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"...the reality of
architecture is not
contained in the roof
and walls, but in the
space within. It is the
space that is."
- Nari Gandhi
Nari Gandhi (1934-1993) was an Indian architect known
for his highly innovative works in organic architecture.
Nariman (Nari) Dossabhai Gandhi was born in 1934 in
Surat to a Zoroastrian Parsi family from Bombay.
Nari completed his schooling at St. Xavier's High School,
Mumbai, and studied architecture at Sir J. J. College of
Architecture, Mumbai for five years in early 1950s.
He travelled to USA to apprentice with Frank Lloyd Wright
at the Taliesin and spent five years there.
After Wright's death in 1959, Nari left Taliesin and studied
pottery at the Kent State University for two years.
While working in India, Nari continued to work on
Wright's ideology of organic architecture and further
developed his own unique style with a subtle influence
of local climate and culture.
He ceaselessly continued to work on Wright's idea of
'flowing space'.
Nari worked without an office and rarely made any
drawings for any of his projects.
Nari spent a lot of time on his sites and worked closely
with the craftsmen and often participated in the
construction process himself.
Also known as ‘Howard Roark of India’.
Using a wooden stick as his pencil, he sketched on
the ground to explain his plan.
If he wasn’t happy with a construction, he would
immediately tear it down !
His works display a distinctive organic character.
They appear to have evolved as a response to the
context, remaining strongly rooted to the site and
being very well connected to the surroundings.
Nari's works display highly skilled craftsmanship and
structural ingenuity.
Each building designed by Nari is as an
example of unconventional thinking in
architecture.
He created built spaces that remained
forever connected to their un-built
surroundings allowing sunlight and wind to
interact with the inside and animate the
space with time.
Each house is a series of dialogs between
the built and the unbuilt.
He has stacked earthen pots to construct arches out
of them and built stairs out of brick arches.
Throughout his works you see extraordinary use of
stone, brick, wood, glass and leather.
Nari rejected conventional ideas and paradigms and
introduced his own through his work.
Through his work, he started 'rethinking' about
standardised practices and set up his own.
When you visit any one of his houses, you will
notice an evident 're-thinking' of the arrangement of
various functions within the house.
Construction
Extensive use of :
Brick Arches
Buttresses
Stone Masonry
VARIOUS PROJECTS
Dawood Shoes Office – Mumbai
Gobhai Mountain Lodge -
Lonavala
Jain Bungalow – Lonavala
Korlai Bungalow – Korlai
Madh Island House – Madh Island
Moondust Residence –Madh
Island
Revdanda House – Revdanda
Tungarli Bungalow - Lonavala
Gobhai Mountain Lodge, Lonavala
Dawood Shoes Office, Mumbai
Exterior detail of the roof overhang, supported by trusses.
The overhang has rectangular openings and is sheathed in terracotta
tiles
Exterior view taken from the
second storey, looking to
the garden and the beach
Exterior detail of a roof projection supported by wooden struts
and clad along the edge with flat terracotta tiles
Roof detail showing chipped stonework at the base of the lower
roof and protruding struts to support the deep overhang
Exterior detail of terracotta-
clad roof corner with
rectangular openings in the
roof
View of the garden
looking to the beach
from beneath deep roof
overhangs
Interior view of the entrance door
with infill of chipped glass, thin
wooden rails, tiles and precious
stones
Detail of a staircase on an arch.
Located in the living room, the stair leads to the bedrooms on the
upper floor
Interior detail of stair
treads resting on a stone
arch; there are no hand
rails on either side
Interior view of the intersecting stone arches made from a
variety of chipped stones, large boulders, and terracotta pots
View of the dining area with a mural wall at left.
Beyond the glazed slanted wall is the beach
Detail of the mural wall: geometric patterns in mud brick
Detail of the mural wall: a variety of shapes in relief create a
pattern
Interior view with mural wall
ahead and glazed kitchen
wall at right
Interior view looking at a stone wall made in situ using
stone chips, large dressed stones, and boulders
Interior view: leather-upholstered seat cushions, a
stone wall, and a mirror reflecting the wall
Interior detail of the living space just below the roof:
a bench is placed where the roof meets the wall
Exterior detail of the terracotta-tiled roof overhang supported by numerous
struts
Interior detail within the roof, showing the junction of the struts, rafters, beams,
and the glazed slanting wall on the lower storey
Interior view looking upward at
wooden beams and roof above
View of the main living areas set behind the double-arched opening
made from exposed brick
Exterior view of a house adjoining the Revdanda house, where
a double-arched exposed brick façade has been added !
semi-circular arched verandah
projecting beds on the mezzanine level
main living areas set behind the double-arched brick wall
seating area
view from the mezzanine level looking at an arch supporting the roof
Interior view looking at the living area with a small staircase
leading to the mezzanine
Exterior view of the house taken from the landscape in the
backyard
courtyard from the entrance verandah
checkered brick-paved pathway leading to an adjoining structure
that the architect built for himself
Detail of the concentric landscaping done using
inverted terracotta pots in a concrete bed
Detail of the inverted terracotta pots beside an old iron
gate
Detail of the moss-covered water channel used for
irrigation
Exterior view of sea-facing elevation of bungalow; the barrel-vaulted bedrooms
are visible in center and at right. Under the main roof of the bungalow is the
arched pavilion
Exterior view of bungalow taken from the wall of the compound (the sea is
located at right). The vault of one bedroom is visible at center right. Steps lead
up from the garden to the main living area
Exterior view taken from the rear garden (the sea is located at left).
One bedroom is visible at lower left; at center is the main arched pavilion with its sloping roof
Exterior detail view of the sea-facing elevation of the arched
pavilion.
Below the ridge line of the roof is a balcony leading to the interior
loft.
The pavilion itself is supported by an arcade on the lower level;
openings in the walls are filled with colored glass
side view of pavilion,
showing the corbelled
buttresses abutting the
arcade. Arcade handrail is
detailed to echo the
buttresses.
Stairwell at the far corner.
view of the arcade of the pavilion, viewed from within the pavilion.
The stairwell opening, under a projecting roof, is visible at left
view of the living space of the arched pavilion, defined between the two
arches.
A staircase (at left) leads to the overhead viewing room/loft
view from within the pavilion, looking at the roof with its steel rafters
supporting the wooden layer of the Mangalore-tiled roof
view of the pavilion looking at the circular dining area, showing the chairs
with different leg heights designed for the split-level floor
view of upper level of pavilion, facing the overhead viewing room.
Balconies in the viewing room face the beach and the backyard
view of the ground floor of pavilion, facing the backyard.
At left is built-in seating area complete with integrated handrail
View of a bedroom (below, at right) from the stairwell of the arched
pavilion
View from within the arcade, at
ground level.
The volume of a vaulted
bedroom intersects with the
volume of the kitchen and the
landscaping platforms of the
garden
Exterior view of the Madh Island house within the landscape
night view of the Madh Island house, showing 2 of the 3 lit barrel vaults and
terrace canopy against the silhouette of a triangular gate
view from the triangular gate looking at the vaulted entryway
Detail view of the stone paving at entryway made with
smooth stones from the nearby beach
Exterior view from the rear-end garden of the house,
overlooking a non-structural stone buttress with large pots and
foliage
Interior night view of entrance from the gateway to the main vaulted living space
Exterior vew taken from the rear-end garden of the house
showing the non-structural stone arch and main vaulted living
space
Exterior evening view taken from the rear-end garden overlooking the non-
structural stone arch and main vaulted living space
Exterior view from the rear-end garden looking towards the stone-clad main
barrel vaulted living space
Interior view of the stone-clad barrel vaulted living space with the swing
suspended from a punctured opening in the vault
Night view of the barrel vaulted living space with the furniture designed by the archite
Night view of the barrel vaulted living space with custom
furniture and strips of light within the floor
swing suspended from a wooden brace in the elliptical opening
elliptical opening in the barrel vault from above; interior floor visible through opening
Front view of the barrel
vault with stonework that
integrates large boulders
and plants
Detail view of the chipped stonework and larger stones, cladding the vault
Detail view of interior wall
surface, showing chipped
stonework with clay faces
Interior view from the dining vaulted space overlooking triangular gates
with encroaching boulders in foreground and vegetation beyond
Interior view from the dining vaulted space looking inwards at
the stone table and the glass chipped bathroom at left
Interior view of a mother-of-pearl awning covering a massive stone
facing a stone platform opposite the bathroom
Interior view of the bathroom and kitchen platform taken from the
dining barrel-vaulted space
Interior detail view of the bathroom, showing flat chips of glass - similar
to the stonework outside - and circular mosaic tiles with intermediary
stone arches
Interior view looking outwards at the wooden triangular gates
Exterior detail of the wooden gates and smooth stone pavings at the entrance
sentry statue guarding the
vaulted main spaces in the
background and the terraced
garden above
view of the terraced garden above the barrel-vaulted spaces
Exterior view of the terraced garden at night.
The mother-of-pearl canopy sits on the crown of the vault
Exterior view of the terraced
garden showing the chipped
stone pathway, flowerbeds,
and the large mother-of-
pearl canopy
the vaulted mother-of-pearl canopy
View from under the mother-of-pearl canopy
Interior of the mother-of-pearl canopy, looking at the lush garden in the
background
Detail of the mother-of-pearl canopy adjoining the foliage and chipped
stonework
Detail view of the mother-of-pearl pieces, which are tied together using thin ropes
Interior view looking upwards at the arrangement of broken amber-colored
bottles forming a skylight ring with chipped stonework in the foreground
Detail view of a concave-in-centre circular paver block made from
chipped stones that are cast on a bed of plain cement concrete (p.c.c.)
Detail of view of a convex-in-centre circular paver block made from
chipped stones that are cast on a bed of plain cement concrete (p.c.c.)
General view of the Jain bungalow, looking at the sloping roofs set in
the undulating terrain
Exterior view of the garage showing the play of mangalore-tiled sloping
roofs, supported by steel members on the ground
Exterior view from the gate
Exterior view looking upwards at the entrance facing balcony
and mangalore-tiled roof
view of the steel truss-supported roof that follows
the terraced landscaping on site
skylit opening in the roof overhang
Exterior view of the house taken from the lowest end of the slope.
The external wall is made of hand-dressed stone arranged in random rubble
masonry
Interior view of the bedroom wall showing the exposed truss overhead and
elongated polygonal openings set in dressed stone masonry
play of light against a rough stone wall
Interior view looking at the staircase, which is set behind a stone buttress with
horizontal bands of polished stone and wood
Interior view looking towards the card room with a hemispherical grilled
opening
Interior view looking outwards through an elliptical window
Interior view looking at a variety of openings set in stone masonry
Detail view of chipped stonework used for cladding wall surfaces
Interior view looking at the flight of
stairs leading to the main living
spaces of the house
Detail view of the staircase
with the curvilinear forms of
openings, pots, and arches
around it
Detail view of the skylit court and its chipped stonework, with built-in planter beds
surrounded by circular openings and a blue glass-chipped hemisphere
circular colored glass infills in a bathroom
n a r i g a n d h i
. . . the different mind !
Nari gandhi ideas and projects unconventional thinking

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Nari gandhi ideas and projects unconventional thinking

  • 1. "...the reality of architecture is not contained in the roof and walls, but in the space within. It is the space that is." - Nari Gandhi
  • 2.
  • 3. Nari Gandhi (1934-1993) was an Indian architect known for his highly innovative works in organic architecture. Nariman (Nari) Dossabhai Gandhi was born in 1934 in Surat to a Zoroastrian Parsi family from Bombay. Nari completed his schooling at St. Xavier's High School, Mumbai, and studied architecture at Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai for five years in early 1950s. He travelled to USA to apprentice with Frank Lloyd Wright at the Taliesin and spent five years there. After Wright's death in 1959, Nari left Taliesin and studied pottery at the Kent State University for two years.
  • 4. While working in India, Nari continued to work on Wright's ideology of organic architecture and further developed his own unique style with a subtle influence of local climate and culture. He ceaselessly continued to work on Wright's idea of 'flowing space'. Nari worked without an office and rarely made any drawings for any of his projects. Nari spent a lot of time on his sites and worked closely with the craftsmen and often participated in the construction process himself. Also known as ‘Howard Roark of India’.
  • 5. Using a wooden stick as his pencil, he sketched on the ground to explain his plan. If he wasn’t happy with a construction, he would immediately tear it down ! His works display a distinctive organic character. They appear to have evolved as a response to the context, remaining strongly rooted to the site and being very well connected to the surroundings. Nari's works display highly skilled craftsmanship and structural ingenuity.
  • 6. Each building designed by Nari is as an example of unconventional thinking in architecture. He created built spaces that remained forever connected to their un-built surroundings allowing sunlight and wind to interact with the inside and animate the space with time. Each house is a series of dialogs between the built and the unbuilt.
  • 7. He has stacked earthen pots to construct arches out of them and built stairs out of brick arches. Throughout his works you see extraordinary use of stone, brick, wood, glass and leather. Nari rejected conventional ideas and paradigms and introduced his own through his work. Through his work, he started 'rethinking' about standardised practices and set up his own. When you visit any one of his houses, you will notice an evident 're-thinking' of the arrangement of various functions within the house.
  • 8.
  • 9. Construction Extensive use of : Brick Arches Buttresses Stone Masonry
  • 10. VARIOUS PROJECTS Dawood Shoes Office – Mumbai Gobhai Mountain Lodge - Lonavala Jain Bungalow – Lonavala Korlai Bungalow – Korlai Madh Island House – Madh Island Moondust Residence –Madh Island Revdanda House – Revdanda Tungarli Bungalow - Lonavala
  • 13.
  • 14. Exterior detail of the roof overhang, supported by trusses. The overhang has rectangular openings and is sheathed in terracotta tiles
  • 15. Exterior view taken from the second storey, looking to the garden and the beach
  • 16. Exterior detail of a roof projection supported by wooden struts and clad along the edge with flat terracotta tiles
  • 17. Roof detail showing chipped stonework at the base of the lower roof and protruding struts to support the deep overhang
  • 18. Exterior detail of terracotta- clad roof corner with rectangular openings in the roof
  • 19. View of the garden looking to the beach from beneath deep roof overhangs
  • 20. Interior view of the entrance door with infill of chipped glass, thin wooden rails, tiles and precious stones
  • 21. Detail of a staircase on an arch. Located in the living room, the stair leads to the bedrooms on the upper floor
  • 22. Interior detail of stair treads resting on a stone arch; there are no hand rails on either side
  • 23. Interior view of the intersecting stone arches made from a variety of chipped stones, large boulders, and terracotta pots
  • 24. View of the dining area with a mural wall at left. Beyond the glazed slanted wall is the beach
  • 25. Detail of the mural wall: geometric patterns in mud brick
  • 26. Detail of the mural wall: a variety of shapes in relief create a pattern
  • 27. Interior view with mural wall ahead and glazed kitchen wall at right
  • 28. Interior view looking at a stone wall made in situ using stone chips, large dressed stones, and boulders
  • 29. Interior view: leather-upholstered seat cushions, a stone wall, and a mirror reflecting the wall
  • 30. Interior detail of the living space just below the roof: a bench is placed where the roof meets the wall
  • 31. Exterior detail of the terracotta-tiled roof overhang supported by numerous struts
  • 32. Interior detail within the roof, showing the junction of the struts, rafters, beams, and the glazed slanting wall on the lower storey
  • 33. Interior view looking upward at wooden beams and roof above
  • 34.
  • 35. View of the main living areas set behind the double-arched opening made from exposed brick
  • 36. Exterior view of a house adjoining the Revdanda house, where a double-arched exposed brick façade has been added !
  • 38. projecting beds on the mezzanine level
  • 39. main living areas set behind the double-arched brick wall
  • 41. view from the mezzanine level looking at an arch supporting the roof
  • 42. Interior view looking at the living area with a small staircase leading to the mezzanine
  • 43. Exterior view of the house taken from the landscape in the backyard
  • 44. courtyard from the entrance verandah
  • 45. checkered brick-paved pathway leading to an adjoining structure that the architect built for himself
  • 46. Detail of the concentric landscaping done using inverted terracotta pots in a concrete bed
  • 47. Detail of the inverted terracotta pots beside an old iron gate
  • 48. Detail of the moss-covered water channel used for irrigation
  • 49.
  • 50. Exterior view of sea-facing elevation of bungalow; the barrel-vaulted bedrooms are visible in center and at right. Under the main roof of the bungalow is the arched pavilion
  • 51. Exterior view of bungalow taken from the wall of the compound (the sea is located at right). The vault of one bedroom is visible at center right. Steps lead up from the garden to the main living area
  • 52.
  • 53. Exterior view taken from the rear garden (the sea is located at left). One bedroom is visible at lower left; at center is the main arched pavilion with its sloping roof
  • 54. Exterior detail view of the sea-facing elevation of the arched pavilion. Below the ridge line of the roof is a balcony leading to the interior loft. The pavilion itself is supported by an arcade on the lower level; openings in the walls are filled with colored glass
  • 55. side view of pavilion, showing the corbelled buttresses abutting the arcade. Arcade handrail is detailed to echo the buttresses. Stairwell at the far corner.
  • 56. view of the arcade of the pavilion, viewed from within the pavilion. The stairwell opening, under a projecting roof, is visible at left
  • 57. view of the living space of the arched pavilion, defined between the two arches. A staircase (at left) leads to the overhead viewing room/loft
  • 58. view from within the pavilion, looking at the roof with its steel rafters supporting the wooden layer of the Mangalore-tiled roof
  • 59. view of the pavilion looking at the circular dining area, showing the chairs with different leg heights designed for the split-level floor
  • 60. view of upper level of pavilion, facing the overhead viewing room. Balconies in the viewing room face the beach and the backyard
  • 61. view of the ground floor of pavilion, facing the backyard. At left is built-in seating area complete with integrated handrail
  • 62. View of a bedroom (below, at right) from the stairwell of the arched pavilion
  • 63. View from within the arcade, at ground level. The volume of a vaulted bedroom intersects with the volume of the kitchen and the landscaping platforms of the garden
  • 64.
  • 65. Exterior view of the Madh Island house within the landscape
  • 66. night view of the Madh Island house, showing 2 of the 3 lit barrel vaults and terrace canopy against the silhouette of a triangular gate
  • 67. view from the triangular gate looking at the vaulted entryway
  • 68. Detail view of the stone paving at entryway made with smooth stones from the nearby beach
  • 69. Exterior view from the rear-end garden of the house, overlooking a non-structural stone buttress with large pots and foliage
  • 70. Interior night view of entrance from the gateway to the main vaulted living space
  • 71. Exterior vew taken from the rear-end garden of the house showing the non-structural stone arch and main vaulted living space
  • 72. Exterior evening view taken from the rear-end garden overlooking the non- structural stone arch and main vaulted living space
  • 73. Exterior view from the rear-end garden looking towards the stone-clad main barrel vaulted living space
  • 74. Interior view of the stone-clad barrel vaulted living space with the swing suspended from a punctured opening in the vault
  • 75. Night view of the barrel vaulted living space with the furniture designed by the archite
  • 76. Night view of the barrel vaulted living space with custom furniture and strips of light within the floor
  • 77. swing suspended from a wooden brace in the elliptical opening
  • 78. elliptical opening in the barrel vault from above; interior floor visible through opening
  • 79. Front view of the barrel vault with stonework that integrates large boulders and plants
  • 80. Detail view of the chipped stonework and larger stones, cladding the vault
  • 81. Detail view of interior wall surface, showing chipped stonework with clay faces
  • 82. Interior view from the dining vaulted space overlooking triangular gates with encroaching boulders in foreground and vegetation beyond
  • 83. Interior view from the dining vaulted space looking inwards at the stone table and the glass chipped bathroom at left
  • 84. Interior view of a mother-of-pearl awning covering a massive stone facing a stone platform opposite the bathroom
  • 85. Interior view of the bathroom and kitchen platform taken from the dining barrel-vaulted space
  • 86. Interior detail view of the bathroom, showing flat chips of glass - similar to the stonework outside - and circular mosaic tiles with intermediary stone arches
  • 87. Interior view looking outwards at the wooden triangular gates
  • 88. Exterior detail of the wooden gates and smooth stone pavings at the entrance
  • 89. sentry statue guarding the vaulted main spaces in the background and the terraced garden above
  • 90. view of the terraced garden above the barrel-vaulted spaces
  • 91. Exterior view of the terraced garden at night. The mother-of-pearl canopy sits on the crown of the vault
  • 92. Exterior view of the terraced garden showing the chipped stone pathway, flowerbeds, and the large mother-of- pearl canopy
  • 94. View from under the mother-of-pearl canopy
  • 95. Interior of the mother-of-pearl canopy, looking at the lush garden in the background
  • 96. Detail of the mother-of-pearl canopy adjoining the foliage and chipped stonework
  • 97. Detail view of the mother-of-pearl pieces, which are tied together using thin ropes
  • 98. Interior view looking upwards at the arrangement of broken amber-colored bottles forming a skylight ring with chipped stonework in the foreground
  • 99. Detail view of a concave-in-centre circular paver block made from chipped stones that are cast on a bed of plain cement concrete (p.c.c.)
  • 100. Detail of view of a convex-in-centre circular paver block made from chipped stones that are cast on a bed of plain cement concrete (p.c.c.)
  • 101.
  • 102. General view of the Jain bungalow, looking at the sloping roofs set in the undulating terrain
  • 103.
  • 104. Exterior view of the garage showing the play of mangalore-tiled sloping roofs, supported by steel members on the ground
  • 105. Exterior view from the gate
  • 106. Exterior view looking upwards at the entrance facing balcony and mangalore-tiled roof
  • 107. view of the steel truss-supported roof that follows the terraced landscaping on site
  • 108. skylit opening in the roof overhang
  • 109. Exterior view of the house taken from the lowest end of the slope. The external wall is made of hand-dressed stone arranged in random rubble masonry
  • 110. Interior view of the bedroom wall showing the exposed truss overhead and elongated polygonal openings set in dressed stone masonry
  • 111. play of light against a rough stone wall
  • 112. Interior view looking at the staircase, which is set behind a stone buttress with horizontal bands of polished stone and wood
  • 113. Interior view looking towards the card room with a hemispherical grilled opening
  • 114. Interior view looking outwards through an elliptical window
  • 115. Interior view looking at a variety of openings set in stone masonry
  • 116. Detail view of chipped stonework used for cladding wall surfaces
  • 117. Interior view looking at the flight of stairs leading to the main living spaces of the house
  • 118. Detail view of the staircase with the curvilinear forms of openings, pots, and arches around it
  • 119. Detail view of the skylit court and its chipped stonework, with built-in planter beds surrounded by circular openings and a blue glass-chipped hemisphere
  • 120. circular colored glass infills in a bathroom
  • 121. n a r i g a n d h i . . . the different mind !