Patch Design Studio

Baroda Mixed-use

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Baroda Mixed-use
Baroda, Gujrat, India
Year: 2015
Type: Residential space
Design Team: Ipsit Patel, Rika Chaudhry,
Project Size: -- Sq. ft.
Program: Residence
Status: In Progress

“The center [meaning a familiar place] represents to mankind what is known, in contrast to the unknown and somewhat frightening world around him. These places are the goals where we experience the meaningful events of our existence, but they are also points of departure from which we orient ourselves and take possession of the environment.”
- Christian Norberg-Schulz, in Existence, Space, and Architecture

Project Concept:
100 year old family residence in the historic city of Baroda is to be developed into a multi storey mixed use building.  Clients saw a loss in their cultural heritage in demolishing the entire two storey house and wanted us to pursue an adaptive reuse approach to this project.  Keeping up with the current market pressures design program was resolved with two-storey of retail and 5 storey residences.    

“Everything changes continually.  What is history indeed but a record of changes?  And if there had been no changes in the past, there would be no history to write about.”
-    M.K Gandhi

Design Approach:
Massing studies for various stacking options directed the strategies for the new development to be on the lines of addition, transformation and conversion approach.  This meant that any small localized intervention would not do justice to the modern real estate potentials of the site.  Reflect: the new intervention will reflect on the site’s history re-animating its heritage.  Amalgamate: The new language will be an amalgamation of past and current social statements, expressing the present ethos.  Transform:  the new form will allow for an ongoing narrative where the transformation and extension of the existing built vernacular supports the new communities of inhabitants.  Challenges to be dealt with are; structural isolation of new building while building around and over the existing load bearing building and developing a continuing façade language to make the end result visually appealing and not ad hoc. 
“The true method of making things present is: to imagine them in our space (and not to imagine ourselves in their space).”
-    Walter Benjamin

Massing proposal:
Retaining the most visible South and East facade of the existing house, the new development anchors itself within the local community’s memory, as an evolution of the old.  Avoiding the negativity related with a Tabula-Rasa approach.   Extending the ground and first floor’s floor plate five independent retail outlets are accommodated on each floor, each with road side frontage.  Tucked behind is the exclusive driveway access and exit for the residence lobby and parking.  Five floors above retail are spacious apartment and penthouses.  Resonating with the architectural values of the past, the penthouses with courtyard format dwelling design exudes a statement of luxury with an old era charm.  

Facade studies:
While it is programmatically easy to try and replicate the facade features of the old onto the new, in a copy-paste cookie cutter pattern, this approach fails to do justice to the current times ethos with modern materials and technology.  A variety of thematic options we generated to evolve this dialogue of retaining and respecting the existing.

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