From the housing types developed for Cablenagar, came two pyramidal sections: One, termed the Summer Section (to be used in the daytime) protects the interior from the heat, the other, termed the Winter Section (to be used in the early mornings and the evenings) opens up the terraces to the sky.
Since this site faced east-west, this house consists of 3 bays with the Summer Section sandwiched in between the Winter Section on one side and a Service Bay (for circulation, kitchen and toilets) on the other. The bearing walls, made of brick, express directly the climatic concepts which underlie the design.
Thick roofs are slow to heat up, but once they do, they continue to radiate heat back into the house all through the night. A better way is to minimise the amount of incident sunlight falling on the roof surface – by a light porous membrane, like a pergola. By raising this membrane, the roof can act as a sheltered terrace.
Furthermore, the profile of the internal volumes can be adjusted so as to generate convection currents (as in the Tube and Ramkrishna houses). Units of varying categories were developed for this township, using the local sand-stone throughout: in 3-metre long slabs for the floors (spanning the width of the house), cut into rectangular blocks for the walls, and as strips for the pergolas (which were contiguous over the housing clusters).
Thirteen international architects were invited to submit designs in a limited competition for a prototypical housing complex of 1500 houses. Each house is incremental, capable of accommodating up to 10 persons (including grandparents). These units, 3 metres wide, broaden to 6 metres at the centre, in an interlocking pattern which orients them NNW-SSE (climatologically the optimal orientation for Lima). All units have vehicular access from one end and a porch connecting the community spine at the other.
In 1971 a small cluster of a dozen units were built of each of the 13 entries. To make it more earthquake resistant, the common-wall between units was modified to a zig-zag (in which are located service elements such as stairs and toilets).
This large residence, built for one of Ahmedabad’s mill owners, is based on the spatial and climatic concepts developed in the Tube House and the Hindustan Lever Pavilion. The plan sets up a series of parallel bearing walls, punctuated by interior courts and “canon”, climaxing in the living room which opens out onto the main garden to the south.
The house is placed at the northern end of the site so as to maximize the size of this garden and to enhance the spatial sequence of getting there.
This “tube” house was first prize winner in an All-India competition for low-cost housing organised by the Gujarat Housing Board Though the programme specified walk-up apartments, these row-houses provided the same density – and larger living space per family.
The section is shaped so that the hot air rises and escapes form the top, setting up a convection currents of natural ventilation. Inside the units there are almost no doors; privacy being created by the various levels themselves, and security by the pergola-grid over the internal courtyard.
Located in the middle of a fruit orchard about 70 km north of Bombay, is this house for an artist. From the entrance gate, one travels down the palm-fringed driveway towards the thick masses of chikoo trees. The house itself is just one event in a narrative pathway that commences at the entrance gate and goes down the middle of the orchard, all the way to the far end. Other events along the way: are the sculptures, the Afternoon Pavilion (hidden low among the chikoo trees), and the Ziggurat (leading to a small gazebo at tree-top level).
The same principle is followed in the design of the house itself where, as in the case of the cyclone relief project, there are three separate zones, each built for a specific purpose. In this case, the first is a box for living, sleeping, cooking and washing. The second is the studio for painting. The third is the pergola-covered terrace for sitting out in the evenings and early mornings, and for sleeping at night. These three zones are interrelated in a manner which articulates their separate identities and yet preserves the compactness of the overall form.
These luxury houses are situated around the periphery of a spectacular golf course, which had been created in a 500-acre site of hills and valleys and breath-taking views. A dozen architects from around the world were invited to design two houses each – one for an uphill site and the other for a downhill house. This particular house is on a sharply sloping downhill site. As in the Verem villas, it is a series of layers, progressing from the entrance, down through the main living areas, to a large double-height lanai overlooking the landscape.
The spatial organisation of the plans is extremely simple, but the architectonic forms have been articulated in a rather free manner, so that when the house is to be repeated on another site, these elements can be adjusted and rearranged, in order to take advantage of any particular views and breezes that might be available in the new location.
Using the basic design principles for the units at Belapur, the units are grouped around a hierarchy of open spaces. The houses cater to four income categories, from lower to mid-level income families. There are, however, only two basic plot sizes. Each unit is independent from its neighbour which allows for incrementality and upgrading as families become upwardly mobile. The construction materials are those that are readily available. Local stone is used in a centuries-old traditional.
The traditional courtyard houses of South India represent a typology much older, and really quite different, from that of the bungalows built by the British – which is usually a long shed (with the living and dining rooms down the center and the bedrooms on either side), wrapped around with continuous verandahs. The result: rooms which are large and generous, but sadly lacking in light and cross-ventilation. In contrast, the traditional old Hindu houses in Tamil Nadu and Goa are usually organised around a small central courtyard, with a tree or tulsi plant in the middle.
The front door, intentionally placed off-center on the main facade, leads one along a shifting axis to arrive at the courtyard – which acts as the central focus, and brings wonderful bounce-light and ventilation to the rooms that surround it.
This project, located on six hectares of land about 2 km from the city centre of New Bombay, attempts to demonstrate how high densities (500 persons per hectare, including open spaces, schools, etc.) can be easily achieved within the context of a low-rise typology. The site plan is generated by a hierarchy of community spaces, starting with a small shared courtyard 8m x 8m around which seven houses are grouped. Each of these houses is on its own piece of land, so that the families can have the crucial advantage of open-to sky spaces (to augment the covered areas). Furthermore, they do not share any party-walls with their neighbours – which makes these houses truly incremental, since each family can extend their own house independently.
These houses cover almost the entire social spectrum from squatter families to the upper income brackets – yet, in order to maintain the fundamental principle of Equity, the sites themselves vary in size only marginally (from 45 sqm to 70 sqm). The form and plans of these houses are very simple, so that they can be built and extended by traditional masons and craftsmen-thus generating employment in the Bazaar Sector of the urban economy (i.e., exactly where they are needed for the new urban migrants).
In Bombay a building has to be oriented east-west to catch the prevailing sea-breezes, and to open up the best views in the city: the Arabian Sea on one side and the harbour on the other. But these unfortunately are also the directions of the hot sun and the heavy monsoon rains. The old bungalows solved these problems by wrapping a protective layer of verandahs around the main living areas, thus providing the occupants with two lines of defence against the elements.
Kanchanjunga, an attempt to apply these principles to a high-rise building, is a condominium of 32 luxury apartments of four different types, varying from 3 to 6 bedrooms each. The interlock of these variations are expressed externally by the shear end walls that hold up the cantilevers. The tower has a proportion of 1:4 (being 21 metres square and 84 metres high). Its minimalist unbroken surfaces are cut away to open up the double-height terrace gardens at the corners, thus revealing (through the interlocking form and colour) some hint of the complex spatial organisation of living spaces that lie within the tower.
This resort complex is located at Cavelossim, one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches. One arrives at the main reception area, under a large wooden roof- a form which is echoed in the adjacent restaurant and in the club and recreation facilities across the swimming pool.
From this central area, a walkway leads one down to the beach, with the guest rooms located in low-rise clusters on either side. This walkway is the heart of the complex, providing access to all the other facilities along the activity spine, anchored by the swimming pool and reception centre at one end and the stunningly beautiful Cavelossim Beach at the other. Most of the public facilities for guests are really just large verandahs and pavilions: semi-open spaces which allow for cross-ventilation and sea breeze, and at the same time provide protection from the sun. The guest rooms are housed in small casas, grouped around courts – although there are only four basic types of casas – a considerable degree of variation and individual identity is achieved by the addition of ancillary elements: railings, gargoyles, balcao seats, & window shutters, a vocabulary very much in the architectural traditions of Goa.
Port Blair, with its deep-blue water harbour, is at the centre of the Andaman Islands which lie to the south-west of Rangoon in the Bay of Bengal. Inhabited by a number of different tribes, many of whom have had little contact with the outside world, the Andamans are a world of primordial beauty, of whales and robber crabs, right out of the voyages of Charles Darwin.
The site for the hotel is on a hill overlooking the deep blue waters of Port Blair. The public areas form a series of decks, cascading down the hill, protected by the large overhang of the great roofs above (constructed of the local redwood, padauk).
This stepped pyramid, covered by a pitched roof, is a configuration with considerable advantages: it does not need any enclosing walls to keep out the sun and rain, but allows the prevailing breezes to flow through. From within, the large pyramidal wooden roofs over the public areas are asymmetrical about their longitudinal axis – so that the sloping roof surface facing the view is elongated (like the protective brim of a solar topee), deflecting one’s eye downwards to the blue waters of the bay. From a skylight at the apex of the pyramid, daylight descends gently down on to the decks below.
Goa, one of the oldest trading centres along the west coast of India and for 450 years part of Portugal, is a land of rivers and hills and stunning palm-fringed beaches. Because Goa’s economy has always been traditionally land-based, the population of seven million is evenly distributed – one lives in a place because one either owns land there or is a tenant-farmer working there. Thus, Goa has no single dominant city, but a balanced polycentric system of villages and towns – the largest of which has less than 100,000 inhabitants.
This hotel, a few minutes drive from Panaji, is built on a sloping site which descends down to a beach on the Zuari river. During the process of design, the hotel began to emerge as a sort of expressionistic hill town – so the search commenced for a name which would describe it… surely there was a mythical city which the Portuguese had yearned for in vain?….an El Dorado? But alas, perhaps historians could find nothing. (Are Portuguese. less metaphysical than Spanish?) Finally a phrase surfaced: “Cidade de Goa” the original name for Panaji, Goa’s capital town. City of Goa… a marvellously evocative phrase… a city, which is at times a city abstracted, and then again, a city of virtual imagery, and finally a city of real dwellings and balconies and terraces.
The main road is up on the barren ridge of a rocky plateau. One passes beneath the entrance arch and descends down the long driveway into a lush green valley, to arrive in a plaza, surrounded by key symbols and signs which connote: CITY. Some of these images are the artifacts of a stage set, others the trompe de l’oeil of the cinema poster artist. These facades are layers, one passes through…. a highly fragmented, kaleidoscopic series of visual sensations and architectural spaces. What is real? The object? Or the image? Or the image of the image of the image? Awakening sub-conscious responses in the memory… the bitter-sweet saudade of nostalgia … like the fades of the Alfama, a sardonic art.
The purpose of this project, commissioned by the Government of India, was to initiate one of India’s most spectacular (but relatively unknown) beaches as a major beach resort area. Thus, the facilities specified in the programme (accommodation for over 300 guests, centres for yoga and ayurvedic massage, water sports, and so forth) had to be deployed in a manner which would create a critical mass for each activity – and at the same time open up several strategic points on the site so as to increase future growth options. The master plan therefore does not concentrate all the facilities in one area, but generates a larger number of potential growth points, thus allowing a more flexible response to future demands.
The guest rooms come in three configurations. Firstly, on the edge of the beach, hidden under the palm trees, are the kudils individual suites for longer stays, with their own cooking facilities, etc. Overlooking the beach is the main hotel with 100 guest rooms. Here, in order to preserve the natural beauty of the site, the facilities are all built into the hill slopes-every room getting its own private sundeck. In between the kudils and the hotel there are clusters of “detached units”, offering about the same facilities as the kudils but at slightly higher densities.
Throughout the project, the construction is in traditional vernacular of Kerala: viz, white plastered walls with red tiled roofs; other pavilions consist of light bamboo chhatris with coir matting on the floor and local Kerala handicrafts.
The lower two floors contain administrative offices and the top floor terrace apartments for university guests. Because of the east-west orientation of the site, climate protection is a major factor. These external walls are designed as a combination of storage walls and different kinds of closable shutters: the wooden ones open directly to the outside and the glazed ones on an axis at right angles to them. This allows light and ventilation through the open glazed panels even while the wooden ones are dosed to keep out the sun.
The Ahmedabad Rifle Association needed a building to house their offices and showroom. Since their requirements were small and their initial funds limited. they wanted a plan which would provide direct access to independent rentable offices, and which could be added to later on.
Thus, the building consists of two separate blocks each 12m x 12m. The floor slabs are diagrids, supported by 4 columns placed at the middle of each external wall, augmented by diagonal brace to the corners. This created an internal office space free of obstruction. The central slot between the two blocks is used for circulation and toilets
The Client wanted a workspace which, through its very form, generates a controlled micro-climate, obviating the necessity for air-condition. The brief specified a programme that was incremental – hence the modular units, which are indented into a cruciform so as to bring more daylight to the workspaces. To minimize hear input, the units are sealed along the east on the west (which enjoys a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape) shade is provided by the large roof overhang – consisting partly of a slatted pergola and partly thin membrane of water which reflects the incident hear of sunlight back into the sky.
This office complex for the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is situated on the outer road of Connaught Circle, and acts as a pivot between the colonnades of Connaught Place and the new generation of high-rise towers that now surround it. Thus, the building is both proscenium and backdrop: a twelve-storey stage-set whose faceted glass surfaces reflect the buildings and trees around Connaught Place, and beyond which the new high-rise imagery of Delhi can be glimpsed.
The two lower levels of the complex consist of shopping decks and restaurants, while the upper levels of offices are located in two separate wings, generating a total built-up area of 63,000 square metres. Connecting the two wings, is a great pergola, 98 metres long, supported at either end by masonry piers and in the middle by a single column. A city proposal for an elevated pedestrian walkways (if ever constructed) will pass between the two blocks, allowing pedestrians to traverse the building as a great darwaza, i.e. gateway, defined by the portico-form.
The site, just down the road, from the UN Headquarters in New York, consists of two Manhattan city-blocks connecting adjacent streets, forming a narrow strip of land 60 metres long, with a frontage of 12 metres along 43rd St. and a mere 6.3 metres along 44th St. Into this crevice had to be inlaid a complex programme of offices for the Permanent Mission of India and an Exhibition Gallery (with direct access from 44th St.) located in the four levels of the podium, surmounted by a tower with residential accommodation for five different categories of staff, ranging from the security personnel (15.5 sq. metres each) to the Dy. Consul General (200 sq. metres in a triplex apartment with terrace gardens, at the top of the building). This wide range of apartment sizes were all accommodated in the same envelope (a tower 14 metres wide and 15.5 metres deep), wrapped in a taut metal panelled skin. The larger apartments at the top are interlocking duplexes somewhat like the Kanchanjunga Apartments in Bombay (1960-83), but with the double height areas glass-enclosed (so as to remain useable in the North American winters).