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Indian Architect & Builder: The Latest Architecture and News

Juhani Pallasmaa on Writing, Teaching and Becoming a Phenomenologist

Few people in the architectural world have done more than Juhani Pallasmaa to make the complex ideas of phenomenology accessible to the uninitiated; his book "The Eyes of the Skin," for example, is recommended reading for students in countries the world over. In this interview, originally published in the October issue of Indian Architect & Builder which featured the theme of "the power of the hand," Pallasmaa talks about his similar approaches to designing and writing, and the early childhood experiences that led him to become a phenomenologist.

Indian Architect & Builder: Your practice is widely multidisciplinary; can you tell us a little about your academic journey towards the establishment of your practice?

Juhani Pallasmaa: In my country, Finland, it has been customary for students of architecture to work in architecture offices during their studies, usually from the second year onwards. I entered the Helsinki University of Technology (currently the Aalto University) in the fall of 1957. A year later, I was fortunate enough to be invited to work at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, established a year earlier, as an exhibition assistant. The Museum eventually became my real university, and also gave me the opportunity to travel the world designing exhibitions of Finnish architecture in thirty cities around the world.

Fabrizio Barozzi on Finding the Specific and Avoiding the Generic in Architecture

Established in 2004, Spanish studio Barozzi/Veiga have become known for their intellectual approach to design and their precise solutions which draw on both local conditions and a sense of uniqueness - an approach which recently won them the Mies van der Rohe Award for their Philharmonic Hall Szczecin. In this interview, originally published in the August issue of Indian Architect & Builder under the title "Script of Simplicity," Fabrizio Barozzi speaks about the award-winning Philharmonic Hall Szczecin, the connection Barozzi/Veiga keeps between research and design, and how they avoid the generic in their architecture.

Indian Architect & Builder: Tell us a little about Barozzi/Veiga; the ideas, principles and core philosophies of your practice.

Fabrizio Barozzi: We always try to create an "essential" architecture. We understand essential architecture as a public architecture, an architecture that intends to generate some positive changes in the community for which it is built. An architecture that arises in a context without harshness, specific and inspired by its environment. We believe that this kind of approach to architecture is what brings out the characteristics of each site and therefore the diversity of ideas that exist in the world.

B V Doshi and Rajeev Kathpalia on the Idea of the Indian Smart City

Songdo in South Korea is one of the most advanced smart cities so far constructed. Image Courtesy of Cisco
Songdo in South Korea is one of the most advanced smart cities so far constructed. Image Courtesy of Cisco

Despite being largely invented and developed by Western technology companies such as IBM and Cisco, the concept of the Smart City has been exported all over the world, with some of the most advanced implementations of smart city ideals being found from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Songdo in South Korea. In this interview, originally published by Indian Architect & Builder as "Perceptions of a Smart City," Morgan Campbell talks with B V Doshi and Rajeev Kathpalia about Le Corbusier, urbanization, and what it might mean to establish a smart city in India.

Shortly after coming to office in 2014, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced an urban agenda in the form of 100 new Smart Cities for the country. The idea has captured attention at home and abroad, provoking intense discourse and debate regarding the form and context into which these cities should be developed. In January of this year, the city of Jaipur hosted the first annual Architecture Festival. Crafting Future Cities is just one of many platforms for this discussion.

Between Intuition and Pragmatism: Peter Clegg on Holistic Sustainability

Founded in 1978, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has spent over thirty years refining its approach to sustainability, and is now regarded as one of the UK's leading practices in low-energy design. Yet their work still resonates on many other levels, bringing them multiple awards including the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize for the Accordia Housing Project which they completed alongside Alison Brooks Architects and Maccreanor Lavington. In this interview from Indian Architect & Builder's May 2015 issue, Peter Clegg talks about the principles behind their work, explaining the concept of holistic sustainability which makes their designs so successful.

Indian Architect & Builder: The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Southbank Centre and many other projects desire to involve the social aspects for the larger good of the community. How would you describe the incorporation of these into the design process?

Peter Clegg: Architecture is an art form but also social science and we have a duty not only to work with our current client base and generate ideas collaboratively, but also think ahead and envisage the needs of future generations who are our ultimate clients. Our most creative work comes from working closely with creative clients who are more prevalent in the creative and cultural industries.

Model of Feilden Clegg Bradley's proposals for the Southbank Centre renovation, London. Image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Manchester School of Art, Manchester, England. Image © Hufton + Crow Broadcasting Place, Leeds, England. Image © Cloud9Photography City and University Library for Worcester ("The Hive"), Worcester, England. Image © Hufton + Crow + 7

Of Process And Practice: A Conversation With Studio Fuksas

Founded nearly 50 years ago in Rome, it is difficult to pin down an overarching theme in the work of Studio Fuksas: their designs have been built in North America, Asia and across Europe (with another design planned for Australia); they regularly operate at varying scales, from a colossal trade fair center and an international airport down to a small parish church; and their buildings all demonstrate huge stylistic variety. In this interview from Indian Architect and Builder's April 2015 issue, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas discuss the process behind their work, and the role of variation, context and concept in their designs.

Indian Architect & Builder: Did you always want to be an architect? Can you share with us your journey while discovering your commitment towards this field?

Massimiliano Fuksas: No, I never thought I’d want to be an architect. My early aspirations were to become a poet. The beauty of language, various forms of expression and prose always intrigued me. This ambition then evolved in to the desire of being an artist. Architecture was really my last choice. The thought of being an architect occurred to me only when I was around twenty. I was in university when I realized that architecture is probably the easiest and simplest interpretation of art and culture. As I continued my journey in the University of Rome, I began to develop a passion for this multifaceted field of knowledge. It was in my third year of university when I found my fervor for architecture and saw myself as an individual in the practice of architecture; a field that in one or more ways satisfied my earlier ambitions of being a poet and an artist.

Ferrari Operational Headquarters and Research Centre, 2004. Image © Maurizio Marcato The Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport was designed to evoke the form of a manta ray. Image © Leonardo Finotti Tbilisi Public Service Hall, 2012. Image © Studio Fuksas New Milan Trade Fair. Image © Studio Fuksas + 7

IA&B's 361° Conference: DIS.ARCHITECTURE - Discourse, Intuition and Syntax in Architecture

Over the past seven years, Indian Architect & Builder Magazine’s (IA&B) 361° Conference has evolved into the singular most relevant platform for discussion and discourse on architecture and design in India. Since its inception, the conference has captured the progressive nature of design, creating a forum for emerging and influential practices in India. As an eclectic, thought-provoking and egalitarian platform, 361° in its eighth edition will continue to celebrate the power of thoughts and ideas and initiate a truly relevant dialogue on architecture and design.

Emerging Practices in India: Indigo Architects

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This interview, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘Indigo Architects’, an Ahmedabad-based architectural firm.

IAB: Please describe your work.

Uday + Mausami Andhare: We have positioned our efforts in the field of architecture in the context of our time, which is ridden with great contrasts. On one hand, rapid and haphazard development in the cities is putting the existing infrastructure under a severe strain and on the other, smaller towns and villages continues to suffer age-old neglect in the area of planned growth and quality of construction. With fast-depleting resources, the onus of a sensitive approach to these realities is a dire need...And architecture has the power to effect change, of course. The question is about being effective in various contexts. Urban, rural, big, or small, private or public, it is imperative to give utmost care and dignity to the smallest of efforts. Perhaps, this may be a model that allows well-meaning practices to carry on with their tasks with an integral focus, in any profession. 

Exterior image of the Architect’s Residence: The grass court. Image Courtesy of Indigo Architects, Ahmedabad Light permeates. Image Courtesy of Indigo Architects, Ahmedabad Court with the tress . Image Courtesy of Indigo Architects, Ahmedabad Photograph of the Indigo Studio . Image Courtesy of Indigo Architects, Ahmedabad + 39

Emerging Practices in India: Hundredhands

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘Practices of Consequence’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘Hundredhands’, a Bengaluru-based architectural firm.

Patient and purposeful, the work of Hundredhands responds to fundamental concerns of form and space, material integrity, economy and efficiency with a strong efficacy with respect to function and relevance. With a team of architects and architecture trainees directed by Bijoy Ramachandran and Sunitha Kondur, Hundredhands has a significant investment in the conceptual development of their work and architectural discourse as an extension.

Pragmatic and grounded in ‘doing’, the built work of Hundredhands is developed through an analytical process of drawing, physical and virtual model-making, detailing and a control on the process of building. Their buildings have a sense of clarity that comes through methodical process and elimination of the unnecessary. They use contemporary building technology and materials responsibly and with due regard to available skill. Their architecture is enriched through selection and restraint.

Indian Architect & Builder's interview with the founders, after the break…

Raja ra Mane: Drawing. Image © Bijoy Ramachandran Alila Hotel and Residences. Image © Nathan Willock NUA in Bengaluru. Image © Mallikarjun Katakol IME Sketches and drawings. Image © Bijoy Ramachandran + 25