Sunday, December 10, 2017

Shortlisted

As a follow up to my previous post on Europan 14 design competition, all was not lost, as we received email confirming our design entry being shortlisted.
Not a win, but enough to keep continuing.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Bombay Pixels
























Some friends I have could go on for hours talking about the assertion of individual identities on Bombay's skyline...any simpler explanation from me like "maybe there are 6 people joint families in every room"...nope...
Some who come from Ahmadabad with stronger roots into Indian-red-clay-tradition could provide me explanation  of the cultural context and how the particulate pollution outside that settles on the wet clothes works as a herbal remedy etc...if I even start "maybe...225 sq. ft of accommodation does not really allow space for wet pajamas."...nope...
Some with more urban-metropolitan leanings tend to come up with rather cute branding terms like "Bombay Pixels" etc and normalise things...sometimes actually even revel in the beautiful complexity that is Bombay...the pollution - intoxicates you, the density - supports you, the complexity - enriches you and corruption...nope...stop patronising.
5th December 2017 to 28th December 2017....groan.

Clapham Pub

A new site under construction and soon to open.
More details to follow in the new year





Europan 14_Sluisbuurt: Landscape of Making

Some additional material from Europan 14 
Site: Sluisbuurt, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Design brief: Productive City
Design title: Landscape of Making
Project work done in collaboration with Chris Cornelissen







Europan 14

As is the bi-annual tradition we burn the night oil and lose only to try again harder! 
Europan 14 done with a close friend and fellow urban designer Chris Cornelissen.
Project involved designing two blocks of a wider masterplan (of Sluisbuurt Development, Amsterdam, Netherlands) as a representative sample. The design brief required the design to satisfy the high residential demand, create a new identity for this area, look at this as part of "the productive city" initiative and explore ideas that could create interesting live and work conditions.
Below is our own brief + design work.
"Landscape of Making
Introduction:
Through the last 3 decades Europe has undergone a shift from industrial to service economy. This shift has resulted in disjunctions between people, work and environment. Cities with industrial legacy are left with urban voids often transforming towards a consumer based landscape (Industry to shopping mall, docklands to business parks etc). Workers and their families not having had time and opportunity to adapt to the transforming economies form the urban poor. This has resulted in erosion of connection between environment, people and the culture of work.
The project interprets the brief as an initiative to re-establish a close connection between people, their work and the environment in which they live and work. The Craftsman by Richard Sennett forms the theoretical basis for our project.

“Most of us have to work. But is work just means to an end? In trying to make a living have we lost touch with the idea of making things well?
Can the desire to do a job well for its own sake -  as a template for living, work as an idea?” –The Craftsman, Richard Sennett.

Context:
The design acknowledges the following:
1) Netherlands is at the forefront of developing unique social infrastructure and housing type and delivery models that can enable finding solutions to various challenges posed by a constantly changing world.
2) The site sits within a wider context of Amsterdam and the city council’s initiative to string different hubs along the A10.
3) The work patterns will be built for the strengths and potential of existing economy, tied to various initiatives at national and citywide levels. Eg. Startup Amsterdam, Startup City Alliance Europe.
4) Potential to live and work in such close proximity allows higher density without putting pressure on transport infrastructure.
5) There is an appetite and need to invest in small scale local crafts and industry that may not be profitable immediately but allows conserving an important aspect of Dutch culture eg. Beer making, Flower production, Carpentry etc.

Vision:
The design envisages the following:
1) The ground floor is completely mixed use, with Northern edge dedicated to Selling (Retail shops) and Southern edge of the site dedicated towards Innovation and Making (workshops, studio spaces, Incubation hubs, startup spaces). This proximity allows an imagined symbiosis between Making activity getting an immediate venue to Sell or Exhibit its “goods and services”.
The ground floor is also carved with edges setting back or intruding, based on key angle of views and accents that form a part of the “MAKE” landscape.
2) The overall massing is result of location of towers based on surrounding context of the masterplan, desire to create a series of 4 yards each with its own unique function and identity, a lower height along the South to allow sunlight into the yards and finally a vision to mix live and work in various degrees to form different types that can be independently delivered and phased on a block by block basis as per requirements.
3) This being the centre of the development and having higher percentage of mixed use development, the plot is kept extremely permeable with a pedestrian gateway created along the canal enabling not only North South but also East West connectivity through the plots.
4) The massing face along the North is designed as Commercial development and the South facing massing is secured for good quality residential development.
5) The massing also attempts to balance between the high density desired on the plots and quality of urban environment through setbacks on the ground and upper level in order to maintain a healthy height along the street frontages.

Design:
The design is made up of 5 key elements:
1) Ground and Basement
2) 3 towers
3) 4 Yards
4) 9 Types
5) Hydroponic terraces
These elements together form the “Landscape of Making”

Conclusion:

The design is ambitious in its attempt to create a truly mixed use, live and work environment but has been designed to allow flexibility and change resilience in accordance with various constraints. The design also suggests architectural character in some instances but recognises that the working on types, massing strategy and overall design guidelines are the key deliverables that can effectively absorb a range of architectural styles depending on various collaborations."




Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has no suburban condition, it is either a minimum 30 storey mixed use, dense, tower or tropical rain-forest-garden...no space for in-between - implicit...no time for inefficiency of going round in circles in conversations as well as around stupid cul-de-sacs. Signals have a beat of urgency and people walk with super-purpose. The crowd is one and the air has energy like it will catch fire.
its explicit, in your face, fast, ultra dense, mixed use and everything that a city needs to be and yet it also provides each of its citizen ample accessible green space. The city is dense but through constant views of the nature beyond or tropical greenery entering the city, it somehow manages to maintain a good balance...a no point did we feel overwhelmed by the density.
Super awesome city.









Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Genzo Greek

If you are around East Finchley and in mood for good Greek food, do visit Genzo, our fifth restaurant design in London. Some photos of the place through construction and final opening.




  




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Baw - pre-design : process : soft opening


































This is my third restaurant project designed in London. It is a small 35 cover, Thai / Pan Asian cuisine, by the name Baw and located on Mill Hill high street.
It had a soft opening couple of weeks back.
All the photos of the finished interiors courtesy of photographer Vanessa Polignano.
More photos and updates to follow.