Temple of Steps

The brief was to design a temple for the residents of villages around Nandyal. In the dry terrain of Nandyal, the main concern was to provide a space which would marry the socio-cultural expectations of a temple with the ecological framework and dynamics of and around the site. The immediate context of Cotton and chilly farms in the region were fed by a natural canal system which had dried up.  

The ecological strategy for the temple, thus began with recharging of groundwater. Water overflow from the limestone quarries was led to a low-lying recharge pit or ‘kund’: the banks of which was imagined as a social space, in the manner of a traditional ghat ; a flight of steps leading down to a water-body. This negotiation of land and water with steps is a significant part of India’s architectural heritage as is seen in the ghats of the ancient city of Benaras.

The planning of the temple itself was based on a 10th century temple for the same deity at Tirupathi in Southern India and similarly includes the Balaji & Varahaswamy shrines and a Pushkarini (water tank). The construction process uses locally available black limestone slabs corbelled to form the main body of the temple. The same corbelled profile also incorporates soil and planting in the lower half of the temple body to buffer against the heat and finally this stone corbelling turns into  a ghat i.e the steps that access the water.

Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates
Area: 10000 ft²
Year: 2019
Photographs: Edmund Sumner


Genesis Laboratory

Agrarian landscapes need substantial infrastructure to process its produce. Warehouses, Processing Plants and Factories form nodes of regional consolidation which in turn are plugged into transportation networks of railways and highways.

In rural India the agrarian landscape is in flux due to changing crop patterns, redacted state subsidies and resource availability. 

The Godavari Sugar Mills at Sakarwadi is a victim of this narrative as well. That is, until the owners of the plant started adapting their built infrastructure of sheds and employed their expertise of chemical processing to locate research labs at this site.

In the first phase of this rejuvenation, a 100-year-old granary shed became the first site for intervention.

Originally a group of 4 sheds, just two stand reasonably intact with the remaining in advanced stages of dilapidation.

Our design brief was to retrofit one of these to incorporate laboratory as well as office programs. We began by small navigational gestures around the shed almost as way of finding devices. The navigational interventions suture a subtle movement experience leveraging the presence and weight of the original material constructs of the stone walls. These interventions are built reusing found material of steel plates, wooden columns, and sliced bamboo. A cantilevered mild steel canopy protruding through a stone wall marks the entry into the factory complex. Re-erected and treated collapsed wooden trusses were covered with a filigree of sliced bamboo creating a pause point at entry framing the courtyard beyond. At the far end of the courtyard, a masonry wall punctured by an inclined Mild steel wall directs visitors towards the entry portico of the laboratory shed. A protruding steel-clad entry doorway leads into the main lab space where the laboratory programs are distributed around an interior-covered courtyard with planted trees. The courtyard is defined as a building within the building with the laboratory programs sitting in the spaces between these two ‘buildings’. Skylight from above both the programs and courtyard are fashioned by light with the original stone walls forming one edge and the walls of the courtyard forming the other. 

The project recognizes the spatial value of such precincts scattered throughout the Indian hinterland and builds an argument for their potential adaptive reuse in contradistinction: referencing the old without a clichéd reverence to form or material. 

Completion Year: 2021



House of Multiple Courts

The House of Multiple Courts is located in a settlement within the midst of a serene littoral landscape adjacent to lush paddy fields. The house is built with solid load bearing laterite stone blocks that form three sides of the house with a laterite and wooden colonnade on the fourth wall facing the north with views to the river.  The sold laterite stone block walls manifesting as simple opaque walls, porous screens and structural corbels depending upon the program they enclose.

The interior programs of the house pivot around a series of courts the first of which is an entrance designed through the water court designed around a restored existing well found on site. The sequence of courtyard experience are scaled to respond to varying degrees of common & private programs. An open to sky central courtyard ties the whole house leading to programs of the living room, dining space eventually to the pool overlooking the riverine landscape.

The bedrooms open into smaller, more intimate courtyards with their roofs modulated to cascade rainwater into these landscaped courts. The architecture of the house at Nachinola is hence a device for framing the horizontal scale of the riverine landscape beyond and conversely captures a scaled version of the landscape within the house.

Project Facts

Location: Nachinola, Goa
Area: 500 m²
Status: Completed
Photographs:Ahilia Homes
Manufacturers:  Accoya, AutoDesk, AGC, Robert McNeel & Associates, Tata Steel, Ultratech
Structural Consultant: Rajeev Shah
MEP Consultant: MEPtek consultants
Interior Design & Styling: Tarun Tahiliani Homes



Manuallaya Resort, Himachal Pradesh

The Manuallaya Resort was conceptualized on an urge to link site conditions to ecological and cultural contexts by use of materials and formal compositions. 

The design process was catalyzed through negotiation between traditional craft, and local material modernity. To mitigate threats from Earthquakes, local materials and techniques of horizontal timber members within load-bearing masonry walls were incorporated while low-cost solutions of waste slate chips from quarries re-enforced with rebar were used to articulate structural and nonstructural elements.

The refurbished guest rooms were supplemented with new balconies tucked under skewed pitched roofs orienting guests towards the Himalayan panorama. The forms of fixtures like bathtubs and washbasins echo local detailing of sunken bathing ponds in the nearby Vashisht temple and its specific gargoyle features as a conduit for water.

Project Facts 

Project: Manuallaya Resort

Location:Himachal Pradesh

Area:24280 Sq.Mt.

Status: Completed


Lal Dera – The Contemporary, at Jio World  Convention Centre, BKC, Mumbai

Lal Dera, by Sameep Padora and Associates, at the Jio World Convention Centre, BKC, MumbaiCloth architecture was among the most dramatic and colourful paraphernalia of princely life in the medieval world. Vast tented encampments accompanied the great monarchs of Asia and Europe on their long wars, vacations and pilgrimages. Portable, and often highly decorative, palaces of cloth afforded to the imperial entourages not only shelter and security but also the comfort and beauty to which they were accustomed. A magnificent example of medieval textile architecture is the historic Lal Dera, ‘red tent’ of Jodhpur (Marwar). It remains as  the largest of all decorative objects to have survived from the Mughal era.


The Lal Dera  is housed in the Mehrangarh Museum in Jodhpur, is the most iconic of them all.Taking inspiration from its historic design, we used the structuring idea of the original, the arch and the tensioned fabric but expanded it to take a formal direction of uninhibited scale. The opulence in our interpretation is an outcome of a soaring spatial experience.

Lal Dera, by Sameep Padora and Associates, at the Jio World Convention Centre, BKC, Mumbai
Photo credits : Tanishka Parmar

Photo credits : Kunal Sharma

Lal Dera, by Sameep Padora and Associates, at the Jio World Convention Centre, BKC, Mumbai
Photo Credits: Kunal Sharma

Lal Dera, by Sameep Padora and Associates, at the Jio World Convention Centre, BKC, Mumbai
Photo Credits: Kunal Sharma

Diagrams & Drawings

Project Facts 

Client : AD ( Architectural Digest )
Area : 54 Sqm ( L x B x H –  9.0m x 6.0m x10.0 m )
Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates
Design Team: Sameep Padora, Vami Koticha , Kunal Sharma , Santhosh Narayanan
Event Name : AD Design Show 2023
Event Date  : Sep 15-17th , 2023
Fabricator : Bhavin Nagda


Principal Sameep Padora appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, at CEPT University

Sameep Padora Picture at CEPT

India’s premier architecture and planning institute, the Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology (CEPT) has announced our principal Sameep Padora as its new Dean. With over 15 years of experience in practising architecture, Sameep has been a part of the Board of Studies for the Faculty of Design at CEPT since 2017. Sameep Padora will assuming his position as the Dean, starting July 01, 2023.

Read more on the CEPT Website.

News Exhibition

Exhibition at CEPT: (de)Coding Mumbai

Exhibition will be open to all from 15th April to 17th July 10 am to 8 pm at Lilavati Lalbhai Library, CEPT.

(de)Coding Mumbai is a study presented as an exhibition and documented as a book. Through 18 case studies, it documents and attempts to analyze the trajectories of Mumbai’s building codes and the development of Mumbai’s housing fabric. The exhibit traces the emergence of the first regulations as a panacea for the plague of 1896 to the ossified building codes of today that are structured to quantify real estate and not qualify living environments.

Over the last 100 years, different regimes, actors, and their preoccupations have shaped the regulations for housing in the city of Mumbai which in turn have shaped the housing and urban form of the city, directly impacting the lives of its residents. Tracing its interrelationships with socio-political and economic currents both domestic and international, (de)Coding Mumbai attempts to make explicit the evolution of Mumbai’s physical form.

Published by CEPT University Press, (de)Coding Mumbai has been authored by Sameep Padora and co-authored by Shreyank Khemalapure and edited by Aayushi Joshi and Tanushree Agrawal.

The book is available for order on Amazon –


Sameep Padora speaks to Azure

Sameep Padora, the founder of Sameep Padora and Associates, speaks to AZURE MAGAZINE on the values and his expectations from the practice. AZURE writes,

“Architecture is a layered and intuitive art and Padora’s rich output was surely conditioned by both his upbringing and education. His grandfather was a trader of Kashmiri crafts, such as walnut wood furniture, carpets, papier-mâché and other delightful objects that instilled an innate sense of beauty in Padora. His interest in architecture started at the age of 15, when he first visited the ancient city of Mandu and then spent time trekking in the Himalayan foothills where he saw traditional houses that he particularly liked. All these experiences – along with parallel interests in cinematography and archeology – inspired him to pursue architecture professionally.”

Read the full conversation here


Exhibition: (de)Coding Mumbai at IFBE

(de)Coding Mumbai, Exhibition by Sameep Padora and Associates at IF:BE

(de)coding Mumbai documents the development of Mumbai’s housing fabric through the evolution of building and development codes. From the first regulations emerging as a panacea for the plague of 1896 to building codes today that do not consider the health of the inhabitants, it seems that the city of Mumbai has come full circle. Along the way in the last 100 years, different regimes, actors and their preoccupations have shaped the regulations for housing in the city of Mumbai. These regulations in turn shape the housing and urban form of the city impacting directly the lives of its residents.

The team at sPare that has been central to the project “(de)coding Mumbai” is Sameep Padora, Shreyank Khemalapure, Tanushree Agarwal, Aayushi Joshi, and Chinmay Shidore.



Exhibition Tour

by Sameep Padora

12 Jun, Sun | 11:00 AM and 15 June, Wed | 5:30 PM

Sameep Padora, principal architect at sP+a and sPare, will walk through the 18 case studies, that attempt to document and analyze the trajectories of Mumbai’s building codes. Tracing its interrelationships with socio-political and economic currents both domestic and international, (de)Coding Mumbai attempts to make explicit the making of Mumbai’s physical form.


Built Form Codes for Housing Everyone: Drafting a Design Manifesto

Workshop by Hussain Indorewala

14 June, Tue | 5:30 PM

As a part of IFBE presents (de)Coding Mumbai Exhibition by sPare, this workshop is imagined as an exercise in understanding and engaging with various stakeholders in the city and their imperatives and motivations in any large-scale housing project. The workshop is open to architects, urbanists, activists, students, or anyone who is interested to think and debate the ideas and concerns that ought to inform the specifications that shape the built environment, and are interested in an attempt to draft a housing design code for Mumbai.


Ghar Mein Shehar Hona (Part III)

Performance Presentation by CAMP

17 June, Fri | 6:30 PM

In a video lecture format honed by years of events at their rooftop studio and fuelled by archives they cultivate, CAMP presents a story of virtual and real landscapes in Mumbai. Via RTI, TDR, Cyprus, Capital Flight, GBGB Andolan, Songs, Stings, Drones, CCTV, .pdf and .xlxs among other strategies, technologies and politics developed in the first decades of the 21st century. 

With Shaina, Ashok and Simpreet
and Adarsh, Alyque, Naezy, Nayak, Medha, Sandeep, Rajjo, Tiger.


(de)Coding Mumbai

Lecture by Sameep Padora

18 Jun, Sat | 5:30 PM

Sameep’s lecture will put forward the research presented in the exhibition. It will discuss the changing preoccupations of building regulations in Mumbai over the last century, what are the corresponding built forms that are produced in response to the building regulations. The lecture will also lay out considerations for planning in the near future.


Understanding Building Regulations

Workshop by Prasad Shetty

19 Jun, Sun | 11 AM

As a part of IFBE presents (de)Coding Mumbai Exhibition by sPare, this workshop is geared toward conceptually engaging with the idea of building regulations. It opens the ways to understand the idea of law, what are the ways to think about framing laws and bye-laws, policies, and so on. The workshop is open for architecture and planning students, professional, or generally who is interested in understanding how to understand building regulations.



Discussion between the Residents of the Documented Case Studies

22 Jun, Wed | 5:30 PM

Usually discussion on housing in public forums are organised around expert opinions. The intention of this panel is invite residents and inhabitants of projects that are documented in the book and share their thoughts, experiences, aspirations, and views of inhabiting their specific forms of housing.


Housing Futures: Mumbai

Panel Discussion

25 Jun, Sat | 5:30 PM

Moderated by Hussain Indorewala, the concluding panel discussion will bring opinions and ideas on the future considerations for housing in Mumbai. This panel brings together eight experts from a diverse set of practices, intellectual positions, concerns, and forms of engagement with the city of Mumbai.

1. Jasmine Saluja / Architect and Urban Designer

2. Hussain Indorewala / Urban Researcher and Teacher

3. Prasad Shetty / Urbanist

4. Sameep Padora / Architect

5. Prachi Merchant / Urban Planner

6. PK Das (Pending Confirmation) / Architect and Activist


Aatam Hostel at Kota


Aatam Hostel has a residential program mix, containing hostels rooms for students along with a residence for the family that owns the plot. Six years in the making, the project is located in the dry and hot climate of Kota, Rajasthan. The town of Kota in Northern India is a coaching hub for training students to take entrance exams to study at the coveted IIT engineering colleges in India. Every year around 200,000 students move to Kota spending a minimum of a year at coaching classes living in private hostels specifically made for student housing in the town.




The economy of the Kota is driven by this temporal population. For the IIT aspirant Kota occupies center stage, so much so, that it spawned a popular OTT show which highlights the travails and tribulations of student aspirants living there. While the coaching centers are as state of the art as any other such educational institute in the country, student housing is neglected and devoid of much thinking. Natural Light, ventilation social spaces are mostly absent. There is a high risk of failure in getting through the IIT exams which when coupled with the severity or lack of sympathetic living spaces can be psychologically oppressive. The Kota hostel is a small beginning in reimagining student living in the town. 

Working with elements of the traditional haveli ( Rajasthan house form) like vertically proportioned courtyards, Jharokhas ( look out balconies) and stone Jali’s ( perforated screens) the project is a remaking of the haveli form suited to the programmatic needs of the students. In stark contrast to the surrounding row house types which together form an impervious wall to the street, the Kota hostel opens up, animating the street with views of the courtyard and then to the playground beyond the plot. The combination of social space of terraces and courtyards creates a wind tunnel enabling breeze to flow through the building. The open to sky courtyard is spanned above by a bridge that connects the two arms of the residential unit for the owners. The building structures through the section multiple stepped erraces of shaded social spaces for the students to creates a visual connect across the other levels as well as with the street and the courtyard. 




Photography: Suryan//Dang & Kunal Sharma