sP + has enveloped its apartments in sienna in a facade of corrugated bricks


an expressive facade in India

in telangana, india, sameep padora associates (sP + a) is completing his “sienna apartments”, a work defined by its expressive use of masonry. the project is located in the jubilee hills checkpoint area of ​​the city of hyderabad and has views of the adjacent park. Designed with a wavy brick pattern, the building envelope is carefully planned with interior design in mind to provide cross ventilation and patio balconies for each unit.

images © vivek eadara | @vivekadaraphotography

a precise system of corrugated masonry

the facade of the sienna apartments of the sameep padora associates is lit by the sun. working to protect interior spaces against strong horizontal sunlight, the team of sP + a worked with master masons from Pondicherry, to generate the wall system. the structure includes nine inch thick brick walls that are cantilevered to support the load of the stone lintels, or “chajjas”. bay windows are recessed behind openings formed by corbelled masonry and cantilevered stone lintels.

To ensure the structural integrity of the wall cantilever, the team designed custom wood jigs for masons to work with. thus, while the project is visually defined by these corbelled walls, the system of the envelope is made possible with these simple low-tech wooden jigs which give precision to the corbel. Thanks to this development of innovative construction processes and tools, the project has made it possible to advance the expertise of craftsmen and broaden the scope of their profession.

sameep padora apartments siena

Sameep Padora on the apartments of Siena

designboom spoke to sameep padora from sP + a about the process of creating the sienna apartments. elaborating on the challenges encountered during design and construction, the architect notes:one of the main challenges we faced was that we were working with a predefined building volume because the clients had already obtained permission from the municipal authorities. this limited our intervention with the shape of the building. the challenge for us then, was to seek a rationale for design interventions that create noticeable value for residents and are not just an aesthetic layer that we would add to the building envelope.

the next challenge was to take a look at a simple material like brick and see how we could push its use further than usual, but thanks to a mandate based on utilities like window shading etc. The wooden jig tools were the result of a systemic thinking about the construction and assembly process, so much so that one could argue that the models are probably as important as the final project. these low tech tools have enabled us to bridge the gap between what we draw on our computers and its implementation on site by traditional masons.

sameep padora apartments siena

Sameep Padora, founder of sP + a, goes on to explain to designboom the role of digital and physical model creation in the studio:us as a studio heavily dependent on physical models. most of them are studies, very rarely tending to the exact final project but leading us to the next steps of the design investigation. It’s not uncommon for a project of this scale to have 15-20 model iterations, each building on something from the previous generation.
we also use a lot of VR and parametric software to review the project, but we tend to use them as tools and not as generative systems per se.

for us to judge a project resolved; its spatial qualities must be reflected in the two sets of tools, the physical and the digital. these two tools prescribe at different scales, a more tactile format but distanced from the physical model and the immersive yet transitory space of the digital. ‘

sP + has enveloped its apartments in sienna in a facade of corrugated bricks sP + has enveloped its apartments in sienna in a facade of corrugated bricks

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