Last week was a workshop week which included my first site visit to the Shreyas Foundation. The week started with showing model to see the spaces in 3D and realize the scale and form of the space. Based on the peer review, the next day wall sections were made to look at the construction details and how the structure comes together at a larger scale which was not visible clearly in 1:50 scale plans and sections. It helped me clear some basic fundamentals which I had missed till now. The sizes of the structural elements were resolved and also changes were made in the layout of spaces. Minute details like the arrangement of mangalore tiles, orientation of louvers and its usage were made clear in the wall sections. It also helped me understand how orienting an element in a different way help the structure to become stronger. For example, I was initially using a horizontal block for bracing the column which also acted as lintel but then by the demonstration of the parallel bar bending when putted horizontal and being stiff when oriented perpendicular helped me understand how the actual situation of that element is.
Considering the new changes, it was important to look at the elevations of the buildings which showed the institutions relationship to the streets and people outside. The important aspect of the discussion was fenestrations. With an attempt to follow a same language of material and type of fenestration throughout the building I chose to have louvers and glass shutters (fixed as well as operable). Louvers were chosen to break the sun’s glare while providing ventilation and glass for providing visuals from the streets. The ground floor of my institution is a display and a shop for readymade clothes. To make it as much porous as possible it has minimum walls and more glass. I had least openings in the facades of my building but then after the discussion I realized how blank and useless it is.
The closure of week happened with a site visit to the Shreyas Foundation which as been evolved since many years by architects contributing to its built. A latest addition to it is the Darwin Leggo house. It is a prefabricated and assembled on site structure. Though made with thinner elements it is string enough to serve the purpose. I understood from that it is not important to built bulky always sometimes a lighter element can also get your job done. Looking the projections from the roof, I realized how complex functions can be addressed by using elements at a certain place. This realization also hitted my mind before when I was suggested to lower the compound walls of my pit to the height of a parapet and provide plantations in front to stop people from coming near to it.