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Virus, silence, and silence of different type

All of us have experienced the horrors caused by the deadly virus. We have witnessed the mass exodus of migrant workers and their agonizing, painful march towards their home towns. The streets of the cities during the lockdown period were empty, streets which are normally full of traffic, air pollution, dust, and people tied to the watch, their haste, hurry to reach someplace in time, in short, everybody’s respective routine, all came to a sudden halt. The stingy, tight, market places which were once bustling with young women, and men alike all were vacant. The colleges, full of young energy, where young men flirt with their female friends, are closed and are nothing else but cold, unresponsive buildings resembling the morgues of hospitals. The overpopulated cities started to look like empty massacred towns and all people were trapped into their concrete cells. Apartments became towering jails, small single storied houses like bastions of citadels.

All of us have at some point felt the pain, the depression, the agony, and whatnot. We have experienced the existence of an unresponsive God, and have been frustrated with the situation. Born out of this is a silence that could be compared with silence in the crematorium. Some people were pissed off with this silence in cities and went to their homes in villages like my friend for whom I designed a house. He chose to stay in a life full of solitude in his village town. He prefered a different kind of silence, to that which we experienced in Pune city or any other large city. A silence which forces humans to be more creative, to be in the company of our true being. The context of the house was dirt simple, we were planning to give justice to those mesmerising mountains which could be witnessed from his terrace.

Torna fort, the mountain ranges of Sanhyadri

The house was built by taking care of vistas, the mountains, the trees, the water, the surroundings and the pollution free clear blue skies, makes one feel in the company of the self. Forces one to explore the creative possibilities to pass time, and come up with creative solutions for problems.

The house and the Torna fort, the house merged into surroundings

The choice of silence is up to us. What we want that is also up to us, which life we choose that is also our choice. Some people also want the best of the two worlds and nothing wrong in that either. Some people also believe in taking their work, into quiet places and work in an atmosphere which is very quiet. Finally which silence we prefer is our choice!

For details contact

Dreamarch Studios

Mobile: 9371094877

Email : hpratinidhi.das@gamil.com

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Cities with deadly viruses and a house away from this atmosphere.

In the last three months everyone, irrespective of his/her religion, caste, the economic background is experiencing the problems of this deadly virus called COVID 19. The virus has damaged our lives, perpetually. Many people who were once behind fast life, urban lifestyles, are seriously thinking do I really need to stay in such an atmosphere? Finally, at some point in life we all think, is this run worth running? Or I want to take my family, in an atmosphere, where one can breathe in the fresh air, or one can really be in the company of nature, or our true self.

As a practicing architect, I do come across some clients who have achieved a position and now think about living their lives peacefully, and since they thought of retiring into the rural life, they wanted a traditional house, as where some norms of Vastu Shastra are followed.

Ground Floor Plan

The clients demanded a courtyard as they really wanted to follow tradition, It was a surprise even for me as an architect, as in today’s time, I could never imagine someone with such interests. The plan is a typical plan with central courtyard, kitchen at SE corner, entrance from North and staircase to the West, and Master Bedroom on first floor.

The house is a sustainable house, with brick arches, brick pillars,sloping roofs, and a covered courtyard. Due to COVID 19 outbreak, people are thinking differently and they are now ready to think differently and now really want to be away from the mess that city offers, from rich people to poor, everyone is moving towards the fresh air, clear skies, and in short, the spontaneous self, i.e. nature.

Dream Arch Studios

1st floor Laxmi Keshev Society,

N.C. Kelkar Road, Narayan Peth

Mobile: 9371094877

Email : hpratinidhi.das@gmail.com

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Farm Houses and Vastu Shastra

We, humans, have our strong belief systems and our behavior in this world is a reflection of our beliefs. Vastu Shastra plays an important role in today’s life, Architects can hate it or love It, but simply cannot ignore it. So what is Vastu Shastra? Is it a science? Is it magic? Is it a method of manifesting good fortune in life? What is it? As per me, Vastu Shastra is a science about the land, and it talks about the land, and how land or plot should be on which, one wishes to build a house. The plot should be square and rectangular, and not an irregular one. Then Vastu talks about directions, as per Vastu plots sloping towards North and East are auspicious ones. Vastu Shastra provides guidelines about how to build a house, and how to get entries, how to plan a house to harmonize energies within a plot. Consider an ideal house designed by me as per Vastu for one of my clients. This is a North facing house, with a sizable courtyard. The kitchen is placed in the SE corner, and the master bedroom is placed in the SW corner. The second bedroom is in the West of the NW corner. In our busy urban life where people are living in flats, it’s not possible to build a house with a courtyard, and if one decides to do so, the cost of the flat will be very high. While building a farmhouse we can build it as per the traditional guidelines. In Short, we can have a large open space around Brahmasthana, but we will need large plots for building such houses.


Plan and Section of a house as per Vastu Shastra
3d renderings of the house designed by myself.

I am not an expert in Vastu Shastra but based on my basic knowledge I believe that the plan that I had drawn is as per Vastu Shastra, anyone with the knowledge and experience can correct me. The positive suggestions will be accepted. One can also develop a concept of creating an atrium. The blog is written, for those who believe in Vastu Shastra, and the beliefs may not be proven. The blog should encourage people to build a nice house as per Vastu, and live a happy, healthy life. We have seen an outbreak of Covid19 Virus in the last few months, this outbreak has taught us many lessons, It is very much a possibility that people now will try to get back to the ancient knowledge, and ancient lifestyle due to this outbreak. As per me, Vastu forces a human being for a dialogue with the inner consciousness. House shown here, is possible to built with sizable budgets, and it will require a servant’s quarter.

Ar.Hrishikesh.S.Pratinidhi

Dreamarch Studios

Office Address: First floor, Laxmi Keshev Society,

                        N.C.Kelkar Road, Narayan Peth   Pune 30.

Mobile : 9371094877

Email : hpratinidhi.das@gamil.com

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Farm House or a Second home: Experimentation is the key to variety!

Today people don’t mind different innovative ideas being used for constructing their second house. As an architect, I sometimes come across people who are really very open and who don’t mind experimenting with the designs. Before doing experiments it’s the moral duty of an architect, to tell our clients about the risks involved with the project. If the clients are ok and take the responsibility to support the ideas of an architect, then there is nothing wrong with doing the experimentation. One needs to do it, by telling the clients that it’s an experiment, and clients may have to spend a little bit more on repairs of the structure, and since it’s an experiment some things will not work out as planned.

Let’s look at a farmhouse designed by myself, where clients demanded something unique and something different and were ready to spend. I proposed a house made out of shipping containers, which is a very popular way of building something quickly on site. The misconception is that it’s the solution to today’s problems, which is not the truth. In high rainfall areas, many treatments are needed for the steel containers, to make a house waterproof. I hate the restriction on width as shipping containers come with standard widths, lengths, and heights, and life becomes really cramped inside an eight feet wide container!

Rendering of a farm house with shipping container

To solve the above-mentioned problem, I decided to join the two containers and make sizable rooms, I convinced my clients, and clients also hated the idea of a cramped internal space. In a resort, it is probably alright as, people are going to stay for just one night, in a house, it becomes really cramped. Unfortunately one has to go by the height of the container which is around eight feet. Today many architects, have successfully achieved many great forms by using shipping containers and they have successfully forced all the functions inside the eight feet width of a container. I took a decision of building a toilet using a traditional method in brick and mortar. As I also wanted to respond to nature, I took a different approach, and opened some parts, created a balcony, for a bedroom and living room. Followed the standards of having a layer of gypsum, or cement board internally and placing the electrification inside the gap created by two materials.

Renderings of the house made up of shipping containers

Lastly, it was my idea to express the shipping containers in their natural form, and I also tried to create a sense of overdramatic effect by having large cantilevers, and by making a really interesting composition out of the four containers, as I needed sizable room widths.

Ar.Hrishikesh.S.Pratinidhi

Dreamarch Studios

Office Address: First floor, Laxmi Keshev Society,

                        N.C.Kelkar Road, Narayan Peth   Pune 30.

Mobile : 9371094877

Email : hpratinidhi.das@gamil.com

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Farm Houses, and the Fight between Architect’s and the Contractors who build it !

I have designed many farm houses and mostly every time I come across a situation where my contractors try and change the designs , I don’t really know why? One reason is that, contractor’s are after finishing the projects quickly, and they are after getting maximum profits. They are just not concerned about the design aspects of a building, how it looks, what spatial quality it offers. As an architect one thinks of  capturing beautiful vistas that a site offers, one continuously thinks about capturing the immeasurable aspects of life, like the joyous experiences that one achieves after celebrating in a space, or the experience of looking at a mountain, and observing the clouds move by.

Architectural design, and the process of designing spaces is a unique art in itself, it’s not necessary to use expensive materials for creating good spaces, some spaces force it’s inhabitant’s to look inwards, some spaces create a play of light and shadows! Some spaces create an awe factor whereas some spaces, like the spaces that I design are so dam simple that, all they do is to invite the nature into the house. Many a times as architect’s  are forced to do  a compromise, some beautiful spaces, which were present in their original design get completely destroyed!

Consider a case of the house which I designed in Bhor,Maharashtra, where I designed a roof which will come down, to the ground, my idea was to block some vistas, and open certain ones and play with the natural visual frames that the site offered. Terraces and galleries are placed in a manner that they offer beautiful vistas of the surrounding spaces, and very humble, humane scaled roofs would have created a sense of surprise for the entire house. The central space was taller and a mezzanine was placed here, which will allow the clients to have a look, into the surroundings

Basic Sketches of a Vernacular house in Bhor

Poetics, of   Architectural space making, get destroyed by commercial aspects of the execution of the work, and when contractors try to squeeze profits from the work. As usual, we were working in a setting which was located far away from the city. After a discussion with the clients, and contractors we decided to add a room at the central portion.

Although this room offered terrific vistas, and almost takes the person, into the surroundings. Visually the scale of the entire elevation was lost, and the outcome showed visual chaos. The roof which was coming really low, and close to the ground was cropped into something, which didn’t look attractive.

Photograph of the actual design where the roof got cropped.

Adding on to the confusion, the contractor decided to put R.C.C. Chajjas over the windows which added to the visual chaos. Luckily the staircase was built as per the design, and that added some sort of visual comfort, once one enters the house. To add a room on the first floor was a brilliant addition to the original design, as that room really offered great vistas and great views, and during the rainy season, the mist, and the cloudy weather enters the room. One can really sit in the room on the first floor and enjoy the heavy rains with the afternoon tea, and pakodas, so although the room is visually a discomfort, it offered many, advantages, in terms of spatial experiences.

Beautiful vistas and views offered from the first floor room.

As an architect, I learned many things from this project. As an architect, I am now searching for the clients which will support my decision and will build buildings as designed by architects. At the end of the project, I realized that all those design elements like a roof which would come close to the ground at parking, and tall central portion with a mezzanine, which were criticized and rejected as some elements which add on to the cost, would have actually made not a great difference in cost. The design elements would have looked elegant and would have made the house more beautiful and visually elegant. I am a flexible architect, and I do consider the client’s point of view, I am open to the ideas of the clients, as long as these ideas do not make drastic changes in my designs. Finally, as clients have invested in lands, and as they have brought pieces of land offering these beautiful vistas, It’s my duty as an architect, to give good designs to them, clients sometimes misunderstand a discussion, to an argument, and that is really sad. Where the wavelength of an architect and the client matches, where clients are open and ready to understand the point of view of an architect, the things are very different, and one really gets a beautiful, nicely crafted building. So please do call, if you are planning to build a farmhouse for yourself on a beautiful site, with a sizable budget.

Ar.Hrishikesh.S.Pratinidhi

Dreamarch Studios

Office Address: First floor, Laxmi Keshev Society,

                        N.C.Kelkar Road, Narayan Peth   Pune 30.

Mobile : 9371094877

Email : hpratinidhi.das@gamil.com

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Farm House or a Second home:

In today’s busy lifestyle, in today’s hectic schedules, one really craves and dies for a second home. A house, a hut, or maybe a place where the micro family, husband, wife, and two children, can get a chance to explore each other. In a typical middle-class family, where father has decided his budget for child’s education, then the EMI’s for his house or his flat in the metro city like Mumbai, Pune, Banglore, Delhi, then comes the EMI’s of the car, and then later if the budget allows he will be investing in a second home. People are mostly tired of long traffic jams, pollution, pressures of the job, and never really get a chance to express themselves or even have a dialogue with family members. In short, people are tired of the hectic life that the city offers, and then they want to have a second home for themselves, which is a farmhouse. Just like a house in quiet Indian villages.

Typically what people want, is a house, which will be very different from their house in the city. They need a house where they can relax and enjoy themselves. So the mothers don’t want to cook and have a kitty party with her friends, the father wants to relax and have a place where he can have beers with his friends. The kids want open space, lush green lawns to play football, or simply want to chill themselves in the swimming pools if the budget of the father allows that. The sites are normally very beautiful sites which offer enormous vistas, of nature, and the surroundings. The job of an architect in such cases becomes very difficult! As he tries to capture these beautiful vistas, provide large windows, and the client tries to reduce the cost, and reduce the size of windows. Generally, no one is interested in building a house which will be modern as a box, as now people want to build a house, which will be like a house in the village, but having all the modern amenities. Some clients demand large terraces, as they are tired of cramped terraces which are mostly wider balconies in apartments of the cities.

 Still, I try my level best to capture beautiful vistas. At times argue with my clients, and convince them about my designs. Then comes the interesting part of the roofs, and as we are building in the remote areas, where one experiences heavy rainfall, roofs should be very carefully designed. The house should sustain the wild, and ruthless nature, and it should stand tall, and should not wash away with heavy rains! Adding to the discomforts of the architects are the so-called contractors which have a very poor experience when it comes to handling materials like R.C.C. or steel or even brickwork for that matter. As an architect, I am forced to make changes to my design, as the people who are going to build the design, must know how to and what to, also one needs to keep costs under control. Still, I am been able to build good buildings, which stand tall, in ruthless natural settings and which do sustain heavy, rains, mud, and heavy erosion of soil. I always tell my clients to plant trees, as trees stop the soil erosion to a great extent.

House offering vistas of Torna, Rajgad, and the Dam, designed for Yathartha Developers.

The large terrace designed in front of the house, as clients demanded a large terrace, tired of cramped terraces offered by builders.

Photograph of the house during construction

As an architect, I made many compromises while making the above house, but, at the end of it, I was happy that I could design and build a house, on a very challenging site. Covering a large terrace meant increasing the area of roofing, and increasing the waterproofing cost of the slab. The slab was constructed by local laborers, and hence it was designed as a very heavy and bold slab. I was extremely worried about the leakages, and I was equally worried about soil erosion. Last year Maharashtra experienced the worst rainfall of last thirty years, and I had my nightmares, but the house sustained these high rains, and stood tall, in ruthless nature. Using exposed laterite stone also meant an increase in cost. But the laterite stone actually creates an illusion of a typical, vernacular, house in a village, and during the summers, the house remains cooler inside. I had suggested a layer of six-inch brickwork internally and a layer of laterite stone externally, but that ideas were rejected by the client, as it would have increased the construction cost. The house offers many interesting vistas, and I had to change my design, and be satisfied with an eight-foot wide door to the terrace and not a wall to wall door for a terrace. To cut the long story short, if the client would have accepted my designs, the house would have become more beautiful and more comfortable during summers. Interestingly looking at this house, other clients came to me and asked me to design their houses.

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