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


Lokmanch – Satara Municipal Corporation, Competition entry

Government Institutions were once designed at monumental scales, perhaps to inspire the citizens they were meant to serve. Over time the this resultant impervious, opaque and domineering presence of the institutional building has only served to distance the citizen from the institution.

Our proposal for the Municipal Building of Satara attempts to rework the physical nature & experience of the institution. Imbibing abstracted ideals from the defining features of Satara including the seven hills the Kaas plateau, step well, rajwada and the fort our project is inspired by the setting and context of the city.

Further, we propose to make the building public and to make public spaces for the citizenry. We propose a Lokmanch where the core of our proposal is two public spaces created for the city:

1. A public plaza/resiliency space at the ground, where people can congregate discuss matters of concern even voice their dissent through peaceful congregations. An amphitheatre that is adjacent to non-office programs of the café, museum etc along an axis linking the front street to the wetland landscape behind the building. The amphitheatre along with the wetland landscape itself holds excess water, acting as resilience infrastructure during seasonal flooding as was seen recently.

2. A public garden on the roof with children play areas and walking tracks create a hitherto unseen hybrid public space, which would also allow access to vantage views out into and beyond the currently low-rise city.

Both spaces are connected by an external ramp allowing them to be used by citizens well beyond office hours without compromising the security of the offices.

All official programs lay sandwiched in-between the two public realms thus inverting the default nature of today’s institutions by symbolically putting a public program ‘on top’ instead of the VIP programs used by the Bureaucrat/Politician.

These offices are grouped based on Programmatic adjacencies as sieved from the program and structured around the main hall/plaza and are further interspersed within double-height sitting/waiting areas creating visually connected courts and streets in the air. The stack effect due to the central void of the hall of the people potentially creates naturally ventilated spaces.

The crux of our proposal aims to create an architecture as imagined by our democratic ideals: for the people, by the people, of the people.



Welspun Corporate Office

Project: Welspun Corporate Office
Location: Mumbai
Area:400 Sq.Mt.
Status: Built
Design Team: Karan Bhat, Aparna Dhareshwar, Vinay Mathias

The design of most workspaces is plagued by the monotony of the manifestation of notional efficiency. There is enough documented evidence that the happiest workspaces most conducive to creative thinking are those that foster interaction. Our design for the Welspun Energy head office in Mumbai mimics traditional village open space/courtyard structures in an attempt to create non-hierarchical social spaces that encourage dialogue between the staff. Having been given a fit-out by the client we were asked to work with a floor plate with no external light or ventilation save for the southern side which also had the service core. We then created a node-based logic through a series of workflow associations to articulate the client’s program while completely subverting the suggested ? efficient? the layout we received from the client.



Project Facts –

Project: Mixed Use Development
Location: S.G. Highway, Ahmedabad, India.
Size: 60,000 Sq.Mt.
Status: Unbuilt
Design Team: Vami Koticha, Aparna Dhareshwar, Archita Banerjee, Diane Athiade, Harshat Verma, Kriti Veerapan, Deepika Malu, Aniket Umaria, Sandy Patwa, Saurabh Suryan.

Catalyzing Urban Space The site for this project lies along the fast urbanizing S.G. Highway, along what used to be the edge of the city of Ahmedabad. The program constitutes a mixed-use program of retail, office and residential space. Typically Projects of this scale type tend to be in most cases isolated bubbles of development at many times at odds with the city fabrics that they are located in, almost parasitic in nature whereby they feed of infrastructural networks of the city without contributing directly contributing to its vitality. Our proposal firstly attempts to ground the project by linking it to projective networks of transportation, housing as imagined by the Development Plan of the city. We then propose to build and maintain a non-existent greenway listed in the D.P. from the nearest BRTS stop to our site and then further extend the public green as a shaded plaza onto our site. The attempt is to create a model of private development that creates an urban open space for the city in an area severely lacking of the same, with programs of retail flanking it on the ground floor as well as on tiered terraces that step back from the plaza. Tying into a local government scheme that is largely defunct, a dry waste recycling unit is proposed within the development that by sorting, packaging and shipping recycled stacks to wholesalers is able to monetize the recycling service, which might over time service adjoining developments as well.


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 –