About Vir Mueller architects

Vir Mueller architects is an architecture firm founded in 2003 and is a partnership firm by Pankaj Vir Gupta and Christine Mueller. Pankaj Vir Gupta was influenced by his parents who were practicing architects. Growing up in Delhi he had the opportunity to gaze at numerous architectural marvels built in the Mughal era. Having had that exposure made him an inspirational architect in India.

The experience has been one of constant learning and experimenting. From the time Christine was a youngster, she used to travel and captivated various landscapes of small states and was a part of how she learned about the world and influenced her into architecture and to explore other cultures.

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Vir Mueller architects_ ©https://archinect.com/news/bustler/8899/sanaa-founders-kazuyo-sejima-and-ryue-nishizawa-honored-as-2022-praemium-imperiale-award-laureates

Ethics of Vir Mueller architects

The major ethics of the Vir Mueller architects are in the terms of doing justice to the environment and craftspeople who help in the construction of your buildings. These are the aspects that the Vir Mueller architects think about in the creation of ideas and the thoughts that go into designing and planning a building. The design philosophy of the architectural firm is sensitive, ecological-driven, and sensitive. According to these aspects, the architects and their team listen and plan. These aspects are considered along with the materials used for construction. They do not have any specific style of designing the buildings.

Their firm combines architectural research, practice, and education. They mainly focus on residential, office, and educational buildings. They strive to create aesthetic works and evoke the spirit of contemporary culture, technology, and ecology within the budget, site, and program. Vir Mueller architects have done numerous projects. 

A few projects: The Defence Colony residence

The Defence colony residence is located in New Delhi and was completed in 2015. This eco-friendly building has a pleasant aesthetic brick façade and captivates the people. The Islamic architecture style is incorporated into the design of the residence. The wise usage of locally used material- brick helps in keeping the house thermally temperate. The trick of placing the walls in an angular position to have a play of light and shadow can be seen.

 

Defence colony residence_ ©https://divisare.com/projects/310470-vir-mueller-architects-defence-colony-residence-new-delhi-india

Brick has always been a fundamental building material in Indian architecture. Moreover, it links modern architecture with ancient craft tradition, refined over centuries. In reviving this material, and using it so extensively – in the structure, surface, and detailing of the building – this project makes a strong and coherent argument for linking sustainability with this basic and local material out of all building materials. 

This project expresses the liveliness and beauty of building with a local, sustainable and basic material. It also sustains the livelihood of a group of brick masons struggling to retain their place in society. The interior is spacious and has ample ventilation and lighting. Polished marble floors are used to complement the masonry walls. The doors and windows are made of teak timber.

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interior_ ©https://divisare.com/projects/310470-vir-mueller-architects-defence-colony-residence-new-delhi-india

IET, Ahmedabad University

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IET façade_ ©https://www.architectural-review.com/buildings/vir-muellers-iet-in-india

 The architectural design for the Institute of Engineering and Technology at Ahmedabad University located in Ahmedabad was completed in 2008 and symbolizes the typology of an academic quadrangle. The university has a central courtyard garden, surrounded by classrooms and faculty rooms. The landscape within the building has a sunken garden area between the canteen and auditorium and acts as an informal gathering area for students. The building has a rough textured façade made of red sandstone. 

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sunken garden_©https://www.architectural-review.com/buildings/vir-muellers-iet-in-india

The slanting roof gives a contemporary look and emphasizes the play of light and shadow. A paved garden provides a view of the Ahmedabad University plaza. The building has an easy-going circulation pattern in the form of cantilevered stairs and screened galleries – alongside the courtyard, creating a relationship between the landscape and architecture. The galleries and corridors are designed to encourage smooth movement while offering a relaxing vibe with a line of sandstone benches facing the garden. The design of this project has looked into the intense climatic condition, hence the usage of red sandstone acts as a screen for the rooms to filter the sun. 

Ahmedabad nurtures a rare and remarkable legacy of excellence in education and architecture. The Institute of Engineering and Technology at Ahmedabad University celebrates a revival of this vision.

Ongoing Projects

There are two ongoing projects – Healthy Planet School upcoming in Noida. The concept of this project is that of a cocoon- a safe and delightful space for children. The school is arranged as a set of organic “cells” referring to the classrooms centered around a courtyard. The materials used in this project are exposed bricks, concrete and colored terrazzos. There are ramps and stairs softly illuminated by skylights. The circulation through the building is easy and simple. 

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Healthy Planet School_©https://virmueller.com/projects/healthy-planet-school/

The second ongoing project is Shark Designs Factory in Bhopal. The inspiration for creating the factory is the frequent visits to Marfa, an arts hub created by Donald Judd a minimalist architect in Texas. From the sun’s rays, the shine on polished metal created an unforgettable memory. Judd’s luminous interventions were the driving force required to start the process for this stark steel box- a factory for fine furniture crafted in metal and wood.

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Shark Designs Factory_©https://virmueller.com/projects/shark-designs-factory/

Conclusion:

The projects taken up by the architects bring out the passion they have for creating these buildings. The most common thing they look into is climatic conditions and how to tackle them. The projects also are made affordable by using common materials in construction. Open spaces and the play of light and shadow are familiar in almost all their projects.

References:

  • https://archinect.com/news/bustler/8899/sanaa-founders-kazuyo-sejima-and-ryue-nishizawa-honored-as-2022-praemium-imperiale-award-laureates
  • https://www.architectural-review.com/buildings/vir-muellers-iet-in-india
  • https://divisare.com/projects/310470-vir-mueller-architects-defence-colony-residence-new-delhi-india
  • https://divisare.com/projects/310470-vir-mueller-architects-defence-colony-residence-new-delhi-india
  • https://virmueller.com/projects/shark-designs-factory/
  • https://virmueller.com/projects/healthy-planet-school/
  • Kelkar, G. (2016) Vir.Mueller architects, Architectural Digest India. Architectural Digest India. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.in/content/vir-mueller-architects/ (Accessed: November 5, 2022). 
  • Vir.mueller – architects (no date) virmueller. Available at: https://virmueller.com/ (Accessed: November 5, 2022). 
  • Vir.Mueller architects | Archello (no date). Available at: https://archello.com/brand/virmueller-architects (Accessed: November 5, 2022). 
  •  Britto, D. (no date) Vir.Mueller architects, forbes. Available at: https://www.forbesindia.com/video/the-bold-club/vir.mueller-architects/119/1 (Accessed: November 5, 2022). 
  • Architect Christine Mueller & architect Pankaj Vir Gupta, vir.mueller architects (no date) MGS Architecture. Available at: https://www.mgsarchitecture.in/architecture-design/architects-interior-designers/475-architect-christine-mueller-architect-pankaj-vir-gupta-vir-mueller-architects.html (Accessed: November 5, 2022). 
Author

Hello, this is Shazia Haris an aspiring architectural writer. Her passion for writing has led her to RTF. She is grateful to have made it here and is eager to kick-start a new path in writing. She looks forward to being a trailblazer.

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