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



Holywrit School

A campus by definition is, at a purely facilitative level, an armature of infrastructure and open space. Its real potential however lies in its role as a network of event spaces that create the potential of interaction, where the collision of disparate realms of knowledge inspires creativity. Four anchor programs on the ground floor of the Administration Block, Library, Cafe and Interfaith Dialogue space activate the lower, more public space, linking through exposed vertical circulation to focused study spaces as one moves higher into the building. We reiterate the original courtyard typology that existed in the older buildings within the campus, which surprisingly seems compromised in the later buildings thus overlooking its passive climatic advantages.

Completion Year: 2018

Photo credits: Kunal Sharma


KJ Somaiya College For Information Technology.

Project Facts

Project: KJ Somaiya College For Information Technology.
Location: Sion, Maharashtra.
Area:2070 Sq.Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Subham Pani, Aparna Dhareshwar, Nikita Khatwani, Sandeep Patwa

The IT College building is an addition to the K.J. Somaiya Institute of Engineering on their Sion campus in Northern Mumbai. The site for the new building was flanked on one end by a cement plant, on another by a contaminated rivulet, and the west by the existing 8 stories engineering college building. The client brief was for the new institute to accommodate programs that included Workshops, Laboratories, Lecture Rooms Student Community Rooms along with an extension to the existing cafeteria in the adjoining building, to be built in a second phase. Raising the building on a high plinth to protect against flooding in the monsoons, each of the programs is located based on programmatic adjacencies and around two courtyards. A veranda-like circulation space around the courtyard doubles as an activity spine linking all the study rooms and creating opportunities for students to learn through chance meetings and interaction with each other. The courtyard facing walls of all programs are designed with openings to allow a visual connection with other students in the courtyards, veranda, and the classrooms clustered around the court. Hence, even when in their respective spaces, the students feel as if they are in a collective learning environment without walls separating them. The Workshops, Laboratories, Lectures, and Community rooms are designed without any shared walls to create vistas outwards between each program, reduce any noise transfer from one room to the next, and allow air circulation around the rooms keeping them cooler. The insulated roof plane spans overall programs linking them together into a distinct singular building while folding into giant water gargoyles that would channel rainwater into the courtyards and further into harvesting tanks.

Drawings –




Goel Ganga School Competition.

Project Facts –

Project: Goel Ganga School Competition.
Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Year: 2016
Design Team: Sameep Padora, Saloni Parekh, Samidha Kowli, Kriti Veerappan, Saurabh Suryan, Sandeep Patwa, Aniket Umaria, Subham Pani, Anthea Fernandes, Diane Athaide, Ruturaj Panchal.


The competition brief for the GG School in Pune, required for 3 separate schools to be located on a single site. Our solution looks to leverage the sum of their individual common programs of library, labs etc. onto a ground floor collective campus, a 9 meter high space of enclosed programs clustered around streets and courtyards. This becomes the nucleus of the project from which three, two story clusters are structured around courtyards and stacked vertically to fulfill square footage while maintaining an intimate scale for the classrooms.



Project: Beerwah
Location: Kashmir, India.
Area: 550 Sq.Mt.
Status: Unbuilt
Design Team:Archita Banerjee, Vami Koticha, Mythili Shetty

An orphanage for girl children, which also had to engage with the community, this project revolved physically and metaphorically around an educational core of a library. Furthering the ideology of education nurturing liberation and security, the floor levels were staggered, to visually connect spaces, around the library. This ensured the girls were able to keep an eye on each other at all times. The library core also served as a light well, suitably juxtaposed with thick load-bearing brick walls for thermally insulation. The project was envisaged to involve the community. Firstly by using local craftsmen to build based on traditional prototypes; and secondly to provide a space for community events in the future.


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.


Maya Somaya Library

Project: Maya Somaya Library
Location: Sharda School, Kopergaon, Maharashtra.
Size: 500 Sq.Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Vami Sheth, Aparna Dhareshwar, Manasi Punde, Archita Banerjee, Sameep Padora.
Photography: Edmund Sumner

The site chosen for this small addition within a school in rural Maharashtra, was a small sliver between existing buildings and the school boundary almost preempting a linear building footprint to adjust the program for the chosen site. The project was designed in the year 2015 but lay unbuilt for 2 years. Alluding to the intuitive impetus that children have towards landscape we imagined the library building to be a formal extension of the ground, using brick as material for its tactility, availability as well as its utility as insulation against the strong sun. The construction technology for the project makes a case to reexamine the age-old binaries of the global and local as being in opposition. The regional or the local within the South Asian paradigm manifests within strict formal constraints of the style in memory. This is often at the expense of material efficiencies and is embedded in inequitable labor practices that continue to persist. Our effort to search for a material and construction efficiency in brick looked to leverage the networks of knowledge that our practices are situated in, allowing us to enrich the regional or local through the extended capacities of the global. In the Sharda library we used a hybrid of principles ranging from the Catalan Tile Vaulting sytem to the compression ring detail from the work of Eladio Dieste in Uruguay, to using a form finding software plug -in made in Switzerland. So the Sharda Library is made of local materials informed by appropriated technologies beyond the geographical extents of our physical location. This project ratifies the fact that while our sites and projects might lie beyond the urban extent they don?t lie beyond the networks of urbanization and can benefit from this.