…until we can begin to understand how buildings affect individuals and communities emotionally, how they provide people with a sense of joy, identity, and place, there is no way to distinguish architecture from any every day act of construction.Kent C Bloomer & Charles W Moore
The real places on the earth […] are susceptible to continuous readings, which is to say many readings, which is almost certainly to say complex and ambiguous ones. It seems to be a characteristic of them, too, that they have extraordinary changeability, sometimes of use, almost certainly of size (as in the notion of the city as house, and the house as a city): each can be seen as a potential toy, capable of being pocketed in the memory and carried away, or taken out to fill for a while the whole of one’s conscious attention.
Body, Memory and Architecture
MODULE 3 | BRIEFS 8 & 9: MEETING THE WORLD AND GREETING THE SKY
DURATION: 4 WEEKS SCHEDULE: WEEKS 12 to 15; MARCH 22nd to APRIL 18th TOTAL HRS: 160
PEER REVIEW: PR6  & 7  UNIT REVIEWS: UR6  & TERM-END  REFLECTIVE HRS: 18
Arriving into the final module of the studio, the house now grows into an institution. The public domain, however, is limited to the ‘superstructure’: the ground floor and the possibility of creating another floor above and/ or allowing the spaces within the building to rise up to a height of 6M above ground. The sub-grade levels need to retain their domestic nature and privacy.
The children have grown up and left home to pursue professional studies. The parents, older by more than a decade now, are the only permanent inhabitants of a house which is rather large for their needs. Besides making better use of the big house, they are also considering transforming part of it into a public facility such that it offers new, exciting and meaningful space for the community and perhaps even the city. This could not only pay for the maintenance of the building but also generate income for the family, few jobs and a new identity for the neighbourhood. But what can this public space be in the times of looming gigantic dark clouds of Pandemics?
What kind of an institution can the house become – a Community Centre with a Multipurpose Hall, or a Residency for Creatives with Workshop(s), or a Performance Space, or an Exhibition Gallery, or a Resource Centre with a Library, or a Place for Physical & Spiritual Wellbeing or a Play School or something completely new or very very old?
What is the nature of this institution – quite & subtle or loud & vibrant, light & porous or dense & heavy; is it flooded with light or is it a dark haven; is it a wall or is it a void or is it a screen, is it a vessel or a lantern?
Regardless of the type and nature of the institution, it needs to have one large floor for congregation – be it stepped or flat – protected to a considerable degree from the weather. This main space will require ancillary facilities of washrooms, reception & foyer, office, a small café for snacks & beverage and other space(s) that you deem necessary. It needs to have a residential component, which can be incorporated within the house below.
The location of the institution is the same as that of the Childhood Home. Please consider the context in terms of physical proximity of buildings (including heights) and streets (including widths), as well as the socio-cultural milieu.
The ground floor can be completely reconceived, if necessary; however, it cannot transgress the building footprint already established – i.e. it can reduce but not expand out of the extant profile.
The upper floor or the upper part of the ground floor (beyond +3M), however, can grow out to reach the site boundary. The area of the upper floor or part or the roof plan cannot exceed 115% of the ground floor profile (excluding projections of up to 0.75M for weather protection).
Not more than 30% of the roof can be a flat terrace. Explore the possibility of green planes – horizontal, vertical or inclined.
Minimal structural changes are allowed to the two sub-grade levels.
The ground floor can be rebuilt partially or completely. The superstructure can grow on the beginnings made below, or can change completely, or can emerge as a hybrid. It may support itself on the understructure or span across the shorter dimension of your site. You may consider an additional margin of 1.5M to place structural elements of the new spanning system.
Steel can be considered as the structural material for the new intervention. However, explore diverse possibilities of form, structure, materials and spatiality, whether in continuity or contrast to the subterranean architecture.
Consider the maximum span/ bay width of the new intervention as 7.5M or equal to the maximum thickness of the profile on extant ground floor, whichever is higher.
Students will continue the multi-pronged approach of engaging with multiple mediums within the same week. The design development process will be interspersed with conversations with tutors and peers and iterations of the work as per feedback and insights.
Before initiating the evolution of your Childhood Home into a Place for Community, you have to work on the Time Problem: A Jump Start. Refer to the revised clustering and grouping for Module 3 (Guidelines on G. Classroom). Choose a peer from your group to entrust them with the transformation of your home into an institution. Brief them on the socio-cultural & physical contexts of the site so that they can make appropriate choices regarding the type and nature of the institution. Following this, the entrusted student will choose another student to provide them with the house. This sequence will continue till the loop is completed and the initiating student has been offered a house and contextual brief. Beyond this point each student is at the liberty of redeveloping the house into an institution as they deem fit.
The only official design discussion for the Time Problem will occur during the Peer Reviews to close Brief 8; Session 1: 1430 hrs. Thursday, 28th October; Session 2: 0930 hrs. Friday, 29th October The presenting student’s own group will review the work.
For the subsequent three-week design Brief 9 of Module 3, each student will again have the Childhood Home to start with; in addition, they will have their peer’s design intervention on their own site, as well as their intervention on another’s site to consider and help in proceeding with the new design process.
M3-B9 will have a Unit Review on the Monday (15th Nov’) following the first week of the brief (after the Diwali break), a Peer Review on the Monday (22nd Nov’) after a fortnight, and the brief and studio will finally be closed in the term end reviews towards at the end of the 16th week.
Regular update of the Reflective Blog on ar2031.in is a mandatory requirement of the studio. You may choose to blog daily or weekly; however, run a group reading session on the draft before posting.
M3-B8: TIME PROBLEM – A JUMP START
Scale: 1:75 Medium: Rendered Exploded/ Sectional Axonometric (Digital or Analogue)
M3-B9: THE PLACE FOR COMMUNITY
Format: A3 Compositions
1. 1:50 Plans, Sections & Elevations (Digital or Analogue)
2. 1:75 Model (Cardboard; Monochromatic)
3. 1:75 Exploded/ Sectional Axonometric (Digital or Analogue)
4. 1:10/ 20 Wall Section
5. Associative Site Plan
6. 1:100 Site Model
7. 4 Nos. Views
All visual examples shared in this brief are for reference only.
The exercises defined in this brief are intended to elicit responses to the following questions:
+ How is the creative process informed by experiences and memories?
+ What is the relationship between body, memory, emotion and space?
+ How can architecture anticipate futures to transcend its function?
With diligent and intense engagement with the exercises students will
+ Recognize the relationship between body, memory, feeling and space
+ Analyze the context of a project in terms of Inhabitation, Spatial Experience, Components and Hierarchies of Relationships
+ Evaluate the transformation/ growth/ expansion in contextual parameters
+ Formulate a conceptual framework to aid design processes + Apply a kit of parts
which include elements and dimensional modules for designing spaces
Besides documenting the processes and recording its highs & lows, it’s necessary to reflect on the questions & learning outcomes mentioned above and include consequent deliberations in the Reflective Blog.