Project: Creo
Location: Mumbai
Area:279 Sq. Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Gurmeet Akali, Vinay Mathias

Mumbai like many other cities in the developing world is in constant flux, and as natures of economies change so do their their linked human and production related resources. With high monetary values riding on real estate development in Mumbai, projects like CREO are symptomatic of the typology of work that young firms in Mumbai are usually commissioned for. Situated in a beautiful space within a Victorian Gothic building Creo became for us a search for native latent human skill and mechanical resources that the city of Mumbai incubates which we could leverage for the production of Creo?s built form. The first process for us however was one of excavation and conservation uncovering the original construct of the malad stone arched facade and wooden joist ceiling that lay beneath layers of commercial signage and storage. We then designed a shopping module that fits tight by a staggered interlocking configuration into a central location on the ground and has a mirror image incorporating more display space at mezzanine level. The formal construct of our project hence becomes a logical outcome of incorporating program. Hence this creates a 4 meter tall performative sculptural installation within the space. The container stands out as does the contained. The production process involved using the dying skills of the ship building industry in the city (with the shifting of the port) for the steel structure of the construct and a rubberized polymer skin traditionally used by small scale toy manufactures in the production of children toys in the city. Hence Creo becomes both a formal manifestation of program as well as a projection of the city as a network of latent resources.



Project: CRAFT Deli
Location: Phoenix Market City, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Area: 500 Sq.Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Shravanthi Kanekal, Nitisha Raje, Aparna Dhareshwar, Aniket Umaria
CRAFT as a project was conceived to be an antithesis to the typical mall location and of the placeless experiences that dominate mall cultures.


CRAFT deli as a project was conceived to be an antithesis to the typical mall location and of the placeless experiences that dominate mall cultures. To subvert the typical experience of a glass horizontal edge between the corridor and revenue space we used the arcade as a means to structure a reference to the past alluding to the type of a colonnaded walkway that defines a spaces of intimacy, pause and relief from the cacophony of the world outside. The edge is hence crafted through wooden members that pivot and hence through their form define the width of a booth and articulate the double height of the facade. The warmth and intimate scale of the booth is offset by the seamless continuity of the service bar and open kitchen and an alfresco dining space beyond. The Alfresco space itself is defined by a metaphor of an environment of fireflies, tiny lights that create a mystical and surreal enclosure.



Concrete Void Vijay Transtech Factory

Project: Concrete Void Vijay Transtech Factory
Location: Bhiwandi, Maharashtra.
Area:2000 Sq.Mt.
Status: Completed
Design Team:
Harshat Verma, Sameep Padora, Aparna Dhareshwar, Sagar Kudtarkar, Parth Patel, Sandeep Patwa.

The factory is located on a plot in a logistical warehousing facility on the outskirts of Mumbai. As is typical of most industrial warehouses in the area, the default construction material for most buildings is corrugated metal sheathing and the general prevalent built form is opaque without visual or physical connection to the immediate environment, thus turning the precinct into a continuous hard edge. Our first instinct was to position the project as relief from the experience of this existing impervious precinct mass. On the North-West corner of our site, a portion prone to seasonal flooding we consolidated a low lying, as a water body that fluctuates through the year allowing for water to enter and drain the site based on surrounding water levels. While the expression of the building?s heaviness was of interest, the heart of the project is the void of the central open to sky courtyard around which the factory?s building?s production floors are organized. These relatively thin floorplates ensured well-lit work spaces. The central open to sky courtyard is visually connected to the common spaces of the precinct outside the building through the void under a 50 foot cantilevered floor over the seasonal water body doubling as a shaded breakout space for the employees. The cast-in-place heavy concrete materiality of the ?porous? block is in sharp contrast to lightweight but opaque steel sheathing of the buildings around. The corner void connecting to the central void courtyard creates an extroverted factory type, visually linking to the access road beyond the site as well as offering relief from the impenetrable adjoining building masses.

Drawings –


Eau Bar, The Oberoi

Project : Eau Bar, The Oberoi
Location : Mumbai
Status : Built
Design Team : Vami Sheth, Akanksha Sharma, Archana Menon, Anisha Malhotra

Sitting at one end of the Queen’s Necklace on Marine Drive, newly structured openings to the indomitable view of the Arabian Sea abutting the Marine Drive aren’t the only highlights of the new Eau Bar at The Oberoi Hotel. The golden foliage of an intricate metal tree against a striking red backdrop is the centrepiece of the newly renovated Eau Bar.

The tree of the main lounge is constructed with 800 meters of brass foliage encompassing the bar, a sunken lounge and a performance space under it.  A velvet red fluting of fabric ensures a warm backdrop as well as perfect acoustics for live performances.

The Eau Bar main space is now flanked by two spatial additional, the first a Private Lounge is the perfect antechamber to more intimate groups and the second, a terrace bar and lounge overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Passing through a door concealed within the fabric fluting, we reach the Private Lounge. A custom designed chandelier extends the language of the Main Lounge into this discreet space while a fluted glass partition animates an impression of lights & movements in the Main Lounge beyond without compromising privacy.

The Terrace Lounge itself divided into two levels to magnify the idea of a landscaped setting.

The first level holds the Outdoor Bar, against the magnificent backdrop of the Arabian sea sandwiched between lush palm trees & a young Frangipani trees.

Set in alcoves within a topiary of lush green planting are the sunken black granite seating overlooking the water.

The Eau bar is defined by a palate of fabric and metal, red and gold the and by landscapes both natural and articulated.




Choksi House

Project: Choksi House
Location: Pawna, Maharashtra.
Status: On-going
Area: 465 Sq.Mt.
Design Team: Diane Athaide, Aparna Dhareshwar


Building on a hill in the midst of nature, we wanted to maximize views towards the lake, but keep the foot print minimal, avoiding disruption of the existing state of equanimity. Five pavillions containing the primary programs of bedrooms and living room, float just above the landscape, their roof profiles, a derivation of the viewing angles towards the Pavna Lake. A service corridor runs parallel behind, which grounds the back of the house, making the large cantilevers possible and merges the roof back into the contoured hillside.

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, at Mumbai

Project Facts –

Project : K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion
Location : Mumbai
Status : Ongoing

The Café Pavilion a partially open dining space, is an addition/extension to an existing indoor cafeteria at the K.J. Somaiya Institute on their Sion campus in Northern Mumbai. The pavilion was designed to accommodate the dining space as well as create a physical link between these two existing buildings with a brick amphitheatre as the central pivot. Designed as a continuous platform, the dining space plinth weaves between existing trees, connecting both the buildings covered by a light translucent roof that floats above. The multi-wall polycarbonate roofing is aligned to match the height of the light shelf of the neighbouring IT building. The roofing membrane is suspended from a beam structure above the membrane so the roof plane appears continuous from below, with occasional shadows of tree foliage falling on it thus animating the space below.

Shiv Temple

Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates
Location: Wadeshwar, Maharashtra, India
Design Team: Sameep Padora, Minal Modak, Vinay Mathias
Topics: Basalt Stone, Temples
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: © Edmund Sumner

Completed in 2010 by Indian architecture studio Sameep Padora & Associates, the Shiv Temple in Wadeshwar was built by the villagers using a local basalt stone, which gives the temple a traditional patina.

Adhering to the planning logic of traditional temple architecture, the form of the temple chosen evokes the conventional shikhara temple silhouette. Only embellishments integral to the essence of temple architecture in memory appear in the finished temple. 

– Sameep Padora & Associates

Text by the Architects

Designed in dialogue with the priest and the people from surrounding villages, the temple design is a collaborative effort. Built through ‘Shramdaan’ (self-build) by the villagers, this temple was constructed on a shoestring budget. Using a local basalt stone as a primary building block, because of its availability from a quarry within 200 meters from the temple site The stone’s patina that seems to confer age, as if the temple had always existed before inhabitation.

In realizing the temple design in close consultation with the temple priest & the villagers, we attempted to sieve out through discussion & sketches the decorative components from the symbolic.

Adhering to the planning logic of traditional temple architecture, the form of the temple chosen evokes in memory, the conventional shikhara temple silhouette. Only embellishments integral to the essence of temple architecture in memory appear in the finished temple.

The dense foliage of trees along the side edge demarcates an outdoor room, which becomes the traditional ‘mandapa’ (pillared hall), a place with trees as walls and sky the roof.

The path to the temple winds in between white oak trees till two freestanding basalt stone walls embedded in the landscape create pause as well as direct a person onto the East-West axis on which the garbagriha / inner sanctum lies.

Entry to the sanctum is through an exaggerated threshold space, which in turn frames the outside landscape for the inside. Stepped seating on the southern edge of the site negotiates steep contours while transforming the purely sacred space into a socio-cultural one used for festivals & gatherings.

Religious iconography in the form of statues of the holy cow, Nandi, etc. become installations in the landscape and hence find their positions in a natural setting of the metaphoric sky-roofed mandapa.

The ashtadhaatu (8 metal composite) temple Kalash (finial) is held in place by a frame that also anchors a skylight to allow light to penetrate the inner sanctum/garbagriha.

Drawings –


Vana Villas

Project: Vana Villas
Location: Assagaon, Goa.
Area:2750 Sq.Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Sameep Padora, Aparna Dhareshwar, Saloni Parekh, Amaya D’Souza, Prashant Chavan, Sandeep Patwa, Aniket Umaria.

1:10 sloping site is typical of historic land parcels that stretch from access road to the fields or water bodies at the other end. We limited the number of units being planned and further prompted splitting up each unit?s mass to allow for existing trees on our site to survive. Each unit differs slightly from the other in its response to adjust to the presence of the trees. The individual units are planned lengthwise to allow for all to have views into the magnificent forest on the adjacent site. The arrival sequence takes you from the access road along an opaque building mass through an entry stairway onto a high plinth at which point the views into the forest are revealed. The living, dining programs are clustered around a courtyard on the first level and bedrooms on the upper.





Text description provided by the architects. In Buddhist mythology Jetvana is the name of one the Buddha’s most important spatial edifice which when literally translated means: the grove of Jeta, land donated to the sangha for founding a monastery. It was of semiotic significance that the site offered by Samir Somaiya owner of the neighboring sugar factory in rural Maharashtra for the Buddhist Learning Center was thickly forested, an idyllic grove of sorts.


The institute was programmed as a spiritual & skill development center for the native Dalit Baudh Ambedkar Buddhist community. The mandate of Jetavana is to provide a spiritual anchor for their practice of Buddhist thought through meditation and yoga while also imparting training and skill development for members of the community.

With the mandate of not harming a single tree on site the sizable program was split up into 6 buildings each situated in gaps between the heavy planting. Through the design process two courtyards emerged as links suturing these buildings into a common identity.

Floor Plan

Further by inverting the roof profile with a center valley in the middle and rising edges the interior spaces were visually connected with the foliage outside. The interior spaces hence are also a function of the outside setting, with a lightness that belies the heavy programs on site. The separation of the roof  from the walls while providing much needed cross ventilation also scales the building towards the courtyard.

Working closely with Hunnarshala, an institution looking to revive and resuscitate local building traditions we collated a material palate that uses rammed loadbearing walls of basalt stone dust. The stone dust, which is waste from a nearby quarry, is mixed with waste fly ash, a by-product from the adjoining factory that in the past was paying people to cart the waste fly ash away. Repurposed wood from old shipping vessels act as roof structure, with the understructure made of mud rolls, which are also great insulation. The roof itself is finished with clay roof tiles, remnants from older demolished buildings.

The flooring is a traditional mud and dung floor done by members of the local community, which is known to have antiseptic properties.

Our approach to the Jetavan project looks to extend the idea of the regional paradigm whilst separating it from the pervasive ‘image’ of what defines the local. The construction process also sets out an approach that looks to further construction techniques based on local materiality not necessarily used natively but appropriate for it’s context.

Drawings – 


The House of Multiple Courts

Project: The House of Multiple Courts
Location: Nachinola, Goa
Architects: Sameep Padora Associates
Interior Design: Tarun Tahiliani
Design Team: Nikita Khatwani, Subham Pani, Aparna Dhareshwar
Area: 10,000 sq feet.
Year of Completion: 2019

The House of Multiple Courts at Nachinola is located in in a settlement in the midst of a serene littoral landscape adjacent to lush paddy fields. The interior programs of the house pivot around a series of courts the first of which is an entrance designed through the water court, a restored existing well found on site. The sequence of courtyard experience is 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 swimming 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 house is built out of load-bearing laterite blocks on three sides with the walls manifesting as opaque walls, porous screens and structural corbels. 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.