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

India

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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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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: Digital Imaging In Architecture

MuseLAB

Digital rendering is an extremely effective medium enabling architects, clients and investors to envision a structure before it is even built. Presenting a design idea to a client can be equally challenging as the design process itself.  In recent times, computer generated images and renderings have played an extremely pivotal role in architectural presentations. While renderings can provide strikingly accurate depictions of buildings, are architects being true with these depictions? How much creative liberty can an architect take to convey the design idea? These questions are highly subjective, and whether we agree or disagree, stylized renderings have been an integral part of the architectural profession including competitions and commissions. 

Architectural renderings range from being sketchy and conceptual to photorealistic. Of the infinite rendering styles, the images below represent some contrasting styles of rendering. 

(L) Blackout at dusk.  Image courtesy www.mir.no  (R)   Menacing Atmosphere.  Image courtesy Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

(L) Blackout at dusk. Image courtesy www.mir.no (R) Menacing Atmosphere. Image courtesy Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

Dreamy echoes of light. Image courtesy Bustler, Joseph Filippelli 

Dreamy echoes of light. Image courtesy Bustler, Joseph Filippelli 

Photorealistic textures.  Image courtesy www.mir.no

Photorealistic textures. Image courtesy www.mir.no

Underlying stories.  Image courtesy BIG. 

Underlying stories. Image courtesy BIG. 

Informal collages.  Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe.   

Informal collages. Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe.  

Urban Abstracts.  Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe

Urban Abstracts. Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe

Creating an image that accurately represents the design requires a substantial skill set and investing a great amount of time perfecting it. 3D renderings are often inspired from architectural photography. In creating the perfect rendering that represents the design, some thumb rules of photography should be considered while modeling and rendering the structure. Three of these guides have been illustrated below.

Composition

Composition

Depth of Field

Depth of Field

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

In recent times, renderings and stylized representation of buildings have become hyper-idealistic images and are in itself a form of art. The degree of perfection attained in a computer generated image can never be achieved in reality. Thus, the two-dimensional graphic representation of architecture has, traditionally, been the precursor or subsequent by-product of architecture — but never a substitute. A two-dimensional image may never be able to communicate the experiential qualities of a three-dimensional space. A digital image may be a powerful artistic or theoretical conception, but it is far from reality. 

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 may be 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: Sound Architecture

MuseLAB

As Architects, we design spaces and in the process we create experiences that evoke our visual and tactile senses, but very rarely do we consciously design spaces that focus on the aural experience. Inspired by Julian Treasure’s TedX talk on Why Architects need to use their Ears, this week at MuseMATTERS, we discussed the importance of Sound in Architectural Design

Julian Treasure,  Image courtesy ted.com

Julian Treasure, Image courtesy ted.com

Numerous factors must be considered when designing an interior architecture space and one of the most common issues is acoustics and noise, both within the space and within the environment. If ignored, it can cause health and safety concerns for the users and depending on the function of the space, it can discourage users from returning to the space let alone resulting in huge sums of money to correct the sound quality within it.

Typically, there are several constants within the elements of design which influence the acoustics of a space; for instance, the shape of the walls and ceilings, the materials used and the methods of construction amongst others. But what is more important is to find out exactly what gives rise to this problem before actually defining a solution for it. And this is where the other elements come in, both tangible and intangible.

Many a times the noise in a space is the noise from the users of the space – talking, whispering, shouting, laughing etc. This noise can be compounded by other noise sources as well – for example, if patrons are seated close to the kitchen in a restaurant, the sound emanating from the kitchen will compel them to talk louder in order to hear each other. Sometimes mechanical and plumbing equipment can also lead to unwanted noise. The best example would be a hospital, where health of the patients can be jeopardized if there is a build-up of noise due to loud HVAC and plumbing systems. This distraction can easily affect the sleep of the patients and increase their recovery time. 

Ambience sound affects us physiologically, psychologically, behaviourally and intellectually, all at the same time
— Julian Treasure

Noises from external factors can also have a huge impact on the interior of the space. Depending on the type of materials and the construction techniques used, the noise of traffic can easily transmit through the exterior walls and can be a matter of concern for users of spaces adjoining major highways, roadways, railways or airports. Also, in case if the space is in a multi-used, shared building, then noise from the neighbouring occupants can also transmit through the walls between the two spaces.

As designers and space shapers we most often talk about how the space is affected by sound from sources outside but we do not consider the fact that the space being designed also will become a source from which sound will emanate, impacting the environment around and the adjacent neighbourhoods. 

After listening in to Julian Treasure’s talk we concluded that as architects we need to be wary of sound – whether it is an office (interior) space or an urban space. The architecture of sound is actually invisible architecture; it is more about designing not the appearance but the experience so that we have spaces that sound as good as they look in order to improve our health and productivity along with our behaviour and overall well-being.

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 may be 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.