Mumbai, India

University of Notre Dame

Individual Studio Project

Spring 2008

  • Work Published in Acroterion, University of Notre School of Architecture yearly publication, 2007-2008

Designed and hand drafted on three 22x30 inch watercolor sheets and rendered by hand with watercolors. Perspectives and construction details modeled in AutoCAD and incorporated into the sheet layouts. 


Completed as a two part design project in the spring of 2008, the objective of this study was to explore traditional Indian architecture based on the knowledge of western classicism.  The projects included a brief comparative analysis of western and Indian religious architecture, and later, the design of an Indian Cultural Center in the heart of Mumbai.  The cultural center at hand would celebrate the rich history of the Indian people and honor the cultural and artistic achievements that have influenced western civilization, serving as an educational site for visitor’s as well as a self-sufficient community of  housing, public spaces, and agricultural gardens.  Project criteria included an understanding of traditional Indian construction details and design with emphasis on circulation, interiors, and innovative technologies.

Site Development
The design of the urban plan and cultural center is built upon the idea of fluidity which was incorporated into seamless circulation, spatial sequences, and air flow, organized along strong north-south and east-west axes.  Within the cultural center plan, circulation patterns and the organization of space are further refined through the deliberate placement of columnar screens, framed views, and shifting axes which orient and direct visitors through the exhibits, galleries, and garden spaces.  Separated by a columnar screen and twin pavilion spaces, a sunken theater east of the garden provides space for performances.

Inspiration for the project was drawn primarily from the surrounding context as well as the post and beam construction of traditional Indian vernacular architecture.  The work of Geoffrey Bawa, the creator of tropical modernism in Southeast Asia, provided inspiration for site design, building materials, and architectural details.