Studios 90 is located in the town of Kodla in Karnataka, India, and is one of Sanjay Puri Architects’ recently finished works. The project provides housing for workers of a new local cement factory. The sustainable housing complex adopts a tripartite design model encompassing the socio-cultural context, environment and economy.
The building consists of pop-out cubical forms, including 18 studio apartments, 54 hostel rooms and 18 guesthouse rooms. These spaces share facilities on the ground level, including a cafeteria, lounge, gym, and game room.
Three primary colors, red, blue and yellow, add a pop of color to each balcony. The colors pay homage to regional Holi celebrations. Holi, the festival of color, is celebrated using vibrantly-colored pigments. These colors include those used in the residences.
The architects carefully designed the housing complex to mitigate local climatic conditions. This is because the region is prone to high temperatures that exceed 35°C (95°F) for most of the year. Due to the intense heat, the apartments and balconies face north to prevent direct sunlight. The spaces also capture India’s prevailing winds that hail from the northeast, maximizing natural ventilation. The stacked cubes playfully cantilever from the structure and cast shadows on the spaces below. Further, their thick walls keep the interiors cool. These passive design strategies are environmentally friendly and require less energy to maintain comfortable temperatures.
By building with efficiency in mind, the residential project is also very economical. It optimizes resources, including materials and energy. Fly ash brick, a lightweight, recycled-material composite, is used for the walls. The building also features water recycling systems and rainwater harvesting to limit water wastage. Since the cement plant is nearby, its residual energy provides electricity for the housing complex.
While Studios 90 takes a minimalist approach, its response to the site, energy efficiency and culturally-inspired aesthetics contribute to its multifaceted sustainable design.
Photography by Ricken Desai