Published: Sunday, December 23, 2007
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"The site for this project is one of the three pieces of land belonging to Sanjeevan Vidyalaya in Panchgani a hill station famous for its many residential schools." says Shirish Beri & Associates on Centre for Education, Primary Level Learning and Living Cluster. More
"The NCCS is not a closed ivory tower institution - totally shut off and isolated from the outside world." says Shirish Beri & Associates on National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune (Main building). More
"The brief was to design a large 30000 sq. m teaching hospital with almost free treatment for around thousand out patients and five hundred inpatients amidst an urban concrete surrounding. This hospital would not be fully air-conditioned, nor would it have all the expensive high end specifications of the expensive private, paying, super specialty hospitals." says Shirish Beri & Associates on Dr. D. Y. Patil Hospital. More
"The farm was bought with the idea of creating an ecologically balanced environment with maximum use and recycling of local materials. The house has an organic quality with a unified interior space instead of segregated, isolated rooms." says Shirish Beri & Associates on Farm house at Nadhawade. More
"The objective was to impart quality education by not just imitating the western model but by creating new one in the Indian context. As an architect, my endeavor was to create spaces that would act as catalysts in this learning process." says Shirish Beri & Associates on SDM Institute for Management Development. More
"The design responded to the ten acre sloping site's organic physical qualities and thus made the building fit snugly onto it. This shaping for the building according to the contours created many design opportunities and potentials at various levels - including a large stepped open air theatre in the centre." says Shirish Beri & Associates on Engineering College Building (Phase-I), Kolhapur Institute Of Technology. More
"The site of approximate four acres had a very beautiful cluster of large rocks and boulders along the edge of this property." says Shirish Beri & Associates on LaCONES (Laboratory For The Conservation Of Endangered Species). More
"The site's basic configuration was that of a half bowl with some comparatively flat land at the ridge and in the valley. A railway line ran along the highest contour. While visualizing a building that responds to the site character, it become more & more obvious that the main building should hug the bowl slopes and spread along it." says Shirish Beri & Associates on Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Engineering and Technology. More
For me, it is difficult to imagine any activity as unrelated or cut off from the totality of life. Architecture too, in its greater vision, is life itself thereby communicating, responding and belonging to the fascinatingly interrelated web of life. Thus, any serious architect's approach to his architectural design would evolve from his understanding of life. To me, the outer manifestations in space are reflections of the quality of our inner space and vice versa. It is our duty as architects to redefine and expand upon the brief given by the client so as to give him much more besides satisfying the functional requirements in terms of the design's environmental relevance, quality of space and JOY. In today's technocratic consumeristic, urban life style, I feel concerned about various issues that are making our lives as human beings poorer. Could I design spaces that would, in whatever small way, contribute their share in responding to these concerns in a positive manner?
+ Can my designs reflect an inherent sense of unity and harmony with various natural and man made elements and forces?
+ Can my architecture act as a catalyst in bringing man closer to Nature?
+ Can we design humane spaces that encourage interaction between people?
+ Could commercialisation in architecture be reduced by shifting the emphasis from saleability to sanctity, from glossy wrappings to inner content, from superimposed architectural gimmicks to function and climate related forms, from overindulgence to restraint? Can value based architecture act as an agent of social change?
+ Can our designs be modern and still keep continuity with tradition, history and social cultural values?
+ Can our designs be geared towards sustainability?
+ Can we not ask the site what kind of building it would like to have?
+ Can our designs include this immeasurable dimension of the "human spirit" that will rejuvenate us and integrate us with the wholeness of life.
Architecture as a shaper of space (Space as an important attribute of our lives) has been explored by me in various ways - as a symbolic metaphor, an agent of socio cultural change, as an interpreter of Life's values, as an expression and barometer of human aspiration and sensitivity, as a relevant, functioning organism within the great interconnected environmental totality.
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