Sem 05 | Form and Space Studies

Built Form, Resource & Consumption/ Ready

The semester five studio engages with harvesting, consuming and managing the resources at the stand-alone building scale in an urban fabric. The ambition here is to imagine and suggest multiple interpretations of a built form that liberates the community of its dependencies for its essential services from the city grid. Instead, it suggested a way of living for all of its inhabitants. This exercise provided opportunities to rethink the spatial relationship between natural flows like air, water, light, and human activities interface. The certified green building typology, which usually lacks coherent thinking between the space, form, resources and technology, becomes the impetus for this project.

Following are the architectural questions that the studio absorbed in the process of design thinking;

1. What is the nature of spatial configurations that reduces the demand for resources to build and operate the building?

2. What is the architecture of Harnessing resources for buildings?

3. How does space get generated through alternative building systems?

4. How does space become a derivative of building services and systems?

5. How do you start structuring space such that the harnessed resources become a part of life and living experience?

This year the studio engaged in designing a home for the senior citizens in the Northern Suburban context of Mumbai. Each student started with answering questions like what is a home? What is a home for ageing bodies? What should be home-like in the given context of the neighbourhood? The trajectories of each student were strengthened by the mentor she/ he was deliberating with. Each mentor for this studio crafted an independent six-week journey for the group while keeping the project's intent intact. So, while one group started with the techne and material cycles for their projects, the other spent dedicated time to craft the space for visceral experiences by its users. E.g., water required to be consumed in the building for drinking and other utilities was also explored as a spatial element that could comfort the body and its sensorium.  Some other projects dwelled on a food resource question, where they articulated how the food was grown, harvested, cooked, reused as manure on the site shaped the architecture of the home for its users.

Neel Shah

The project is envisioned as a refuge for the elderlies to escape from their mundane daily routines that they can rent/ reside at for a brief period of time. As different people can come and move out at different times in the site, the project attempts at catering to not static but different needs of its users. Hence, the form of the structure is that of a scaffolding which can be altered, taken down, reused, and has an after life as against the static 50 year life of a typical R.C.C. building. The entire structure is modular and can be assembled and disassembled thus eliminating the longer process of casting, curing, finishing and others.

Shreya Mehta

The project started with documenting the routine experiences of the elder people in the house and their associations with the space and the objects, amenities in the house. While understanding that the space objects became the supports for them to walk and that all of their objects such as the spectacles, water bottle and book. All these first hand experiences crafted the spatial reconfiguration of all the activities within the home. Elements like wind chimes hanging from the roof, not only hinted at the increased velocity of the air but also the sound it makes brings comfort to the inhabitants . So are the cloth walls that are layered over each other having different densities for different spaces  but still retaining its porousness that allows light and air at the same time to feather move and generate dynamism in the still life. The structure that inhabits humans and their objects are made of the steel columns and beams and partitions made of  bricks, fabric, plantation, chimes , continuous railings as supports and creates pauses to catch breath if required.

Riddhi S

The project articulates the space question for the aged bodies and their proximities with other bodies. I began with investigating the typology of chawls where there is an opportunity to coexist and to live together with one another rather than a flat typology where the spaces are introverted and secluded. Designing spaces to be visually and physically connected and that suggested the community living and practices of the people  was the learning from the chawl typologies that I borrowed. The connections, intermediate spaces created a sense of comfort and possibility for exchange of ideas and routines. Sectionally the spaces were connected such that all floors were visually connected and allow for a safe eye over the activities of the inhabitants. Programmatically the project expanded to fold in a community kitchen such that neighbourhood community can come in and engage with the inhabitants thus forming a larger interaction and comfort conditions.