Main image: Photo credit Ricken Desai

This residential project in Kodla, Karnataka, India, is a construction of colourful cuboids. Created by Sanjay Puri Architects, it includes studio apartments, a hostel and a guest house to house workers of a new cement plant, on the perimeter of a housing project for a residential township.

The brief

The brief calls for 18 studio apartments, 54 hostel rooms and 18 guesthouse rooms to be created in buildings of four and five levels – all facing large, landscaped areas and a large playground to the northeast. Common facilities, including a cafeteria, a games room, a lounge and a gym, are housed on the ground level. Rooms opening onto sheltered north-facing balconies occupy the upper floors.

Photo credit Ricken Desai

Climate and culture

Due to the hot climate of the region, where temperatures exceed 35°C for eight months of the year, each of the rooms is angularly stepped in the layout and oriented towards the north.

Indian culture is known for its vivid use of colour in traditional crafts, festivities and clothing. India is the only country that annually celebrates Holi, a festival of colour. Three of the most vivid primary colours – red, blue and yellow – highlight the cantilevered balconies of each room, creating an identity and simultaneously enhancing the sculptural look of the buildings. 

Photo credit Ricken Desai

Studios 90

These economically built buildings are energy efficient and focus on natural ventilation and sunlight. Fly-ash brick walls, water recycling, rainwater harvesting, northern orientation and sheltered outdoor spaces reduce heat gain and render the design sustainable. The entirety of the required electrical energy is harnessed from the residual energy of the nearby cement plant.

Studios 90 is a simple, energy-efficient residential building that responds to the site and the climate, while also alluding to the cultural and social needs of its inhabitants.

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