A Place in the Sky, proposal by Drawing Hands Studio

A Place in the Sky, proposal by Drawing Hands Studio 3

A Place in the Sky, proposal by Drawing Hands Studio 5

A prominent complex in Boat Club approached Drawing Hands with a commission to convert their terrace into a place of communion. They require a space to entertain their equally well-placed acquaintances and friends. It must be a place to generate conversation, meet new people, unwind at the end of a hectic day; a place to see and be seen. The terrace is framed by lush green trees on all 4 sides, AC units are scattered all over the place akin to diversions on the road. The terrace is a space that functions as a dumping ground for all unwanted accessories in the building, a space to hide away the ungainly generators, air conditioning units; a space where wires are strewn aplenty, clothes are hung to dry. We are reprogramming such a space, which has only the sky above for cover, into an oasis exclusive to the residents of the complex. A space that exudes happiness and calm, and as one that lights up into a grand party arena.

Facts:

LOCATION : Chennai
SIZE : 5,125 sft.
CATEGORY : Landscape | Outdoor Spaces
DESIGN TEAM : Shruti Omprakash, Barath Kumar
STATUS : Concept design

YEAR : 2015

Rooftop Anecdotes: at Pune, by Mind Manifestation Design LLP

Rooftop Anecdotes - Mind Manifestation Design LLP

Rooftop Anecdotes - Mind Manifestation Design LLPLocated at “The Woods” a housing society, synonymous to the name, the property is engulfed by lush green plantations with a well maintained landscape around low rise densely sited bungalows.

Our team planned to create a subtle extension of this lower level, rich landscape to the roof top which gel perfectly with each other.

Owning a 100sqm of private rooftop in today’s context is a blessing in itself, but leaving it dead and unused for pigeons to stroll about, is equally a curse – this nagging feeling brought Mr Rastogi to us for developing this beautiful site.

Drawing - Rooftop anacedots
Drawings

Primarily the design team decided to take up this challenge of converting the most unused space into the most vibrant activity area in the house.

Bold warm colour palette for the elevated flowing form defines a prominent background for the variety of plant species sited in order to camouflage with the surrounding at the same tile to create a sense of privacy from the neighbouring overlooking terraces. Play of semi-covered and open spaces separated with this bold colourful geometry offers variety of experience and adds to the distinctive functionality of the premises.

The existing architecture of the space helped us split it into 4 distinctive zones assigned for 4 equally distinctive functions. Viz. A low level hobby lawn, leisure outdoor sit out, an organic vegetable garden, and a cosy shaded corner to be used for suitable activities. Loose marble chips, tiles with ethnic pattern and grass lawns have been significantly used to define the various zones.

The hobby lawn:

Fresh air, lush green surroundings with a warm cup of Chai (tea) and a personalized space to revive your hobbies, what more do you need to begin a relaxed weekend! The space has been kept raw and rich in surroundings to serve as an inspiration for paintings and creative ideas.

Organic vegetable garden: 

The owner’s requirements had us aim at not just beautifying the space but also have an area dedicated to organic farming. Having home grown organic vegetables in your private urban rooftop farm, for everyday meals, was the initial concept visualised by us while dealing with this area. This was achieved by pot plantation of suitable specifications with required irrigation and drainage system.

Leisure outdoor sit out:

Rooftop Anecdotes - Mind Manifestation Design LLPThe space has been treated with crisp seating arrangements comprising of built in concrete seats, wooden benches and movable two-seaters thrown in randomly for a creative touch.

Shaded junction:

The area has been specifically designed to maintain the client’s privacy for intimate gatherings with family and friends without giving much of a view to immediate residences.

Orange, also a fiery color, combines the warmth of red with the cheerfulness of yellow for a hue that communicates activity, energy, and optimism. The color of the sea and sky, blue often communicates peaceful, clean qualities. As opposed to more energetic, warmer coolers, blue is seen as calming. This combination of fiery and calm brings a harmony in the design which breaks the mostly mundane colors one is exposed to on a daily basis.

More images:

 

Unbuilt: Biodiversity Training Institute, at Sikkim, by Architecture Brio

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio

Introduction

The biodiversity hotspot of the North Indian state of Sikkim is under serious threat.

Sikkim is an Indian state in the Himalaya’s in between Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The state is known for its rich and diverse flora and fauna. The landscape varies from dense green forests to the high snow covered mountains in the North.

The Government of Sikkim introduced a green mission to emphasize and cherish the magnificent nature. The Sikkimese respect their environment and are developing and studying strategies how to keep economic growth and increase of tourism in a harmonic relation with nature.

The Sikkim Biodiveristy Conservation and Forest Management Project (SBFP) assisted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) initiated a series of architectural projects to set an example of how to deal with urban planning and buildings that blend with nature.

One of the projects is the Himalayan Biodiversity Training Institute.

The Biodiversity Training Institute aims to strengthen biodiversity conservation activities and forest management capacity.

The dilemma of the creation of the institute is that while it is to counter adverse impacts of climate change and the consequential decline in biodiversity through the improvement of biodiversity conservation, the act of construction and running of the institute itself could have an adverse affect biodiversity.

To mitigate these effects the design of the Institute by OIII Architects and Architecture BRIO should become a biodiversity hotspot in itself, not only becoming an educational tool itself but also adding to the local green cover.

Biodiversity Hotspots

The Institute is located in one of the most fragile ecological zones of the Earth. “Life on Earth faces a crisis of historical and planetary proportions. Unsustainable consumption in many northern countries and crushing poverty in the tropics are destroying wild nature. Biodiversity is besieged.

Extinction is the gravest aspect of the biodiversity crisis: it is irreversible. While extinction is a natural process, human impacts have elevated the rate of extinction by at least a thousand, possibly several thousand, times the natural rate. Mass extinctions of this magnitude have only occurred five times in the history of our planet; the last brought the end of the dinosaur age.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
View of Kanchenjunga

In a world where conservation budgets are insufficient given the number of species threatened with extinction, identifying conservation priorities is crucial. British ecologist Norman Myers defined the biodiversity hotspot concept in 1988 to address the dilemma that conservationists face: what areas are the most immediately important for conserving biodiversity?

To qualify as a hotspot, a region must meet two strict criteria: it must contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (> 0.5 percent of the world’s total) as endemics, and it has to have lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat.

The biodiversity hotspots hold especially high numbers of endemic species, yet their combined area of remaining habitat covers only 2.3 percent of the Earth’s land surface. Each hotspot faces extreme threats and has already lost at least 70 percent of its original natural vegetation. Over 50 percent of the world’s plant species and 42 percent of all terrestrial vertebrate species are endemic to the 34 biodiversity hotspots.”1

Himalayan Mountain Range Hotspot

Biogeographically, the Himalayan Mountain Range straddles a transition zone between the Palearctic and Indo-Malayan realms. Species from both realms are represented in the hotspot. In addition, geological, climatic and altitudinal variations in the hotspot, as well as topographic complexity, contribute to the biological diversity of the mountains along their east-west and north-south axes.2

In the State of Sikkim, more than 4,500 flowering plants are found. Among those plants in particular, there are 550 species of orchids and 36 species of rhododendron. In view of the global biodiversity conservation, there are more than 50 flowering plants which are considered to be in danger of extinction, and precious flowering plants are conserved in the State of Sikkim. The State of Sikkim is located in the area of the Biodiversity Hotspot of Eastern Himalaya Region, and flowering plants per unit area are abundant compared with the other neighboring states and countries such as Nepal and Bhutan. Moreover, other than flowering plants, there are many animal species living in the State of Sikkim; more than 50 kinds of fishes, 690 kinds of butterflies, 16 kinds of amphibian (one species recognized in danger of extinction), 78 kinds of reptiles, 550 kinds of birds (11 species recognized in danger of extinction), 154 mammals (12 species recognized in danger of extinction).3

Human Impact

Despite their apparent remoteness and inaccessibility, the Himalayas have not been spared human-induced biodiversity loss. People have lived in the mountains of the Himalayas for thousands of years. In recent decades, greater access to the global market has increased the demand for natural resources in the area encouraged both immigration from outside. As a result, populations are growing in the most productive ecosystems, which are also some of the richest in biodiversity.

Today, remaining habitat in the Himalaya is patchy. The steadily increasing population in the hotspot has led to extensive clearing of forests and grasslands for cultivation, and widespread logging. The conversion of forests and grasslands for agriculture and settlements has led to large-scale deforestation and habitat fragmentation in Nepal, and in the Indian States of Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Assam.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Exterior

Large areas of remaining habitat in the hotspot are highly degraded. Overgrazing by domestic livestock, including cattle and domesticated yak, is widespread in the lowlands and alpine ecosystems. The flora of fragile alpine meadows has been overexploited for traditional medicine (because medicinal plant collectors invariably uproot the entire plant, regrowth is retarded). Fuelwood collection and non-timber forest product extraction, both for domestic consumption and export, has inflicted severe damage to some forest ecosystems. Unplanned and poorly managed tourism has led to environmental deterioration. 4

The JICA assisted Biodiversity Conservation project therefore also aims to improve livelihood for the local people who are dependent on forests by promoting sustainable biodiversity conservation, afforestation and income generation activities. These include eco-tourism for the community development, thereby contributing environment conservation and harmonized socio-economic development of Sikkim.

Himalayan Biodiversity Training Institute

The main objective of the Institute is “Knowledge generation” and “dissemination of biodiversity and best practice information”

To enhance the global, social, and economic value of biodiversity and improve livelihoods in and around protected areas (PAs), buffer zones, and reserve forests the Department would seek to achieve this objective through the establishment and implementation of sound management plans and the dissemination of biodiversity information for promoting public awareness on the significance of biodiversity.

  1. The enhancement of the spatial and resource information base for planning, implementation, and monitoring of forest and biodiversity management;

  2. The establishment and improvement of zoning and of plans for the management of reserved forests and protected areas;

  3. The promotion of public support for biodiversity conservation through research, ex-situ conservation, and extension; and

  4. The capacity development of the Forestry Department.

The institute will be hosting training camps for short to middle long periods (2 days to on month) for staff members of the Forest Department. In addition to this as a public institution there will be possibilities created that the public in the form of school classes or NGO groups can visit the institute on selected days to inform themselves about Biodiversity Conservation.

Vision

The vision of OIII Architects and Architecture BRIO is for the institute to become an educational element in itself, where the building becomes a component of the biodiversity training curriculum. By re-using and reinterpretation of local techniques and knowledge the building speaks about how human life and natural conditions can harmonize with eachother and the energy consumption of the building can be reduced by using local materials and natural renewable resources.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Site Lineout – Vision

The design of the building is compact with a small footprint and makes use of solar energy, local vegetation and wind. Thermal mass of the walls will be used to create moderate fluctuations in temperature. Local material like natural stone are chosen to create accumulating qualities of walls and floors. The diverse vegetation of Sikkim will become an integral part of the building such as the vegetated roof with local plants and moss grown walls. A place for education, exchange of knowledge, to meet each other and an inspirational example of the Sikkimese ‘green mission’.

Site

The site is located near Sikkim’s capital Gantok in Pangthang, placed on a slope it faces the world third highest mountain, the Kanchenjunga. The site is sparsely vegetated with low shrubs and bushes, but more small trees on the preipheries. The site is flanked on the north by a small school, a village and grass land. To the east and west the site is defined by small seasonal streams beyond which the Forest Land continues. To the south the mountain ridge is at about …..meters . On the other side of this mountain ridge one can see Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Site Plan

To increase the benefits of the view of Kanchenjunga the institute is place on a flat plateau at a higher elevation mid way the mountain slope. Spaces like training halls, workshop space, conference auditorium, library, research labs and residential facilities will face this wonderful view. These are placed in the two arms of the U-shaped building. In the body of the building the residential rooms face southwards, the warmest side of the building.

A road starting from the public road at the north east of the site will wind up the slope. As an experiential route the road climbs along three residences for the staff and emerge at the south side of the Institute. Once reached on the platform behind the Institute a view through the entrance hall takes one by surprise: a framed view of the Kanchenjunga.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Model

Landscape

The design of the institute has a dualistic character. On one hand its symmetrical plan and its tall, road facing elevation imposes itself on the landscape as a building of public importance. This is not very different from the way the monasteries or Gompas in Sikkim overlook the land around them with their strong symmetrical forms.

The roof has a gentle but critical slope which emphasizes the strong shape of the building.

On the other hand by tugging it into the landscape as if was a sheet of rock pushed up by tectonic uplifts, the institute becomes an integrated element of the landscape. This is further enhanced, by allowing the stone walls of this ‘rock’ to be overgrown by local epiphytic species such as mosses, lichens and ferns.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Exploded View Animation

The building is partly embedded in the surface of the earth. A benefit of this is that the thermal mass of the earth can keep the indoor temperature naturally tempered. On one side of the building the level of the land is at the same level as the roof of the building. This allows the landscape as a continues surface to continue over the roof of the building. The roof becomes accessible to the visitors and becomes an important gathering platform wxith an amazing panoramic view. As a chameleon the building takes on the tones, colours and textures of the surrounding landscape, and change over time throughout the seasons and throughout the life of the building. Balancing the amount of ‘overgrowth’ on the surface of the walls becomes a part of the curriculum of the programs conducted at the institute.

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Concept Section

Organisation

The Institute Building is organized as a compact U shaped building. By placing all the functions of the institute together the building organization becomes efficient. Walking distances between functions become minimized. Several rooms with common functions can be used for different purposes during the day and night.

Because the all rooms are adjoining each other the amount of elevation exposed to the outside becomes minimized. This both reduces the quantity of material required and therefore cost as well as the surface exposed to external temperature changes and therefore energy loss.

The Institute comprises of both residential and educational functions. For the proper functioning of the institute there has to be a clear distinction between residential and educational component. This distinction is established by placing the educational component to the east of the Entrance Hall, and the residential component to the west.the only way to go from the residential to the educational component and vice versa is through the Entrance Hall, which makes this place the nucleus or ‘heart’ of the building.

Educational component

The Reception of the Institute is located in the Entrance Hall. Trainees, staff or visitors will be guided from here in the right direction. Offices and class rooms of the institute are placed along a gently descending ramp to the east of the Entrance Hall. At the end of the ramp a three storey high atrium is lit from above with a skylight. A Library and Auditorium are accessible directly from this floor and a Multi Purpose Hall and Meeting Rooms are accessible through a sculpted staircase leading upwards.

Residential Component

To the West of the Entrance Hall a partly embedded corridor leads to the common Canteen with a large covered outdoor area. The Kitchen and Store Rooms are located adjacent to the Canteen. A Common Room for the trainees is located next to the Canteen. In between the Canteen and the Common Room a staircase leads to two dormitories with individual common rooms, a terrace and attached bathrooms. From here a long and wide verandah space runs along the length of the institute. Along this common verandah, which becomes not only a place of circulation but also of leisure with astonishing views the double shared room accommodation is located. Because the roof slopes upward towards the end of the verandah there is an additional floor which accommodates two suites and several executive non shared rooms.

The Staff Quarters

Because the staff of the instituted is stationed permanently at the institute the Accommodation for the staff is placed away from the Main Building. This allows the staff not only a physical but also mental relief away from their activities at the Institute. There are three types of Staff Accomodation:

1. Common Staff Quarters

2. Individual Staff Quarters

3. Principal Quarter

The buildings are designed as tall, slim, tower like structures, which are placed as objects in the landscape. Not unlike the ‘Himalayan Stone Towers of Kham in Tibet they bring a scale and proportion to the landscape. They are placed along the road leading to the institute, not only for easy access but also to make the ride uphill a dynamic experience. The slimness of the towers allow for all rooms to enjoy amazing views through large window opening to the surrounding landscape. In case of the Common and Individual Staff Quarters they allow for each unit to occupy one complete floor. External staircases wind around these small towers upto the terrace which becomes and additional open air living room.

Elevation

Architecturally the elevations of the institute are designed to emphasize the massiveness and homogeneity of the building volume. There are in principle three types of openings. 1. The residential windows, which are determined based on climatic requirements and restricted in size to keep the homogeneity of the stone volume in tact.

2. The verandah openings which are windowless reducing the wall space between the openings towards column sizes

3. Large windows in the common facilities positioned as a composition on the north side of the building and capturing the views of the surroundings.

Circulation

Since the Institute is a compact building, the circulation has been able to be kept efficient and minimal. Nonetheless the circulation spaces are the places of encounters and interesting conversations between people. They have been therefore designed as comfortable and generous places of movement as well as rest.

The basic principle of the circulation through the institute is simple and rational. The main circulation runs along North side of the spine of the C-shaped building. On the ground floor the corridor is enclosed in between wall creating a tension between inside and outside. On the upper two floors the corridor has been opened up to the Kanchenjunga Range becoming a verandah, a semi indoor space. The internal width of the corridor is 2 meters and the study spaces of the shared rooms open up to the verandah, making it a space to informally hang around.

Based on a rational principle on both ends of the corridors a staircase is positioned. This way the requirements for fire escape routes can be met. However the staircases become part of an experiential route through the building.

The staircase in the Atrium of the educational wing winds up sensuously towards the skylight. The staircase in the residential wing connects over three levels the land below the institute with the Canteen, on the ground floor, the residential floor on the first floor and continued as a landscaped outdoor staircase to the roof level. From the roof level a ramp along the length of the building connects back to the upper residential floor, and via an elegant staircase positioned right above the Entrance Hall to the first floor verandah. From here one can look back into the Entrance Hall. A quick short staircase connects the first floor verandah and the land surrounding it to the end of the ground floor corridor.

These various circulation patterns allow a multitude of possible routes and ways to discover the building. As in a hilly landscape there are always multiple ways (scenic ones and shortcuts) to reach the destination which prevents the institute from becoming a “prison in its own” but instead becomes an open, connected landscape of discovery and learning.

Structural Principle

The site in Pangthang is located in seismic Zone IV, the second highest in India. Therefore the structural principle for the institute is based on a simple grid system of Reinforced Concrete columns, beams and slabs. The grid size is 7.2 x 7 meters throughout the spine of the building. For the Auditorium, Multipurpose Hall and Canteen larger spans are required due to the sizes of the spaces. The external walls are made of multiple layers: brick, insulation a cavity and a natural stone wall. The walls are capable of bearing their own weight and are connected to the RCC frame structure. Most openings in the walls are therefore of a small size reducing the requirement of large lintels. However in the important common facilities such as the Canteen, Auditorium and Multi Purpose Hall large openings in the elevation to capture the views of the surrounding mountains require more inventive structural solutions.

Climate Control and Energy Consumption

Design through Energy Modeling

Compact Building

Thermal Mass

Orientation

Window sizes and reveal directions

Insulation

Solar Water Heating (for showers)

Floor Heating and Cooling (Partly with Solar Heating)

Buffer Spaces as insulation (non heated indoor spaces)

Biodiversity training institute at Sikkim, Architecture Brio
Shadow Analysis

Materials

In the region of Sikkim a rich variety of local material is available. Local natural stones, timber from harvested forests and…. Only when it is necessary to improve the durability and technological performance of the building imported materials are proposed. The interior finishes of the institute are straightforward and have an earthy feeling to it.

Ecological Layer

The humid climate of Sikkim is ideal for the growth of mosses. Instead of trying to keep stone walls clean, the external walls will be covered by epiphytic species such as mosses, lichens and ferns, creating an additional layer of biodiverstiy over time.

The spcies are so called pioneer species. They colonize previously uncolonized land, usually leading to ecological succession. They are the first organisms to start the chain of events leading to a livable biosphere or ecosystem. Since uncolonized land may have thin, poor quality soils with few nutrients, pioneer species are often hearty plants with adaptations such as long roots, root nodes containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and leaves that employ transpiration. Pioneer species will die creating plant litter, and break down as ‘leaf mold‘ after some time, making new soil for secondary succession.

This way the building itself becomes an instrument of education.

It will become a place for education on Himalayan flora and fauna and an example environmental friendly building design.

Art and Curriculum

There is no problem- especially in Pangthang area. There are plenty of mosses, lichens, miniature orchids, ferns, selaginellas, creeping ficus etc. + even some miniature sedums  to play around. Only you have to ensure the walls and roofs are waterproof and moisture does not seep inside. We have to harp on epiphytic  plants so that no soil is required and they will be quite happy growing on green mosses. The drainage system on the roof however should be perfect- i.e no flat roof

Pioneer species are species which colonize previously uncolonized land, usually leading to ecological succession. They are the first organisms to start the chain of events leading to a livable biosphere or ecosystem. Since uncolonized land may have thin, poor quality soils with few nutrients, pioneer species are often hearty plants with adaptations such as long roots, root nodes containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and leaves that employ transpiration. Pioneer species will die creating plant litter, and break down as ‘leaf mold‘ after some time, making new soil for secondary succession.

This in itself is a great thing, for the building to be an example of the creation of a Ecosystem. Mosses create a new layer of nutrients for new species to grow on.

However mosses create this by transforming the rock, basically eroding the rock over time. This only happens in the case the rock is sedementary or metamorphic. (the Mica stone abundantly available is such a rock)

This leads to concerns of whether the rock will slowly ‘disappear’ and whether this affects the structural stability.

1 www.biodiversityhotspots.org

2 www.biodiversityhotspots.org

3 www.sbfpjica.org

4 http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org/xp/hotspots/himalaya/Pages/impacts.aspx

Drawings:

Pyra Healing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier

Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier

Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design AtelierCLIENT BRIEF

The extremely scenic site overlooking small hillocks is located 35 kms from Indore in the outskirts of MHOW (Madhya Pradesh). Both the client and his wife are spiritual people practicing yoga and meditation. The brief for the site was to design a meditation center. It is believed when one meditates under a pyramid built at a specific angle of 51 degrees the energy concentrates at the apex of the pyramid and the benefits of such meditation are manifold. The site area is approximately 5600 sq.ft and the requirement was to build 3 pyramids where people could stay and meditate and a small pantry area.

Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier
Existing Site

VISION

On our first site visit, more than the site itself, one was overwhelmed by the extremely scenic surroundings and breathtaking views of the mountain ranges the site overlooks. This feature of the site, also formed the main narrative of the site planning, where we divided the site into three terraces such that one pyramid could be placed at one level without blocking views of the other and each pyramid has a private area of its own. We envisioned that the campus could be rented by either one complete group, or each level and pyramid by individuals as the design facilitates areas of confluence as well as privacy due to three different levels.

Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design AtelierThe architects vision in this case was to go beyond the program and give the clients more by making use of the full potential of the site. As the site is very remote, we tried to create more amenities so that the project doesn’t just remain a meditation centre but also a spiritual, recreational retreat . It provides a weekend getaway from the hustle bustle of city life, where people of all ages can come and feel rejuvenated.

We envisioned the place as a ‘Healing Garden’- a place in the lap of nature which facilitates spaces for meditation, stay, a restaurant and café to cater to the needs of the visitors and also capable of generating revenue with recreation facilities like sports & spa centre.

THE DESIGN

The site was a plot of dimensions 80’x 75’ with undulating land profile and a height difference of approximately 20’ from the highest to the lowest point overlooking the hills. The idea here was too create a tropical garden , so that one enters a dense landscaped area in midst of which pyramids are placed. We proposed to have three terraces of 25’, 20’ and 25’ respectively using the site gradient, each having one pyramid and other amenities. It was decided to place pyramids of dimensions 16’x16’ with attached toilets and baths. A flight of steps from plot boundary(under which the servant quarters and electrical services are placed) takes us to the second level (20’ depth). This level hosts main entry , admin, reception and multipurpose room and the pyramid at the other end. The central space was kept open so as to provide for circulation to the other two levels.

Separate flights of stairs take us to the other two 25’ width levels. At the lower most level, apart from the pyramid we proposed to have a Space for Spa, Sauna, Massage etc. the roof of which becomes an extended terrace for the level above. An amphitheatre and a small room for sports has been proposed at this level , with open area in front .

The top most level houses the third pyramid and the Café cum restaurant with semi open dining space. This level also has a small space which is used as a kitchen garden and a sitout.

Locally available Basalt stone with local artisans were employed to create the plinths as well as retaining walls of the levels. Dry construction involving Mild steel and Cement sheets and shingles was used for the construction of Pyramids and rooms.

The concept was to keep the feel of the project very rustic therefore, for room flooring kota stone was used, while rough black cuddapah was used for tiling the bathrooms and kitchen. Tropical landscape plants were used as primary tool for landscaping. Bamboos being used for screening the boundaries of the site, while palms and grasses of different varieties for the general landscape.

Site:

More Images:

Pyra Healing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier 68 Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier Pyra Heaing Garden-A Retreat & Meditation Garden, at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, by Ranu Bhaskar Design Atelier

TATA Primanti, Gurgaon – Landscape Design by NMP Design Private Limited

TATA--PRIMANTI - NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.

TATA--PRIMANTI - NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.Tata Primanti is situated on the Southern Peripheral Road in Sector 72, Gurgaon. It is a residential development spreading over an area of 36 acres- luxuriously designed towers surrounded by tree-lined boulevards.

Primanti is designed around a series of interconnected orchards, meadows and gardens that span sinuously across the development. The rich flora forms dramatic patterns with stone structures and water features, inspired by Delhi’s Mughal gardens.

Through interconnected open spaces, verdant mature tree canopies, playful use of water and land, the landscape design balances the needs of functionality, maintenance and circulation with those of aesthetics, tranquility and landscape engagement with a sensitive integrated landscape approach.

With more than four thousand number of trees and water features at intervals, the microclimate experiences a great difference as compared to the dry areas of Gurugram region. It is, thus already awarded with Gold Pre Certificate by the IGBC.

TATA--PRIMANTI - NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.
Plan

Ensconced within this garden estate are premium apartments and duplexes, with courtyards, open terraces and private gardens. Green spaces meander from residential areas through manicured lawns to the luxurious clubhouse and spa, inviting residents to spend more time outdoors.

One can enjoy various recreational and sporting facilities at state-of-the-art clubhouse and sporting zone featuring swimming pool, gym, entertainment room, sauna and steam, aqua gym, squash and badminton courts. Kids’ Play Areas, water bodies, Volley ball Court, Basketball Court and central Garden fulfills the requirements of spaces for recreation, sports and contemplation.

All landscaped areas on virgin ground are at a level slightly lower than the adjacent walkways. As a result rain and storm water percolates into the ground, in the larger open spaces. This sensitive landscape engineering ensures that disposal of the surface runoff and structured solutions are kept to a minimal.

The planting strategy was largely focused on selection of a plant palette which is drought resistant and can do well with desert conditions of sandy soil and dry environment. The challenge to compensate the heavy built mass on the site was overcome by using by close spacing of trees with umbrella shaped foliage that cuts the views of the towers, that also results in a low carbon footprint. Closely spaced tall columnar trees were used as buffer. The simplified plant palette avoids the clutter of multispecies compositions providing a sense of calm and serenity.

Project Facts:

Area : 36 acres
Completion : 2018
Images : NMP Design

Le Meridian Hotel at Jaipur, Landscape Design by NMP Design Private Limited

Le Merdian Hotel landscape by NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.

 

Le Merdian Hotel landscape by NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.Le Meridian, Jaipur is designed as a palace hotel. It recreates the ambience and charm of historical Rajput Gardens. It is located on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. The setting characterizes dry and dusty desert environment and extreme heat and glare of the sun. The unique character of the Hotel is a result of its traditional architecture as well as the distinctive and lush Landscape design.

The landscape design uses a fort wall to enclose the arrival court. The arrival court is designed as a chaupad with a hundred Champa trees and a hundred sprinkler nozzles. A combination of fragrance, lush green foliage, sound of water and improved micro climate creates a setting which enchants and mesmerizes the visitors. The design is woven around a variety of spaces- an elaborate arrival court, garden courtyard and decks.

Le Merdian Hotel landscape by NMP Design Pvt. Ltd.
Site Plan

The Chaupad is designed on the basis of traditional Chaupad, it incorporates the magic of water, trees and light to become the focal point of the place where the cameras start clicking and exclamations galore as guests walk up the path to the reception. Combination of deep blue water, lush green foliage, rough Jodhpur Stone and the sound of the sprinklers weaves a magical and dramatic spell as the guest enters the arrival court. Magical indirect lighting further enhances the drama. The grooves of stone joints imparts a richness and scale to the space.

To add richness and variety to the experience the pool environs was designed in an organic style. The philosophical approach to arrival space was altered and the poolside was designed as a fun place. The free flowing curved form sets the tone and invites the guests to relax and unwind. A large lawn attached to the pool becomes the functional space for parties and also provides a lush green view. The pool comprises of a children’s pool, wading play channels and a regular lap pool for adults. There’s a stepped deck for loungers. The pool is sited to receive abundant South sun and is sheltered by a large planter to cut the wind.

There is an outdoor eating space adjacent to the restaurant with the view of the greens and the pool. It is covered by a trellis which has luxuriant growth of Clerodendron splendens.

Project Facts:

Area : 25 acres.
Completion : 2004
Images : NMP Design

Sound of Memories – Entry for National War Memorial Competition, New Delhi by Depanshu Gola and Pushkraj Tamdey

National War Memorial, New Delhi

National War Memorial, New DelhiIntroduction
1947… was a marker for India; the event led to destruction, migration, loss, it bought out hell, hunger and war, world of rapture for the most. Alongside, it was an event that earmarked unity, bravery, admiration, dedication and pride; for some, these were the heroes who embarked onto serving the nation until their last breath. It is cumulation of these unparalleled efforts that gave our country an opportunity to imagine our identity as one, which was our own national identity.

National War Memorial, New Delhi
View from Main Hall

To acknowledge the eternal fight of the soldiers who are always at war for us to be at peace, to pay tribute to those who don’t seek remembrance and still become immortal, to salute our unshakable faith in Indian army’s devotion, this war memorial is accumulation of these diverse emotions, associations and memories that build the narrative for it. This war memorial is a catalyst in enhancing ones feelings by providing a space of solitude under an umbrella of organic.

The space of war memorial does not compete but appreciates, does not distract but adds value to the seven decades of our independence. Although the memorial camouflages with the site setting and differs from the monumentality of a super structure in construction but it is strongly grounded in the nation’s belief in a democratic, grounded, universally accessible and a porous space. Metaphorically, the war memorial is a strong and evoking representation of our progressing needs and changing ideas of monumental.

Vision of the site

Lawn II is used for the main commemorative hall as this location offers a balanced link between India gate and the proposed war museum. Lawn I has minimum site modification because of already present features like trees and public convenience. The public toilet facility will be revamped and be a part of the war memorial intervention. The location of the memorial offers a number of nodes and link, these links are knitted together with a free-flow pedestrian path tying together all the elements to form a “gestalt”. The clues for the form and materiality of the memorial have been derived from India gate and Chatri (canopy). The juxtaposition of circle and a rectangle is a result of the hints that the site offers.

Sound producing harps

National War Memorial, New Delhi
View of Sound Producing Harp with Wind

Sound of memories is a re-interpretation of the “aeolian harp”, a stringed instrument that produces harmonic sounds when a current of air passes through it. The idea is to fill the space with constant harmonic sounds and to give an inception of associations, attachments and memories of war and their martyrs.

Sajeev Smarak – National War Memorial, New Delhi – Competition Entry by Chaukor Studio

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor Studio

Project Brief:
War Memorials from time immemorial have been conceived as a visiting space, where people come and pay their respects for the bravery and valor of the fallen souls and move on with their lives. The ‘Living’ memorial is a retrospection of the idea of a memorial; a protected place where people can stay and remember their loved ones in peace and quiet. The idea is to integrate the memorial within a live and dynamic complex that would create a living memory of the martyred soldiers through our everyday interactions and experiences.

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor StudioAbout the project:
The Ministry of Defense, Government of India has conceived a National Memorial in order to honor the memory of all soldiers and their sacrifice. The Memorial is envisaged as a structure and space depicting the solemnity of the purpose. As a tribute to the brave, it would serve as a place for people to show their respect for the soldiers in their extraordinary efforts to protect the nation

Site:
The Memorial is centrally located in the heart of the city of New Delhi, within the C-Hexagon and lies in the close vicinity of India Gate and Chattri. Rajpath- the central axis originates from the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House) and culminates at the C-Hexagon, imparting importance to the location of the War Memorial.

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor Studio

Design Philosophy:
Against the idea of a singular commemorative monument, the use of distinct elements as a singular unit captures the magnitude of the sacrifice that has been made by thousands of Indian soldiers and their families. The vastness of these many sacrifices has been depicted in the vast spread out of the memorial on the site to make people aware of this fact, also, imbibing the concept of creating a place that can become a part of the living memory of our everyday life. It inculcates the liveliness of green open spaces as an integral part of the structure, hence, deriving a live and dynamic memorial which can be used by people every day.

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor StudioThese distinct elements that capture the dedication of the souls for eternity are designed as individually articulated capitals. As the capitals stand together, the overall portrayal is that of unity that reinforces the notion:
“Individuals standing strong together in Unity”

Amar Veer Stambh as an identity of the memorial:
The physical form of the Capital is generated as an interpretation of the National Emblem with the lions representing bravery and courage of the Indian soldiers. The central space within the capital is used to grow a tree to provide comfort and shade to the visitors.

Veer Stambh

Veer Stambh; the Capital of Courage and Bravery demarcates the existence of Indian soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our nation. The physical form of the capital is an interpretation of the National Emblem representing courage and strength.

Vriksh

Vriksh or the Tree protects and nurtures all life forms around it. This life giving and divine nature of the tree makes it a figure that provides and generates life.

Amar Veer Stambh

Tree and Capital are integrated to form a symbol that represents Courage and Immortality of the Indian Soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our nation. Demarcation that even after their death, they protect and nurture life.

Relevance of the Capital as a single entity:

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor Studio

The capitals will contain information related to Regiment, Name and Rank of the individual, which will be placed at the head of the Capital. The shade and protection of the trees will allow the family members to come and spend time in the memory of their loved ones. Space for planters is integrated on all four corners of the Capital where they can put and grow flowers to pay their respect and love.

Concept of Smriti Marg:

These distinct Capitals are arranged in grid patterns to resemble fleet of soldiers and various military formations. The Capitals stand in conjunction to form resting spaces and shaded avenues for the visitors; and help in guiding the path and providing sense of orientation and direction to the visitors.

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor Studio

As a person walks down the Smriti Marg or the Avenue of Remembrance, the sheer numbers of the Capitals create an everlasting impression of the magnitude of sacrifice made by the Indian soldiers. With the capitals lined along the walking pathways, they create shaded spaces where visitors can rest and experience the memorial. Shaded public courts and various green spaces are formed along the Avenue that functions as activity centers and recreational pockets for small groups and families.

Conclusion:

Sajeev Smarak - National War Memorial - Chaukor StudioThe inclusive nature of the site creates live and dynamic open spaces and forms an integral part in the lives of the people, hence creating a living memorial that would be keep the spirits of the martyred Indian soldiers alive forever. A place regenerated from the very roots of our existence for the soldiers who dedicated and laid down their lives for our nation and its independence becomes etched in our hearts forever.

Landscape Design for Sadika Farms at Mehrauli – Akshay Kaul and Associates

Sadika Farm - Akshay Kaul and Associates

Sadika Farm - Akshay Kaul and AssociatesThis is a project where the client lives in the farm house divided in three parts, agrarian, cattle farm and the actual residence. In the first phase we worked on the landscape of the residence. Here we reorganized the drainage, treated waste water through bio-remediation, harvested all rain water, minimized lawn area, reorganized the planting and paving using only material from within 200 km radius or lesser. We integrated technology as part of landscape design.