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Design.I.Y Housing Lonavala
Architect: S+PS Architects
Developer’s housing in India has been largely templatised. With concerns of efficiency, FAR, economy and mass production overriding design, we observe very limited and stifled innovation in this typology. The Design.I.Y Housing project challenges the conventional approaches of design by generating a framework of permutations and combinations within which choices are enabled.
With units ranging from 1.5 BHK to 5 BHK, the users can choose size, location, floors (with a choice of the mezzanine), a choice of walk ups, internal stairs, railings, screens, windows, toilet layouts and finishes to assemble their individual unit thus empowering them to personalize their space within the framework of possibilities curated by the architects.
With some fundamental ideas of open-to-sky space, landscape, adaptable programme and an accommodating height, the master-plan staggers the units organized in linear bays to capitalize on the public space within and a private backyard in the setback from the compound wall. By determining the constants and variables, the design generates a kit-of-parts that can assemble into units with many probable surprises and happy accidents.
More importantly, the framework of architecture also allows units of multiple sizes to co-exist within a democratic grid by a way of interlocking and layering in section and plan. This condition allows the structure to remain determinant but not decisive in the architecture of the place.
In India, the private developer has become the primary supplier of housing. Working with a typology that mostly allows mathematics and profit-motive to dictate terms, this project exemplifies the effectiveness of a clever design working through the right patronage. The Design.I.Y Housing project by S+PS Architects becomes a case-study in the way design can create possibilities of choice and personalization leading to an architecture that has greater vibrancy and that allows individual expression and therefore, it is a Citation project in The Merit List.