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Amateur Cooking (Grad-life)

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Portfolio of selected works

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Site experience

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Software Application

Since more than one software has been utilized for most projects–for different purposes such as modelling, production and post-production–I shall categorize the illustrations project wise as opposed to software wise. Please click on the pictures for information about the software used.

Burnham Pavillion by Zaha Hadid
(Rhino, 3D Max, Photoshop)

Distance-responsive facade pattern

Project description:
This grasshopper script is intended to create a surface texture or pattern on a façade whose size is responsive to the distance from a multiple number of openings on a façade. This is associated with some earlier intentions of my studio exploration.

List of dependencies:
Surface –> grid points –> filtered grid to exclude perimeter points –> circle pattern– >identify the curves of the openings — > graft the resultant grid by proximity to closest curve — > distance between grafted point and closest curve –>circle radii — > set maximum limit of radii > use pattern to generate surface treatment options.

Psuedo Script:

1.Use ‘Set One Surface’ in Grasshopper by selecting the surface with openings created in rhino.
2.Divide surface into grid points into the number of columns and rows of the desired pattern.
3. Filter this grid of points to exclude the points on the surface perimeter.
4. Create a pattern of circles using the center points of the filtered grid.
5. Identify the bounding curves of the openings in the surface.
6. Use this to graft the resultant grid points obtained earlier sorting by their proximity to closest curve.
7. Synchronously sought out the closest curves.
8. Find out the points on these curves closest to the grafted points.
9. Use the distance between the above points as a controlling factor for setting up the varying radii of circles in the pattern.
10. Find out the spacing in either direction of the grid created in step 1 and establish the least of the two values.
11. Use the above value as the maximum limit of radii of the pattern.
12. Use the pattern generated for the two options below and any other potential options:
• Creating surface texture on the facade.
• Creating punctures in the facade.

Input parameters:
Surface with openings (built in rhino)
Grid Specification (rows and columns for pattern)
Pattern control factor for size of circles.
Extrusion height for surface treatment option1.

Grasshopper version used: 0.8.0060

Habitat for Humanity – Volunteer work

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Living-Learning Quarter


As part of the studio, I examined options for a new campus residential building at the University at Buffalo, that was to complement the existing options and provide a more urban living environment close to the academic core on the North campus. The prime goals for the proposal were: Integration—To integrate age groups on some floors and have some floors with only one age group; Inclusion—To provide for inclusion by means of diversity in activities and living types ( 5 types of units); Expression of public life—To reinforce the public streetscape with quieter study spaces at the rear; Views—To have maximum public area oriented towards the lake; Legibility—To maximize visual access, to aid with way finding and awareness of the program. The final design was informed by inputs from focus groups for the post-occupancy evaluation of the existing campus facilities, and also by those from precedents and research literature. The program for the proposal was strengthened by the inclusion of salient features such as a hair salon, a furniture-rental shop, a fresh-foods grocery store, a computer hardware store, space for recreational activities, a greenhouse, and technology labs.


Site Analysis

Zoning chronology

Final scheme–Plans

Final scheme–Sections and Elevations

Strategies for maximizing daylight

A major objective of the design was to maximize the intake of daylight into the building, especially, the public zones. The double height lounges at the South and North ends, and the staggered triple height atriums in the middle, help the light penetrate into the interiors, while also evoking a sense of spaciousness and aiding way finding. The glazed roof, covering the greenhouse, brings light into the front atrium and a clerestory lights up the rear atrium, as seen in the transverse section. The section of the duplex apartments occupying the last two floors has also been devised to capture ample daylight.

Final scheme–Views

Goals for the building image

To display the public activities within and become a welcoming beacon at night.
To seek legibility via the elevational treatment.
To distinguish the base levels from the residential floors above.
To express the horizontality of the building.
To emphasize the two corner blocks.
To break the monotony of the facade

Institute of Planning and Architecture at Nashik (Awarded best undergraduate Thesis)

The inspirational component:

The concept here is an amalgamation of two governing aspects: the inspirational and the functional. The former considers the site as a physical expression of Nashik, the city where the site is located. This idea resonates what  Ar. Daniel Leibeskind said: “Buildings don’t consist simply of steel & concrete, they are the spiritual expression of the city.” As such the site represents a cameo of Nashik city. The site holds two mounds lying almost at its centre representing in miniature, the topography of the region which lends the city its name. Analogous to the river Ganga originating from the Trimbakeshwar hills and flowing through Nashik city dissecting it, the shared institutional facilities form an E-W stream originating from the mounds flowing across the site and dividing the institution into the Architecture and Planning block on the north and south respectively. Similarly the N-S running wings with the hexagonal nodes, the peripheral road on the South, the link connecting the two departments are analogous to Nasihk city’s NH-3 highway, the rail lines and the bridges respectively.

Program and functional component:

The site at a macro level consists of the following: Architecture block, Planing block, administrative facilities, workshops, lecture halls block, library, canteen, auditorium, recreational block, dining center, arboretum., amphitheater, and a residential component-undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff and visitors. The functional component of the concept is governed by considerations such as:

  • Segregation—physical barrier of the mound runs north–south dividing the plot into:
    • a. An anterior portion on the east which houses the institute and
    • b. A posterior portion on the west housing the accommodation facilities.
  • Utilisation of site topography and sustainability—the topography of the twin mounds has been utilized for the provision of structures with a stepped profile i.e the amphitheater, lecture rooms and stepped housing for undergraduate students, thus minimizing cut and fill.
  • Entry, circulation and traffic patterns— vehicular traffic has been restricted as far as possible to the periphery of the site,thus giving  a huge undisturbed expanse of land for the academic block. Furthermore the hierarchy of roads which form individual circuits for circulation has been utilized to control the traffic.
  • Landscape: To encourage learning from the environment, the scheme consisted of 5 zones, each representing the landscape of a certain era: Greek, Roman, Medieval, Japanese, Mughal

The Overall picture:

Site plan

Second-level plan of the core academic block

Birds-eye view of the Institute from the East

Key elevation – East

North Elevation

Administration block and entrance foyers

Housing Clusters:

Individual Buildings/ Prototypes:

Vertical Constructions

Inception–The initial phase

I have always been fascinated by the transitory state of enigma which I am thrown into, when I ascend a subway which suddenly opens out to the contrasting extraterranean landscape, especially in New York city. The desire to regenerate a similar experience in collaboration with an understanding of Kenneth Frampton’s cosmological interpretations of Gotfreid Semper’s theories of the stereotomic and tectonic, formed the mold in which the initial ideas for the project were cast in the form of an artifact. Stepping up in scale, the second phase of the studio was an extension of the first one itself but with the inclusion of a program. The intent of the tectonic portion—in perspective—itself framing the view of the sky formed the core of the concept here. The desire for a dissolution of the body of the tower is manifest in the cladding system. The view of the sky from the ground and above were guiding parameters for both these phases of the project.

Final tower at Griffis Sculpture Park

Encompassing some of the ideas from the first two projects, was the third tower for which I collaborated with two other students. The process involved was a major source of learning for the progressive translation of the first sketch—through the minutest detail in the execution—into the final product, which falls somewhere between the definition of a sculpture and a habitable built form. Custom designed and assembled formwork, custom sized cladding studs and structural components, as well as the necessary adjustments for compliance with the requirements of various authorities, did amplify the time and effort required. Merging the ideas of the three team members, the tower attempts to portray the concept of gradation and pixelation; the details such as the bottom-top attenuation in the size of the grooves in the stereotomic base, mirrored by an amplification of spacing between the tectonic components, are devised to articulate these intentions. Collectively we performed the tasks of the architect, the contractor, the structural engineer as well as all the site workers.

Transcending the studio walls:

This design-build installation maintained its presence beyond the studio review as a part of  The Griffis Sculpture Park for more than a year. It  found mention at :

University at Buffalo website

e-architect website

The Griffis Sculpture Park website

Generous Architecture

The exploration

The inception of the process was marked by a visit to the Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo for identifying the generous quality about that space which made the physical encounter with it an overwhelming experience. Moved by the varying light intensities that characterized its spaces, I investigated the various tools and strategies for achieving and controlling indirect light through the medium of working models, leading to the ‘artefact’—an abstraction of this physical connection. The scheme was then expanded by means of repetition, multiplication and grouping to give the ‘Assembly’.

Further schemes in search of the light generated ‘generosity’, and the subsequent alterations and refinements corresponding to the incorporation of the spatial brief, circulation, and a suitable urban volume led to the non-programatic building model.

Final Proposal- Student housing

Finally the major adaptations due to the much later injection of the program, which was a Student’s Hostel, yielded the Final Building Design where in the intentions and the results achieved in the working models are seen in unison, as one physical entity.

The final proposal creates spaces with atmospheres distinguished from each another by their varied light intensities and qualities. The main tool employed for achieving this has been the light well, to which the individual spaces are either opened up or blocked on any particular level giving different depths of penetration. At places, the light well terminates into a space thereby providing top light and hence a brighter area than the ones above—which derive their light from the side. Also, some light wells merge others, either creating a wider light path or wrapping a space on more than one side. Finally, the glass faces adjoining these light wells vary in their heights. As such all these strategies which are used to control the light conditions, together help every space to extract a different amount and quality of light from these light wells, creating a contrast in the array of spaces that flow across the plan as well as the section. The light conditions thus achieved create a sense of ambiguity as on the one hand they give the users a factual measure of their position relative to the top, and on the other hand, they sometimes deceive them in that respect.

Wayfinding in a Campus setting – Design Recommendations

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