The law office adapts an aging, dingy row house to create a narrow new work space full of light. As an intervention to extend the life of ageing building stock, it is representative of the great potential for transformation that lacklustre, dated buildings can have.

Project Name: Row office
Project Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Type: Commercial
Agenda: Adaptive reuse
Commencement Year: 2016
Completion Year: 2017
Gross Built Up Area: 140 sq.m.
Site Area: 70 sq.m.
Lead Architects: Sachin Bandukwala, Melissa Smith
Team: Ravi Jangid, Celine Bottenmuller, Zahra Lokhandwala

Structural Consultant: StrucArt Design Consultants

Carpenter: Ajaybhai
Paint: Dayaramji
Electrical: Rakeshbhai
Glass work: Manojbhai

Mild Steel: Tata steel
Aluminium secction: Jindal
Wood: teak and mango
Flooring: jaisalmer stone, vitrified tiles
Glass: Modiguard

Photo credits: Vishal Mehta

Row Office By BandukSmith Studio - Sheet2
©Vishal Mehta

Lines between furniture, interior and architecture are blurred to generate a seamless habitable space, structured by the demolition of walls and insertion of a steel frame, which stabilizes the opened structure.

Row Office By BandukSmith Studio - Sheet4
©Vishal Mehta

A bi-centric spiral staircase of steel fills the cut-out that allows light to fall through all the floors. The work space extends above the building under the shade of an enveloping roof, which also ties the new framework and completes the operation.

Row Office By BandukSmith Studio - Sheet8
©Vishal Mehta

The Row Office is located an a typical neighbourhood of row houses. Practices of expansion are common in this typology, and are aided by grey areas in the local building code, which allows for various types of extension for sun shades and parking.

Row Office By BandukSmith Studio - Sheet10
©Vishal Mehta

This design leverages that ambiguity to double the area using marginal increases, and inventively applies the rules of engagement for a bold new form.

business profile:

BandukSmith Studio is an award winning architecture, urban design, and research practice founded by Sachin Bandukwala and Melissa Smith, based in Ahmedabad, India. Our work engages processes of making through built projects that explore the boundaries of material and craft in the context of contemporary Indian construction. We take on projects at any scale, and the practice shifts from furniture and interior, to architecture and the design public space. We believe that exploring the intricacies of the detail and strategizing the impact of design in urbanism are two modes of working that operate in tandem.

The office combines a materially sensitive approach to design with respect for the context into which each project is placed. Each celebrates its context through a considered relationship with the physical and social condition of its surroundings. Design is explored as a series of systems; of pieces working together whose addition and combination adds to a whole that works in conjunction with human created urban and rural networks, and with the natural systems that grow, weather and decay.

areas of service:

The company has completed and proposed projects in the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Planning and Urban Design, from an upcoming 13 acre boutique wilderness retreat in the rocky landscapes of Jawai, Rajasthan, lake front redevelopments in Ahmedabad, and historic restoration and urban inserts in the fabric of Mandvi, Bhachau, Mundra, to various multi-storey residential and commercial buildings transformations as well as individual residences, weekend homes, shops and restaurants.

industry relevance:

Simultaneously working at macro city level research and development projects, individual buildings, to micro scale furniture and products, we approach our designs in a unique manner that is not just user friendly, but also challenges existing technologies with new apparatus that are contextually relevant and resilient. Our care and respect toward our built environment and the nature within and around it always inspires us to find sensible solutions that address our concerns of finely balancing natural and constructed environments.


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