In our globalised economy, Ranade and Doongerwala represent the young voice of change and growth. Doongerwala’s interest in the visual and spatial experience of the city includes multiple media explorations including film, publications, exhibition panels and an art installation. The practice aims at bridging the gap between concerns of ‘pure’ design, the contingencies of construction and sensitivity to the requirements of the user. Pragmatically planned, meticulously put together, subtly fine-tuned to stimulate the senses, the projects designed by the firm are characterised by their refined proportions and a sense of balance. The duo also focuses on independent research and involve themselves in sociological and planning issues of urban India.
School of Sciences, Kadapa
The simplicity of the ‘designology’ in this project is reflected in the use of materials, spatial compositions and direct engagement of its functionalities. With its varied courtyards, terraces, columned halls, entries and playful movements, the School of Sciences is a journey of discovery.
These rich experiential encounters — realised without compromising on function or formal identity create an architecture that goes beyond the visual and is experienced viscerally through the movement of the body in space. The design is based on a rigorous analysis of the programme where functions are categorised into flexible and specific functions. The resulting organisation rests on four organisational strategies — the finger, the plug, the stack and the spine — which become the distinct structural components that embody the architecture of the institute.
, the contingencies
Student Dining Hall, Kadapa
The structure, essentially a solid box, has been scooped out in three places to create light wells. These light wells strategically filter the harsh sunlight and double up as landscaped areas.
The light wells also transform the internal space dramatically creating a dynamism that is further accentuated by a random placement of circular columns. The building has a stark feel on the outside broken with thin vertical concrete fins that act as the second layer of skin from the inside. While the thin horizontal ribbon windows frame views of the hostel courtyard when one is dining, the primary experience of the space is introverted. Although the elements are restricted to a minimum, multiple combinations and permutations are created to bring in dynamism.
Student Hostels —Y V University, Kadapa
The hostels buildings were designed keeping in mind the unique experience of living in a hostel – a decisive and memorable phase in a student’s life. The design approach consciously engages with the architectural legacy of Indian modern masters – a successful negotiation of tropical climates, creative use of limited resources and a concern with the production of social spaces.
Yet it departs from this paradigm significantly in its playful manipulation of form and structure. The spatial vocabulary evolves out of the dynamic action of modular blocks of rooms; each block ‘swivels’, ‘scoops’, or ‘slides’, and plugs-in to a central public spine The concrete screens, inspired by traditional jails, add another layer to this ensemble. The apparently random columns rise up to meet a patterned waffle slab which precariously supports the swiveled blocks; making the heavy forms feel as though suspended in air. The diamond pattern of the waffle is carefully worked out to balance structural rationality and a poetic sensibility.