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January 28, 2019

A Photographic Journey Through Furniture Designer Samira Rathod’s Most Unique Projects

All Images Courtesy Of Samira Rathod Design Associates

Award-winning architect and furniture designer Samira Rathod’s work has a largely contemporary vibe, and she’s most known for transforming residential spaces.

Shadow House

A residential space I built in Alibaug, this property finds a home between two trees, with a half-bounded courtyard opening into a small plunge pool. This yard opens to a broad corridor that works like a woody bridge with a study. The house is conceived in layers, and I have played around with the way light is rendered in each one. The living experience is designed to be gentle, with its many volumes, shadows and textures.

School at Bhadran

Situated in a four-acre fruit orchard in the town of Bhadran in Gujarat, the school grew organically in design as a series of modular classrooms. I studied the scribbling patterns of children, and modelled the space on those, architecturally expressed as asymmetric arches breaking into lopsided vaults, and irregular jack arches across skewed beams. Each module has two classrooms and a corridor, with tilted vaults strung sinuously. We have stayed true to one material: terracotta — bricks and only bricks in the walls, floors and roofs. Though Bhadran the town seems as if it is almost ‘dying’, nostalgia is made tangible through the production of unusual objects created from the relics found here.

The Chennai School

A space articulated to form a maze of courtyards, this locale contains a plethora of smaller forms set against the blank walls of the corridors and classroom blocks that surround these courtyards. The intention behind this maze-like structure was to create a perpetual feeling of hide-and-seek for the kids studying within the building. The school, though still under construction, has all these forms imagined in various natural colours of bricks.

Nisarg House

I saw to it that the main architectural layout of this house in Ahmedabad is done in three layers; a thick concrete wall on its south-west side, a transparent glass wall on its north side and between these two, the walls that partition one space from the other. It’s laden with numerous details that add to the feel and engage the residents with quirky intrigue. Some of the stark features in the house are my experiments with pigmented concrete, concrete and acrylic panels, a wall of metal louvers, and a delicately hung staircase with skylights above. The main elements of the house are made of metal, glass and concrete.

Big Piano

This is the furniture wing of my company, Samira Rathod Design Associates. At Big Piano, we manufacture furniture and objects to hold, see, smell, and delight in while they serve other uses — they are paraphernalia. Using old, recycled teak wood, the craftsmen labour away with passion at our workshop. Material and function meld together here and are then massaged with the oils to an endearing perfection.

Walls As Rooms

Walls are used to define space and outline edges, to contain a space within which humans operate. What if this was inverted? Can the wall become a space? I took this thought further and began experimenting with anthropometric norms, passive energy systems and salvaged material for an installation that ties the ideas together in a poetic way while playing with the idea of embedment of objects and memories. This is the first of a series of experiments that I want to further develop and refine, to create a series of walls as cost-effective, self-sustaining shelters which provide every facility that an individual requires.

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