[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]attling the space constraint in the densely crowded city of Mumbai, ‘Smriti 57’ designed by Mumbai-based Group Seven Architects, rises vertically within the urban landscape as a residential villa which, at first sight, is reminiscent of a chest of drawers. The video above courtesy Buildofy, highlights the concept of the residence as narrated by Architect Nitin Killawala, the principal of Group Seven and resident of Smriti 57.
[dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]mriti 57 is located on a small plot of 470 Sqm within the residential neighbourhood of Juhu, a western suburb of Mumbai. Owing to the project being the Architect’s own residence, the building is an exploration in alternative technologies of construction, challenging norms, time cycles as well as affordability of traditional R.C.C structures as against structural steel.
Steel as a construction material offers tremendous flexibility in planning, speed of construction as well as an opportunity in expressing ‘structural aesthetics’. Each floor plate admeasuring 10m x 16m, rest’s on only four steel columns, 450 mm in diameter, braced intermittently by 600 mm deep ‘I’ beams with galvanized deck sheets as slabs. The system itself could be imagined as a ‘chest’ on four legs with 6 shelves.
Given the simplified appearance of the external structure, the interiors are fairly deceptive. The Grid over six floors in broken down into a guest floor on the first level, a duplex over the next two levels followed by a triplex over the subsequent floors.
After the basic conceptualization of the structure, individual floor plans were drawn , catering to the needs of individual family members. The complexity of internal walls and partitions, configuration of windows and voids, need for safe and secured spaces, private and open areas were all built into the grid, enabling the structure to perform as a ‘Home’.