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  • 13 ABOUT THE ISSUE

  • 14 REFLECTIONS

  • 16 UPDATES AIRPORTS

  • 24 An Organic Form Shenzhen Bao’ Airport, China Studio Fuksas

  • 34 Umbrella Structure King David the Builder International Airport, Kutaisi, Georgia Ben van Berkel/UNStudio

  • 46 Incorporating Regional Identity Terminal 2, Mumbai Skidmore, Owings & Merill LLP

JURY OUTCOME

  • 56 Architecture+Design & Cera Awards 2014 VIEWPOINTS

  • 62 Sustainability and Memory By Niranjan Garde INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN

  • 66 A Metaphor of Function By Pramod Beri

  • 70 Inter-connected Spaces Polymer Science & Engineering Lab, Pune Beri Architects and Engineers Pvt Ltd, Kolhapur

  • 80 Three-Winged Swastik Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), Ahmedabad Studio Eethetics, Ahmedabad

  • 88 Subterranean School Professional School Hanna Arendt,Italy Cleaa Claudio Lucchin & architetti associate, Bolzano, Italy INTERACTION

  • 96 Search for Substance A conversation between William J R Curtis and Rajnish Wattas RESEARCH

    • 110 Intelligent Building Envelope EXPLORING DESIGN

    • 118 Innovative Product Design

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about the issue

AN INDIAN JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE
AN
INDIAN
JOURNAL
OF
ARCHITECTURE
OCTOBER 2014 `175 ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE + + DESIGN AN AN INDIAN INDIAN JOURNAL JOURNAL OF OF
OCTOBER 2014 `175
ARCHITECTURE
ARCHITECTURE
+ +
DESIGN
AN
AN
INDIAN
INDIAN
JOURNAL
JOURNAL
OF
OF
ARCHITECTURE
ARCHITECTURE
VOLUME 30
ISSUE 10
Chhatrapati Shivaji
International Airport - Terminal
2, Mumbai (Architects:
AIRPORT
AIRPORT PLANNING
PLANNING
INSTITUTIONAL
INSTITUTIONAL ARCHITECTURE
ARCHITECTURE

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP)

All drawings and visuals for the projects and articles, unless mentioned otherwise, are courtesy the architects/authors.

Image ooff Month tthhee
Image
ooff
Month
tthhee

J ust as there was a phase when hospitals all over went through a change in design concepts, similarly in the recent times one witnesses a radical transformation in the approach to planning of airports. With the increase in air traffic, security

issues, technology advancements and the initiative to revitalise the core functionality,

these structures have developed a vocabulary of their own. Modern materials and

advanced structural configurations have no doubt given flexibility to the planners for

visualising larger space volumes and grid spans. Along with increased efficiency,

there is also the attempt of making the whole experience of being at the airport more satiating – both visually and physically. The interior treatments often tend to be on the border of being lavish. In this Issue we publish a few contemporary airports build in India and abroad and

which encapsulate an urban planning scale. The Shenzhen International airport in China is an example – it is the largest single building complex to be built till date in Shenzhen. Elements of architecture – whether it is lighting, texture, play of shadow

and such others – they all are artistically oriented. The King David airport in Georgia boasts of a pleasant setting amidst the landscape of the hilly terrain. Elegant, smart, sleek – are but some adjectives used to explain it. Whereas the new Terminal 2 of the Shivaji International airport in Mumbai brings flavours of traditional and regional architecture with a contemporary feel. The terminal’s roof is said to be one of the largest in the world without an expansion joint. The entire airport building whether it is the external façade or then the interiors – resonates with the vitality of informal structured design. Institutional architecture is another significant component of the contents of this Issue. Bigger complexes, addressing sustainability concerns, more elaborate in design, probing material dynamics – that’s the pulse felt here. The institutions published are clear headed design statements bringing forth the aesthetics of simplicity and the positive relatedness that evolves with nature in exposing the rawness of materials. Do not miss-out the product design section that explores meaningful innovative design. And yes, the much awaited jury outcome for the ‘Architecture+Design & CERA Awards 2014’ also finds itself cushioned in the pages that follow--.

about the issue AN INDIAN JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE OCTOBER 2014 `175 ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE + + DESIGN

Urban Scape – Sky Lobby, The Palm Atlantis, Dubai

Photo credit: Harsh Varshneya

about the issue AN INDIAN JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE OCTOBER 2014 `175 ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE + + DESIGN

Any architectural project we do takes at least four or five years, so increasingly there is a discrepancy

between the acceleration of culture and the continuing slowness of architecture

about the issue AN INDIAN JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE OCTOBER 2014 `175 ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE + + DESIGN

—Rem Koolhaas

Reflections

Reflections Photo Credit: Uwe Walter / Autostadt MobiVersum MobiVersum was designed by Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer

Photo Credit: Uwe Walter / Autostadt

Reflections Photo Credit: Uwe Walter / Autostadt MobiVersum MobiVersum was designed by Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer

MobiVersum

Reflections Photo Credit: Uwe Walter / Autostadt MobiVersum MobiVersum was designed by Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer

MobiVersum was designed by Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer H of J MAYER H Architects as an exhibition and experience area for young visitors at Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany. It is integrated as part of the overall context of Autostadt ‘People, Cars, and What Moves Them’. The installation provides an active introduction to the subject of sustainability in all its facets for children of all ages. The shape of the imaginative, playful structures of solid wood is reminiscent of roots and tree trunks. The sculptures, which can be used and entered, structure diversified spatial zones with different thematic emphases and inspire the children’s curiosity to discover and explore.

Reflections Photo Credit: Uwe Walter / Autostadt MobiVersum MobiVersum was designed by Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer

Project architect: Christoph Emenlauer; Project team: Gal Gaon, Simon Kassner, Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn, Marta Ramírez Iglesias, Alexandra Virlan; Architect on site: Jablonka Sieber Architekten, Berlin

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Updates

Fast Track Architecture

Updates Fast Track Architecture G oettsch Partners (GP), an architectural firm, has been hired by Hong

G oettsch Partners (GP), an architectural

firm, has been hired by Hong Kong-

based developer China Resources Land Limited to design a project located in Neighbourhood 2 of Shenzhen’s Qianhai district. The project covers 6.18 hectares

and includes five commercial towers totaling 450,000sq m—the firm’s largest project till date in China. The overall development totals 503,000sq m and includes three office towers, a five-star hotel tower, an apartment tower, a shopping mall and retail stores. GP is designing all of the towers as well as the hotel and apartment podiums and their affiliated program spaces. GP in collabora tion with UK-based design firm Benoy, is designing the shopping mall and retail areas. The overall design concept is one of a unified complex composed of buildings with related yet individual exterior characteristics and facades. A metallic-

painted aluminum frame with consistent spacing between verticals prioritises internal planning flexibility for the office towers. The spacing between horizontal frame elements varies from a two-storey to a four-storey rhythm in order to respond more individually to each office building’s height and proportions. The frame’s vertical component is accentuated by means of double fins; this character is countered by an expression of double horizontal fins on the hotel and apartment towers that create a related yet different appearance while affording flexibility for views and natural ventilation.

Updates Fast Track Architecture G oettsch Partners (GP), an architectural firm, has been hired by Hong

For more information, visit:

www.gpchicago.com

A rchitectural firm Jestico

+ Whiles

recently completed the new Alston

Bar & Beef restaurant for food and drink

group Glendola Leisure. The restaurant is the first to open up under Glasgow’s busiest railway station and boasts a dramatic wall mural visible to passers-by. The firm (responsible for the interior design and the overall visual identity) commissioned and worked closely with Timorous Beasties on the wall mural to add unconventional touches of Scotland to the stairway art work. This 80-seat restaurant occupies a set of forgotten arches in the catacombs

Updates Fast Track Architecture G oettsch Partners (GP), an architectural firm, has been hired by Hong

below Glasgow’s Central Station and is named after Alston St, the main thoroughfare of Glasgow’s mysterious, forgotten Grahamston Village that stood at the crossroads of the main north-south

and east-west axes of Glasgow, and which was built over in the late 1800s to create the station. The design of the restaurant integrates the rich historic layers of the city while adding contemporary elements, creating a brand new state-of-the-art venue that is innovative and highly atmospheric. The design draws on the rugged history of the station, along with the wider context of Scotland to create a retreat that is full of oblique references. The materials and finishes have been chosen to bring together the restaurant’s distinctive blend of local cuisine and specialist gin selection.

T he Regent hotel Porto Montenegro designed

by ReardonSmith Architects and ReardonSmith Landscape has been launched in Porto Montenegro. Inspired by the houses that grace the region’s Adriatic coastline, the building’s architecture also responds to the classical manner of the grand palazzos of the Italian lakes. While the hotel’s scale and style is imposing amongst its smaller neighbours, the relationship with them is also clear. All the buildings are clad in Montenegrin stone and render and are topped with terracotta roof tiles; the arched colonnade that wraps around the hotel is typical in the region

Updates Fast Track Architecture G oettsch Partners (GP), an architectural firm, has been hired by Hong

and provides shaded areas in the summer months as well as protection during the rainy season. Patrick Reardon, executive chairman of ReardonSmith Architects, said, “We are delighted to see the opening of Regent Porto Montenegro, the newest achievement in our seven years-to-date programme to transform what was once a decommissioned naval base into what it is today – not only a spectacular yachting enclave but also a thriving, working town. It has been particularly rewarding since this is our first completed project involving both the architecture and landscape teams at ReardonSmith.”

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Updates

Exhibition

T he 2014 edition ‘Towards 2050: Developing a Sino-Dutch Approach for Sustainable Urbanisation’ was recently held in

Beijing. The event witnessed an intense Sino-Dutch cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development. The goal of the initiative was to explore how the Dutch integrated planning approach can be adapted and implemented within the context of the rapid urbanisation of Chinese metropolitan regions. To this end, the event organised various programmes, such as Sino-Dutch design projects, workshops, seminars and exchanges. Initiated by the Creative Industry Fund NL, the theme this year is Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and Towards 2050 works together with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Development and Beijing Design Week, among others. Ton Venhoeven, former Dutch chief government advisor on Infrastructure and curator of Towards 2050, said, “I am delighted

Updates Exhibition T he 2014 edition ‘Towards 2050: Developing a Sino-Dutch Approach for Sustainable Urbanisation’ was

with the broad background and expertise of the Chinese and Dutch participants. There are various specialists and generalists, policy makers and designers, from both public and private institutions. With professors and students they work together on projects that contribute to smart, competitive, sustainable and healthy urban regions. "

Competition

Z aha Hadid has been chosen to design a new mathematics gallery at the

Science Museum, London. The £5 million David and Claudia Harding Mathematics Gallery will become a permanent addition to the museum, as part of its planned £60 million redevelopment. The gallery will present the tools and ideas of the mathematicians who have helped to shape the world from the turn of the 17th century to the present. Zaha Hadid’s practice has embodied this idea by

Updates Exhibition T he 2014 edition ‘Towards 2050: Developing a Sino-Dutch Approach for Sustainable Urbanisation’ was

anchoring engineering and mathematical thinking throughout their designs. Zaha Hadid, who studied mathematics

at the American University in Beirut, said, “The design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives, transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages.” The David and Claudia Harding Mathematics Gallery will open in 2016 and will be curated by David Rooney.

Updates Exhibition T he 2014 edition ‘Towards 2050: Developing a Sino-Dutch Approach for Sustainable Urbanisation’ was

For further information, visit:

www.zaha-hadid.com

Award

Updates Exhibition T he 2014 edition ‘Towards 2050: Developing a Sino-Dutch Approach for Sustainable Urbanisation’ was

T he World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced the shortlisted projects for the ‘Wood Excellence Prize’, which makes

it debut at this year’s WAF awards programme. Sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the ‘Wood Excellence Prize’ is the first of its kind to feature on the festival’s awards programme with the only criterion that wood is an integral part of

the project. Over forty submissions were received for the award and eight great timber projects will now be put forward for the final judging in Singapore led by renowned architect, Matteo Thun. The shortlisted projects, include The Tent by a21studio (Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam); Pittwater House by Andrew Burges Architects (Sydney, Australia); Earth Wind and Fire Atelier by Arcau (Vannes, France); School 't Hofke by UArchitects (Eindhoven, The Netherlands); Regional Terminal at Christchurch Airport by BVN Donovan Hill (Christchurch, New Zealand); Salvaged Ring by a21studio (Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam); Alex Monroe Studio by DSDH (London, UK); and The Pinch by the Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong (Zhaotong, China). Paul Finch, programme director, World Architecture Festival, said: “This was a great way to appreciate how a traditional' material can be used to transform exteriors and interiors in new and unexpected ways.”

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Bollards optionally with LED or for conventional lamps, protection c lass IP 65, 1320 to 7400 lumen. In this innovative, shielded bollard, the light is directed by means of a cone-shaped reflector. The result is rotationally symmetrical, broad spread and uniform illumination. Available in two sizes. Ideal for footpaths, entrance areas and driveways. Regional Manager Asia Pacific · International Projects · André Ng 10 Raeburn Park #02-08 · Singapore 088702 · Phone +65 6692 8029 Fax +65 6692 8001 · andre.ng@bega.com · www.bega.com

Bollards optionally with LED or for conventional lamps, protection c lass IP 65, 1320 to 7400

Das gute Licht.

For a welcoming reception.

Updates

Trade news

P hilips India recently created a LED lit ‘Arch and Shankh’ structure on the occasion of Ganesh Ustav.

This structure demonstrated the benefits as well as aesthetic possibilities of LED lighting. With more than 11,000 coloured LED lamps, the structure is stood at 24ft height, 20ft width, a depth of 10ft – the biggest techno artistic LED lit structure in India. The unit is engineered with sound sensors and the shankh lights up with the chant ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’. The entire unit consumes less than 6 units per hour. The LED lighting used is 96% more energy efficient when compared to the normal incandescent bulbs which are normally used in pandaals during festive occasions. Sumit Joshi, marketing head, Philips Lighting India, said, “Through this initiative, we are showcasing an innovative architecture that represents the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in an environment friendly manner and demonstrates the possibilities offered by LED lighting in terms of energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.”

Updates Trade news P hilips India recently created a LED lit ‘Arch and Shankh’ structure on

A rvicon International has unveiled its first concept showroom in Dwarka. The store

houses products and design themes made of stone veneers. From beds to side tables, bars to walls, all the products are done in stone veneers. With the motto of fusing architectural creativity with nature's legacy of stone, the company highlighted the lifestyle and luxury application of stone veneers. Gaurav Jain, MD, Arvicon International, said, “While stone, in all its forms and textures, is a delight when it comes to architecture and design, it is that difficult to work with. The sheer weight and the ineffectiveness of cost makes most people rule out using stone work on a regular basis. But here is the perfect thing for them - stone veneers.”

Conference

T he second edition of the Architecture & Design Summit 2014 was recently held at

  • ITC Sheraton, New Delhi. The summit was held in five cities including New Delhi, where a one day conference was held highlighting the architectural and design innovations to shape the future cities of India. It aimed to bring together key stakeholders to deliberate on the current challenges through multiple focused panel discussions. With the theme of ‘Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Practice”, the conference focused on 'C' level executives leading the organisations from the fore front while assessing the sectors course ahead and figuring out ways to mitigate risks and future-proof the business profitability. Participation of eminent personalities from the hospitality, healthcare, social infrastructure, residential and commercial space was seen at the event. Speaking on the occasion, Deepak Lamba, president, Times Conferences Limited – BCCL said, “After the phenomenal success of the first edition of the Architecture and Design Summit, we are elated to host the second edition of one of India’s biggest Design summit- The Economic Times Architecture & Design Summit 2014. The aim is to leverage the wealth of experience, discuss research initiatives and discover the opportunity in architecture and design implementation on a larger scale. The summit is an endeavor to bring various industry stakeholders together on a single platform and discuss strategies and steps which will ensure that today's dream turns into tomorrow's reality”. This conference brought forth Indian and global industry

barons and visionaries on one platform to share their knowledge and experience of creating structures that align with the needs of a progressive nation with era-defining designs. The special address was given by Abhishek Somany, joint managing director, Somany Ceramics. Other prominent leaders present on the occasion, included Karan Grover, founder, Karan Grover & Associates; Sunita Kohli, president K2 India and J B Krishsagar, chief planner, Town & Country Planning Organisation, Government Of India, Ministry of Urban Development, among others.

Updates Trade news P hilips India recently created a LED lit ‘Arch and Shankh’ structure on

The event was organised by Somany Ceramics in collaboration with Economic Times. It was held in Ludhiana, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Dehradun followed by the culmination event in New Delhi.

Updates Trade news P hilips India recently created a LED lit ‘Arch and Shankh’ structure on

For details, e-mail: Srishti.vatsa@bm.com

Updates Trade news P hilips India recently created a LED lit ‘Arch and Shankh’ structure on
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Project Feature

An Organic Form

Project: Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China Architects: Studio Fuksas

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T he terminal– the largest single public building to be

built till date in Shenzhen– encompasses 63 contact

gates, with a further 15 remote gates and significant

retail space. It will increase the capacity of the airport by 58

percent, allowing the airport to handle up to 45 million passengers per year.

The concept of the plan for Terminal- 3 of the airport evokes the image of a manta ray, a fish that breathes and changes its own shape, undergoes variations, turns into a bird to celebrate the emotion and fantasy of a flight. The structure of T3 — an approximately 1.5km long tunnel — seems to be modelled by the wind and is reminiscent of the image of an organic-shaped

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4.
HEALTH CHECK
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SECTION

SECTION THROUGH SKYLIGHT ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN O O c c t t o o b b e e

SECTION THROUGH SKYLIGHT

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ELEVATION

sculpture. The profile of the roofing is characterised by variations in height alluding to the natural landscape. The symbolic element of the plan is the internal and external double ‘skin’ honeycomb motif that wraps up the structure. Through its double-layering, the ‘skin’ allows natural light in, thus creating light effects within the internal spaces. The cladding is made of an alveolus-shaped metal and glass panels of different sizes that can be partially opened. The passengers accede to the terminal from the entrance situated under the large T3 ‘tail’. The wide terminal bay is characterised by white conical supporting columns rising up to touch the roofing like the inside of a cathedral. On the ground floor, the terminal square allows access to the luggage, departure and arrival areas as well as coffee houses and restaurants, offices and business facilities. The departures hall houses the check-in desks, the airlines info-points and

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several help- desks. The double and triple height spaces of the departure hall establish a visual connection between the internal levels and create a passage for natural light. After checking in, the national and international passengers’ flows spread out vertically for departures. The concourse is the airport’s key-area and is made up of three levels. Each level is dedicated to three independent functions — departures, arrivals and services. Its tubular shape chases the idea of motion. The ‘cross’ is the intersection point where the three levels of the concourse are vertically connected to create full-height voids, which allow natural light to filter from the highest level down to the waiting room set in the node on the ground floor. The honeycomb motif is transferred and replicated in the interior design. Shop boxes, facing one another, reproduce the alveolus design on a larger scale and recur in different

articulations along the concourse. The interiors — placed in the internet-point, check-in, security-check, gates and passport-check

articulations along the concourse. The interiors — placed in the internet-point, check-in, security-check, gates and passport-check areas – have a sober profile and a stainless steel finish that reflects and multiplies the honeycomb motif of the internal skin. Sculpture-shaped objects and big stylised white trees have been designed for air-conditioning all along the terminal and the concourse, replicating the planning of amorphous forms inspired by nature. This is also the case for the baggage-claim and info-point ‘islands’. The design has been optimised to make best use of natural ventilation and light. Photovoltaics will meet the electricity demand of T3, making about 950 million electricity units each year. The main building includes two-storey underground and four layers above the ground (partial five storeys). The fourth floor is the departure hall. The third floor is connected with the domestic departing passengers channel and the centre of it is the international joint inspection zone, luggage collection/checkpoint and the office area located on both sides. The domestic passage channel, luggage claim hall and part of the office area are on the second floor. At the north- east part of the first floor is the international departure hall. Its centre is used for the international joint inspection zone

and also the luggage claim hall. In front of the first floor stand the CIP lounges. Between it and the main building stands the outdoor courtyard. Studio Fuksas are engaged on two further phases of the airport extension, scheduled to complete in 2025 and 2035 respectively.

articulations along the concourse. The interiors — placed in the internet-point, check-in, security-check, gates and passport-check

Photo credit: Archivio Fuksas

Fact File

Client: Shenzhen Airport (Group) Co, Ltd Architects: Studio Fuksas, Shenzhen/Rome/Paris Design team: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas Interior design: Fuksas Design—internet-point, check-in ‘island’, security- check, gates, passport-check areas, shop box, baggage-claim ‘islands’, info- point, ventilation trees, signage, commercial desk and washrooms Developer: Shenzhen Planning Bureau; Shenzhen Airport (Group) Co, Ltd Contractor: China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Beijing Structures, façade and parametric design: Knippers Helbig Engineering Architect of record: BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architectural Design) Lighting consulting: Speirs & Major Associates Cost of project: 734,000,000 Euros Size: 5,381,955sq ft (approximately) Year of completion: 2013 (Phase-1)

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Airport Design

Umbrella Structure

Project: King David the Builder International Airport, Kutaisi, Georgia Architects: Ben van Berkel/UNStudio, Amsterdam

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T he recently completed airport serves domestic and

international flights for use by tourists, national

politicians and international diplomats. The airport is

designed to become a central hub, with up to one million travellers targeted in 2014-2015. The design comprises the full airport development, including a revision of the runway, the master plan for the landscape and planned future development, thereof the terminal building, offices, a meteorological station and the air traffic control tower.

The architecture of the terminal refers to a gateway, in which a clear structural layout creates an all-encompassing and protective volume. Both the exterior corner detail, which functions as a crossing-point and point of recognition, and the so called ‘umbrella’ structure within the terminal building which operates as a roundabout for passenger flows operate as the two main architectural details around which all of the airport functions are organised. The umbrella further guarantees views from the terminal plaza to the apron and to the Caucasus on the horizon and

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SECTION
ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN OO cc tt oo bb ee rr 22 00 11 44 35
SITE PLAN
SITE PLAN

vice versa. The central point in the umbrella is an exterior patio which is used for departing passengers. The transparent space around this central area is designed to ensure that flows of passengers are smooth and that departure and arrival flows do not coincide. The design organises the logistical processes, provides optimal security and ensures that the traveller has sufficient space to circulate comfortably. Serving as a lobby

to Georgia, the terminal in addition operates as a café and art gallery, displaying works by young Georgian artists and thereby presenting a further identifier of contemporary Georgian culture. The 55m high Air Traffic Control Tower and its supporting office/operational building is designed to complement the design of the terminal. The tower’s strong appearance makes it a beacon of the airport and surrounding area. The traffic

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SECTION

SECTION 38 O O c c t t o o b b e e r r
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control cabin on the top level forms the focal point of the tower, with a 360 degrees view on the surrounding landscape. A spacious and comfortable interior ensures a workspace for four to eight operators with optimal concentration. The exterior of the tower is clad with a perforated skin on a concrete core to use wind for ventilation purposes. LED light in-between the skin and the core enhance the beacon effect of the tower at dusk and dawn by changing colour whenever there is a fluctuation in wind speed. The design for the new airport incorporates numerous sustainable elements. A large onsite underground source of natural water provides the basis for the reduction of energy consumption through concrete core activation and use for

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GROUND FLOOR PLAN
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COURTYARD
2.
LOBBY
3.
CIP FLOOR
4.
CONGRESS ROOM
5.
ADMINISTRATION

1.

COURTYARD

2.

EXIT

3.

ENTRANCE

4.

LOBBY

5.

CHECK-IN

6.

LUGGAGE OUTBOUND

7.

SECURITY

8.

CUSTOMS

9.

DEPARTURE LOBBY

10.

TRANSFER DESK

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LANDSIDE

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LUGGAGE INBOUND

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ADMINISTRATION

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MIRROR BAR

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AIRSIDE

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER - ELEVATIONS
TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER - ELEVATIONS

Fact File

Client: United Airports of Georgia LLC (Master Plan and Terminal) Sakaeronavigatsia Ltd (Air Traffic Control Tower, offices and meteorological building) Architects: UNStudio, Amsterdam/Shanghai/Hong Kong Project team: Ben van Berkel (Principal), Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Frans van Vuure and Filippo Lodi, Roman Kristesiashvili, Tina Kortmann, Wendy van der Knijff, Kristoph Nowak,Machiel Wafelbakker, Gustav Fagerström, Thomas Harms, Deepak Jawahar, Nils Saprovskis, Patrik Noome Consultants: MTM kft (Structural), SMG-SISU kft (MEP), OR else (Landscape Architect), Arup (Structural expertise & Sustainability), Arup Aviation (Airport planning), Studio ARCI (Local architect) Contractors: Paul Schuler und Irao Group Ltd (Concrete Works); RutinKft (Steel Structure); Hess Timber GmbH & Co KG (Wood Structure); Permasteelisa Interiors Srl (Facades & Terminal Interior Ceiling/Trusses); Paul Schuler und Irao Group Ltd (Terminal Interior); Black Sea Group, Tbilisi (Landscape); József and Zsuzsa Keresztély (Site Management) Total floor area: 4,500sq m (Terminal), 1,800sq m (Control Tower & Offices) Year of completion: 2013

ELEVATION 42 O O c c t t o o b b e e r r

ELEVATION

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ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN O O c c t t o o b b e e r r 2

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sprinkler basins. The floors of both the terminal and the traffic control tower utilise this water

sprinkler basins. The floors of both the terminal and the traffic control tower utilise this water for maintaining a regulated temperature in the two volumes. In the terminal building cantilevered roofs provide sun-shading on south and south-west zones. A hybrid low pressure ventilation system is integrated into the terminal’s main structure and there is a grey water collection system in the floor underneath the terminal building. The project was designed and constructed in two years with the airport already having begun operations by September 2012. Both the design and construction saw the

involvement of numerous local and international companies, with openness and knowledge sharing proving to be essential to fulfilling the tight schedule. The steel structure of the terminal, produced and shipped from Hungary recently won a European Steel Prize award. The design for the airport further incorporates the potential for an expansion to double its size and capacity, should this prove necessary in the future.

sprinkler basins. The floors of both the terminal and the traffic control tower utilise this water

Photo credit: Nakanimamasakhlisi

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Airport Designs

Incorporating Regional Identity

Project: Terminal 2 - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

L ocated in the heart of India’s financial capital, the new

integrated terminal building at Chhatrapati Shivaji

International Airport adds 4.4 million square feet of

space to accommodate 40 million passengers per year, nearly twice as many as the building it replaces. By orchestrating the

complex web of passengers and planes into a design that feels intuitive and responds to the region’s rocketing growth, the new Terminal 2 asserts the airport’s place as a pre-eminent gateway to India and underscores the country’s status as an international economic power.

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SECTION

The new terminal integrates international and domestic passenger services under one roof, optimising terminal operations and reducing passenger walking distances. Inspired by the peacock, the four-storey terminal stacks a grand ‘head house’ or central processing podium, on top of

the highly adaptable and modular concourses below. Rather than compartmentalising terminal functions, four concourses radiate outwards from a central processing core and are therefore easily reconfigured to ‘swing’ between serving domestic and international flights. Just as the terminal

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celebrates a new global, high-tech identity for Mumbai, the structure is imbued with responses to the local setting, history and culture. Gracious curb side drop-off zones designed for large parties of accompanying well-wishers accommodate traditional Indian arrival and departure ceremonies. Regional patterns and textures are subtly integrated into the terminal’s architecture at all scales – from the articulated coffered treatment on the head house columns and roof surfaces to the intricate jali window screens that filter dappled light into the concourses. The terminal demonstrates the potential for a modern airport to view tradition anew. The project also makes a significant positive contribution to the local fabric. By integrating into the existing transportation fabric and by furthering connectivity through the simultaneous development of a new road network to service the airport, the terminal helps knit together the historic heart of Mumbai to the south with the city’s burgeoning peripheries to the east and north. A 50ft tall glass cable-stayed wall—the longest in the world—opens to the soaring space of the check-in hall. Once inside, the travellers enter a warm, light-filled chamber, sheltered underneath a long-span roof supported by an array of multi-storey columns. The monumental spaces created beneath the 30 mushrooming columns call to mind

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the airy pavilions and interior courtyards of traditional regional architecture. Small disks of colourful glass recessed within the canopy’s coffers speckle the hall below with light. The constellation of colours makes reference to the peacock, the national bird of India, and the symbol of the airport. The site of the new terminal building was located in close proximity to the existing terminal which had to remain fully operational during the construction. This site requirement inspired the elongated X-shaped plan of the terminal, which could both mould around the existing structures and incorporate modular designs to accommodate rapid and phased construction. This innovative form also allows for the consolidation of important passenger processing, baggage handling and retail/dining functions at the centre of the terminal. On each floor, radiating piers permit the shortest possible walking distances from the centre of the terminal to boarding areas, while also maximising the terminal’s perimeter for aircraft gates. All international and domestic passengers enter the terminal head house on the fourth floor. At the entrance, the lanes split, making room for wide drop-off curbs with ample space for departure rituals. The canopy over the departures roadway flows seamlessly from the head house interior, through the glass curtain wall, to the outside. The 40m

canopy cantilevers shelter travellers from the sun and monsoon rain. Attention to detail is paid to the treatment of the exterior curb area, which is given the same level of finish as the terminal’s polished interior. The terminal’s roof—one of the largest in the world without an expansion joint—ensures further terminal flexibility. The long-span capabilities of the steel truss structure allow for the spacing of the thirty 130ft columns to be far enough apart to not only give a feeling of openness to the large processing areas below, but also to allow for maximum flexibility in the arrangement of check-in counters and other necessary processing facilities.

Taking cues from traditional Indian architecture, the peacock feather and the existing logo of the Mumbai Airport, the ceiling and columns are defined by a coffered surface. The coffers transition from the horizontal plane of the ceiling to the arch of the column capitals. The result is a highly articulated and undulating surface comprising individual cast units. The individual coffers have lenses integrated into the cast form which allow light to enter the hall from strategically placed skylights above. From the central retail area, passengers descent into the concourses (or piers) where the aircraft gates are located. Paved in polished stone and warm wooden ceiling, the waiting areas

LEVEL 1 PLAN LEVEL 2 PLAN
LEVEL 1 PLAN
LEVEL 2 PLAN
LEVEL 3 PLAN LEVEL 4 PLAN are lit by chandeliers that resemble lotus flowers, with cast

LEVEL 3 PLAN

LEVEL 3 PLAN LEVEL 4 PLAN are lit by chandeliers that resemble lotus flowers, with cast

LEVEL 4 PLAN

are lit by chandeliers that resemble lotus flowers, with cast glass centres and cut metal petals. The warm ‘wood’ ceiling is actually metal, printed with a realistic facsimile of wood. Although the terminal is four storeys, interconnecting light slots and multi-storey light wells ensure that light penetrates into the lower floors of the building, acting as a constant reminder of the surrounding city and landscape. At dusk, illuminated from within, the terminal glows like a sculpted chandelier. Custom sculptural lighting fixtures reference traditional Indian textile motifs. In the baggage claim hall, where heavy passenger congestion calls for a relatively column-free space, columns were placed within the baggage claim belts. The roof mega-columns and steel roof structure were kept completely independent from the base concrete structures below. The final design resulted in a departure hall entirely free of columns through the use of composite mega-columns spaced 64m in one direction and 34m in the perpendicular direction. The structural system for the head house roof is akin to a two-way flat slab system. Increasing the depth of the trusses near the columns and running trusses in an orthogonal grid as well as along a 45° grid results in an overall truss depth of 4m for the roof system. The greater truss depths near the columns create ‘column pod’ areas,

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3.5m to 4m Deep Steel Roof Trusses HEADHOUSE ROOF 3D Composite Mega Column
3.5m to 4m Deep Steel Roof Trusses
HEADHOUSE ROOF 3D
Composite Mega Column

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN OO cc tt oo bb ee rr 22 00 11 44

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which seamlessly integrate into the pyramidal skylights that serve as major architectural features. The terminal building features two separate cable wall systems totalling over 1km in length and 11,000sq m in area, making it the longest and largest cable wall in the world. Both cable walls comprise unidirectional cables spanning vertically between two levels of the terminal structure. A large portion of the wall follows the curvature of the plan of the head house roof, a feature only achievable because the cable wall consists solely of vertical cables. Variations in height, changes in anchoring conditions, and the inclusion of corners, curves and entrance vestibules all worked to necessitate a very precise design of cable pretension. The roof measures approximately 17-acres in area. Each column measures 4.2mx3.4m rising from the ground to a

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height of 40m. The structure of the feature columns is concrete encased steel. The steel has a cruciform plan and is 2.3mx2.3 m. The concrete encasing is 2.7m in diameter. Each feature column has two drainage pipes which take the runoff water from the roof and drain it out of the building. Each pipe is 400mm in diameter. The exterior feature columns appear identical to the interior ceiling and columns, which are rendered in panels of glass fibre reinforced gypsum (GFRG). The ceiling in both the interior of the check-in hall and international security screening area and the exterior space which covers the departures curbs is 15m in clear height. Mega skylights are located over 28 of the feature columns bringing natural light into the head house. As many as 244 minor skylights distribute natural light between the feature

columns enabling the head house to achieve daylight autonomy throughout the day for a majority of the year. There is a total of approximately 30,000sq m of skylight glass. Terminal 2 uses a high-performance glazing system with a custom frit pattern to achieve optimal thermal performance and mitigate glare. Perforated metal panels on the terminal’s curtain wall filter the low western and eastern sun angles, creating a comfortable day-lit space for waiting passengers, and responsive daylight controls balance outdoor and indoor light levels for optimal energy savings. Strategically placed skylights throughout the check-in hall reduce the terminal’s energy usage by 23%.

columns enabling the head house to achieve daylight autonomy throughout the day for a majority of

The project has also been felicitated with many awards, such as the LEED India for New construction Gold from Indian Green Building Council, NCSEA – National Council of structural Engineers Association - Excellence in Structural Engineering Award, Gold

winner in The interior Finishes Category - CISCA ( Ceiling & Interior System Construction Association, North America), etc.

Fact File

Client: GVK, Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd Architects: SOM, Location at Multiple Places Structural & MEP Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Architect, Structural & MEP Engineer of Record: Larsen & Toubro Limited (EDRC Division) General Contractor: Larsen & Toubro Limited (ECC Division) Lighting Design: Brandston Partnership Inc, SPIERS and MAJORS Associates Retail Design: The Design Solution

Landscape Design: Hyland Edgar Driver (HED) Cultural Design Collaboration: Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla Art Scenographer: Rajeev Sethi Communication, IT, Security & Special Systems: Mulvey & Banani Signage & Wayfinding: Pentagram & Entro Communication Vertical Transportation: Van Deusen & Associates Year of completion: 2014

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Jury Outcome

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Architecture+Design

Jury

Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of the eleventh cycle of the “Architecture+Design & CERA Awards 2014”. A panel of thirty architects participated in the recently concluded jury meet. There was a group of five jurists respectively for each category. The jury panelists included eminent architects from all over the country as well as from South-East-Asia and Europe. This led the jury meets to acquire a wider perspective in gauging creativity. The jury conclusions were at times unanimous and at other times a healthy disagreement of opinions leading to debates and discussions for the final outcome.

The Golden Award for Global Contribution in Architecture: William J R Curtis

The Golden Award for Global Contribution in Architecture: William J R Curtis

The Golden Architect Award-India: The Hall of Fame Award:

The Golden Architect Award-India:

The Golden Architect Award-India: The Hall of Fame Award:

The Hall of Fame Award:

Rahul Mehrotra

Shirish Beri

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Sandeep J

Deepak Guggari

Bavadekar Praveen

Sharad

Award For Residence Design with a Difference

  • Awardee

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Hiren Patel

Vimal Jain

Principal Awardee

Sandeep J

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Architecture Paradigm, Bangalore

Project

Wilson Garden House,

Bangalore

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Manish Gulati

Sanjay Puri

Hiren Patel

The Institutional Architecture Award for Design Development of Institutional/ Office Buildings

  • Awardee

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

Principal Awardee

Manish Gulati

Jury Outcome Architecture+Design Jury Architecture+Design and CERA take immense pleasure in announcing the jury outcome of

MOFA Studio Pvt Ltd,

Rajesh Shivaram

Anupam Bansal

New Delhi

Project

National Institute of

Fashion Technogoly, Kangra

& CERA Awards 2014 Outcome The award function for this cycle is slated to take place

& CERA Awards 2014 Outcome

The award function for this cycle is slated to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on the
The award
function for this cycle
is slated to take place in
Istanbul, Turkey, on the
15th of November, 2014.
Felicitations to the
Awardees!

The Golden Emerging Architect - Singapore:

Chang Yong Ter

The Golden Emerging Architect - Malaysia:

Mohd Razin Mahmood

The Golden Emerging Architect - Thailand:

Patama Roonrakwit

The Golden Emerging Architect - Sri Lanka:

Narein Perera

The Awardee for TThhee GGoollddeenn EEmmeerrggiinngg AArrcchhiitteecctt -- TTuurrkkeeyy is currently being processed by the Society of Practising Architects, Turkey.

& CERA Awards 2014 Outcome The award function for this cycle is slated to take place

Commendation

Commendation
 
 

Awardee

Project

Deepak Guggari

Jadhav House, Pune

Hiren Patel

The Courtyard House,

Varsha & Deepak Guggari Associates,

Hiren Patel Architects,

Ahmedabad

Pune

Ahmedabad

Bavadekar Praveen Sharad

The house with two Sheesham

Vimal Jain

Sheela Jain Residence,

Third Space Architecture Studio,

Trees, Belgaum

Architecture Paradigm, Bangalore

Gundulpet

Belgaum

Commendation

Commendation

Special Mentions

Special Mentions
 

Awardee

Project

Awardee

Project

Sanjay Puri

A Pavilion, Surat

Hiren Patel

A Community Centre,

Sanjay Puri Architects,

Hiren Patel Architects,

Ahmedabad

Mumbai

Ahmedabad

 

Rajesh Shivaram

Technoarchitecture Office

 

Technoarchitecture Inc, Bangalore

Extension, Bangalore

 

Anupam Bansal

National Centre for Biological

 

ABRD Architects Pvt Ltd, New Delhi

Sciences, Bangalore

The Recreational Architecture Award Ambrish Arora A Midrul Namith Verma Akshat Bhatt Principal Awardee Awardee Project
The Recreational Architecture Award Ambrish Arora A Midrul Namith Verma Akshat Bhatt Principal Awardee Awardee Project

The Recreational Architecture Award

Ambrish Arora

Ambrish Arora

A Midrul

A Midrul

 
Namith Verma

Namith Verma

Akshat Bhatt

Akshat Bhatt

 
Principal Awardee

Principal Awardee

Awardee

Project

Ambrish Arora and

RAAS, Jodhpur

Rajiv Majumdar

The Lotus Praxis Initiative,

 

New Delhi

 

The Innovative Interior Design Award for Office/ Commercial Utility Interior Design.

Principal Awardee
Principal Awardee
Principal Awardee
Principal Awardee
Principal Awardee
 
Principal Awardee

Principal Awardee

Awardee

Project

Kanhai Gandhi,

Space within a Space,

Neemesh Shah,

Mumbai

Kanhai Gandhi

Ambrish Arora

Sanjay Puri

Madhav Raman

Mahesh

Shresht Kashyap

 

Radhakrishnan

KNS Architects Pvt Ltd, Mumbai

The Recreational Architecture Award Ambrish Arora A Midrul Namith Verma Akshat Bhatt Principal Awardee Awardee Project
The Recreational Architecture Award Ambrish Arora A Midrul Namith Verma Akshat Bhatt Principal Awardee Awardee Project
Commendation Awardee Project A Midrul Birkha Bawari, Jodhpur Gorukana, BR Hills, A Midrul Architect, Jodhpur Gayathri
Commendation Awardee Project A Midrul Birkha Bawari, Jodhpur Gorukana, BR Hills, A Midrul Architect, Jodhpur Gayathri

Commendation

Commendation
 

Awardee

Project

A Midrul

Birkha Bawari, Jodhpur

Namith Verma

Gorukana, BR Hills,

A Midrul Architect, Jodhpur

Gayathri & Namith Architects

Karnataka

 

Pvt Ltd, Bangalore

 

Akshat Bhatt

Hotel Mana, Udaipur

 

Architecture Discipline, New Delhi

Commendation

Commendation Special Mentions

Special Mentions

Special Mentions

Awardee

Project

Awardee

Project

Ambrish Arora

Gaurav Gupta,

Sanjay Puri

Auriga, Mumbai

Lotus, New Delhi

New Delhi

Sanjay Puri Architects, Mumbai

 

Madhav Raman

Anagram Office,

 

Anagram Architects, New Delhi

New Delhi

 

Mahesh Radhakrishnan

Book Building,

 

TThhee MMaaddrraass OOffffiiccee ffoorr AArrcchhiitteeccttss aanndd DDeessiiggnneerrss ((MOAD), Chennai

Chennai

Post Jury
Post Jury
Post Jury
Post Jury
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram

Arjun Malik

Deepak Guggari

Shilpa Gore-Shah

Prasanna

Tushar V

 

Parvatikar

Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram

Akshat Bhatt

Swapnil Valvatkar

Rajesh Shivaram

Lester Rozario

Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram

Sourabh Gupta

Brinda Parth Shah

The Innovative Interior Design Award for Residence Interior Design

Principal Awardee

Principal Awardee Awardee Project

Awardee

Project

Arjun Malik

The Architect’s Loft,

Malik Architecture,

Mumbai

Mumbai

The Young Enthused Architect Award

Principal Awardee

Principal Awardee Awardee Project

Awardee

Project

Akshat Bhatt

AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree DDiisscciipplliinnee, New Delhi

Discovery Centre,

Bangalore & Hotel Mana, Ranakpur, Udaipur

Arjun Malik Deepak Guggari Shilpa Gore-Shah Prasanna Tushar V Parvatikar Akshat Bhatt Swapnil Valvatkar Rajesh Shivaram
Post Jury
Post Jury
Commendation Awardee Project Deepak Guggari Jadhav House, Pune Shilpa Gore-Shah & Liminal Living, Mumbai Varsha &
Commendation Awardee Project Deepak Guggari Jadhav House, Pune Shilpa Gore-Shah & Liminal Living, Mumbai Varsha &

Commendation

Commendation
   
 

Awardee

Project

Deepak Guggari

Jadhav House, Pune

Shilpa Gore-Shah &

Liminal Living, Mumbai

Varsha & Deepak Guggari Associates,

Pinkish Shah

Pune

S+PS Architects, Mumbai

 

Prasanna Parvatikar

Mrs Uma Raja's Residence,

 

Cubism Architects & Interiors, Tirupur Tamil Nadu

 
 

Shruti Keshavamurthy & Tushar V

Shruti Tushar Apartment Design, Bangalore

 

Ochre, Bangalore

Commendation

Commendation

Special Mentions

Special Mentions
 
 

Awardee

Project

Awardee

Project

Swapnil Valvatkar

Marvel Domicilia, Bangalore

Rajesh Shivaram

M House, Bangalore &

Collage Architecture Studio,

& Cricket House, Bangalore

Technoarchitecture Inc,

Technoarchitecture Office

Bangalore

Bangalore

Extension, Bangalore

 

Lester Rozario

Stack house, Bangalore &

 

Kamat & Rozario Architecture,

Hanging House, Bangalore

Bangalore

 

Sourabh Gupta

Dilli Haat, New Delhi &

 

Archohm Consults, Noida

Yogananda Library, Solan

 

Brinda Parth Shah

Raj Samadhiyala House, Rajkot

 

BPS Architects, Rajkot

& Sanjeevani - Biodiversity Resource Conservation Area

Commendation Awardee Project Deepak Guggari Jadhav House, Pune Shilpa Gore-Shah & Liminal Living, Mumbai Varsha &
Commendation Awardee Project Deepak Guggari Jadhav House, Pune Shilpa Gore-Shah & Liminal Living, Mumbai Varsha &

Viewpoints

Viewpoints Saleh Mosque, Sanaa, Yemen Sustainability and Memory By Niranjan Garde T his article is an

Saleh Mosque, Sanaa, Yemen

Sustainability and Memory

By Niranjan Garde

T his article is an attempt to

express how the approach of

sustainability (or frugal living) is

related to the feelings of memory, belonging and in the creation of our personal identities and what role it plays in modern lifestyle.

My parent’s and grandparent’s generation grew up in the period of just means. Nothing was abundant or in plentiful and it became a necessity

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to use each and everything sparingly, to its fullest possible utility, even surpassing the life cycle of the material itself. If the material was not fit for use in its present form, then it used to be ingeniously transformed (or reused) into something else, till another such cycle of transformation came about and the process continued. Take for example a simple shawl or a light blanket. The shawl would be used by

my grandparents, then successively passed on to my parents and probably, if the condition was good enough, it could come all the way to me. It is with everything – from best shirts to photo frames, to cooking utensils. It is quite amazing to see that many of our households have a collection of what can be termed as vintage collection of cooking ware, linens, woollen ware, gadgets, pens, letters, writing desks,

sewing machines, toys, dolls, bats, rackets, books and so on. They are all, what I call as ‘memory banks’. They perform the same role, as a loving letter that my father has written to me a couple of times. They denote the same care and love, as you glance through your photo album and recall the moments that you had spent as a child with your extended family. Although the old dusty, cranky, heavy, oxidised copper cooking ware would have now been replaced by the sleek, shiny, light stainless steel, people prefer to keep the old cooking utensils in loft areas and mentally in one of the compartments of their minds. The old and heavy copper cooking ware utensil, now redundant, reminds my parents about the delicious dishes that were cooked and cherished along with the children and which created some special moments of togetherness. The defunct technology of heating water by using copper cylindrical drum and coils, replaced by geysers and consecutively by solar panels, reminds my father and his siblings of their childhood and the quarrels and laughter

long as the object is with you. The object, without us being conscious of it, has already become a part of our consciousness that defines our identities. It is this effect of association that compels people in a country like India, to retain such objects long after they might not have any utilitarian value. Sometimes, long after children have grown up and their woollen ware cannot fit them, such items are reused and transformed into woollen socks or

touches the finished wall or leans on it or looks at it, these memories surge back in mind. The wall might be slightly off-aligned or there might have been some unevenly painted spots but it has become a family member, telling us of the people’s collective involvement with it. In such a scenario, would mechanical perfection or aesthetics of the wall matter? It is the same for cooking. Agreed, that I have to spend time to cook food, but the act of preparing, cooking and serving family members becomes a part of our expression to connect with them at an emotional level that cannot be understood by intellectual analysis. Feelings of belonging and community are created in this way. Objects can be made value ridden, provided we spend time with them. Provided we make a conscious choice before any object is replaced. There might be hardship and involvement of time and our labour for doing things ourselves, but it can also give us the opportunity to form connections with other people. This brings me finally to another aspect of modern lifestyle. The abundance of products in the market and the general trend of consumerisation, further fuelled by robust economic conditions have led to fast turnover of objects of use and lessening of our involvement with them in the process of creation. It leads me to ponder what sort of connection one might develop with the object, if we hardly let it mingle with us for a sustained duration? Can these physically temporary objects (soon to be replaced by their new competitors) ever generate any emotional ties or memories with us? What would happen, if we sublet all our tasks to external agencies? Do we give ourselves a chance to make such objects a part of our lives or, have our perspectives towards looking at them been detached by the realisation that they are soon to

sewing machines, toys, dolls, bats, rackets, books and so on. They are all, what I call

Creation of meaning by sustainable use of objects

that they had shared in the bathroom or the shout that they experienced from their mother for lazing around in the bathroom. Herein I wish to highlight a connection – the economic necessity of perpetual use of a particular item results in forming a relation with that object. The relationship deepens as more and more of our existential moments are spent with the object of use and enriches as more people get associated with the same object. Memories of the people

in this way get inter connected with the same object and result in highly nostalgic dialogues when people meet after a gap of time. The object already surpasses its primary role of utility and gets highly ‘value’ ridden. The memories, emotions get recalled as

woollen scarfs. The form of the object might have changed, but the memory lingers as one sees the socks again. Another aspect of sustainability is to do things by ourselves. In frugal conditions, there is no subletting of jobs. We build our own houses; we cook food ourselves because we cannot afford to sublet it. But, building a house together as a group of people introduces numerous instances of interactions and lively encounters. There is hardship no doubt, but collective moments are spent, one shares one’s life secrets as one is engaged in plastering or painting a wall and the entire process gets a high emotional quotient. Later on, as one

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Market Hall, Rotterdam; Architects: MVRDV, Rotterdam be replaced by newer variety? If everything around us is

Market Hall, Rotterdam; Architects: MVRDV, Rotterdam

be replaced by newer variety? If everything around us is constantly getting replaced by something ‘different’ or ‘new’, where does that leave us? Or, in terms of the aspect of subletting, why should we ever bother to cook or build houses or mend lawns? How, then, would our memories be created by the fleeting interactions with these objects and by increased preferences to sublet things? Or would memories remain transient as the objects themselves, so that not even a single memory ever gets a chance to be embedded in our minds and create impressions of life? If memories remain transient, what does that make us as individuals? What sort of identity is created and what sort of life is experienced? This has repercussions on our lifestyles, on the way we look at ourselves and our people around us. Personal space and liberty is fine, but where does it lead us as a human community? If we don’t share moments

of our time (and space) with other individuals, if all our objects are different (and transient as well) then one must ponder on the quality of life one is heading to. Abundance, luxury, flexibility and the affordability to be in constant change with regards to house, jobs (and even relations for that matter) can have a detrimental effect on the nature of relations we form amongst ourselves as communities. History and culture is a product of memory. Constant change would mean no memory and that would mean no history at all. Part of who we are or become depends on our association with memories – people, places and objects. Therefore, the experience of constant newness and constant change has to be viewed critically. Sustained use has the power to form relations with objects just as precious as our relations with loving people around us. Doing things by oneself may mean being frugal again, but that is what

leads to involvement. Thus the necessity of reuse or recycle or whatever term one wants to assign for sustainability has an advantage of memory creation. To be involved with such an approach would lead to memories that we would dwell on long after our ‘functional’ value diminishes. It is at that point of time that the objects and the people around us would be our faithful friends telling us about the trials, mistakes and moments of joys that we had experienced resulting in the ripening of our lives. And it is therefore, in this context itself, those important objects, landscapes, architectural spaces need to be retained sometimes, for, they vibrate with stories of our connections with the past and can make our present meaningful. It is with this concept, the entire Indian landscape across the nation can be seen and experienced and which fundamentally differs from the industrial landscapes of the North Americas or Australia. I hope, we understand, that ‘old’ does not mean outdated or primitive in anyway. What is required is the right attitude towards seeing any object and the realisation that every object that we keep for ourselves has the possibility to create value and be an extension of our ‘Self’. What we wish to possess starts to define who we are or become. If we continue to replace everything, there is no attachment with anything and there is no association of memory. Let not the abundance of objects and its faster replacement by ever changing technology create a situation that you are not able to express yourself in terms of the external environment. Or a situation, wherein no object or a person or any environment triggers your memory. Let not you experience the modern equivalent of ‘Alzheimer’.

Market Hall, Rotterdam; Architects: MVRDV, Rotterdam be replaced by newer variety? If everything around us is

Niranjan Garde is an architect currently based in Pune, who has an interest on issues related to history, culture and identity in architecture.

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Institutional Design

A Metaphor of Function

Bhujpal Knowledge City (MET, League of College), Nashik

By Pramod Beri

T he number of buildings being built under the

category of Institutional Architecture is growing

at a fast pace in post independent India and

especially in the last two decades. The main thrust has been in educational and scientific fields, besides public realm institutional architecture, which is also noteworthy. In an institutional building the users spend time in the spatio-form created by an architect for a longer period of time, compared to brief usage in a museum or a hospital. Hence, the spatio-formal vocabulary of such a building has to go beyond mere ‘objective function’ and transcend into the ‘subjective feelings’ part of architecture.

A couplet from an Urdu gazal summarises the emotive aspect involved (translation in English) -

The forms of the building, the doors and windows have no relationship with us, unless the building ties us with its unseen emotional threads.

An institutional building’s spatio-formal vocabulary should be a metaphor of its ‘function’, a symbol for the act. The inner spaces should answer the ‘feelings’ part of architecture as to what aspect of feeling, be it that of impose, dignity, eminence, solidarity, poise, grandeur, regimentality, solace, warmth, affirmation, etc. The external envelope in a subtle way should convey the purpose of the building, a kind of metaphor of its function.

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The building should have circulation spaces which go beyond the mundane aspect of transportation from portion A to B, but should include nodal spatial points which promote chance encounters. The circulation spaces should have pause spaces that create and retain interest. It should have dynamic interrelationships between outer and inner space as well as between inner and semi–enclosed spaces like the courtyard. Careful inter- activeness between these spaces is the key. Courtyards a re dedicated enclosures of the borrowed universal space and besides providing light and ventilation, should also provide spaces for informal interactions. The building should create a spatial experience which touches deeper levels of consciousness in us, thereby, enabling us to see and feel the world in a different way. As the famous saying goes, “We make spaces and in turn spaces make us”, the quality of space should enhance the quality of life. Well

University of Minnesota Science Teaching & Student Service Center, Minneapolis, MN

executed spaces and buildings are bound to effect a new gestalt like change in behavioural patterns between users. An apt relationship between service spaces and served spaces should be in effect. Any institutional building is bound to have lots of service spaces which need to be discreetly located with skill without sacrificing their utility. The service spaces should have an easy but discreet access and also should be close enough to served spaces to save on transportation time. Service towers, if required, should be functionally large enough to accommodate services which can be installed and serviced at ease. In all probability, they could be turned into an architectural

feature. The latest technology available should be exploited to the fullest extent. All over the globe, technology is changing at a rapid pace. This conflicts with the fact that buildings are used for decades together. Hence ‘flexibility’ should be the key. Easily interchangeable modular spaces need to be provided to create an easy transition from utilization of a space to another purpose. The various services that serve the space should be easily interchangeable as technology advances. An equipotentally designed space proactively adapts to changing needs. To have a meaningful interface between art and architecture, murals or sculptures can be introduced which immediately convey the ‘raison-d’etre’ of the building. The architect needs to sit with the artist, proactively suggesting feelings he wants to convey through the portrayed imagery. The building should be eco-friendly and sustainable. Sustainability has become an important factor especially in design of an institutional building where multiple consultants are employed. Careful examination of technologies and materials available and their appropriate usage should be a part of the main design agenda. In the Indian context, the last important aspect is to ‘think globally but act locally’. This involves carefully weighing the pros and cons and decides between use of local materials/technologies vs outstation/imported ones. The five elements of nature – the ‘Panchmahabhutas’ need to be deftly resourced to avoid overuse of energy. Certain design vocabulary cannot be conveyed at an intellectual level, it should emerge from the intuitive zone of consciousness. Because of increased pace of life, over population, overall public apathy, etc., our physical as well as emotional space is being encroached upon, creating numbness in our sensitivity. The building we design needs to act as an oasis which can rejuvenate and regenerate. Only when the architectural space designed by us gets a nod in the inner deep emotive space of the person using it, only then the dialogue between him/her and the building starts, creating a deep sense of satiation. The process starts when we expend the brief given by the client and convert it into value based deeply impregnated spaces which will add life and spirit. Let our designs answer these invisible aspects creating an architecture of belonging, honesty, simplicity and spontaneity.

Photo courtesy: A+D archives

Pramod Beri is the chairman of Beri Architects and Engineers Pvt Ltd, a Pune-based firm.

The building should have circulation spaces which go beyond the mundane aspect of transportation from portion
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Institutional

Institutional Design

Design

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Inter-connected Spaces Project: Polymer Science & Engineering Laboratory, Pune, Maharashtra Architects: Beri Architects & Engineers Pvt

Inter-connected Spaces

Project: Polymer Science & Engineering Laboratory, Pune, Maharashtra Architects: Beri Architects & Engineers Pvt Ltd, Kolhapur

T he word ‘polymer’ in chemistry recalls to our mind,

polygonal shapes with main/sub-linkages. Seeking the

inspiration from this, a building form akin to the

element ‘Benzene’ was explored and used as a formative statement. The central courtyard with an ‘atom’ related sculpture connects with the various laboratories while service areas between the laboratories act as sub-linkages.

Creation of linked yet separate laboratory wings has many functional advantages — possibility of inter connectivity from both outer and inner corridors; it is service-friendly; has rear access to each laboratory via an outer ring road; there are laboratory-wise separate energy controls for optimum usage; fire protection friendly; plenty of light and cross ventilation is achieved through courtyard; and creation of microclimate

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TYPICAL PLAN – LABORATORY WING
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Fact File

Client: National Chemical Laboratory, Pune Design team: Pramod Beri (Job Captain), Ar Mohan Bhasme, Er Hindurao Patil Consultants: Upendra Deuskar, M/s Anand Electricals (Electrical), S C Garge, Ishaan (Fire Hydrant Consultant), Shri Shridhar Sanglikar, Apurva Service Consultants (PHE /HVAC), Mahesh Nampurkar, Dream Presidency (Landscape Design), Sanjay Newaskar (Interior Designer), N M Deodhar Consulting Engineers Contractor: Engineering Projects India Ltd Built-up area: 6200sq m Cost of project: Rs 15 crore Year of completion: 2009

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SECTION 74 O O c c t t o o b b e e r r
ELEVATION by ‘green’ sheltered spaces between the laboratories. The building creates adequate opportunities for chance meetings
ELEVATION by ‘green’ sheltered spaces between the laboratories. The building creates adequate opportunities for chance meetings

ELEVATION

by ‘green’ sheltered spaces between the laboratories. The building creates adequate opportunities for chance meetings between the scientists at every juncture of external and internal corridors. Hexagonal form fosters closer bonds among various research groups. Each laboratory is unique, hence creates a sense of identity. Senior scientists have privacy as well as proximity to their labs. The ‘feelings’ part of architecture, which is invisible, also receives equal importance in the spatio-formal context. The building compliments and acknowledges the existence of various buildings on the existing campus, especially the main building, while proposing radical insertion of a new theme. The result is a dynamically vibrant spatial statement, with its own distinct identity.

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The administrative wing is partially separated with controlled access to the research laboratory section. The administrative

The administrative wing is partially separated with controlled access to the research laboratory section. The administrative section also has provision of an exhibition room, a 100-seater auditorium and a canteen. The site slopes gradually in east-west direction. As a result, the wings adapt to the existing levels. The central ‘green’ space with a sculptural statement is enhanced by stair-towers cladded with reflective glass. The multiple reflection of the central courtyard is a delight to experience.

The administrative wing is partially separated with controlled access to the research laboratory section. The administrative
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Institutional Design

Three-Winged Swastik

Project: Emergency Management & Research Institute (EMRI), Ahmedabad Architects: Studio Eethetics, Ahmedabad

T he architectural solution for the EMRI stemmed from

the thought that preconditioned the simultaneous

involution of excelling in functionality, environmental

concern/aesthetic values and depicting fresh approach with reference to context.

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The client’s complex brief, the location challenges (busy, noisy traffic junction), scorching heat and symbolic iconic value, time constrain (75,000sq ft state-of-the-art type/completion time with interiors in 10 months), required the architect to come up with an innovative design.

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The architecture was required to be right rather than good. The design derivation was integral and simultaneous. The EMRI got sub divided under basic three types (nature) of activity– administration, call centre and training centre (educative), all of three required to be inter-connected and interactive. This resulted in a simple triangular placement of three blocks with a central cylinder, reception/foyer, commonly allowing entry to all blocks. The institute conceived to render service to mankind, being dynamic in nature, it was responsible for the ‘three winged swastik’ plan formation. The protective (sound/heat/visual barrier) crescent-like service wing, placed in a pin wheel shaped-position, balances and lands it a self contained/self content equilibrium required, resulting in a circle. To be able to answer fastness, finesse and economic execution part, the architect followed a very simple thought common product module (flooring 2x2, shuttering 2x4) to govern the plan– elevation making, resulting in floor lines, and following up the exposed concrete walls. The curvilinear wall shuttering was appropriated by wooden pattern. In addition this helped to reduce the wastage.

SECTIONS
SECTIONS
SECTIONS ELEVATION These rational thoughts had allowed the outcome to be what ‘it wanted to be’

ELEVATION

These rational thoughts had allowed the outcome to be what ‘it wanted to be’ (unprecedented) as against prejudiced, preconceived, predetermined biases, employed as temptations to make something, rather than allowing it to become a built form.

SECTIONS ELEVATION These rational thoughts had allowed the outcome to be what ‘it wanted to be’

Fact File

Client: Govt of Gujarat Design team: Team Studio Eethetics Consultants: Jhaveri Associate (MEP), Amee Associate (Structure) Contractors: Shanti Constructions Built-up area: 75000sq ft Cost of project: Rs 14.5 crore

Year of completion: 2010

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Institutional Design

Subterranean School

Project: Professional School Hanna Arendt, Bolzano, Italy Architects: Cleaa Claudio Lucchin & architetti associate, Bolzano, Italy

H anna Arendt School in Bolzano is the first

underground school in Italy. Designed as the extension

of the professional existing school, it highlights the

unexpected potentialities of the underground architecture, challenging the limits of the sustainability culture thought so far, as well as the contemporary design in historic centres. The idea of not altering the ancient architectural context of the Capuchin friars convent – protected by the national heritage association – but the need for new spaces and classrooms, gave the architect the opportunity to create a ‘subterranean school appendix’: four levels excavated 17m

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underground in which nine classrooms, six workshops, a winter garden and a utility room were placed. The challenge led the architects to solve consequent problems not only as structural, but particularly environmental issues. The connection between the old building and the new one takes form of an extension to the existing corridor located at the first floor. Lit through large glasses, and enclosed by a wall acting as a scenic backdrop, this extension features as the only new architectonic element visible above the ground. The four underground floors were built after an initial stabilisation of the area with micro poles and a reinforced

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concrete structure. The rooms were distributed around the central void; starting from the top, the first two floors host classrooms; the third floor hosts the workshops and the last one is a utility room. The lighting design was one of the main topics of the intervention: constant use of glazed surfaces in the large skylights and glass walls of the rooms lets natural light penetrate through all the internal spaces, allowing a special, continuous visual connection with the outside. Therefore, the atrium garden, the small winter garden and a series of skylights and solar chimneys give more light and air to the whole building. The artificial lighting is controlled by neon sensors varying temperature based on the time of the day and the weather conditions outside.

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Humidity has been removed inserting in the walls several layers consisting of insulation, sheathing and plaster spray that also provides protection against ingress of radon gas; to recall the excavation, the walls have an irregular surface. Ventilation is guaranteed by programmed recycling of the air regulated by a mechanical system through ceiling diffusers or grilles integrated into the built-in wardrobes. Due to the glass walls, many viewpoints allow to perceive the building in all its depth. The central court and the full- height voids play with the materiality of the exposed concrete walls. The connection elements, such as the big yellow staircase

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Fact File

Client: Province of Bolzano Design team: Claudio Lucchin/Cleaa Contractor: ZH General Construction Company AG (Group leader); Gaetano Paolin Spa, Gufler Bau Gmbh (Mandators) Consultants: Herbert Mayer (Structure), Ing Marina Bolzan (Mechanical Plants), Ing Reinhard Thaler (Electrical Plants), Arch Roberto D’Ambrogio (Safety Coordinator) Area: 2030sq m Cost of project: 6.420.000 euro Year of completion: 2012

SECTION ELEVATION
SECTION
ELEVATION

and the walkways punctuate the whole space; alongside the paths, numerous niches have been created as small private rooms for studying. Particular attention has been focused on the critical factors of underground architecture — natural light, space feeling and humidity. The architectural choices have been a consequence of the importance given to natural light. The result is a play of solids and voids, where light permeates throughout the digging through horizontal skylights and vertical windows that overlook inner and outer shafts. The classrooms, labs and common areas have always one or more natural light sources making the building similar to a building above the ground. The artificial lighting is controlled by sensors that regulate it according to natural light coming from the outside to promote energy saving. In addition, the use of lights changing temperature depending on the time of the day has been included to get closer to the real conditions of the external environment. The intention was to create a space in which the user can’t run the risk of being in narrow or claustrophobic. The idea was to give the building a large visual permeability:

classrooms have one or more sides fully glazed in order to promote the perception of a wide space. Many glimpses reveal to the user the building in all its depth. The main court forms an underground urban square. The large skylight above the court makes the sky visible from the square and the classroom. The visual connection with the outside world is found also in other places through smaller skylights offering impressive views. A mechanical ventilation system helps maintaining healthy air in various environments, guaranteeing a constant replacement four times an hour. Because of the need to cool it even during the winter, the classrooms are air-conditioned with an implant, which also ensures the necessary air exchange and the control of radon concentration. The system is organised in zones equipped with post- heating batteries; there is the independent regulation of the individual environments. The air is pre-treated in an air handling unit equipped with built-in refrigerator for cooling in the mid-season and during the summer.

SECTION ELEVATION and the walkways punctuate the whole space; alongside the paths, numerous niches have been

Photo credit: Alessandra Chemollo

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Interaction

SEARCH FOR SUBSTANCE THE ROLE OF CRITICISM Architecture+Design feels proud to once again have had the
SEARCH FOR
SUBSTANCE
THE ROLE OF
CRITICISM
Architecture+Design feels proud to once
again have had the opportunity to bring
across to our readers the diversity and
rationality of the thoughts of noted
architectural historian and critic,
William J R Curtis.
On behalf of the magazine, architectural
critic Rajnish Wattas interacted with
William J R Curtis —
we carry a few extracts ...
Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 2009

Timeless but of its time; ray of light in the Oratory of the Monastery of La Tourette, Le Corbusier, 1954-8

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R ajnish Wattas (RW): You are known as a historian and

critic, but you are also a photographer and an artist.

When navigating through the architecture of the recent

past you insist upon the centrality of the architectural work itself as the true subject of criticism as against the theoretical rationalisations which are often deployed as promotional rhetoric by architects or their supporters. Are you able to sketch a critical map of recent architecture including some of the prevalent themes?

William J R Curtis: First of all let me say something about criticism itself. The word ‘criticism’ comes from a Greek word signifying the separation of the good wheat from the bad. It is about identifying quality and rejecting the lack of it. In my opinion there are no recipes for criticism. Architecture is a complex phenomenon which touches people on many different levels. Buildings may fuse together ideas and forms, images and materials, function and structure, social myths and poetic spaces. They occupy time in complex ways, crystallizing a present, transforming diverse pasts, anticipating unknown futures. Architecture is concerned with power but is never a direct expression of an ideology: it is an idealization of social and political processes and of institutions. Architecture is rooted in society but possesses a reality of its own. As a historian and critic I am interested in penetrating to the anatomy of intentions within a work, the structures of thought, and the ways in which the architect translates multiple realities through the language of architecture. What architects create is more important than what they say, and I insist upon the direct experience of buildings themselves. Works of real interest transcend movements and ‘isms’ and possess a unique order of their own. The critic must remain open to fresh innovations, while retaining a sense of history and of what is fundamental in the art of architecture – a vision of what counts in the long term. I am interested in qualities which carry well beyond transient fashions. There is nothing more provincial than the present. One needs to experience buildings first hand on their sites, with people in and around them, with unfolding vistas, with materials, textures and details under changing light. One needs to grasp the general ideas and to sense the internal conflicts of the design. There is no substitute for the deep reading of a work. It is especially important to do this at a time of spurious theorising which asphyxiates architecture with clouds of jargon. It is crucial just now to debate the past, present and future of architecture, to open the doors to younger generations who are often kept out of the account. It is always good to be surprised by fresh new ideas, as long as they are substantial and not just marketing tricks in the media game of fashion and promotion. The critic needs to approach recent work undogmatically, to let the architecture speak for itself.

RW: Can you discern any single big idea or ‘style’ that is propelling architecture the world over today?

WJRC: There is no single key to contemporary architecture just as there is no shortcut to understanding the recent past. This has been a confused and pluralist period covering a very wide range of production in an ever wider field of global practice. At one extreme are the much discussed ‘iconic’ buildings, often linked up with real estate capitalism, cultural marketing and the branding of cities in the networks of investment and tourism. At the other are works of such immense subtlety and topographical sensitivity that they almost disappear although they touch all of the senses and reveal something about the spirit and history of places. You have only to stop for a moment and compare the Dubai phenomenon on one side with a lone wolf figure like Peter Zumthor on the other to see what I mean. In these circumstances one cannot speak about a dominant tendency or about any obvious canon. The critic has to be on the alert for

Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 2004
Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 2004

Column of light: the Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, 14th century

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interesting or awful work in many shapes and sizes. As usual quality transcends style. While the architectural production of recent years has suffered from architectural excesses and from a thoughtless process of frantic urbanisation (especially in China and the petroleum states) it has also been a period rich in new creative directions and it will take some time to discern the overall shape. Just think of the vast range in the last few years all the way from the spatial gymnastics of the Guangzhou Opera House in China by Zaha Hadid to the restrained and understated Folkwang Museum by David Chipperfield, to the rich spatial qualities of the Fundacao Ibere Camargo in Porto Alegre by Alvaro Siza, to the cool restraint of the New Media Lab at MIT by Fumihiko Maki. Are any of these works ‘masterpieces’? No, but they do bear witness to the different expressive territories that are being opened up. Moreover each has a different pedigree and orientation to the past.

RW: So any attempt to speak of a ‘style of the times’ or a privileged theoretical position is doomed from the start? Does that mean that this is an era of star architects and individual landmark projects without any dominating ‘ism’?

WJRC: When attempting to draw a critical map of recent architecture there are possibly two extremes to be avoided. One says that anything goes; the other tries to claim a dominant discourse for a particular school of thought. The first approach embraces a total pluralism. It implies that everything is about equal and that we are floating on the surface with trend following trend like changes of clothes. This position often hides behind the star system by reducing architecture to lists of famous names and prizes. It is the vanity fair of architecture. The second approach rests upon the belief that each period has its dominant formal expression. In this model an individual or group elects itself as the exclusive owner of the historical process. Today some try to promote ‘parametricism’ as the ‘architecture of the times’ as ‘a new global style’. But their argument is simply rhetorical especially in a period when there are so many different approaches. Moreover no two people can agree on the meaning of the term ‘parametric’. Is it referring to a method or a style? If it is a method there is no reason at all that the forms should end up with complex geometry. If it is a style there are many ways of achieving complex geometry without any single method. The links in this ideological fiction are rather loose. Anyway the real question for the critic is this: do the results succeed as architecture?

RW: So critical judgements must be based on built architectural results, not on transient images or fancy sounding theoretical agendas?

WJRC: Architecture speaks its own language and that is what

we have to react to. It is not the function of criticism to try to ram individual buildings into simplistic stylistic or theoretical categories. One needs to distinguish between mediocre and quality results. Putting it simply: there are complex curves, folds and irregular geometries which mean something and which add to the stock of authentic architectural inventions; and there are others (too many in fact!) that are meaningless and arbitrary, that are ugly to look at, hell to live in and destructive of their setting whether in landscape or city. Many of the buildings that fly the flag of ‘geometrical complexity’

Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 1983
Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 1983

Modern technology, abstraction and dematerialisation: the St Louis Arch by Eero Saarinen, 1949-60

are in fact rather simple minded and have no staying power. One has to keep coming back to the realm of specifically architectural ideas and to buildings in real space not just to seductive images on a computer screen in virtual space. Mathematical tricks on the computer are no substitute for substantial architectural thinking, a rigorous architectural language and a culture to back them up. Is there anyone around today who can equal the sculptural power and

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symbolic resonance of the shells of Sydney Opera House? Or who can match the haunting presence, multiple meanings, spatial and geometrical sophistication of the curved funnel of the Assembly building in Chandigarh? In these cases the curves are embedded in the deep order of the building itself and in the mythical structure of the architect’s creative universe. There is a huge difference between an abstraction which distils experience and content, and one which ends up with mere shape making for the sake of shape making. The latter results in empty gestures: a vapid formalism.

Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 1989
Photo credit: William J R Curtis, 1989

The eternal presence of great architecture: Saqqara, Egypt, 3rd millennium BC

William J R Curtis William J R Curtis (1948) is a historian, critic, painter and photographer.

William J R Curtis

William J R Curtis

(1948) is a historian, critic, painter and photographer. He studied at the Courtauld Institute, London and Harvard University and has taught at many universities including Harvard and the Architectural Association. In 2003-4, he was Slade

Professor of Fine Art at

the University of Cambridge. Among his best known books are the classics Modern Architecture Since 1900 (Phaidon, 3rd edition, 1996) and Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms (Phaidon, 1986) (both translated into numerous languages); also Balkrishna Doshi: an Architecture for India (Mapin, Rizzoli, 1988) and Denys Lasdun: Architecture, City, Landscape (Phaidon, 1994). Curtis has written over a dozen other books as well as texts on Indian architecture, ancient and modern, including introductions to monographs on Raj Rewal (1986) and Anant Raje Architect (2012).