Archive for January, 2012



Deepthi – BSBE Assignment 2


Christopher Charles Benninger

Christopher Charles Benninger is an American-Indian architect and planner born in the United States in 1942. He studied urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he later taught (1969–72).While in Ahmedabad he innovated the concept of Site and Services, an approach to housing providing access to shelter via developed small plots, allowing poor families to construct their own homes, according to their means. For the World Bank

 and the Madras Urban Development Authority 1973 he designed over 20,000 such units in four locations, the largest being at Arambakum in Chennai.

In 1976–79, using funding from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), he built a township for low income households at Yusafguda, in Hyderabad with over two thousand houses, public amenities and shopping centres. This was the first project of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority and provided owners with road access, street lights, storm drains, electricity and sanitary cores.

Benninger’s best known architectural works are a cluster of academic and educational campuses in the mountainous region between Mumbai and Pune in India. These include the Center for Development Studies and Activities, the Mahindra United World College of India, the Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, the YMCA International Camp, Nilshi, India, the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies and the International School Aamby. The Centre for Life Sciences Health and Medicine in Pune is a radical departure from his earlier work. Other important works are the Kochi Refineries Corporate Headquarters in Kerala, the Alliance Francaise in Ahmedabad and SOS Children’s Villages in Kolkata and Bawana outside of Delhi. The new campuses for the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and the College of Engineering, Pune are nearing completion. Benninger was recently awarded the Azim Premji University in Bangalore and the Bajaj Institute of Technological Studies in Wardha where he has built the Bajaj Science Centre.


Principle one: a balance with nature

Principle two: a balance with tradition

Principle three: appropriate technology

Principle four: conviviality

Principle five: efficiency

Principle six: human scale

Principle seven: opportunity matrix

Principle eight: regional integration

Principle nine: balanced movement

Principle ten: institutional integrity

Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí  (25 June 1852–10 June 1926) was a Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

Much of Gaudí’s work was marked by his four life passions: architecture, nature, religion and love for Catalonia. Gaudí studied every detail of his creations, integrating into his architecture a series of crafts in which he was skilled: ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironworkforging and carpentry. He introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís, made of waste ceramic pieces.

After a few years under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Catalan Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by nature. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he was conceiving them.

Gaudí planned a fantastic house with undulating, living forms. Its structure is based on wrought metallic girders and Catalan-style vaults which are supported by metallic summers on brick (mostly), ashlar or iron columns. The only structural walls pertain to the stairway. Gaudí always said that if someday the building became a hotel there would be no problem because, as it lacks weight-holding walls, the distribution of the flats may be modified by simply changing the placement of the partitions or eliminating them altogether. To hold the façade in place, undulated summers that are built into the stone and are attached to girders of various lengths.

Geometrical forms

The nave in the Sagrada Familia with a hyperboloid vault. Inspiration from nature is taken from a tree, as the pillar and branches symbolise trees rising up to the roof.
This study of nature translated into his use of ruled geometrical forms such as the hyperbolic paraboloid, the hyperboloid, the helicoid and the cone, which reflect the forms Gaudí found in nature.File:Maqueta funicular.jpg

Surpassing the Gothic

This new constructional technique allowed Gaudí to achieve his greatest architectural goal; to perfect and go beyond Gothic style. The hyperboloid vaults have their centre where Gothic vaults had their keystone, and the hyperboloid allows for a hole in this space to let natural light in. In the intersection between vaults, where Gothic vaults have ribs, the hyperboloid allows for holes as well, which Gaudí employed to give the impression of a starry sky.

1.RAJEEV AGARWAL (Indian Architect)


  • Born in 1965
  • B. Arch, School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, 1988

Architecture is an embodiment of ‘a way of life’ and the values that determine its path. The ‘design process’ is closer to the one experienced by an artist while creating a work of art. Of course, the site, context, materials and function do play a role in defining the actual design moves and these get absorbed and internalized to aid the design process unselfconsciously. A successful work of architectural design has SIMPLICITY & CLARITY with crystallization of design thought and moves to a degree that the design is simple, almost austere. The construction techniques and materials are used to explore all their intrinsic qualities like strength, density, and texture in their bare HONEST form. A constantly changing experience jogs the mind constantly and it continues to absorb and react to the built environment making it PLAYFUL. Constant play between two contrasts like changing views, light and shadow, change in axis, smooth and rough texture, hard and soft landscape. Each one enhances the opposite by contrast in close proximity. There is always a duality at play – two opposite materials, two colors, two spaces, two geometries and two textures.

Eventually the built environment consists of SPACES, which are sensed through a play of LIGHT. These are the both, the tools as well as the end products in architecture.


Nair house


The clients’ brief asked for a compact 3-bed room home with spaces for various activities, introverted and sheltered from the elements as well as neighbourhood activities.

The other concern for the architect was the design brief, which asked for ‘rooms’ for different activities and could have easily resulted in a spatial fragmentation within the house. The functional program was resolved by locating the different activity spaces on the periphery while the centre was left as a void.

‘Shot blasted’ textured white sandstone is used to clad the major volumes. The other material used is a polymer based wall coating with crushed stone used for pigment. The windows are made of aluminium curtain glazing system. The staircase is made of steel and timber treads, suspended by vertical slim stainless steel. The internal floors have a combination of White terrazzo and hardwood. Ceilings have a combination of white and dark timber finishes. All the toilet walls have ‘flamed’ textured granite stone cladding. The woodwork of the doors has some elements of ‘rough sawn’ timber.

The house is designed on a simple orthogonal grid. The centre is pierced by an inverted frustum of a cone. The walls in the peripheral rooms meet the curved and sloping wall of the central drum at various incidental acute angles. The wall of the central ‘drum’ or ‘cone’ slopes outward and is ringed by a peripheral row of glass blocks diffusing the interior volume with a gentle light throughout the day and ‘cold cathode light’ ring at night. This volume is experienced from all ‘private spaces’ while traversing through the house.

2.DANIEL LIBESKIND (International Architect)

born May 12, 1946

His vision of architecture

He decided to become one of the representatives of past, wanting to show to the world the horror of his history while integrating into these exhibitions a new hope, a will to make better tomorrow than yesterday, to understand the past, and to assimilate it. He does not want to make architecture meaningless which contents itself with its harmonious forms, he prefers to give a strong message, and he wants to cause an impact on the visitors. According to him, human existence is broken with so much violence so the structure of the life remains forever twisted and upset. We find this state of mind in the way he designs its buildings with deconstructivist shapes. Many critics say that he is a deconstructivist, but Libeskind likes to thinks that he is a contemporary architect and that he works with his time.

He opposes to Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius in their idea that buildings must be neutral. He does not want to surround himself with neutral buildings; he prefers to face the history complexity and disorder of the reality. He wants to feel in the building a soul, a memory, a sense. At the beginning of every project, he tries to perceive the ” essence of the site ” He wants to create buildings, which respect and reflect the story of the place, the location, or the story of the building, which were here before; he wants his building to spread emotion to the people who will run over it. The emotions he wants to arouse have to testify a past, history, an understanding and a respect of what bring us here. He says that his memorials are not for the dead but for the living.

Bundeswehr Military History Museum


 Early in the 21st century, it was decided to give the museum a major renovation and architect Daniel Libeskind won the competition with a design for an glass and steel wedge that slices through the building at an angle symbolizing the rupture in German history represented by the Nazi era. The museum reopened on 15 October 2011.

This is a very unique and strong way to convey an idea.

Jewish Museum, Berlin

The museum adjoins the old Berlin Museum and sits on land that was West Berlin before the Berlin Wall fell. The Museum itself, consisting of about 161,000 square feet (15,000 square meters), is a twisted zig-zag and is accessible only via an underground passage from the Berlin Museum’s baroque wing. Its shape is reminiscent of a warped Star of David. A “Void,” an empty space about 66 feet (20 m) tall, slices linearly through the entire building. Menashe Kadishman’s Shalechet (Fallen leaves) installation fills the void with 10,000 coarse iron faces. An irregular matrix of windows cuts in all orientations across the building’s facade. A thin layer of zinc coats the building’s exterior, which will oxidize and turn bluish as it weathers.

A second underground tunnel connects the Museum proper to the E.T.A. Hoffmann Garden, or The Garden of Exile, whose foundation is tilted. The Garden’s oleaster grows out of reach, atop 49 tall pillars.

The final underground tunnel leads from the Museum to the Holocaust Tower, a 79 foot (24 m) tall empty silo. The bare concrete Tower is neither heated nor cooled, and its only light comes from a small slit in its roof.

Similar to Libeskind’s first building, the Felix Nussbaum Haus, the museum consists of three spaces. All three of the underground tunnels, or “axes,” intersect and may represent the connection between the three realities of Jewish life in Germany, as symbolized by each of the three spaces: Continuity with German history, Emigration from Germany, and the Holocaust.

The Jewish Museum Berlin was Daniel Libeskind’s first major international success.


In his research for the project, Libeskind read the Gedenkbuch, or Memorial Book, which lists all the Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The report which he filed in the original design competition borrowed the form of the Gedenkbuch.

Libeskind, a musician himself, took inspiration from music and considered the museum the final act of Arnold Schoenberg’s unfinished opera, Moses und Aron. Walter Benjamin’s One Way Street’s 60 sections determined the number of sections that comprise the museum’s zigzag section.

1.JEAN NOUVEL (international architect)


Jean Nouvel is a French architect, born on 12th august, 1945.

He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the Pritzker Prize in 2008.

Since he opened his office, Nouvel has worked to create a stylistic language separate from that of modernism and post-modernism. Rejecting the strict obedience to Le Corbusier that had stifled much of modern architecture, Nouvel initiates each project with his mind cleared of any preconceived ideas. Although he may borrow from traditional forms, he creates a building that stretches beyond traditional constraints.

Nouvel places enormous importance on designing a building harmonious with its site and surroundings. Although Nouvel relies on context to generate his designs, a certain continuum occurs from one design to the next. Within nearly all of his designs, Nouvel consistently presents an interplay of transparency, shadow, and light.

In 1981 Jean Nouvel won the competition for a series of “great projects” requested by Francois Mitterrand, the French President. In 1987 he was awarded the “Grand Prix d’ Architecture” for his whole body of work and the “Equerre d’ Argent” for his design work on minimalist pieces of furniture.

National Museum Qatar

His concept reflects the vanishing bedouin cultures of qatar, in an effort to embrace the realities
of a rapidly urbanization society, and maintain a connection to this fading world in which the
country sprang.

The starting points of the design began with the desert rose, which are tiny formations
which crystallize below the desert’s surface, made primarily from steel and concrete which
will be locally sourced / fabricated, the new building will be constructed from dozens
of interlocking disk-like forms varying in curvature and diameter, suggestive of the blade-like
petals of the desert rose. they will intersect at various angles, some standing, others acting as
support elements or lying horizontal, creating an uneven pile. They will be made from steel
truss structures, and will be assembled in a hub-and-spoke arrangement, all clad with glass fiber
reinforced concrete panels.

Columns concealed within the vertical disks, carry the loads of the
horizontal disks to the ground. his design is a manifestation of the qatari identity,
through a building appearing as if it is growing out of the ground. This new structure will be built around an existing palace.




Tour De Verre, Newyork


Describing his proposed Tour de Verre, architect Jean Nouvel told that he envisioned an “archetype of what can be a skyscraper in New York.” For Nouvel, buildings are created to meet the needs of a specific space and time. Instead of duplicating the form of past buildings, he wanted to design a structure suited to the present-day context.

Tour de Verre is a 75-story tower.

The tower contains a hotel, luxury apartments and three floors for use by MoMA. A restaurant and lounge are below ground level, so that pedestrians can peer in through the exterior, which is entirely sheathed in glass.

The bizarre high rise office building design is the proposal by the French Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel. The glass-clad building is wrapped in a metal brise-soleil based on a traditional Islamic pattern.

The slender shape of Tour de Verre allows the architect to make use of the lit erally tiny building gap and still let enough daylight into the street. The top summits will house sun collectors for the supporting energy supply, Aeolian turbines add to the energy concept, and the steel structure will be built in such a way that it will be able to withstand probably all wind loads.

The tower will even consider economic aspects: The glass areas have standard dimensions, the tension of the steel construction follow simple geometrical principles. Hence, no special products will be necessary. A shell of steel ribbons will meander like a network of blood vessels around the tower and will take care of the right statics. Visually, these ribbons create an organic impression and will serve as a perfect counterpart of the coolness of glass and steel. And despite all this technology, this tower does not seem to be of this world, rather than a glittering crystal emerging from the deepest of dreams.

ROMI KHOSLA (Indian architect)

Romi Khosla is a celebrated architect whose buildings have been extensively published. Educated at Cambridge University UK and the Architectural Association London, he has designed large educational and recreational complexes. His boutique hotel operated by Le Meridian in Kathmandu has been featured in architectural books of Nepal. He designed the National Gallery in Bombay as well as Corporate headquarters for United Breweries in Bangalore. His prestigious reputation led to invitation to serve on the Aga Khan Award Jury as well as the Izmir City revitalisation Competition Jury in Turkey. Appointed as a Principal Consultant to UNDP, UNOPS, UNESCO and WTO, he has carried out extensive Urban Planning and revitalisation and Tourism Planning missions to the Balkans, Cyprus, Central Asia and Tibet. His design experience for educational buildings include a large 200 acre boarding School, University buildings as well as primary and secondary schools.

Romi Khosla Design Studio works across a broad spectrum of design opportunities.  While it is located in India and primarily works on the subcontinent, the Studio engages regularly with international concerns.

Its design concerns and parameters are primarily informed by the availability of materials at the location of the project, the Socio-economic profile of the users as well as need to define the form as a minimal object.  The use of natural materials, crafted by either hand or machines forms an important concern in the Studio’s expression of form.

The creative works of the studio are situated across a wide range of locations, topographies and climatic zones.  Their projects include private houses, buildings for the poorest of the poor, Industrial spaces, educational buildings, green corporate offices, high end retail outlets, student facilities, art galleries and medical centres.

School for spastic children

The first custom-design school for physically handicapped children. It is designed for 500 children and provides not only specialized facilities and training, but also courses for parents of handicapped children. The school also acts as centre for field work to be carried out in rural areas in north india.


M.F. Hussain Art Gallery

`The architects chose white marble in the canteen and white metal louvers in the art gallery to express this contemporary identity.  The art gallery has become a community space for gathering alternative expressions of culture and identity.  This role signaled the canteen and the art gallery as iconic models of architectural expression in contemporary Indian academic institutions.

The art gallery has three main parts to it. The front gallery that is naturally lit is primarily designed for the display of popular art and student exhibitions.  The second space is the main internal gallery which is lit by controlled light and can be divided into 2 smaller galleries with the help of the central pivoting wall.  This gallery is designed for the great university art collection, as well as for external artists who want to exhibit their work here. The third exhibition space is the open air sculpture court at the rear of the building.

Other than this, the art gallery also has two artist studios adjacent to the sculpture court which are designed for short term stay of visiting artists.