facility and hospital, contributing to the state’s fight against the pandemic. Occupying the lower slopes of a hill within Symbiosis International University’s 260-acre estate in Lavale, SUHRC is a 41,800-square-metre, 216-bed, multi-specialty hospital that represents a new and progressive face for healthcare infrastructure in India, providing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and a research centre to enhance skill development – IMK Architects

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School in Mumbai, JDAP | Jude D'Souza

School in Mumbai, JDAP | Jude D’Souza

A school for girls in suburban Mumbai needed an expanded space for the children in their kindergarten section. The administration owned a plot of land adjacent to the main school, however, this was taken up by a residential building that they occupied. When structural drawings of the building revealed that it could take on an additional floor, it was decided to extend the existing structure, rather than take down the entire building and construct anew. Regulation demanded that an additional staircase was necessary to accommodate this public function. – Jude D’Souza

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Hague Municipal Corporation -
Anupriya Saraswat

Photoshopped Architecture

While photography on its own is an art – architectural photography must act, primarily, as a tool. The current practice of representation of design almost exclusively through hi-res, touched-up images is an inherently misleading decision.

The latest issue (No. 61) of the Journal of Landscape Architecture (JLA), India’s premier journal on landscape and environmental design, carries an essay by Dr. Bimal Patel, the head of HCP Design Planning & Management Private Limited (HCP), the firm was chosen by the Government of India to design the redevelopment that will radically transform the Central Vista Precinct, including the Houses of Parliament. The essay speaks of many things that I find interesting, contains many points of value and agreement, but I will not take on many of them here. A section of the essay speaks on the Central Vista project, and this is what I will focus on. Given this is a current and contested public project of significance that is capturing public attention, the timing of this essay requires that, in addition to his specific mentions of the project, general points made by Dr. Patel must also be interpreted in its light.

Popular Stories

DEVGIRI RESIDENCE at NANDED, MAHARASHTRA, by 4TH AXIS DESIGN STUDIO

DEVGIRI RESIDENCE at NANDED, MAHARASHTRA, by 4TH AXIS DESIGN STUDIO

The proposed site is located at a of a prime residential area surrounded by built spaces, To circumvent site conditions, the living space, Dining area and Passage was conceived as an inward facing structure enclosed with a central landscaped courtyard. – 4TH AXIS DESIGN STUDIO

Mangalam heritage at Nagapattinam by Benny Kuriakose

Mangalam heritage at Nagapattinam by Benny Kuriakose

Mangala Heritage home is perfect for a weekend getaway. The temple, along with the temple tank, around which the village is built, makes for a beautiful sight. The building itself is a restored, traditional Tamil style house with a very austere looking exterior which is in direct contrast with its cosy interiors.

Indian Boutique Store, at Taj Skyline, Ahmedabad | Designed By Shayona Consultant | Prashant Parmar Architect  

Indian Boutique Store, at Taj Skyline, Ahmedabad | Designed By Shayona Consultant | Prashant Parmar Architect  

Nueva, an Indian Boutique Store, located in the Taj skyline in Ahmedabad, is a textile retail store of 375sq.ft.Area.

Bringing together a natural palette with Indian folk art-inspired space helped create an oasis that the owner truly desired. The natural material palette comprising exposed concrete, wood, brass, lime plaster together with metalwork and mirror wall. – Shayona Consultants

House by the Grove, at Nashik, by LADLAB

House by the Grove, at Nashik, by LADLAB

The first interior design project envisioned at LADLAB is a 1600 Sq.ft, 3 bedroom apartment located in a prime residential area of Nashik, Maharashtra. The soul of this house is its location – a top-floor apartment placed right next to a beautiful Gulmohar grove. All the balconies and rooms open up to gorgeous views of this grove, which is certainly a rare find in an urban context.

The Multiplex at Gurgaon, by Sync Design Studio

‘The Lit Boscage’, Multiplex at Gurgaon, by Sync Design Studio

The Lit Boscage is featured opposite a food court on the third floor of the open-air Sapphire Ninety Mall. Considering the mushrooming entertainment landscape in Gurugram’s corporate hub, the multiplex offers a unique and differentiated user experience. The conceptualization began by analyzing and studying the growing demand for a significantly distinct multiplex identity despite the mainstream functionality of the structure. – Sync Design Studio

Highly Modern Space designed at Park Street Bangalore, by Signa Design

Highly Modern Space designed at Park Street Bangalore, by Signa Design

It’s a tricky thing really, to design a space that is modern and muted yet vividly engaging. But for a young couple in Bangalore that’s exactly what was done. Located in Park Square, the three-bedroom apartment is in a quiet neighbourhood of the city. The client also wanted the space to echo a casual chic vibe. Darshana Patel and Rashmin Perla, Principal Designers, Signa Design were up for the challenge.

MA001, at Ayroor, Kerala, India, by mamama

MA001, at Ayroor, Kerala, India, by mamama

Located in Ayroor, Kerala this family home that sits on the banks of the Chalakudy river is nothing less than a mini-ecosystem within itself — self-sufficient and symbiotic. Using local masons, carpenters, contractors and construction methods, this home was completed with natural materials such as terracotta and laterite tiles, kota stone and terracotta jaali blocks. A generous verandah wraps around three sides and a large open terrace on the upper floor maximises the spectacular views out onto the river. The house is an extension of the clients’ (perfect) idea of living a retired life.

Jain Residence, at Pune, by Red Brick Studio

Jain Residence, at Pune, by Red Brick Studio

Tasked with creating a space for a young, ambitious couple and their parents with a traditionally rooted background, Red Brick Studio (RBS) took a design approach that celebrated this duality and let the design reflect the same. The interiors were tailored to be warm, fresh, and engaging. Deep emphasis was laid on functionality which in turn led to highly customised furniture pieces and their details.

Boat Club Apartments, at Chennai, India, by SJK Architects

Boat Club Apartments, at Chennai, India, by SJK Architects

Chennai is hot, dusty and mosquito-ridden – said Viju Mahtaney in his brief for luxury apartments in the posh Boat Club road neighborhood. A testament to urbanization in India today. Chennai has a river that is clogged with sewage that breeds mosquitoes. Traffic and construction create unending dust and pollution – and buzzing entrepreneurship needs neighborhoods like Boat Club Road to attract the talent and investment that churns the wheels of the city. – SJK Architects

Art // Architecture // Design

Symbiosis Hospital and Research Center (SUHRC), Lavale, Pune, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

Symbiosis Hospital and Research Center (SUHRC), Lavale, Pune, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

The recently completed Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre in Pune is currently being used by the Maharashtra government as a Covid-19 quarantine facility and hospital, contributing to the state’s fight against the pandemic. Occupying the lower slopes of a hill within Symbiosis International University’s 260-acre estate in Lavale, SUHRC is a 41,800-square-metre, 216-bed, multi-specialty hospital that represents a new and progressive face for healthcare infrastructure in India, providing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and a research centre to enhance skill development – IMK Architects

Symbiosis International University, Pune, IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

Nestled atop a rocky plateau in Lavale, a small village on the outskirts of Pune, the Symbiosis International University campus creates an idyllic and vibrant learning environment. The campus, home to 1000 students, houses educational and administration functions for four faculties –– the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, the Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management and the Symbiosis Institute of Photography –– in addition to an auditorium and convention center, a library, and housing, dining, and recreational facilities for students and staff. – Rahul Kadri | IMK Architects

National Judicial Academy, at Bhopal, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

National Judicial Academy, at Bhopal, by IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

Perched on the crest of a hill in Bhopal, India, the 28,000-sq.m National Judicial Academy is a training academy for Judges, a centre for discussion and debate on the judicial system and an institute for ongoing research on matters of the law. The campus occupies 60-acres of fissured rock-steep slopes on the hill, which was formerly used as a quarry. – IMK Architects | Rahul Kadri

Architecture

Balasaheb Thackeray SmrutiUdyan, at Colaba, by RC Architects

Balasaheb Thackeray SmrutiUdyan, at Colaba, by RC Architects

BalasahebthackeraySmrutiUdyan is located on a triangular green patch in front of the National Gallery of Modern Art and Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSanghrahalay. The triangle is divided in three parts, the first part is a green patch. The second part is a crossover pedestrian plaza and the third part is a garden for the statue and the pedestal. The pedestal is designed as an arrangement of five platforms in layers starting from the bottom as – RC Architects

Minimal Indigeneity Interirors of an Office, at Lucknow, by Advance Group

Minimal Indigeneity Interirors of an Office, at Lucknow, by Advance Group

The Building is located on a site getting views of a lake and surrounded by mixed structures of Residential and Commercial. The idea was to make the design as Sustainable as possible, harnessing Natural Light, outdoor views and Evening Breeze. Along with that the design also aims to explore the vernacular character of the place with local Building techniques and fuse it with contemporary Architecture practice. Thus the concept of ‘Minimal Indigeneity’ came forth. – Advance Group

ArchitectureLive!-Architecture in India 68

Copper Cube Hause, at Mumbai, by DIG Architects

A second home for a professional with an itinerant lifestyle, this apartment was designed to create a sense of stability and repose between trips. The crux of the spatial intervention was the opening up of the existing linear compartmentalised space into an upbeat, almost studio apartment-like setting. The highlight of the narrative was the kitchen block that was delineated into a detached cuboid, free from the ceiling and walls, that would serve both as a bar and a serving counter from the living room.

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