Saturday, April 5, 2014


The amazing Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram revisited after a long time. Timeless beauty

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur

Went to the amazing Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrissur. Totally amazed by the magnificence of the structure, by the many layers of meaning, by the rich history and wonderful colours. The architecture is timeless and stirring, moving you to appreciate the concepts of worship and mythology and the power of spirituality. Stone, wood, fire, light, shadows...all combine to create an out-of-the-world experience. Sensory, aromatic, acoustic and tactile senses – all are heightened to encompass one in a state of contemplation and peace. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mr.Jose Joseph's residence, Calicut

It is not very often that one gets to see residential spaces that are designed in a simple yet elegant manner. The Jose residence is just that. A simple juxtaposition of spaces shorn of ornamentation, treated in a very understated elegant manner.

The residence as such is placed on an elevated level from the entrance road, following the contours of the site to keep the cutting and filling to a minimum. It is a composition of white rectilinear volumes interspersed with plenty of greenery. One of the focal points of the design is the semi-covered living space, which is partly cantilevered out. The entrance, along with this living space is at a higher level than the front yard. One has to climb up through a series of landscaped steps to reach an entrance court. The indirect entry through the lush greenery helps set the tone for the entire design.

The entrance court is a pebble covered landscaped court, which is covered on top, thereby creating a space that is at once open and yet, one which is sheltered. From this court, one can either access the semi-covered living area or enter into the main house through another set of steps. The semi-covered living area is a space for relaxation. The cantilever makes the space seem to overhang and float into the landscape in front. The roof is a glass canopy with traditional reed mats on top creating a textured pattern which filters the sunlight during the day and creates an interesting play of light and shadow. The informal old wicker chairs in white further adds to the ambience.

As one enters the main block of the house, one is greeted by a well detailed wooden door with niches on the side walls. One enters into a large expansive space which forms the living and dining spaces. The thing that is immediately noticeable is the openess of the space and the greenery outside. Floor to ceiling sliding doors cum windows frame the sides, creating a continuum between the interiors and the exteriors, thereby ensuring a flowing of spaces which is not rigidly demarcated. The gravel covered landscaped yard thus becomes an extension of the interiors, inviting one to step out and become part of the nature. Thus, the living and dining area is completely washed in natural light with the lush green of the landscape forming a constant backdrop.

The dining space is a double height space and is made all the more interesting through the play of volumes. The staircase leading to the upper floor is interestingly done with no balusters on one side of the flight, adding to the openness of the space. The steps are finished neatly with treads in saw cut wooden planks.

The interiors are finished in a very subdued colour scheme of white and grey, complemented by the black of the cudappah flooring. However, this subdued palatte is enlivened by the lush green outside and further by the bright colours of the various fabrics in the furnishings.

The entire house is interspersed with artworks, which impart a unique ambience to the spaces. Truly, it is these little touches, done with impeccable taste, which serves to add vitality to the whole composition.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Udayagiri Caves, Bhuvaneshwar

Bridges of Kolkata

Vidyasagar Setu

The Howrah bridge, presently called as the Rabindra Setu was commissioned in 1943. What amazed me was the scale of the bridge, the sheer monumentality of the steel structure. Technically it is a suspension type balanced cantilevered bridge. presently the sixth longest bridge in the world of its type. This massive structure is an interconnected maze of steel trusses, creating an awe inspiring space below. One is totally amazed by the massiveness, the bulkiness, and yet the lightness of the structure. There is an inherent beauty in the criss-crossing steelwork, patterns are created, play of light and shade. The most noticeable thing is that the bridge is abuzz with activity - the heavy and constant traffic along the main carriageways, and the teeming pedestrian masses along either edges. It is indeed a testament to the ingenuity of the design and construction that even after over 70 years, the structure remains as strong as ever...

Rabindra Setu

Rabindra Setu

Rabindra Setu
Vidyasagar Setu

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'residence NEXT'...Its finally here!!!

Its finally here! The much anticipated design workshop is finally at our doorsteps! Kicking off from tomorrow at Thrissur, the 3 day event has managed to generate a lot of interest in the architecture community in Kerala. 3 full days of brainstorming to evolve a new direction in the residential architecture scene in Kerala. The final presentation is scheduled for the 29th afternoon from 2pm onwards and is sure to be an exciting occasion  Moderated by Ar.Sumitro Ghosh & Ar.Jacob George, the 7 lead architects and their teams will present their solutions to the design problem, their take on what an ideal contextual response to the question of a residence is. Though the presentation will highlight only the end product, the design process and interactions during the 3 days would be equally, if not more relevant.

You can find brief profiles of the team leads below

Monday, August 13, 2012


Architect Chitra Vishwanath has an illustrious career, working on projects that are quintessentially sustainable, rooted in the ecology, employing alternate technologies and construction solutions to reduce our impact on nature and resources. Here, she talks about her work and on the creation and activities of 'Biome'.


Saint Benedict Chapel, Sumvitg, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1988 
Photo by Helene Binet

Homes for Senior Citizens, Chur, Masans, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1993 
Photo by Helene Binet

Thermal Bath Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1996 
Sketch by Peter Zumthor

Thermal Bath Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1996 
Photo by Helene Binet

Kunsthaus Bregenz, Vorarlgerger Landesgalerie, Bregenz, Austria, 1997 
Photo by Helene Binet

Swiss Sound Box, Swiss Pavilion, Expo 2000, Hanover, Germany 2000 
Photo by Thomas Flechtner

Brother Klaus Field Chapel, Wachendorf, Eifel, Germany, 2007 
Photo by Walter Mair
Protective Housing for Roman Excavations, Chur, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1986 
Photo by Helene Binet

Zumthor Studio, Haldenstein, Graubünden, Switzerland, 1986 
Photo by Helene Binet