Founded by Akshat Bhatt in 2007, Architecture Discipline is a multi-disciplinary architectural office that explores architecture across the scales of urban design, architecture and product design. Based in New Delhi, India, the studio promotes a collaborative and interdisciplinary working environment to foster creativity, dialogue and engagement. Its work highlights the emergence of contemporary architectural expression, but rooted in a critical understanding of regionalism. The studio is engaged in the design of building typologies such as town halls, hotels, schools, offices, residences, sound and video production studios. Each commission is subject to a series of critical design processes that result in a contextual and contemporary architectural expression. Over the years, the studio has won more than 40 national and international awards and honours, including: several awards from the Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID), citations from the Alliance Française (2012), an NDTV DAA Architect of the Year Award (2013), Architectural Digest India (2015) and the National Gallery of Modern Art (2015), and a congratulations from the Government of India (2015).

1. The discovery centre

Location : Bangalore, India
Site area : 37,000 sq. feet

Greenfield project aimed at demonstrating the progressive development of the city of Bhartiya, Bangalore, the Discovery Center is a flexible city hall that serves to illustrate the urban and real estate initiatives of the Bhartiya Group. Spread over 125 acres, it adopts a contemporary typology and asserts itself forcefully through a sophisticated use of spatial composition and control of materials.  In addition, its materials, most of which are industrial (glass, steel, perforated metal, etc.), accompany a light and translucent structure. Indeed the project marks its singularity with a red egg-shaped auditorium perceptible from afar, creating a sculptural variety and then a strong visual composition. The architecture of the project demonstrates great mastery in the use of scale, so that the resulting composition does not overwhelm or tire the eye. It should be noted that the project was integrated into a gentle landscape, which resulted in humanizing the industrial aspect of the building.

2. Studio 3

Location : New Delhi, India

Like any living system, the studio began its adolescence and was taken by the desire to change its working environment. An architecturally charged environment where the fun would be total. The site of the project is a quiet lot in the middle of mustard fields in bloom. It is accessed by walking down a ceremonial path, only to be greeted by a deep red container floating on a mound of earth surrounded by symbolic greenery. This container serves as a relaxation area for conversations, private meetings or simply to spend time alone after rigorous meetings with peers. Turning one’s gaze away from the red box, one comes across the last and most important element of the project: “The studio”. It is an east-west oriented white box, nested in the dense foliage of the ficus trees. It also has a fully glazed façade that opens onto a private lawn guarded by trees with trimmed foliage. The outside is painted with hydraulic lime plaster and painted white, while inside the bricks are exposed and covered with matt black paint.

3. Mana Ranakpur

Location : Udaipur, India
Site area : 65000 sq. ft.

Hotel Mana is located in the lively and enchanting valley of Udaipur in Ranakpur province. A public space with an intensive service program, this project is designed to celebrate order and dissonance, continuity and stability, the experience of time passing slowly and the vernacular as an impregnated ethos. At the client’s request, the project realized is a boutique hotel that offers a unique and emblematic experience to travelers in all seasons. It stands in the middle of the hills, with a clean and shallow river in front.

The apparent harshness, extreme weather and striking landscape allow the vernacular to act as a naked canvas and form a stoic backdrop for this dramatic change of seasons. Thus, the project attempts to recreate the site as it was discovered, by unearthing the different layers that have been inlaid over time. Anchored in the region and the collective memory, it creates, through its architecture, interfaces that express themselves not as a simple filigree or ornate decoration, but as a reflection of time.

4. Three sixty three

Location: Kolkata, India
Site area : 6500 sq. ft.

Designed to augment the historic structure with a contemporary character, the Three sixty three is a redevelopment project of an architectural marvel, a restaurant that dates back to the 1800s at the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata.  The aim was to incorporate it into the heritage and heritage of the property, while providing an experience suitable for a modern restaurant. The design transforms the dull interior space into a bright (thanks to a skylight of three meters deep), cheerful and almost open-air space. In the end this project could be translated into these few words: The best way to celebrate heritage is not to imitate or reproduce what has passed, but to develop it into a new chapter in the story that is being told.

5. A 39

Location : Delhi, India
Site area : 6,000 sq. feet

A 39 is a contemporary apartment, reflecting the family heritage. It is flanked by a French garden on one side and a lake with a fountain on the other. The apartment has been deconstructed to form an open space, where the living room, dining room and formal living space merge into a single entity, but with enough separation to have a distinct identity. The central hall configures the linear plan into a private and guest space. The dining area is the central core that connects everything together and overlooks the family living space. Indeed the house is very special, as it is realised as a tasteful assembly of different themes. These different themes can be appreciated from the ceiling covering (vaulted, false ceiling, sloping) to the furniture. Moreover, the rooms are designed to evoke creativity and a sense of exploration in children. The idea of the wood and the connection to the floor, the garden, the bodies of water, various spaces, art and objects shapes and tells a story in itself for this residence.

6. The common room

Location: Delhi, India
Site area: 6000 sq. ft.

Located on the grounds of the once-abandoned Dhan factory in Delhi, the common room is the first mentoring and networking incubator of its kind. The CR workspace has been designed as a coworking space and aims to revive the notions of learning and working together by reinforcing the progressive and innovative spirit that is emblematic for the Common Room platform. It is dedicated to the professionalization of connected entrepreneurs as well as to networking. The adaptive reuse (principal concept of the project) of a former warehouse has transformed the exterior into a glossy, glazed industrial shed with a steel facade that gives it an identity representative of its ethos. The interior redesign strikes a balance between an intact coconut wood cladding and a storage space made of handcrafted real sugar cane, custom-made elements and furniture.

7. The India pavillon

Location: Hannover, Germany
Site area : 15,000 sq. feet

Designed for the 2015 Hanover fair, the Make in India pavilion highlighted India’s unlimited potential as a center for design, innovation, manufacturing and export through exhibitions and interactive installations. The design strategy was mainly based on history and memory. The geometry of the pavilion was rooted in the principles of Navgriha and Vaastu, representing India’s deep tradition of peaceful progress. The chakra, deconstructed to create a four-petalled flower shape, aroused immediate nostalgia. Each petal was transformed into a display pod, with vibrant presentations of data, computer graphics and installations illustrating the vast range of possibilities India has to offer. Indigenous materials such as brass, wood, textiles and metal evoked the country’s artisan heritage while contemporary materials such as glass and steel reflected technology and the creation of a new history. The carved lion is an artistic representation of India’s immense industrial capacity and the spirit of innovation that characterizes all of the country’s enterprises.

8. The Trump gallery

Location: Gurugram, India
Site area : 3500 sq. ft.

Located in The Oberoi’s shopping mall, Gurugram, overlooking a magnificent 36,000 square foot reflection pool, the project features a 15 ft high floor to ceiling bay window that borders the mall’s corridor to let in plenty of natural light. The high ceiling was designed to accentuate the sensation of space and serenity and thus create a comfortable atmosphere. This gallery differs from the others in its facade by a transparent screen with glass and gold stripes, subtly accentuating its verticality. The use of colours such as white, gold and charcoal creates the ambience of the space, interspersed with elements of wood, fabric, metal and leather, creating an experience that is both simple and elegant. All these assets make the Trump gallery a bold yet modest, minimal yet moving experience.

9. 53 Silver oaks

Location : Gurugram, India

The context of the project originates on a straight site in Gurgaon, often cited as a shining example of India’s growth story, filled with tall glass skyscrapers, wide roads and millionaire-style housing estates. Knowing that creativity is born of constraint, the creativity of 53 Silver oaks was to create a large public space and a combination of several types of guest rooms, on a site that required no windows to look out on either long side. The main public spaces are built below ground level with the main entrance leading to a generous underground space.

A slim, lightweight, perforated screen envelops the structure, preventing sun glare and moderating indoor temperatures, while providing a uniform and subtle quality of light in the interior spaces. At night, the variable pattern of retractable blinds animates the orderly elements, while during the day, the shadows of the surrounding trees play on the façade, reflecting their movement.

By limiting the use of concrete to basement retaining walls and roof slabs, the resulting building is remarkably sustainable over its life cycle, maximizing the use of recyclable materials. The resulting aesthetic is one of elegant simplicity.

10. Delhivery

Location : Mumbai, India

When the discipline of architecture began to remodel a delivery office space for e-commerce logistics giant delhivery (an e-commerce logistics company), it turned to a young and sophisticated space that was both functional and fun. The agency focused its thinking on how to make employees love this workplace. So considering that it was an office for young people, a touch of eccentricity was added. The experience with Delhivery is not to go to a dull office, but to go to university. The work environment is relaxed and we have bunk beds installed in some of the booths above the workstations. Similar to the university, the flow to the men’s and women’s washrooms is alternating, where you would have to go up or down a floor to use the facility, which makes the physical act intuitive. This, along with the health benefits, allows for interaction between employees.

11. The Blue City

Location: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Site area : 2 sq. km

Commissioned in part by the Royal Family of Jodhpur, the project aims to restore the ancient walled city of Jodhpur to its former glory through design, commerce and culture. This will be achieved by revitalizing its precious landmarks and livelihoods. These include a historic residential building that has been renovated and adapted to accommodate the retail operations of an Indian cosmetics brand (Forest Essentials), blending retro charm and regional tradition. Then a ruined stairwell in the heart of the city and the urban space surrounding it was transformed into a retail outlet and cultural centre. And finally the café perched precariously atop the step well, opening out to the depths of Toorji Ka Jhalra on one side and the heights of Mehrangarh Fort on the other. Symbols, materials and Jodhpur idioms are featured in the project, transporting users into the wave of Jodhpur’s history and architectural heritage.

12. Neel Sutra Gurugram

Location: Gurugram, Haryana

Located at the New Oberoi Hotel, which is at the origin of an international high-end luxury experience, Nell Sutra Gurugram is a customised shop designed as part of an international collective construction. It is used for conventional street retailing, showcasing a diverse group of Indian fashion designers. This Indian fashion store is a conscious attempt to keep away from (retro) Indian kitsch and to create a sacred space. It is conceived as an austere Indian fashion house, using the hut as a rudimentary notion of shelter, with facets of Indian design ethics as architectural interventions. A hut-shaped section with a pitched roof creates a strong axis that helps to demarcate the space into two key components of a retail store: display and movement.

13. Palm Avenue

Location : Delhi, India

This 8,000 sq. ft house located on a longitudinal lot in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, combining design (flexible and luxurious), large spaces (bright and airy) and lush vegetation, was completed in almost three years. The project was designed with the possible future spatial changes in mind. Thus, the house is programmed to allow for flexible partitions and systems, which can be moulded to increase or decrease the space according to future needs. The interiors are characterized by a restricted use of elements and rooms, allowing each material to convey its distinct identity. Different shades are expressed in each piece of furniture, enhancing the moderate basic palette. The walls have been kept in white to serve as a backdrop for family members so that they can “engrave their experiences as they go along”. Finally, wrapped in meticulous wooden grids, the exteriors are carefully planned to reflect the gradual aging process seen in nature.

14. Sepia

Location : India

Despite its location in a huge abandoned area called the Dhan Mill complex (a hostile urban arena), Sepia happens to be a popular shopping destination accessible to all. Indeed, Sepia is a retail space for showcasing furniture and antiques. Inside, the large theatrical space turns out to be an indoor bazaar, with various items such as columns, mirrors, tables, carpets, etc. The first strong element of the project is its ceiling. Indeed, it was designed to recall the sky on a festive day in Northern India. Hundreds of triangular surfaces are suspended under the black painted ceiling, reflecting the light below. Then as a second strong element, we have the bright primary colours used to paint the walls, which serve as a backdrop for the various works of art displayed inside.

15. The IVY

Location : Gurugram, India

The 780 square metre penthouse located in the IVY, next to the eminent “The Laburnum”, Gurgaon, exudes sophistication and panache in every aspect. Wrapped in frosted film, the glass front door provides privacy for the family while giving visitors a glimpse of the house before they even enter. The glow of natural light on the door continues to vary throughout the day, giving it a transposable character. A red bench in the first floor balcony complements the red and gold chairs on the dining table. Mouth-blown glass and cast glass fixtures finished in brass add an extra touch of glamour to illuminate the dining room and living room. The palette of wall materials includes an aged brass and gold finish in combination with stained oak herringbone and rafter flooring. The chic and unique residence, offering spectacular views, is an oasis of calm in contrast to its lively urban setting.

Author

Franklin Yemeli is a young architecture student and blogger passionate about architecture and its relationship with nature and humans. He is convinced that these entities can help each other in a symbiotic relationship. He considers architectural discussions as introspections that allows one to be a little more architect every day.

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