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Showing posts from July, 2014


by Gautam Shah ➔ 
Buildings are affected by time, environment and human use. The buildings become increasingly inefficient and irrelevant with time. The environmental processes continue to change the fabric of the buildings. The human use, miss use and non-use, all reflects in the decline of the building. To terminate or arrest (decelerate) the affectations in buildings, several process of change are required.
The change-processes cannot revert a building to its original condition. The building loses its site related relevance and time related functionality over a period of time. This has vast context, and it is a long term cumulative change. It is not possible to re-establish a building, because 1. One cannot regress a building to a past state in isolation of its referential conditions, 2. Buildings are continuously altered nominally and intentionally, but the extent of such alterations not clearly layered or recorded, 3. The materials and technologies may not be available. 4. In mo…


by Gautam Shah
Woods are fashioned to a variety of finishes such as bark stripped, chopped, rough hewn, sawn, planned, sanded, etc. Finish for a wood depends on several factors. 1. Type of wood -soft or hard 2. Quality of wood-jungle, commercial or special, etc. 3. Portion of wood -sap inclusive or heart exclusive 4. Type of cut -quarter, rift, tangential or slab etc. 5. Section of cut -along, across or askew to the grain 6. Anatomical peculiarities -straight or cross grain, knots, shakes, pith 7. Presence of chemicals -aliphatic compounds, waxy and resinous substances 8. Environmental conditions 9. Type of feel (texture) required 10. Type of look (grain, pattern) required 11. Economics-cost and maintenance 12. Time available for process 13. Tools and technology available 14. Age of wood 15. Moisture content of wood 16. Proposed use
■ Rough finishes are cheaper, take less time to prepare and require simple tools and techniques. Some rough surfaces give better bondage to preservatives and co…


by Gautam Shah
Selling a commodity or providing a service has been basically a street level business. It needs ‘commercial architecture’ to facilitate it. The seller or provider and the customer depend on prior visual recognition and confirmation. Shop Windows, Shop Fronts or Display Windows are the architectural elements for visual recognition. The architectural character of it is highly climate dependent and very slightly affected by the culture of the place.
The shop-fronts of tropical and colder climates show distinctive difference. The tropical shop was an entirely open front unit compared to the ‘shop-windows’ of colder climates. The later, were small but regular openings, like a glazed section within a door or window. Of course between the two climate-based extremes there were many intermediate approaches to shop-fronts.

The tropical shop attended the customers at the street edge, and had the entire shallow depth frontage for display. On the other hand the colder climate shop wa…


Calicut (Kozhikode, a port town in Southern most state of Kerala in India), was famous for its cotton fabric called Ka-liyan after the traditional weavers who were also known as ‘Ka-liyans’. Calicut was a major spices exporting centre, since 11th (or even earlier), where European seafaring traders were regular visitors. European traders found Indian textile-fabric to be a valuable additional trade commodity and introduced the Calico product to their home countries. Later Chintz, a solid-coloured or printed variety of Calico was brought to Europe.
The word Chintz derives from its original singular version Chint or Chhint, roughly translated as spotted. The Portuguese, called them pintado meaning, not painted but spotted. Chintz. Acharya Hemachandra (Hemchandra Suri a Jain Monk, 1089–1172 Gujarat, India) has mentioned calico fabric prints as chhimpa, or chhapanti (chhap=printed pattern or image), with a lotus design. During the Indian Sultanate period 1200onwards (pre-Mughal Era), pr…


From ancient times THREE different classes of materials have been handled by human beings.
1. Materials like Clay with important quality of plasticity that allowed the shaping at ambient temperature. 2. Materials like Wood and Stone were re-shaped by removal of the mass. 3. Metals were workable in both the manners, shaped by heating and beating (forging) and removal of the mass. . One may include Weaving as a different class of ‘material formation process’. Though, weaving is often categorised as a method of ‘material composition’ rather then a ‘forming-shaping’ process. .
Many Techniques of Materials handling in use today are essentially the same as those employed in ancient times. Several of the material handling techniques have originated from day to day living such as cooking, farming, home building, storage management and rituals. Over the ages the techniques of materials handling have been refined in terms of the tools used, and rationalized in terms of procedures. Many processe…



Air velocity is caused by mainly different temperatures and pressures at different places. However, air can become mobile due to fans or such air circulating devices.
DRAUGHT (Draft) or very low velocity air movements are not always perceptible, as they do not cause any sensation of pain or pressure on skin. Draughts are more causative in small and enclosed spaces. Draughts occur due to temperature and air pressure thresholds near cracks and such leakage points in enclosed spaces. Draughts, however, help in convective heat exchange, evaporation and dilution of pollutants in air. Draughts cause localized cooling or heating of sensitive organs of our body. Such sensation on feet is a common experience in trains, buses, sofas, undersides of office tables, etc. Children and aged people with deficient blood circulation and body temperature regulation mechanisms, are readily affected by such currents.
BREEZE or low to medium velocity air movements generally affect only local areas. Breeze do…