28 Sep Sustainability, Back to roots

The academic culture of Architecture, let’s rewind and remember the first day of the college when we stepped in the vibrant and creative field of architecture. Most of us draw a brick jali in the first semester. We know that it cools our building in summer and helps in making an ambient temperature inside the building. Let’s take a look at the some of the most extraordinary examples from the 18th and 19th century.

Figure 1 Jami Masjid in Ahmedabad



Source (wikimedia, 2016)

The screens are a combination of ornamental beauty and passive cooling of buildings. Our ancestors have been living there without the use of any mechanical equipment. Some of them still exist and are preserved and labelled as historic monument while many are still documented by the institutions like Archaeological Survey of India.

But do we see these facades normally when we go to our offices or schools or visit to a shopping complex. What we generally see is a skyline full of glass facades and malls, schools with enormous cooling loads which we term as fresh air.

We are so inspired by the western countries that we don’t see what we are sowing for ourselves. But these kinds of building still exist in contemporary era and are being constructed in our neighborhood only.

Figure 4 Punjab Kesari Headquarters, ongoing project


Figure 2 Jali in tomb of Salim Chisti in Fatehpur





(Tomb of Salim Chishti, 2016)


Source (Amazing Brickwork Acts As Solar Screen On Indian Building, 2012)


Figure 3 Lille Modern Art Museum

(Santos, 2016) (25 Contemporary Building Designs That Are
Making A Splash In The Architecture World, 2014)

Almost everyone associated with the field of architecture whether student or a professional have seen at least one building like this in Facebook or any social media.

But have we ever bothered why this is happening, the answer goes itself to the Academics. We are familiar with common software like Sketch up, AutoCAD or Revit. These are parts of our courses back in Architecture school.

It is very easy to place a window or make a curtain glazing in BIM software like Revit and the built looks beautiful as well. Design RENDERED! Project OVER! GOOD MARKS! THUMBS UP!


Figure 5 Building model with glass façade in Revit Figure 6 South Asian Human Rights Documentation
Centre, New Delhi by Anagram Architects




(Santos, 2016)
(Case Study#3 Part B: Exterior cladding, 2014) (Amazing Brickwork Acts As Solar Screen On Indian
Building, 2012)
Ever tried to go parametric, ever heard of software like Figure 7 Interesting brick façade patterns in grasshopper
(Computer Graphics Programming for Design, n.d.)
rhino or grasshopper or energy simulation software like
Ecotect, Vasari, etc. Most of the students are made
familiars with these software in various workshops in
different events like NASA, etc. But only 10% of them
attend these workshops and hardly have they bothered
to inculcate them. (Computer Graphics Programming for Design, n.d.)

The architects who have been proficient in these

software are bringing a change in India. These software are considered prominent in many institutes especially in western countries. The fault is not of students. But of the academics instruction plan. If we integrate them in our studies. Perhaps there would be different scenario in upcoming decade. If the young minds from the roots are mend in a more progressive and different way we may see a livelier and more breathable building around us.


Figure 1 Livable Street                   Source: (The city fix, 2015)    Figure 2 Roslyn place                     Source: (The city fix, 2015)

India is still being thriving to be called a developed country but only if initiatives like this take place in our country as well only then we can say ourselves a truly community oriented and free country where even streets are liveable as well.

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