STAPATI wins SIX awards in ‘IIA State Awards for Excellence in Architecture 2012′



Project  -   ALILA DIWA AT GOA

Alila Diwa is designed with Goan sensibilities overlaid with modern vocabulary. We wanted it to be as contextual to the place and time as possible. The language & proportions used throughout the project is a product of the detailed analysis we did on Goan vernacular architecture. Despite the large built-up area we have been able to bring in a human scale for the buildings.

The primary concern while designing was to take advantage of the elements of site both physically and visually. Our planning strategy was to allow the existing trees to remain in place while the building wrapped around them. Thus the cluster of mango trees became part of the main courtyard while the presence of banyan trees provides ‘spice studio’- the specialty restaurant’ an ambiance of lingering nostalgia.

Considerations about elements of nature were a major deciding factor in planning the overall space syntax.  The building has an open plan concept which allows free flow of spaces. Except for critical areas like rooms, conference halls & portions of the main restaurant all other areas are left open allowing the flow of natural light and wind. The positioning of swimming pool is again after careful consideration about wind direction. By positioning it along the windward direction we were successful in bringing the cooled air into the courtyards which in a way acts as wind funnels. Although the built space is spread out, the services are kept invisible. To avoid the guest circulation crossing the service circulation we have provided dedicated underground links to key areas from back of house areas for room, F&B and electro-mechanical services.

Use of local plant species that required minimum maintenance was given foremost consideration as far as landscaping is concerned. The intention was to showcase the indigenous flora of Goa & there by provide a natural look to the overall landscape. The decision to retain all existing trees on site was strictly followed. The process of designing the resort around the existing mango & banyan trees, though proved to be a tough exercise; gave a unique character to each and every space as no two areas could be replicated.     Water bodies are positioned in strategic areas considering the visual and climatological aspect. Only natural materials are used for all hardscaped areas.

Though there is no rating certification for the building, the incorporation of  all the above features makes Alila Goa one of the “greenest” among the hotels in this category.




The building is located on linear site beside the NH by-pass in Calicut. The structure comprising of office spaces, circulation core and recreation zones is layered sequentially along the linear axis. A 12m high atrium connects the two office spaces. The site overlooks a canal and a lake on the northern sides. Glass facades and large openings envelop the north and eastern faces to achieve maximum view.

The design shows how openness can be merged harmoniously with internal spaces. The 12m high entrance courtyards, which is a modern interpretation of traditional courtyard forms the main element of the building. The mezzanine floor acts as an extension of the courtyard. The circulation of the entire building is oriented along the courtyard space where natural elements are maximum used.

The design of the building revolves around its climatic responsiveness. Maximum openings are given on the northern and eastern side there by tapping the glare free north light. Void between the blocks and shaded openings on the south-west side allows maximum air circulation with-in office spaces. The entire service core is provided on the south-west side to help shield building from the sun. The south-west facade is articulated with terracotta louvers at floor level to allow air movement within the studios.

Laterite, which is the locally available traditional material is used for the wall extensively. Exposed laterite merges well with the glazed facade of the entire structure.




Set amidst a sprawling landscape of 3.2 acres, the residence evolved directly from the site, as a response to the local conditions and context. The spaces are designed as a continuum, flowing from a set of covered spaces to semi-covered ones, interspersed with courtyards and water bodies, creating distinctive micro-climatic environments. The overall aim was to create a seamless experience, integrating the occupants with nature at all points. The existing natural features of the site have been augmented to create landscape spaces that serve as an extension of the built-space, with pavilions, water bodies and walking trails. The built spaces are a play of roof volumes, hugging the ground in a distinctive horizontal composition, which is offsetted by the tall coconut trees in the site.

One of the focus of the design is the large internal open-to-sky water-court, which along with its functional role of micro-climatic control through evaporative cooling, brings in reflections and moods to the interiors, mirroring the changing qualities of light, sky and the seasons. The material palette employed is a combination of natural textures contrasted with smooth finishes in the interiors, which along with the distinctive detailing creates a modern interpretation of our traditional built forms, one which is compatible with out tropical context.




The challenge while designing was to make the building both culturally and climatologically responsive without disturbing the natural setting. The being located at the edge of the forest gave us the opportunity to work on heavy landscaping.  The existing building in the site was a modest single storey structure. The challenge was to convert this holiday home into a boutique safari lodge with a contemporary feel to.

The facility has a total of four luxury rooms with an independent balcony for each room that over looks into the jungle. We placed the rooms on the top floor so that the elevated view gives better opportunity for spotting of wild life. The main dining area is semi open area on the ground floor with a view to the pool. All the subsidiary services are also paced in the ground floor, hence providing complete privacy to the guests. We have provided a top deck above the rooms which can be an ideal spot for guests to relax and enjoy the view of the jungle and can also act as a gathering space.




The Rain Forest resort at Athirapally is dealt in such a way that the building is laid out along the contours of the site with a minimum foot print. The entry to the building is opened up to facilitate maximum unobstructed view to the waterfalls with the rooms being tucked in on the floors below. Existing natural vegetation was not disturbed at all for constructing this building. The view of the imposing waterfalls was the criteria in planning the layout of the resort. Cost effectiveness was the primary concern while selecting the materials in this boutique resort




Haritha Vidya being “A rural institute for advocacy and training in sustainable farm management practices and enhancing agricultural productivity” had to be true to its name by being a low cost sustainable building with strong climatic and sociological responsiveness. Haritha Vidya is located in Thamarassery, Calicut; the foot hills of Western Ghats.

The building primarily consists of Class rooms, Library, Computer center, Auditorium, guest rooms etc. We followed an open plan approach for the building hence we have class rooms with no walls and the landscape flowing into the rooms. This approach has helped us in maximizing the natural lighting and ventilation thereby reducing the power consumption and maintenance costs.

The building is designed to utilize the sloping terrain of the site and hence there was minimal land cutting involved in the site. The two level of the building are accessible directly and merges into the natural vegetation. Use of steel sections for openings and locally available compressed blocks have helped in reducing the cost of construction of this building. The furniture used are modular units designed by our office.

Overall the design follows a minimalist approach and the tends to be true to the intention of its usage and also use of materials and elements.

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