During his TED Talk in 2019, long before COVID-19, Indian architect Sameep Padora made a clear statement: “Mumbai’s architecture is slowly killing us.” He explained how over the last century the focus of the government had shifted from building a healthy environment for its citizens, to maximizing profit. The consequence: neighbourhoods with barely any space between the buildings and small apartments without decent ventilation. In this LIVECAST you’ll get an insight into one of the most challenging cities in the world. What can be done to give the people of Mumbai a healthy home?
About the book
How to Build an Indian House focuses on one of India’s perennial and most daunting questions: mass housing. It documents, analyses and represents robust and ingenious examples of different housing types in the city. Along with the documentary drawings and photographs, international award winning author and architect Sameep Padora developed a series of analytical models in order to understand the unique spatial organization and infrastructure in these residential building typologies.
This documentation is particularly pertinent today, given the critical need to address the issue of housing in India and in many other parts of the world. Since this subject is of immense interest to professionals and students alike, the cases studied here range from residential typologies in Mumbai, such as the chawls (originally workers’ housing that has morphed into vibrant communities), to more hybrid examples such as the Swadeshi Market, which demonstrates an interesting multiuse building. These Mumbai typologies challenge architects, planners and designers everywhere to test their imagination in thinking about affordable housing.
Sameep Padora is a well known Indian architect. He is the founder of Sp+a, a Mumbai based architecture studio engaged in projects of multiple scales, all framed within a larger interest in history and typological research.
Dick van Gameren is the dean of the Faculty of Architecture and the Build Environment at the TU Delft. He has a fascination for India and wrote the foreword of How to build an Indian House.
Vidhee Garg grew up in Mumbai and studied architecture at the University of Mumbai, graduating in 2009 and writing her thesis on the architectural reinvention of chawls. Between 2014 and 2020 she worked for the Affordable Housing Insitute. Recently she started for herself as a housing and urban development consultant.