Zameer Basrai was Research Assistant at the School of Architecture, CEPT University from August 2005 – February 2006. The following student workshops were conducted on the CEPT campus. All workshop research and design exploration is the work of the students of the School of Architecture, CEPT University.

A Celebration of an Underground:

Workshop poster

‘Some say it is sacred, some say it is forbidden and few can dispute its magical presence; but it has remained untouched for too long, unclaimed for too long. In a celebration of this hidden treasure we attempt to unfold the depths of water that have sustained our cities forever’

This three-day workshop was an exploration into the physical and metaphysical presence of underground water in an urban context. Students were encouraged to think about the urban realm. Sketching and photography trips were organized to the various underground structures/reservoirs at the urban and residential scale in and around Ahmedabad city. Senior research scholars presented their theses on related topics like ‘Water and the nascent city’, ‘Underground water structures in Gujarat’, ‘A poetic interpretation of step wells’ and ‘Water Harvesting in an urban context’. Students were then asked to explore the theme ‘Underground Water in an urban context’ in various media towards the design of the final installation. The site chosen for the installation was the ‘basement’ of the School of Architecture; an excavated part of the campus formed by the under belly of the building. The students designed the installation in bamboo split and white cotton fabric. The process of choosing materials and their formal expression was a collaborative effort. The forms were reminiscent of waves, fountains and flowing water, the final version of which was worked out directly on site. The completed installation covered three thousand square feet of basement area and was a combined effort of thirty two students. On the final day, the installation became part of a temporary exhibition of student explorations during the workshop and topics related to water as a resource.

Underground Water structures in and around Ahmedabad

Learning about Underground Water in the City

Student Work: Design explorations

Installation under construction

Installation under construction

Final day exhibition

Along the Edge:

Workshop poster

This workshop was primarily organized to introduce alternate material technologies to junior students in the most hands-on way. The student group built a bamboo shelter along the edge of the school building during the week of the school festival. The structure was reminiscent of an old gateway, the Teen Darwaza, in the medieval city of Ahmedabad. Placed along the edge of the modernist school building under its protruding end beams, the bamboo gateway became a befitting end to the unending idea of the building.

Students at work

Under Construction

Along the Edge


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