Ever walking through a street in a metropolitan, noticed the tall erect towers or an amoeba-shaped building? Those which give pedestrians a jaw-dropping face. Architecture settled into every corner block of a street has magnificence of its own, be it the Sky-High towers or Juxtapositioned Bungalow. Built forms with Elevation Treatments, Double Skin-façade or a Parametric free-flowing frame are the eye-catching elements of the Modern-day streetscape.
The above-shown picture (1) is from the streets of Pune city, where we can see the famously built office of Kumar properties, popularly the building is known as “The falling blocks”, with all the British style context in the Camp area around. Here, the office produces an out-of-context theme to the present streetscape.
Picture (2) is a three-storied office built-in the Viman Nagar area. The branching lattice of the façade screen creates a unique exterior. Its landscape-oriented visual language transformed into a breathing envelope by creepers suspended from the terrace. Creating a unitree representation for the user.
The Visual Experience
Through years of observations, The perception of looking at intriguing structures has changed. A normal person would look at how wondrous the built is; probably capture a picture or two. Yet, an architecture student would wait and try to observe the façade system or the structural part that sustains the load. With time and understanding of building constructions, the urge to find the fixture and the beauty of the elevation increases.
Breaking stereotypes is very crucial to change the perspective and every architecture student has to go through this change. Most of the people from the client-side find paint as the final stage of completion, the thought of “materials left exposed to make an incomplete impression” has changed as the exposed brickwork, concrete make a decent surface finish contrasting with materials like steel.
Above Shown image (3) is of a G+2 storey bungalow designed by Architect Alok Kothari standing calmly amidst the quiet neighborhood of the Bibwewadi area. The project is given a minimalistic façade of burnt brick masonry with exposed concrete as an emphasis. The color combination is also limited to a dichromatic scheme. The perception of overseeing minimalism in structures has been favored with growth and maturity in designing spaces. Overuse of colors and materials is specifically bound to the type of project and context.
The above pictures (4) are of an enormous Tropical Garden designed by the firms: Wilkinson Eyre and landscape Architects Grant associates. With the 50m high tree-like structures and the vein-like cladding over which climbers grow to the top. The biomimetic design has an ecosystem of its own and is a stepping stone towards modernism in the landscape. Gardens seen as landscape spaces are much open to nature without the built, yet with Gardens by the bay, a more engaging recreational space is observed. With more visual elements and parametric forms the perception of gardens as an un-built form has changed to a more extrovert design for viewers.
The change of legacy
As a resident of Pune city from India, I have observed the swift change from a particular building type that Incorporates a Courtyard with all the functional spaces planned around. Particularly the unit is called “Wada”. With the typology compressed in and around the city core, a swift change is observed as we move towards the developmental zones, where we can find Institutes, Hospitals, Recreational areas, Public spaces.
With more Modernism in Infrastructure near the IT areas, a change in the legacy of Building Typology has changed. Different architectural styles are explored in different pockets of the city. From Maratha-style Architecture to British to Modern, a generic hierarchy of living standards is observed. From more open spaces, with courtyards and landscapes, we have moved on to more compact living with Master bedrooms and Balconies in Sky-rise Apartments.
A Frame of mind
Architecture has changed my perspective from seeing spaces as bound-to-a-function to spaces that have a multifunctional value. Architecture thrives within the spaces with what people sought to use it for, not what space is dedicated to. I feel a space designed with a purpose can always be altered for the betterment of the user.
For example: A container used as a tiny house, Railway bogeys as a school, or a Van as a food truck. Design always needs adaptations. Many architects practice in adaptive designs, Be it a façade that adapts to the requirement of internal daylight, or a mechanized cooling system that maintains the micro-climate of a space.
Adaptation is the keyword for modern architecture. The perception of viewing public spaces has recently changed due to the global spread of the coronavirus. With the pandemic upon us, a new set of guidelines will be followed up for safety. Infrastructural changes will be observed for Housing, Hospitality, and public spaces. Architecture needs to adapt to the changes. Public spaces will be redefined, and social activity reduced. As for the architecture, the community withstands a challenge to renovate and redesign a newer fabric for the society.