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Location: London SW11

Behind almost every uniform symmetrical front of terraces in London, runs the uncanny
cumulative evidence of alterations and extensions that as a whole, undermines this very
uniformity. Our proposal seeks to play with the apparent symmetry of an extension, stretching
and skewing a white surface that will cradle the quintessential glass box of a back extension
from the over-exposure of penetrating views and sunlight.

Total Area: 48 sqm
Client: Meiqiong Xiong
Date: July 2006 – ongoing


Location: London W1

The new Spruth Magers Gallery in London will occupy a unique Grade 2 Listed Building in W1
that is defined spatially by barrel vaults. The design proposal seeks to capture the language
of the vaults both as structural elements as well as spatial connectors that penetrates through
the different gallery spaces, agitating the all too often pristine white cube of galleries.

The variation in the volumes of the galleries is differentiated by the puncturing through of
specific floors and walls, creating a network of visual encounters of these voids along the
curatorial route.

Total Area: 256 sqm
Client: Monika Spruth Philomene Magers Ltd.
Date: July 2006 – ongoing

Location: University of Granada

Our proposal attempts to redefine and break down the typology of the large monolithic faculty
buildings into smaller scaled building blocks akin to the existing fabric of Granada. This is
achieved by redefining the traditional courtyard blocks as aggregated interlinked cells. Each
faculty will be broken down to smaller compact buildings with internal courtyards and narrow
streets that allow pedestrian spaces and exterior social spaces to be shaded. Each sub-
faculty blocks will seed a cellular courtyard acting as a network of interlinked social spaces
within the faculty. These cellular courtyards are then further linked to those of other faculties.
The courtyards of each faculty will be defined by a specific plant, giving a unique identify and
experience to each faculty, thus encouraging students to move from one faculty to another
along the landscaped courtyards network.

The same cellular organization defines the landscape of the open space by the undulating of
the ground. Plateaus are formed to create viewing platforms across the campus.
Amphitheatres are placed at pedestrian intersection points and infront of the Cortijo as
catchments bowls for events and performances. The cellular organization also allows future
expansion and growth of the faculties without compromising the overall coherence of the
campus, creating new faculty blocks with its own courtyards linked with the existing network
of courtyards.

The façade of the building also reflects the cellular organization of the plan. This cellular
façade allows the gradual change in opacity and transparency of the building, depending on
the programmatic requirement and the sun. The façade of the internal courtyard is of a finer
cellular skin, creating a delicate screen that filters the sun and allowing naturally shaded
break-out spaces for students. The combination of the cellular courtyards, facades and
screens resonates with the performance and effects of the historical architecture in Granada
in the form of a new abstracted cellular type.

Total Area: 89,000 sqm
Client: University of Granada
Date: Competition- April 2006

Location: Mumbai [Bombay], India.

At present in Mumbai, the proliferation of curtain walls in fast paced, speculative office
buildings have reduced the role of the architect to mere elevation dressers. This phenomenon
is blanketing the city with endless uninspired permutation and combination of aluminium
frames and glazing; the domain of the architect’s role confined to a mere 200mm depth.

Resisting this tendency, the proposal aims to reinterpret the various components that can
possibly make up an elevation whilst maintaining the maximum floor area that can be
generated by building to the extent of the site boundary. The proposal imagines a modulated
skin; made up of 9 modules, that performs as a series of balconies, storage spaces, sun-
shades and window-cabins all moulded into one. The size of openings of the skin is
modulated by the amount of dilation of each of the modules which responds to the position of
the façade in relation to the sun and also the program within. The depth of the skin thus is
thickened to 2 metres to enable balconies, break-out spaces, private cabins and tiered-
seating for an auditorium.

On the base of the block, the same primary modules are differentiated to create skylights to
basement, outdoor furniture, grass-basins and pavement modules. This promotes the
aggregation of specific activities on the deck level according to the positions and density of
the various modules.

Total Area: 5,000 sqm
Client: Verma Properties
Completion: September 2007

Estonian National Museum
Location: Tartu, Estonia

How to imagine a building form or language that can possibly represent the complexities of
ENM? How to build a ‘big’ building without compromising the intimate scale of Tartu?

These two questions were the most pressing concerns we faced in the design of the ENM.
We came to a conclusion that it is almost impossible to represent the complexities of ENM
with a suitable building form or architectural language. We decided instead to dissolve the
idea of a prominent building completely and to excavate the required spaces for ENM from a
series of artificial hills.

Two artificial hills rise from the east and west of the site and culminate with an 18m high peak
to mark an X-crossing for the whole museum site. This creates 2 valleys that will define the
Raadi Lake and the eastern pond with the main entrance and lobby centred between the two
water bodies. This move limits the building height to no more than 18m at its highest with
most parts no higher than 6m. The proposal hence appears more as a landform than a
building as such. From the exterior the ENM seems to have been excavated from a hill; an
effect further enhanced with the roof of the ENM being covered with grass. This landform
absorbs the bigness of the ENM and preserves the intimate scale of Tartu.

The landform also consolidates all the historical buildings that are strewn across the
competition site, turning them into an integrated curatorial route and a public leisure park.
These historical buildings are incorporated as a network of exhibitions spaces or can be seen
as follies in a landscape. There will thus be 2 curatorial routes. The first being the main
interiorized galleries route made of the ENM’s Zone B requirements. The second route will be
the larger route that incorporates the consolidated historical buildings as a whole alongside
the main ENM’s galleries.

A series of diamond grid regulates the undulation of the landform and the various openings on
the roof. These carefully placed opening responds to the various programs under the roof,
some forming large skylights, smaller light slits or open courtyards.

The approach to the entrance of the museum will be from the road to the disused airport from
Varhi Road allowing the pond to be the foreground and Raadi Lake as the background to the
entrance lobby. The use of this secondary road will also promote future re-use of the airport
site with the road as a ready infrastructure.

The main lobby area looks out to Raadi Lake to the west and the enlarge pond to the east.
The centrality of the lobby at the crossing of the hills apex allows the visitors to promptly and
easily understand the orientation of galleries and also the relation of the ENM to the whole
park. The Educational Room and Reading Chambers will similarly be naturally lit from
skylights and internal courtyards. All research and office spaces will be clustered around
private courtyards.

The main galleries will appear as a series of connected cavernous chambers made up of 2
undulating walls. This undulation dilates the roof to bring in natural diffused light to the
galleries. Translucent and clear glass will be used to achieve the optimum light conditions to
specific galleries. Exhibition pedestals are informally strewn across the floor, inducing casual
movement along the central spines and slower intimate movements towards the centre of the
chambers. The experience of the gallery will be the opposite that of the white-cube; here the
proposal seeks to induce a differentiated gallery space- one that undulates, contracts and
expands with the exhibits and visitors, guided by the natural light diffused into the chambers
through the dilation of the walls.

As a whole the ENM seems to have been excavated from a soft undulating hill, asserting its
presence only as a landform that resonates with the existing landscape and historical

Total Area: 30,000 sqm
Client: Estonian National Museum
Date: Competition- November 2005

Fort School
Location: Mumbai [Bombay], India.

Brief: Located in the historical district of Kala Goda, the rectangular site with its
corresponding planning parameters yields a block massing that attempts to complete a
coherent urban form inherited from colonial times. The brief asks for the provision of a school
that will cover the complete range of education from pre-primary to high-school level, that will
carry a total student population of 2500.

Contrary to the sprawling low-rise block typology of school surrounded by green fields, the
planning parameters for the district and the economic strategy of the school governing body
dictates a typology of a high-density, high-rise block. Thus the task was to both redefine a
school organization on a vertical bias and the adaptation of the core elements of a high-rise
for school performance.

5 cores are distributed evenly across the floor plates to act as structural elements as well as
circulation. The perforated cores are generated as series of elliptical undulation that thickens
to form structural walls with openings for light and visibility. The main core houses a
continuous ramp that grazes off the undulating ellipses for support and forms the main
circulation for the school. The other 4 cores houses staircases and open lifts. The floors are
staggered in the 2 heights, 4.2m floors houses classrooms and labs whilst 3 alternate 6m
floors houses shared facilities like a sports floor, cafeteria and library. The façade of the
school is also conceived as a structural element made up of a diamond grid to counter the
stress along the large cantilevers.

Total Area: 15,000 sqm
Client: Orbit Constructions Ptv Ltd
Completion: 2008 [estimated]

Location: Bangalore, India.

Brief: The design of C-House is an attempt to collapse the traditional fragmented courtyard
house in a differentiated linear organization that will be experienced as a whole. 2 main
undulating walls defines the main organizational principle of the house, fluctuating to create
large and small eye-lid courtyards that seeds social and recreational programs for the house.
Hinging along this undulating courtyard will be bedrooms and private spaces for the family
members to retreat to.

Total Area: 1,400 sqm
Client: Rajeev Chandrashekhar
Completion: June 2007 [estimated completion]

Location: Mumbai [Bombay], India.

Brief: A series of disused buildings from Mumbai’s colonial past set within the Mumbai Race
Course are to be converted to form a series of food and beverage complexes. The
conservation guideline calls for the preservation of the roof profile for three-quarters of the
buildings and a full conservation for the remaining one-quarter.

The stunning aspect of the site however lies not in the colonial buildings but in the open
spaces covered by mature Rain Trees. These spaces are shaded throughout the year by the
Rain Trees’ thinly wide spread leaves, allowing almost the entire proposed program to occur

Our proposal attempts to continue this idea of a continuous differentiate space with no clear
boundary into the envelope of the conservation building. A new structure is proposed within
the old building envelope. The structural system adopted here is that of a tree-branch system.
The propagation of the branching system along the longitudinal section of the conservation
building is differentiated in its growth along the transversal section. This differentiation
reorganizes the old buildings with new food & beverage programs. Therefore each dining
program [wine bar, restaurant, café and banquet facilities] is defined by a different structural
growth, allowing various modulations of volume and light penetration. The corten-clad roof is
punctured with a series of openings corresponding to the intersection of the branches with the
conservation envelope allowing the appropriate light penetration in correspondence with the
proposed program.

Total Area: 1800 sqm
Client: deGustibus Hotels
Completion: January 2005 - November 2005 [Phase 1]
with Contemporary Urban India Ltd.


Location: Doha, Qatar

The site of this project is situated at the edge of a large new city being constructed in Doha, named the
Education City. Envisioned as a whole new campus for the State of Qatar, this will be yet another
version of knowledge economy spaces. The empty plots here will be filled by satellite campuses from
the States; Microsoft University, Intel, Rand Corporation and Cornell University. The plot that we
were asked to look at will provide the commercial and amenities facilities to sustain the projected local
population of students, researches and administrative staffs. In short we were asked to design one of
architecture’s most dreaded typology: the mega mall.

Intimidated by the ambition of the client and the scale that ensues, we proposed an even larger scale:
that of envisioning the mall as a neighbourhood of amenities and commerce. Unlike a building thus,
this strategy allows the gradual growth, rectification and adjustments to the project as time unfolds.

To promote and coerce diverse types for this development we realized required an overall control that
lies in the deep structure of the urban plan rather than to leave this to the discretion of developers. This
turned out to be a formal system that is deliberately stringent but alludes to a material configuration
that of the sand dunes. This undulating form is abstracted geometrically to create a propagation of
undulating voids and mass. This volume is then intersected by the different voids that were erased and
imagined from the surrounding site. A range of rich and diverse section is created through this
undulating coherent urban form. These differentiated volumetric envelopes hold the potential for the
inhabitation of wide range of diverse types. At the same time, the resultants urban mass undulates to
form fissures to allow the proposed park of the masterplan to be drawn into the heart of the new

To align the proposal with the planning requirement to use traditional Islamic architectural elements,
we abstracted the texture of the Islamic screens to perform both as a structural element of the roof that
gradually gradates to form a perforated skin along the other surfaces of the mass.

As a strategy to allow renewal, the blocks are sized to create the maximum variation in terms of size,
height and section to allow subsequent natural migration of specific types after the initial activation.

It is through the rejection of the typology of the mall as a viable large scale shopping environment that
the project seeks to imagine a possible after-life of such a type upon its inevitable expiry.

Total Area: 350,000 sqm
Client: Villa Moda, Kuwait.
Date: March 2004 - ongoing
with Contemporary Urban India Ltd.
VM Hotel
Location: Bahrain

Brief: The proposal for this 36 room boutique hotel with retail facilities in Bahrain begins with
the reconsideration of the urban block within a new masterplan. The strategy was to align the
half of the building edges to the urban edges of the proposed masterplan, with the other half
removed as two rectangular voids. These voids are defined by 3 agitated surfaces from the
carved out box. A cantilevered roof provides constant shade to all rooms, allowing the rooms
to have 24-hour useable balconies and promoting natural ventilation for all rooms. The a
surface of box are agitated by undulating fissures to allow modulated light from roof, routing
on ground and landscape on 1 storey. The facades of the proposal is a continuation of the
study from VM Quarters, where a screens of gradated openings are used to control and filter
light through different sizes and depth of the openings. The hotel rooms consists of a mixture
of single storey rooms and mezzanine level rooms.

Total Area: 15,000 sqm
Client: Villa Moda, Kuwait.
Date: May 2004 -
with Contemporary Urban India and Raglan Squire & Partners Ltd.

Thanks, Mumbai
Location: Mumbai [Bombay], India.

Brief: Envisioned as a compact designer wear departmental store for Mumbai, the Villa Moda
store will host a range of designer wear including D&G, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and S
Ferragamo. The proposal seeks to organize and regulate the shopping experience in a
sequential focus and attention. Set within a grided interior space, 4 basic elements were used
to direct and induce momentary bias towards each shop front along the route of the shopper.
Bent ceilings, gradated floor shades, skewed pedestals and twisted columns are propagated
in unison to create attention points, moments of release and captures.

Total Area: 880 sqm
Client: Villa Moda, Kuwait.
Completion: September 2004
with Contemporary Urban India Ltd.

Rabin Square
Competition: 1 Prize [with Gabriella Zauberman]

Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Brief: Memorial for Yitzhak Rabin and regeneration of Rabin Square.
The event that hangs over this very square is a moving one; a moment of great optimism
turning to despair in the very same place over a fleeting moment. The cruel twist of event of
the assassination produced a shocking but utterly moving blood soaked song sheet from
Rabin’s pocket.

Burdened by such an event, we wanted to avoid monumentalizing the grief and crippling the
lived space of today with the over-riding memory of a tragic event. Instead we believe that the
square should gain a life of its own; being comfortable with the idea of an empty and
contemplative empty square and fluctuates from silent emptiness to raucous fullness.

We proposed a simple device that is able to transforms from an oversized umbrella to a light
pole and further to a light spot. In the day, these series of umbrellas acts as a shade provider
that delineates a figure ground relationship via shadows. These configurations appear as
linear strips, terraced aggregates, semi open square with peripheral shades or other more
amorphous configuration promoting chanced discoveries and progressive enticements. We
hope that the shades will naturally attain a configuration that responds to daily and contingent
use, controlled by anyone who chooses to use the square.

At night the large shades recedes to be taken over by light poles, illuminating the square in
different configuration, oscillating from being spatially performative to being purely
representational if so desired.
But only on one day of year, on the 4 of November the light columns recede completely to
the pavement to form light spots; in the configuration of the song that Rabin so tragically left

Client: Israeli Institute of Architects and Town Planners.
Date: December 2001

Jewel Tech
Location: Mumbai [Bombay], India.

Brief: Paranoia and security forms the main strategy in the organization of this factory. On a
daily basis diamond craftsmen in this factory undergo stringent and complete body searches.
This search is carried out at every threshold between production areas and toilets, and from
the interior to the exterior of the existing factory.

We proposed a Reverse Panopticon, whereby a void in the form of a glass canyon acts as a
surveillance chamber. This void connects all the different departments and facilities including
services and administration. All circulation and routing within the building is forced through
this void. Here, surveillance is constant and visual rather than physical, removing the need for
intrusive body searches.

Total Area: 2,800 sqm
Client: Jewel Tech [India] Pvt Ltd.
Completion: August 2002
with Contemporary Urban India

Final House
Competition: 2        Prize [with Gabriella Zauberman]

Location: N/A
Brief: Residential Design Comptition for the ‘Final House’ of the 21 Century.

The Final House exists through the abandonment of architectural basic ingredients; site
specificity and permanence in form, space and program.

The Final House is situated in the global city. The Airport. Located between two immigration
check points, between two connecting flights. The Final House adopts the classic Miesian
courtyard house, strung together by airplane link bridges.

The occupants of the Final House travel globally at a delirious pace and frequency. An
international nomad. A toilet, a kitchen, one enclosed space, one courtyard, one small skylight
and real time LCD screens make up the Final House. These 6 basic components create
infinite configurations, effects and sites. The Final House can appear beside a lake… in
Singapore… overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem… or right in the middle of an Amazonian

The occupant is able to choose the wrapping material of the house and change them
endlessly; choose materials made popular in architectural magazines… or be in a green
house… a sunflower wrapped house… or fabric and cushions.

The Final House loses all specificity and permanence of architecture.

Client: Shinkenchiku-sha Co. Ltd.
Date: September 2000

Location: Multimedia Super Corridor, Malaysia.

Brief: In the run up to the new millennium, Malaysia was flushed with optimism. The whole
region was riding high on unprecedented economic growth. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of this
national optimism saw delirious and frantic development that was set to transform the city at a
scale and rate never experienced by the region.

30km south of the city, on this virgin land, a whole new city will be built from scratch in 3 years
for what is to be Mahathir’s version of Malaysia’s Silicon Valley. This new Technopole,
Cyberjaya will be the heart of an even greater endeavour; the Multimedia Super Corridor or
MSC. This corridor measures 60 km long and 30km wide. It begins from the north with the
existing city of Kuala Lumpur, auspiciously marked by the tallest towers in the world and
terminates 60km to the south with a new airport by Kurokawa. In the middle of this jungle sits
Cyberjaya, a new city to be built for IT boom.

June 1997: The bubble burst. Over night the value of the region’s currency were almost
halved. And with it almost all Mega projects in the country came to a thumping halt.

But MSC will not be delayed, Mahathir declared defiantly.

The proposed masterplan for Cyberjaya by the state was one based on the low density sprawl
of a Business Park model. It proposes large marooned plots divided and encircled by
infrastructure verging on over-provision. A potpourri of urban features litters the masterplan;
Venitian canals, Parisian Boulevards, Islamic Gardens.
This thesis project seeks to resuscitate the masterplan following the ’97 financial crisis and to
re-examine the conception of a technopole on a virgin land in the middle of a jungle. If the
creative milieu is synonymous with the urbanity of technopoles, what then is urbanity in the
middle of nowhere?

In a sobering move, the collapsed masterplan will be compacted to a quarter of its intended
size, increasing its density and safe-guarding the other three quarters as undefined land in
the climate of uncertainty.

In a desperate attempt to avoid the condition of marooned buildings surrounded by a sea of
infrastructure proposed by the initial masterplan, the proposal seeks to reverse the conception
of buildings sitting on subplots grided by generic infrastructural provision. This flip calls for the
integration of built volume with infrastructure as a catalyst for development. The first striation
on the virgin land will be incorporated with minimal infrastructure, leaving behind and safe-
guarding vast portions of the virgin land. This allows different fabrics and systems of mobility
to be incorporated onto the initial striation. And subsequently allowing different built volumes
and various visions to be incorporated and further intensifying the initial striation.

The revised Masterplan proposes only starting conditions; described here not by the
conventional representation of land use as coloured plots but as programmatic vectors
radiating from half-built nodes in the initial masterplan. This minimal prescription to reactivate
the masterplan most importantly seeks to protect the vast amount of the virgin land and
deliberately leaving them undefined after a bout of adrenalin doped erasures.

On the type scale, the initial activation of the masterplan calls for a compact, highly frictional
striations of program with infrastructure; inducing an urban vitality from close proximity and
incremental reinforcements of striated conditions.

Perhaps the most liberating aspect of the revived masterplan is that it only proposes a
compressed and compacted specific beginning, inducing urbanity through friction from close
proximity and deliberately propagating more tabula-rasa[s] for more ambitious political visions
to be grafted on.

Total Area: 180Ha
Date: July 1998

Graphisoft Park Conference Centre
Location: Budapest, Hungary.

Brief: Design of new Conference Centre in Graphisoft Park, Budapest.

The strategy of disappearance as a digital fog allows this proposal to respond to change and
fit into a historical and prominent site. The centre dematerializes through the us of small
dispersed LCD screen. The external façade enables the real time transmission of information
and images of events and landscape.

A twisting operation creates a pliant box to allow access and views. Within the building, a
tiered platform acts as a furniture switching device for programmatic changes. The tiers
provide for a dining hall with unobstructed views to the Danube. In the event of a conference,
the same table and chairs can be arranged into an auditorium.

Competition: with Sam Jacoby

Total Area: 350 sqm
Client: Graphisoft R&D Rt.
Date: May 2002

Busan Tower Complex
Location: Busan, South Korea.

Brief: Design of the Busan Tower Complex as a landmark symbolizing the emerging status of
the dynamic port city of Busan. The proposal includes the urban park at the top of the Yongdu
Hill with its existing observation tower and public facilities.

This proposal attempts to inject vitality into the Yongdu Hill Park by eliminating the
programmatic division between the urban environment and the park. Unlike the traditional
concept of singular programming, we propose to integrate the programmes of the city and
landscape by providing spaces for new activities in the proposed tower. This provision is
further reflected on the ground articulation of the park.

The vitality and vibrancy of a city depends on the capability to accommodate change and to
multitude of different programmes, while offering a healthy mix of public and private spaces.
Therefore we propose to increase the green zone area of the park to provide for traditional
park activities and to decrease the built-up area within the plateau of the hill. Simultaneously
we propose to increase the utilisation of the tower to provide new programmes by intertwining
useable floor plates with a spiralling vertical park.

This establishes a 24-hour vertical platform for both private and public activities within park
setting to act as an activator for cultural and commercial activities.

Competition: with Sam Jacoby

Total Area: 25,000 sqm
Client: Busan Metropolitan City
Date: September 2002

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