Spasm Design Architects is a Mumbai based firm that was founded by Ar. Sangeeta Merchant and Ar. Sanjeev Panjabi in 1995. They believe that all designs should be transformative. They should have the ability to hold that transformative power to change us as humans. Spasm Design Architects have worked on several residential and mixed-use projects in India and Tanzania. Each project tells a story and tends to represent the yin and the yang of architecture along with incorporating nature within the build forms. The firm continues to excel and capture the essence of what they believe in, in all their projects.
1. The House Cast in Liquid Stone
This second house is located in the Khopoli region of Maharashtra. The project gets its name from the material that has been used which is basalt. Basalt is the local rock of the region of Khopoli. It has been used in various ways depending on the space and use. The house was meant to be built to converse with the surrounding nature, converse with the cliff it is situated on and act as an escape from the harsh climate the site offers during the hot months.
2. Mandvi House
Situated in the beautiful land of Kutch, this house focuses on fulfilling the client’s needs while providing privacy from the crowded streets of Mandvi at the same time. Light has been borrowed through skylights and windows with a porous timber membrane. This in turn allows the breeze to enter with great force due to the less surface area and restricts harsh sunlight to enter the house. Khadva stone, which is available locally and was a prominent material in the past, has been used to echo the language of the houses around. The sky lounge acts as a contrast to the solitary interiors allowing the user to experience the sky and engage.
3. Deolali House
It was a task for Spasm to convince the clients and design a house that could be executed with a targeted budget while respecting the context at the same time. Apart from this, there were a number of factors contributing to the struggle. The aim was to design a house that could be sustainable and give justice to the panoramic views outside. The material palette of the house consists of exposed concrete, proprietary metal members and Kota flooring.
4. Khadakvasla House
The same aim abides with yet another house designed by Spasm Design, to provide and design a structure that is the yin to the yang of the lush greens around. The house is located in the region of Khadakvasla near Pune. The living room acts as a nucleus that frames the views around. Encasing the living space is a series of spaces separated by a large courtyard and verandahs. The verandah consists of a timber lattice roof that connects the indoor to the outdoor.
The existing features and trees on the site shaped the plan of this structure. The focus was to build a house for a family of 4. The spaces have been woven in such a way that it forms courtyards around the house and hence captures the essence of nature in every space. To continue this theme, wide sliding windows have been provided. To allow a system of ventilation, corten steel panels have been incorporated to act as a filter. The interiors give a sense of luxury with furniture and objects designed by the firm itself. The house is a treasure of details.
6. Exim Tower
Located in the city of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, this building consists of a segregated core with extruding balconies. The spaces between these cores act as work areas in this office tower. The tower’s plan is moulded according to the site and its functions. The stainless steel mesh gives the building a special character along with acting as a buffer against the sun and noise coming from the streets. The result is a glare-free environment with diffused light for people to work in. Another factor contributing to creating a certain atmosphere in this tower is the extruding balconies that perform as a getaway.
7. Aon Insurance Headquarters
These headquarters in Dar-es-Salaam designed by Spasm Design, are an addition to the emerging development of the city. The site was confounded within several species of flowering plants and trees. The goal was to design and place three different clusters that frame the surrounding gardens as well. The extending roof slabs allow windows to be kept open at all times thus allowing the cool breeze and reflected light into the interior spaces. This contributes towards creating a calm and cool atmosphere to work in.
8. House of Secret Gardens
The structure gets its name from the 4 introvert gardens created, each having a different use. Being a structure in Ahmedabad, the harsh light has to be dealt with in every aspect. This is addressed by using the Dharangadhra stone whose surface reduces glare and allows the light to be spread in a diffused form due to its hue. The play of light and shadow has been observed evidently in courtyards and hallways of the house through the lattices. The stone fins in the facade contribute to this as well. Dark wood-panelled walls and roof give the interiors a luxurious finish.
Covered with Kota tiles in every inch, this house aims to capture the amalgamation of nature, light and the idea of living. Kota as a notable material plays the main role. It has been used in several forms right from tiles to chips on the ceilings, walls and floor. The spaces inside the house frame the views and existing trees on the site.
10. The Twin Houses
Alibaug is known to be a destination for people from all over Maharashtra, mainly Mumbai, to get away from the hustle and bustle. To build these weekend houses, two separate clusters have been developed on each acre of the site. A prominent red wall frames and connects the two houses. The pool within, links the view of the mountain, the courtyard and the houses. Furthermore, internal spaces intertwine with the lush foliage through additional smaller courtyards giving it a ‘living amidst nature’ vibe.
11. Gabion House
Wrapped around an 8-foot thick gabion, this residential project is situated in Lonavala near Pawna Lake. A break in this wall demarcates the entry. As a result, the house follows the gabion wall along its axis. The spaces have been arranged linearly followed by a verandah with brick flooring. Looking like an inverted gable at the first glance, the roof of the house is what sets it apart visually. Its unique shape is designed to provide shade and college rainwater, preventing it from entering the verandah at the same time. The pool reflects the mountain and picturesque surroundings.
12. The Soaring Rock
Situated around the farmlands of Kavaddhara in Maharashtra, this house gives justice to the idea of a house as a celebratory space and a medium to celebrate life. According to the architects, the stone was to infix a sense of liberation and expanse. This single-storey residence has several planes that open up to showcase the sights and the dusk.
13. Black Bastion House
This house in Coimbatore of Tamil Nadu was designed for a couple who were huge supporters of the firm’s work. The project was completed in 2020. It is covered in locally available granite stone and can be conceived as two bastions with a double-height pavilion in the middle joining them. This concludes the material to be a sustainable one since it contributes towards thermal insulation and was a low-cost option executed wonderfully by the architects. A court can be observed towards the east and is covered by 3 sides with rooms. The material palette also consists of marble for the internal flooring, brass for the window frames and wood for door frames and flooring in hallways.
14. Glade One
The project, located in the region of Modasar near Ahmedabad, was designed as a prototype for golf development. Several options were explored to execute this structure. The current design was then finalized and built to promote a connection between the indoor and the outdoor. This was done by providing a green roof that will reduce the heat gain and merge it with the golf courses around. An open staircase in stone has been placed to access this roof and connect the internal space with the garden and the roof, thus creating a triangle of connectivity.
15. The Brick Kiln House
Yet another project by Spasm Design near the region of Alibaug, this house is engendered by the heaps of stacked bricks one observes during a drive through Raigad. The organisation and planning of spaces were carved according to the luscious trees located on the 3-acre site. Every space is designed in a way that it will have a connection to nature outside. The trees and its foliage act as an envelope encasing the house. The pool’s shape is what sets it apart and has been designed according to the shadow of the trees, being an essential part of amidst the hot climate. The thick brick walls stand mighty and control the temperature inside.