There is no right or wrong in any design, yet it undergoes the scrutiny of the viewer’s critical eye. Many architectural marvels have been disregarded over time simply because they were believed to be not in sync with their context.

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Keeping this challenge, of building for the context, in mind, the collaborative studio practice Indigo Architects integrate their designs with the physical, social and cultural fabrics of their task at hand. Over the years, it can be seen in their work that they put in immense efforts in amalgamating needs, affordability, site conditions, and programmatic solutions to transform the commonplace, into a distinctive experience.

Mausami and Uday Andhare, who head the firm along with a team of young professionals, have delved into various sectors of spaces, be it cultural, residential, educational, landscape, interiors, etc. It is only picturesque to see through a few of their remarkable projects out of the many.

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1. LLDC – Living & Learning Design Centre

A place for the display of the art from the local region of Kutch, LLDC emerged as a project just after the earthquake in 2001. This resource center for the artisans is also a public museum and an exposition that works like a workshop to demonstrate the art and learn about it.

Working with large solid volumes and integrating the three zones in the masterplan, Indigo managed to create an experience that is spontaneous concerning its function. Incorporating many details in terms of sustainability and craftsmanship, the project is a piece of art.

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2. Shrujan

An embodiment of art meeting empowerment for women, Shrujan is an NGO featuring embroidery crafts. A sustainable architectural response to the harsh climate of the Kutch, the program also incorporates an in-house store for the products created in the workshop.

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The building is designed to be cohesive with the context of the pale desert. The use of massive, continuous ochre-colored walls and the limited, set openings give a specific character to the visual sense. An interesting play with contrast can be seen throughout, which is created with the help of textures and materials. The overall effect gives an appeal of contemporary architecture but inheriting its local roots in the details.

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3. Natarani Amphitheatre

Renovation of the site in its given context of existing modern era building makes the Natarani amphitheater a masterpiece in terms of aesthetics. The architecture of the theatre reimagines the space with older materials and a newer approach in design. With the use of exposed lime bricks and debris, the building stands true on its principle of thermal draining of the structure.

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4. Ajrakh Studio

Highlighting the block printing art of the Kutch, Ajrakh studio is imagined as a resource center and a space to display the production. The given studio space can be turned into an audio-visual space with a simple screening system to demonstrate the process of creation of the art for congregation purposes.

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5. Koba House

Well placed on the banks of the river Sabarmati in the Koba village, this residence naturally merges with terrain to create a spectacular foreground and a visual barrier from the line of approach. The house is smartly designed to incorporate the right kind of daylight and avoid harsh sun and afternoon heat.

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6. Agrawal house

This residence holds its place on an off the water grid area, with borewell as the source, yet an expensive land. The building is designed keeping in mind these parameters. A specific brief shaped the circulation and spatial quality of the house by defining the central core and giving the old courtyard house characteristic to this contemporary abode.

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7. Lime house 1

Introducing sustainable practices into their design with material as the basis, this dwelling is executed by exploring the use of lime construction. An interplay between built and unbuilt space dictates the quality of space as an intimate character. With the domestic context, the house is set in the idea of liveability and the architecture emphasizes the same. By using lime in construction, many ecologically sensitive architectural practices were touched upon.

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8. Lime house 3

With successful experimentation with lime construction, this house too features the exquisite techniques that work with such sustainable materials. Initiatives for some simple passive thermal comfort could be introduced in the design of the space as a response to the harsh climate of the zone.

Sustainably as the primary goal helped draw out the desired outcome of modern architecture adhering to the culturally traditional context.

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9. Suramya

An idyllic place to settle at, Suramya is a carefully designed residence for the architects themselves to retire to. The idea was to embrace the use of sustainable practice on the outskirts of city limits and create a soothing living environment. Living on the edge of development, like the desired, is a suitable mix for them to understand the subject in the picture they’ve painted.

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10. JPAC – Jairamdas Patel Academic Centre

As an addition to the academic table of urology, this project was taken up to establish a center for excellence to further the level of endoscopic surgical skills and diagnostics. The challenge was to create a link connecting the new and old precincts of the built. The mass of the building has been punctuated with courtyards in planning and design which gives justice to the given site constraints and context.

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11. HBK School

An ensemble of buildings designed for the schooling of different age groups, the planning of the campus shows the organization of the buildings to create congregational spaces within and outside. The architectural scheme addresses the need to create sheltered spaces to keep the microclimate cool and in control. Harvested rainwater from the building is plenty and sufficient to fulfill the annual drinking water requirement. The design truly justifies the immediate need for the context it’s placed in.

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12. Shardashish School

The program for the school campus with its many building blocks inculcates the surrounding in a manner that gives the visual of natural mounds merging with the concrete erections. The play of scales and shadows is an interesting character that defines the architecture of the building. Voids creating porosity at different levels act as a connection to multiple structures concerning experiences.

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13. Sundervan

Designed as a housing retreat for the city dwellers based on the local principles of community living, Sundervan is a well organized residential development. Depleting resources is a constant threat and thus a self-sustaining environment for the future is one way to approach the challenge. With the use of appropriate materials and techniques, this housing complex deals with the task at hand innovatively. As a result, a visually pleasing landscape is created.

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14. Keri 2.0

The retail brand Keri has its flagship store at a prime location that also hosts a popular café on the ground floor giving a relaxed vibe and soothing atmosphere. The design of the shop integrates the trees around it and creates scenic vistas in the internal spaces. The interiors of the space specifically highlight the product showcased. A distinct style can be seen in the flow of geometry throughout the store.

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15. Cottons Boutique

Cotton Boutique store, a remodeled bungalow in the city of Ahmedabad, is a treat to the eye amidst the many housing apartments that surround it. The judicious use of materials and simple display systems can be seen. Recycled produce from the old Cotton shop paired along with multiple design elements of the furniture brings out the character of the store, in turn giving out a calm and welcoming feel.

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Author

An architect by profession and an enthusiastic writer, she aspires to put words to expressions of architecture and design. Her education in the profession makes her keen to know and understand more as an architectural journalist. With an aim to take her career towards critics and analysis, she wants to make a valuable contribution to the architecture fraternity through her opinions and viewpoints. An avid reader and soulful artist,she enjoys adventure through the world of imagination in writing

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