Township in India
Guided by Indian architectural traditions, this housing block proposes a contemporary transformation that grapples with shifts in architectonic scale, with changing patterns of social, educational and economic status, and with the enduring Indian fondness of and search for harmony with nature. Special emphasis is placed on the oppositional and simultaneous characteristics of heaviness and porosity prevalent in centuries of India architecture.
Early studies found inspiration in local architecture; an intricate layering creates numerous small openings in the building. These openings may belong to individual units or aggregate to form generous collective common areas for the building community. The porosity of the building provides an extraordinary amount of natural ventilation and confronts the problem of alienation found in many high-rise apartment blocks.
Early studies sought contrast with the layered intricacy of the other studies; the idea of a unified opening around which the building is organized would be compelling in its ability to create a new high-rise experience. The building would provide a generous amount of natural ventilation, while delivering a singular living experience to its residents. Each unit would have a facade facing out of the building and one facing in, creating the back door / front door relationship usually reserved for freestanding houses. Thus, the concept of a tower of single family houses emerges.
Parking below grade leaves the ground level open for the development of two courtyards. The podium is celebrated and expanded to include amenities, mid-rise housing, public gardens, terraces and water. Another open area with a more private character is established within the block. The roofscape of the entire scheme is viewed as an opportunity for both community space and private gardens.
At the southwest of the parcel, a tower punctuates the long axis established by the East–West street. The relocation of the other tower to the northeast relieves the corner and establishes a privileged zone at the three-way intersection described above. The towers are set back from the edge of the podium/mid-rise and are not placed with respect to the edges of the lower volume. This creates an even more complex condition at the ground level as well as at the publicly accessible roofscape.