Category Archives: Projects

Eco High End Hotel in the Western Ghats | SWS 003

Student: Monal Ambastha
Course: Bachelor of Architecture
Institution: Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi
Project Year : 2019
Project Type: Final Thesis


The project site is situated near upcoming international airport in Navi Mumbai. The climate of the region falls under hot and humid, with major wind flow from the West. The design features are based on the climatic analysis and incorporates passive cooling measures that have proven to reduce thermal loads in past research studies.

Panvel is called the gateway of Konkan coast. It marks the onset of the western ghats range. The form of the building is inspired from the terrains of the Western Ghats. Every plate is unique and is arranged in such a way so that it resonates with the different terrains of the Western Ghats and represent a hill-like form. This also comes as a response to minimise the surface run off during heavy monsoon rains and manage harvested water at different levels.

View of the hotel from access road. Src: Monal Ambastha. Copyrights.
Continue reading Eco High End Hotel in the Western Ghats | SWS 003

Curating Evolution of Poombarai Settlement | SWS 002

Project Field : Architecture
Project Year : 2018
Project Type : Competition Entry (NASA 2018 LIK Trophy)
Institution : Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai
Team Members:
Vidhushyaa; Sowjith; Maoulieswaran; Akeel; Amritha; Gayathri; Gokul; Subraja; Ishwarya; Renga; Deepak; Jeysadhana; Marugananthavalli; Prasath; Kirithika; Nikil; Vijay

Disclaimer : Project text and work is provided by the rightful owners to Design Terrains. It cannot be used for any purpose without permission.

About Poombarai

The Poombarai settlement in Tamil Nadu, India is rich with its contextual architecture addressing the contour, climate and the spiritual background that supports the village’s functioning. With caste based initiation of settlement pattern, the ownership of various spaces for various generation of user is very unique

The site selected is group of dwellings in Poombarai . The street activity being the major focus to differentiate . The linear clusters, street was studied based on the interiors of the houses in them , for instance , the presence of chairs or bed space anthropometry played a major role in the street activity.

Poombarai. Src Project Team.
Evolution of Dwellings

The Evolution of the dwellings over years has significant role on user requirements. This change in typologies are mainly due to various factors like climate, comfort, skill, strength and availability of materials. The first dwellings typology is Alaku Kutchi, made of twigs and mud. Later Muthaliyars started constructing in stone, which showed their wealth. During British influence , natives became exposed to new materials and construction like wood and glass .Currently, suiting current context and economy, Bricks are being used, as it is cheap and easily available.

Continue reading Curating Evolution of Poombarai Settlement | SWS 002

Panyaden Secondary School Design Concept | Chiangmai Life Architects

Project Year : Construction started in 2018 and is estimated to finish in 2022.
Design Team: Chiangmai Life Architects (Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong)
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Photograph credits: Markus Roselieb CLA

We are humbled to bring to our readers an insight to one of the ongoing project of CLA, an architectural practice based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The practice is well known for their work with organic architecture and sustainability. We went ahead and asked them about the concept and ideas behind designing of Panyaden Secondary School, along which they have also uncovered various techniques that are employed in the building.

We are personally in awe with their values and respect their determination in establishing an unconventional precedence. Read on to find what they have to say on the project!

Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong ; img via CLA

Panyaden’s main concept for design as well as curriculum is to connect. Connect us to our environment, connect natural materials with state-of-the-art engineering science, connect value-based education with the highest academic standards, sustainable architecture and 21st century comforts. It is about bringing aspects together that were thought to be mutually exclusive; including not excluding.

Bringing the subtle vibrations of nature into the room through organic shapes and natural materials and letting them create a peaceful atmosphere, and equipping the room with the most modern science equipment and 5G embedded in an IB curriculum.

Panyaden School is situated in northern Thailand where the temperatures vary greatly all year round – from 5 to 10C° in winter to 45C° in summer. So the design and materials had to accommodate these differences with a minimum use of air-conditioning or other high energy consumptive devices.

“The architectural design concept by Chiangmai Life Architects is based on organic shapes. Flowing natural lines that are in tune with the environment and maximize natural ventilation effects.”

The main materials chosen for construction are clay and bamboo. Clay in the form of adobe bricks, rammed earth or wattle & daub walls and bamboo for the roofs and as main material for open buildings in Thai language called “sala”, like the canteen. For 2-storey buildings the local building commission demanded a reinforced concrete frame work. Also all foundations were cast from reinforced concrete.

The bamboo roof is based on long bamboo bundles that are made of bamboo poles that are connected to each other with bamboo dowels all through their length and thus create a steel cable like tensile structure. The tiling is done by several layers of split-bamboo tiles with tar sheets sandwiched in between for water proofing as well as thermal insulation.

The earthen walls create a nice cool room climate that is enhanced by the characteristics of the bamboo roof. Additionally, clean fresh air is circulated into the rooms after having been cooled down through heat-exchange in underground pipes.

“Thus the carbon footprint from construction as well as from operation is minimal.”

Construction Glimpse

‘Green Nudges’ programme for Universities | UNEP

UN Environment Programme had launched on 1st September 2020, an easy to use sustainable campus guide – ‘The Little Book of Green Nudges‘. The book defines nudges as positive and gentle persuasions that are meant to influence behaviour and decision-making. Such interventions include choice architecture, default setting, social influence and increased salience.

via The Little Book of Green Nudges by UNEP

Developed by UNEP in collaboration with Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) and GRID-Arendal, it contains 40 ready-made nudges – simple measures that make it easier to make green choices – which university campuses can deploy to encourage students and staff to embrace more sustainable behaviours.

This book can be used a guide by anyone who wants to create positive change at their university, anywhere around the world, from provosts to campus sustainability coordinators to professors to student leaders.

Continue reading ‘Green Nudges’ programme for Universities | UNEP

Upcycled Shipping Container Microhouse | Sukshm | SWS 001

Student : Shivam Arya

Semester : Sixth

Course : Bachelor of Architecture

Institution : Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi

Project Year : 2020

Project Type : Competition Entry – 2nd RunnerUp at Micronation Competition 1

Project Brief

The competition brief was quite simple. We were asked to design a microhouse living concept on a hypothetical site of 5mx5m with basic living requirements as provided with proper planning, sections, illustrations and other explanatory details as per participants’ interest.

Research and Concept Synthesis

Though the provided brief was straightforward but the challenge was to come up with a unique spatial algorithm. I started bifurcating the brief and thought of going in detail of every aspect and requirements.

Upon doing enough research on materials and existing microhousing trends, I finally came up with an adaptable design – which was upcycling of shipping container. I found this to be practical as well as environment friendly. My focus was to showcase sustainability factors in design when added to fulfilling design brief requirements.

Although shipping containers have been employed practically in many affordable housing projects, my input to this was creating a better responsive spatial arrangement while using every surface as an opportunity for enhancing energy efficiency and biodiversity.

Continue reading Upcycled Shipping Container Microhouse | Sukshm | SWS 001

Building Green with Dharmalaya | Institute for compassionate living

Have you ever wondered about inciting spiritual metamorphosis of self, committing to human service, and living closer to nature, while practicing sustainable architecture? We have and we care to share with you about a place where it is possible, a place that teaches sustainable and compassionate living in parallel to physically building one, a place called Dharmalaya. Since its conception in 2008 by three of Earthville’s directors – Mark Moore, Mai-Linh Leminhbach, and Dara Ackerman, the institute has welcomed numerous workshop participants, volunteers, architects and nature lovers.

Nestled in the Indian Himalayan foothills of Bir, this charitable organisation transpires educative empowerment to traditional wisdom and integrates innovative modernity in its various participatory programs. They have focused on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, immersive ecotourism and preservative adaptation of vernacular intelligence.

“The Institute provides ‘green’ job skills for rural labourers and serves as a model showcasing sustainable living practises such as eco-friendly earthen construction, high-yield organic agriculture, and more.”

-Dharmalaya via
Continue reading Building Green with Dharmalaya | Institute for compassionate living

TU Delft Planning and Designing with Water for Sustainability 2019 | Summer School by Roberto Rocco

This article is based on author’s participation at the 2019 edition of the workshop and outlines her personal viewpoint. Visit the workshop website for detailed information.

The unprecedented initiative by Roberto Rocco, Associate Professor at Department of Urbanism TU Delft, has ignited the quest for sustainable development in the hearts of many students and professionals across the globe. His personal vision for the Summer School, which was first conducted in 2014, encompasses spreading the bountiful Dutch knowledge of water management in delta regions and pooling of new urban ideas at the hub of sustainability. Keeping The New Urban Agenda and UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in the forefront, each year workshop invites over 100 participants, whose own careers are aligned to school’s objectives.

The 100 hours summer school is smartly packed with array of activities, keeping the young minds on their toes. The series of lectures by the department’s professors and HOD Vincent Nardin,  establishes an insight into the evolution of Delta Works in keeping Netherlands safe and sustainable. Apart from stupendous techniques of mitigation engineering, the participants are also made to think about planning related aspects like stakeholders, heritage, public safety, mobility, governance and public participation.

Continue reading TU Delft Planning and Designing with Water for Sustainability 2019 | Summer School by Roberto Rocco

Warrior of a Resilient Community | Ar. Diébédo Francis Kéré

With no electricity, sparse drinking water, and a life that took a pause with every sundown, the village of Gando had not foreseen the incoming change. Remotely located in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country of extensive plateaus in eastern Africa, the village has gained global attention through the remarkable works of one of its own community member, architect Diébédo Francis Kéré.

As a boy of young age, attending a lecture in a poorly ventilated classroom during the hottest days of the year, Kéré had an inkling that reality could be much better. This slowly turned into a vision of uplifting the Gando community, which he believed needed an external perspective. For those who seek, there are always means and that is how a scholarship knocked at his door for studying architecture at the Berlin Institute of Technology, which he believes was brought to him by luck.

Continue reading Warrior of a Resilient Community | Ar. Diébédo Francis Kéré

Green School | Fostering this generation for ground zero Sustainability

Young minds are untarnished and malleable, they follow wherever we lead them. They are our biggest hope and potential risk as well. If they are taught in the same manner as we were, the results will be morally, socially, economically and environmentally worse. For we grew up in a society that settled itself away from nature, whereas every answer to sustainable living lies within it.

Hence it isn’t difficult to arrive at a common solution to our global problems, which is to take these young minds back to nature. While many are still contemplating on its cons, John and Cythia Hardy have already setup a remarkable model – Green School.

“We owe it to our children to give them the skills to adapt. Now more than ever.”

Continue reading Green School | Fostering this generation for ground zero Sustainability