Happy holidays and Happy New Year to our Clients, colleagues, friends and well-wishers!
Designed by HOK, Tata Housing recently launched their housing development called "AMANTRA" in Kalyan, near Mumbai, India. See website: http://www.tatahousing.in/amantra/. Also read the story by IIFL. This is a landmark project that exemplifies hi-density housing in the modern Indian context.
The design approach was to create a compact, shaded and close-knit community with a pedestrian-scale development with “places for people” while accommodating the density. The project responds to climatic conditions through passive ventilation strategies such as E-W orientation of buildings to minimize solar heat gain, capturing and channelizing prevailing winds throughout the building mass, creating self-shading conditions and creating voids for air flow.
The master plan uses the approach of “variable densities”. Instead of creating a wall of tall towers, the development is made permeable by introducing 14 storey “bar buildings”. The entire development is further linked together by a continuous public space at the terrace level of these bar buildings thus multiplying the green space at a higher level. The height across the development has been stepped up eastwards so as to capitalize on the premium zone of the site.
Several courtyards are created onto which the towers could derive their close views. Long views towards the east as well as an increased privacy from the highway established the location of premium buildings. The clubhouse is located adjacent a central green space adjacent the premium buildings. Passive responses to climate are adopted at master planning level and carried through to the design of the buildings. The intent is to create building design with a distinguished character that emanates from thoughtful connections to the natural landscape and climate. Buildings are oriented east-west to capture and funnel wind through the building mass and create self-shading conditions. The tower mass is staggered to accommodate a channel for wind that would then circulate through the corridors and funnel into individual units.
The overall design for the development has established thoughtful, sustainable and affordable development in keeping with the project vision, goals and practical solution for hi-density housing in India and specifically in the Mumbai region.
HOK is currently working on an exciting new project in Gujarat. The team recently concluded a worksession in HOK Toronto which was attended by HOK India, St. Louis and Toronto teams along with the client. Check this blog post for news about the various projects HOK is doing in India!
Yes, it's that time of the year when monsoon is at its peak... Consistent rains for 2-3 days at a stretch crumbles the city and brings life to a standstill. Our staff had issues coming to work on Thursday which was probably one of the worst of the season (we hope there's no more). See some of the photos clicked by our colleague Nitin Salunke while headed to work...
HOK India recently assisted Tata Consulting Engineers in a design competition for a project in north India. Sarthak Dhingra our intern from Georgia Tech participated along with Rahul Kulkarni, Buvana Murali, Kirti Shentre and other staff in the brain storming, research, design and presentation process. Here he is presenting to the HOK India staff at lunch along with Buvana Murali.
A recent article in Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) talks about how international design firms are changing the real estate scenario in India. Read the HKTDC article here.
On a recent trip to Shimla, Raghu, my colleague and I were saddened to see the state of affairs in this once a quiet town in Himachal Pradesh, north India. During the British rule, Shimla was designated as the summer capital of the country and had a quaint, hill station charm. Today, with excessive (haphazard) commercial development, hotels and tourism boom, it seems that the entire valley is becoming one big ghetto of structures that are poorly built and maintained. There seems no room left for open spaces for the residents and basic environmental considerations like watersheds and tree plantation have been ignored... The valley seems to be cleared of mature trees in several places all around Shimla for new development. New development should probably be curbed and the authorities should systematically re-develop the existing fabric of the city to ensure quality of life and to ensure long term interest in the valley for tourism.
I accompanied Clark Davis to Lavasa with Devdas Bhasker last Friday. The Lavasa clients were most gracious as always in arranging the entire trip to and from their office in Vikhroli. A helicopter ride and a personal tour by Devdas and Omkar made the trip very informative and enjoyable.
The city, though a bit quiet, still resonates with the thoughtfulness, care and passion of its promoters, designers and the many who have worked so hard to shape it!
On a bike ride a week ago...I passed by an old dairy in Mumbai and snapped this picture of a three generations of people standing by a small fire. I took the picture because the setting was nice and the subjects seemed interesting.
If was only later that I realized the relevance of what I shot when someone pointed it out to me. Standing is the grandfather, the son and the grandson. The grandfather looks like a content man and wears a very satisfied look on his face of having lived a hard but productive life. The son (in the middle) is too busy to look towards me because he is obviously busy texting on his phone. The grandson is fashionable, confident and curious. In fact of all three he was the only one who really engaged me in a conversation.
This is a very common site these days in India. The youth and the children are very forward thinking and they expect real progress and accountability from the world around them They have hope and aspirations to grow and prosper. For themselves and their country!
Congratulations to Team India on winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The HOK India team likes to believe that we had a little something to do with the win (see previous pre-match post below)! The mood - as expected - was ecstatic... throughout the city, country as well as around the world where Indians were awake at odd hours to catch the final. Most of us are still in the victory hangover!!
Our HOK St. Louis team mates got together at Dhaval Barbhaya's residence in St. Louis to watch + celebrate the finals and had a great time...!
If you're in India - and especially in Mumbai - you can't help but give in to the madness called ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. HOK India team got together for the epic India-Pakistan semi-final and had a great time watching the game together... After India's win in the semis, the team went out to celebrate at the nearby Renaissance Hotel for a toast and to wish good luck to Team India for Saturday's final against Sri Lanka. GO INDIA!!!
HOK India team is working on a project near Mumbai in collaboration with HOK's St. Louis office and founding principal, Gyo Obata. In a worksession completed recently in St. Louis, the team presented designs for high-rise, high density residential project and ways to create meaningful building design as a response to environmental and climatic considerations while designing for high density.Watch this blog space for more news and updates on the exciting work that the India office is doing!
HOK India wishes all of our clients, colleagues, friends and well-wishers a Very Happy and Prosperous 2011! The office has recently moved into a new 3,890 sq.ft. office space in Hiranandani Business Park.
Completely designed by HOK India, the office is customized to the day-to-day working requirements. There are 2 studios - north and south, 2 huddle rooms for collaboration and large conference room (ACR) including video conferencing facility. The office moved in 45 days from concept to construction. The team strived to use local materials and appliances made in India and have a 6" access floor throughout which provides flexibility of running data and electrical cabling. By eliminating any sort of false ceiling, the team created a studio-like environment with plenty of natural light and ventilation.
Come visit our office located at 802 Alpha building in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai!
This has got nothing to do with India but I thought I will post it any way - because it is so super cool! At the groundbreaking event for the March LifeCare campus in Los Angeles, the California Governor announces it's being designed by "the #1 architectural firm in the state of California!"
Times of India titled it as "swanky" airport terminal 3 which recently opened barely 3 years after the foundation stone was laid! It is truly an achievement given the myriad challenges and constraints that the development team had leading up to this! Read the ToI article for more info: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/IGIs-swanky-Terminal-3-takes-India-into-club-class/articleshow/6126065.cms
Building Design + Construction magazine has selected HOK as one of the best firms to work for in 2010. HOK is the only architectural practice to receive the honor, which recognizes the firm's commitment to our people, projects and communities... Click here to read more on hok.com website press release.
March 1st, 2010 marked HOK India's one year anniversary in our office space at Powai! The practice has grown significantly with work around the country and diversity of project types. From master planning, advisory to building design services we're now engaged in, HOK India has plenty to be proud about... and ensure there are no dull moments! A big thank you to all our clients, colleagues, friends and well-wishers around the world!!
Courtesy of HCC, a few of HOK-India folks got a rare chance to go atop the 126 m Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge in Mumbai. Check out our pictures... the visitors included Rahul Kulkarni, Buvana Murali and Raghu Ramchandran from HOK-India, students and faculty from Walchand College of Engineering. The trip gave us an insight on the construction and challenges met during the completion of this approx. 6 km bridge that links Mumbai's northern suburbs with the island city. More info about the bridge: http://www.bandraworlisealink.com/
HOK wishes all our clients, colleagues, friends and well-wishers Happy Holidays and a Happy, Healthy and Hopeful 2010!
HOK India recently presented plans for updating the master plan of a Engineering College campus in Sangli. The team worked through a rigorous phasing strategy to outline a clear game plan for the college to adopt and upgrade the campus to international standards.
HOK's higher education and campus planning experience played a major role in ensuring a realistic master plan in tune with the college's academic expansion plans and funding strategy. The entire campus is pedestrian-friendly and includes a phased expansion strategy for the college's academic, non-academic as well as residential functions.
HOK India and HOK St. Louis team was recently in Bangalore for designing a new resort-style community near Bangalore. The team, over the next few months, will prepare plans for a low impact, high-value second home community based on principles of environmental sustainability and new urban design.
From Left: Dhaval Barbhaya, Ar. Srinivas, Buvana Murali
“Hotel Fortune Select Dasve” has received LEED Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification awarded by India Green Building Council under the aegis of U.S. Green Building Council. The project located at the town center of Lavasa secured all the 36 points it applied for.
Congratulations to Lavasa, their consultants, and colleagues...!
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