For my architecture thesis, I worked on a “Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Centre”. My initial interests towards this topic developed as incarceration facilities were the most neglected public building typologies in terms of architecture in India. This project makes a stand, answering to the juvenile’s needs, while simultaneously raising awareness within the society. A juvenile delinquent spends a considerable part of their childhood in these facilities without even the basic amenities and rehabilitation doesn’t seem to be attained as the rate of repeat offenders seemed to be increasing. Thus, I based my study on the effects that building design has on the psychology of the inmates as the current correction centres need tremendous upgradation. This design explores the potential of the built environment in creating humanising spaces that can catalyse positive life processes by analysing the relationship between punishment, control and rehabilitation, freedom. A sensitising environment is created where individuals may nurture a personal will for self development through interpersonal relationships in community formations, through association with nature, through productive or creative work with the involvement of education, vocational training and mentally healing spaces as stimulants for the transformation of the offenders. My thesis work concentrated on the usage of sustainable technologies and materials. Thus, vernacular architecture played a vital role and it had twofold advantages. It created a comfortable, home-like atmosphere for the inmates to adapt to and also it’s usage aided in creating sustainable designs strategies for natural lighting, ventilation and materials used. The zoning was formulated based on the user activity analysis to segregate the public from the inmates. Fortifications were created using the built form which provided relaxation without restriction. Courtyards were formed amidst these built enclosures which provided natural cooling, a healing environment and added to the aesthetic appeal. This project truly tested my potential in conceptual design development, pragmatic approaches in solving architectural problems and also escalated my detailed understanding of structural, environmental, and technical systems. This project was shortlisted from a batch of 120 students to be displayed in the South zone level for National Awards for Excellence in Architectural Thesis conducted by the Council of Architecture of India.
In 2014, I participated with a group of four, for a design competition by INSDAG (Institute for Steel Development and Growth) for the design of a spiritual and cultural centre, which promoted the use of steel in architectural design. I worked on the design and structural development of the spiritual centre (shrine). This design tested my caliber in the integration of structure and architecture by the usage of structural steel in the design of sacred spaces, which is not conventional in India. Also, passive cooling systems and natural ventilation strategies were implemented into the spiritual centre. We were shortlisted in the south zone level which led to our participation in the nationals. My achievements for the INSDAG design and my architecture thesis were the most memorable academic accomplishments during my undergraduate education. In these designs, I started implementing various sustainable practices as my inquisitiveness began to grow on these topics.
My undergraduate education focused on both theoretical aspects as well as practical aspects. During my fourth year, I interned at C. R. Narayana Rao architects and Natraj and Venkat architects in Chennai. Training under such reputable firms gave me exposure to many commercial, residential, institutional projects which primarily emphasised on sustainable practices and green building design. I learnt to carry out plans, supervise, and oversee the actual construction process. It taught me that a promising design requires not only great ideas, but also other important factors like functionality and architectural design’s feasibility. This year, I decided to take a year off between my undergraduate and graduate studies as I felt that I needed time to recover from my exhaustive undergraduate studies and also to gain practical knowledge by working at Srinara builders.
Architectural Association School of Architecture would be the right fit for me to pursue my M.Arch program, due to the state of the art facilities and distinguished faculty. I am enthusiastic to learn with students and professors with diverse backgrounds in architecture, to become acquainted with various international architectural concepts, design styles and techniques; which I consider to be very crucial for my future career.
My undergraduate experiences and internships made me realise the dearth of sustainable development in my country. Architectural sustainability advocates human activities to go hand in hand with the built environment. I look forward to develop my passion in the field of sustainable designs and zero energy buildings, concentrating on natural ventilation and natural lighting in built spaces, to reduce energy consumption by HVAC systems, to improve comfort and well-being, to generate aesthetic value while providing a connection to the outside. Your Sustainable Environmental Design program would help me reach this goal as this program helps to deepen my knowledge on sustainability, works with real world problems that affect communities and the key objectives of it’s projects align with my areas of interest.
After graduation, I hope to gain further practical experience in a firm that concentrates on sustainable design ideologies. I plan to eventually return to my country, equipped with the skills and experience to start my architectural firm in India that focusses on sustainable technologies.
I look forward to the opportunities a masters degree at Architectural Association School of Architecture will grant me, both academic and social. I feel ready for the beginning of this new phase in my life. In conclusion, I believe that my curiosity, passion, intention for study and my strong academic background in architecture will be valuable for my graduate studies and eventually help me to achieve my goal.