The second in-person workshop or offline studio was an event I anticipated with great nervousness and excitement. The hectic work hours, intense quantity of work and tiring days overflowing into nights experienced in the first workshop had set up my expectations accordingly.
This workshop, though not contrary but still was very different from the first. The work felt intense because of how much I was wanting to achieve, but at the same time, I focused a lot on not just finishing off my work in time but also tried my best to focus intricately on the amount of care I put in.
We worked on a 1:75 scale physical model along with plans and a site model over the weekend to start off Monday’s peer review. The review did not feel up to the mark as I later discovered that due to the loss of sight of time over some parts of the weekend I struggled to bring the model to a standard I had earlier hoped to achieve when I started working. Although, the discussion with my peers before the actual review even began really helped me understand and achieve a sense of how I could improve upon the model.
After exploring the design through physical models of the institution and the site, We moved onto wall sections that helped in articulation of how the building was really getting built. It had been a while since I had worked on detailed wall sections and thus there was a lot of anxiety attached with the process. But as I started drafting the wall sections and referring to examples I realized how much I learnt about my own institution. The wall sections, without a doubt, turned out to be the highlight of my week, in terms of the productive feedback I received, the discoveries I had about my design and the amount of knowledge I gained about certain construction processes.
From the wall sections, we dove into deeper details of the articulation of the building and how it would appear from the streets. The types of fenestration and their variety in terms of scale, materials, level of transparency and dimensions were explored to further detail out the house and the institution. From the discussion on the elevations I learnt how, using different materials to express different natures of openness, accessibility or simply even aesthetics, could make such a difference to the essence of inhabitation around the building and its relation with the surroundings.
The studio unit went for a site visit to ‘Shreyas Foundation’. A brief discussion with Mr. Abhay Mangaldas was also part of the visit. From all his words what stuck with me the most is how buildings must not be designed for inhabitation within themselves but the design process really should focus upon co-habitation of the people, the built and the nature that not just surrounds the built but also in a way makes it up in the first place. The material shouldn’t emerge from random choices but from well articulated thoughts and considerations about the nature of the built, the nature around the built and of course the essence of the material itself.