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Suite 601, 6th Flr, Zafryn Chamber, Oil Depot Rd, Sewri E, Mumbai, MH, 400015

India

+91 9820146139

MuseLAB is an end-to-end design studio; offering a bespoke and leading-edge approach to design. With a precise focus on unique and highly customized environments, interiors and furniture. In 2012 partners Huzefa Rangwala and Jasem Pirani founded the studio built upon their shared passion for design. Each space and or product embodies integrity and is created with the same care, skill and attention to detail.

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MuseLOG

 

 

Design competition entry by MuseLAB for Lighthouse Sea Hotel, hosted by Young Architects Competition

MuseLAB

Lighthouse Sea Hotel; where architecture and land meet through open spaces.

Architecture is a constant dialogue between the built and the unbuilt, the inhabitable and the habitable, the realized and the desired. The quality of our life, the force of our memories, the importance of our day-to-day interpersonal exchanges, the reading of the environment, all these moments arouse in us emotions.

Situated on the cliff of Murro di Porco, the Lighthouse Sea Hotel has been planned with the intent of experiencing the expanse of the horizon – thelandscape has been punctuated by the built environment, which defines the in-between moments, as we traverse through the site heading from land to sea. Thus architecture here is the facilitator, the permeable element that allows for interchange and mediation at the pause points.

The site can be experienced in various ways giving individuals the liberty to move through the landscape at their own pace. The central pathway leads to the landmark light house structure that has been adapted to house the visitor’s centre and the maritime museum. Besides the central path there are primarily two paths – the first trail which is north of the lighthouse wanders through the community zone; which consists of the farmer’s market cluster and a research centre that culminates at the jetty and wraps around the southern edge of the cliff. The second path, south of the lighthouse begins at the resort reception and meanders through the resort units, the dining mess, staff quarter units and then wraps back around the edge of the cliff connecting to the jetty and the north trail. There are two other intermediate paths that begin at the light house; one snakes through the restaurant and the other leads directly to the edge of the cliff, both culminating at the jetty. 

The existing architecture of the region is primarily low-lying and simplistic with white-washed masonry walls and terracotta-tiled roofs.

As an intervention within the environment, the proposed units and facilities have been designed mainly as white-washed concrete extrusions. The structures have been rhythmically placed along the pathways with strategic openings and passageways to facilitate movement and experience. Thoughtfully perched on the landscape these structures have been designed using concrete, in order to cause the lowest possible natural impact. 

For winning entries visit Lighthouse Sea Hotel. 

SITE PLAN

SITE PLAN

MuseMATTERS: Why must reading and writing matter to architects?

MuseLAB

Often the idea of conceptual presentation is sometimes an alien concept in itself.  At times the expectations of what a concept is - and should be is different from what the architect or designer presents. At times a client may not follow a concept at all - so it is important for the designer to  ask questions - open ended questions so that the clients can provide more detailed information. Focus on the benefits of the concept not the features. Use analogies to explain the concept. In all this communication is key. So how does one communicate to an architect and why must an architect read or write? In this week's MuseMATTERS we explore the need for architects to read and write besides drawing.    

Communicating to Architects through books and periodicals.

Architects are visual learners. How do you make them read? Layout and typography play an important role in that regard.

Some ways to make an architect read and write are:

Appearance is critical. No matter what the content is – how it looks and how it is presented is important and therefore Structure is important. The thoughts need to be laid out and defined clearly.

A start (with a defined abstract)

The middle with headings, subheadings and justifications, lists and bullet points

Conclusion

How the letters look(the choice of font) all make a difference. Bold fonts are used for headings, subheadings and highlighting words. Reserve italicizing of fonts for captions, names of books and citations. Large clumps of italicized words for emphasis can be difficult to read and instead end up de-emphasizing words. 

Reading and writing for communication to clients.

Architects are visual thinkers, they can imagine. Reading without showing helps stimulate the architect’s imagination to go beyond the archetypical thought process.Projects/ concepts and designs are about stories. These stories are about people and how people respond to situations and environments. Fiction/ Science fiction and non-fiction writing always describepeople’s experiences, the places and what it means to be human. Architects can learn about their clients or at least about the client’s perspectives, motives and reactions.

Secondly, reading and writing can stimulate the architect's understanding of the users of the projects they design for. It is important to read and not watch moving images or visuals. It is often attractive for architects to watch the movie and see how the scene (the space) is designed, rendered and or lit. This does not necessarily stimulate the imagination.  Clients are not visual people in many cases – clients are more verbal. If you are able to describe it in words they might get a picture of it in their mind. Elaborate renderings and 3-D models do not always help. Descriptions and stories of the spatial experience for function and pleasure can at times have a far greater impact in selling an idea than a rendering.

Lastly, it will build the architect’s vocabulary to explain to the client what is important to the client about the design being done for them. Words are important - we need to learn to use them as it shall help in describing the reality (the experience) that does not exist as yet. Having said that we do realize that visual aids are necessary but it needs to be well balanced. 

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and maybe in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.

MuseMATTERS: B is for Bicycle

MuseLAB

A steadily growing number of cities around the world are eager to become bicycle friendly, as part of an overall strategy on sustainable development and the desire to become green cities. Biking in cities can be extremely efficient and healthy. Unfortunately, it can also be intimidating, stressful and dangerous.

When cities provide a safe and welcoming environment for cyclists and pedestrians, they can encourage more people to give up driving in favor of riding bikes. With a network of protected bike lanes and fewer cars on the road, there is less risk of accidents. Also, an increase in cycling and walking can lead to significant health benefits for a city. A reduced need for parking can free up valuable city space, and streets can certainly be much more pleasant with less honking.

As usual with this kind of thing, Copenhagen’s got a bike skyway- Cykelslangen, which lets cyclists ride over a waterfront area on an elevated bridge. London’s planning to complete the 18-mile East-West Cycle Superhighway traversing the city by summer this year. Paris’ plan to boost cycling includes five proposed highways that will be almost entirely protected from car traffic, on some of the city’s busiest roads.

Cykelslangen or Cycle Snake: an elevated cyclist roadway to ease congestion. Image courtesy: DISSING+WEITLING              

Cykelslangen or Cycle Snake: an elevated cyclist roadway to ease congestion. Image courtesy: DISSING+WEITLING              

Similar measures are needed in India. Despite decades of having a cycling culture, we've never had dedicated cycling lanes or infrastructure of any kind to support and encourage cyclists. Our cities were not designed with cyclists in mind, and it is a huge challenge to effectively accommodate everyone’s mode of choice, but giving more space to people who walk, cycle or use public transport is going to be the only way to move people around the city and ease the burden on the roads.

(L) The Hovenring is a circular suspended bridge between Eindhoven and Veldhoven in the Netherlands, which offers an alternative route for cyclists. Image courtesy: mymodernmet.com (R) Staircase fitted with a bike rail at Copenhagen Central Train Station. Image courtesy: tumblr

(L) The Hovenring is a circular suspended bridge between Eindhoven and Veldhoven in the Netherlands, which offers an alternative route for cyclists. Image courtesy: mymodernmet.com (R) Staircase fitted with a bike rail at Copenhagen Central Train Station. Image courtesy: tumblr

A lot of cycling groups have come up in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and most parts of the country. But very few people opt for cycling as a mode of transport to offices and work, as there is very less or absolutely no cycling infrastructure and space in the city. So far, there are only a few disjointed cycling tracks, and even these are encroached. The cycling corridors should be planned in a way that they connect to main roads and not end abruptly. They could be elevated or clubbed with the skywalks and beautified by landscaping so that it encourages more people to actually use them.

The High Line in New York is a beautifully landscaped elevated park built on top of the tracks of an abandoned railway. Image courtesy: Pinterest

The High Line in New York is a beautifully landscaped elevated park built on top of the tracks of an abandoned railway. Image courtesy: Pinterest

Bicycle -friendly cities are very much people-friendly, and city planning that considers pedestrians and cyclists will make a significant contribution to the city of the future.

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and maybe in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.