Studio ii evokes traditional archetypes in pigmented concrete for the Shed 2.0

In Surat, India, this collection of studios and workshops for a mother-daughter pair is articulated through a contemporary program that draws from local architecture.

by Jerry ElengicalPublished on : Aug 01, 2022

A site with a strong agrarian character on the fringes of Surat in Gujarat, India, sets the scene for a collection of workshops, studios, and retail facilities for a mother-daughter duo - Nika and Priyanka Shah - with the former engaged in the vocation of traditional apparel design under the brand 'Lineage' and the latter working as a product and furniture designer. Located at one end of the family's estate, with a farm on one of its edges and a cow shed along the other, the complex - designed by local practice Studio ii - is named the Shed 2.0. Described by the architects as a structure with a contemporary program that has been articulated using a predominantly traditional vocabulary, the project draws on archetypes in local vernacular architecture to shape a workspace that is both at home in its cultural context and the surrounding natural environment.

The project is located at one end of the client’s estate, bordered by the farm on one side, and a cow shed at the other | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
The project is located at one end of the client’s estate, bordered by the farm on one side, and a cow shed at the other Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

Studio ii relays in a statement, "Through the course of construction, the project kept evolving in accordance with client’s wish and vision – increasingly becoming more specific. The conceptual framework allowed the project to mutate along the way, becoming an improvised form of architecture." Featuring a layout that channels elements and typologies in Gujarati residential architecture - such as faliyu and osri-style homes among other housing models - the Shed 2.0 is a series of single-storey forms expressed in pigmented concrete with a Jaisalmer yellow hue. The resulting materiality of the structure is subdued and naturalistic, departing from the cold grey of concrete towards a finish that is far more in tune with its urban farmland location. In fact, an entire assortment of forecourts, courtyards, and mezzanine levels have been used as buffers between spaces, leaning further into this theme, with local flora infusing life into these intermediary pockets.

  • Drawing from housing models in Gujarati architecture, the design channels traditional elements within a contemporary program | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Drawing from housing models in Gujarati architecture, the design channels traditional elements within a contemporary program Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • A series of verandahs and colonnades screen internal spaces from excess sunlight while serving as outdoor spaces for artisans to work on their craft | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    A series of verandahs and colonnades screen internal spaces from excess sunlight while serving as outdoor spaces for artisans to work on their craft Image: Advait Pandya, Courtesy of Studio ii

The project's façade design is lined by verandahs and colonnades, with a continuous roof canopy shading these stretches. Besides screening program areas deeper within the plan, they also serve as points of congregation and informal work areas for artisans to hone their craft outside the confines of the studio. Reminiscent of a rustic local homestead, the details and fenestrations along the building’s exterior exemplify this aesthetic, with conduits in the roof allowing trees to rise through them toward the heavens. Moreover, creepers, strung from the roof overhang infuse bursts of green to the earthy textures along the building’s edifices, adding a biophilic touch to the design. Archways, circular windows, yellow teak doors, and a range of wooden furniture and products from the client’s own studio add to the simple yet bespoke charm of the structure's exterior, which also features a spiral staircase in exposed concrete whose fluid form swerves up towards a glazed enclosure on the terrace above.

  • The design seeks to embed itself into its agrarian context, radiating a rustic charm | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    The design seeks to embed itself into its agrarian context, radiating a rustic charm Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Courtyards, forecourts, and mezzanine levels serve as buffer spaces between program areas | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Courtyards, forecourts, and mezzanine levels serve as buffer spaces between program areas Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Creepers drop down from the roof overhang to add a biophilic touch to the design | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Creepers drop down from the roof overhang to add a biophilic touch to the design Image: Advait Pandya, Courtesy of Studio ii

Beyond the stone-paved forecourt, the array of functional areas within the L-shaped layout commences with a workshop, apparel making space, and an artist's room - all screened by the continuous verandah along both wings of the structure. The perpendicular arm of the structure hosts the studio's mezzanine level, as well as a shop, which have been separated from one another by means of a landscaped court. As mentioned by the design team, "These peripheral extensions into the landscape make the spaces more humane and impart a sense of time that is slow and profuse. They also provide abundant possibilities for social and programmatic improvisation and infuse haptic richness to everyday tasks."

  • The verandahs also serve as informal display areas for the clients’ furniture, product, and apparel designs, imbuing a bespoke touch to the otherwise austere spaces | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    The verandahs also serve as informal display areas for the clients’ furniture, product, and apparel designs, imbuing a bespoke touch to the otherwise austere spaces Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • A spiral staircase in exposed concrete winds its way to a glazed enclosure on the roof terrace | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    A spiral staircase in exposed concrete winds its way to a glazed enclosure on the roof terrace Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Arched openings and yellow teak doors complement the pigmented concrete textures along the structure’s walls | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Arched openings and yellow teak doors complement the pigmented concrete textures along the structure’s walls Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

Wood furniture and terrazzo flooring define much of the interior design throughout the design studios and workspaces, remaining true to the underlying aesthetic of the project. This is especially evident in the work area for the furniture design studio, which also contains a marble staircase ending in adjustable wooden steps that can be shifted to free up space within the zone. The space above this is a library with a pitched roof lined with clerestory windows, whose exterior face is dressed in marble. Most of the furnishings throughout the complex were designed by the client, in a comprehensive showcase of her practice’s work.

  • Wood and terrazzo define much of the interior aesthetic, particularly in the furniture design studio | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Wood and terrazzo define much of the interior aesthetic, particularly in the furniture design studio Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Most of the furnishings throughout the complex were designed by the clients themselves | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Most of the furnishings throughout the complex were designed by the clients themselves Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Some of the structure’s external walls have been decorated with board games designed by the client | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Some of the structure’s external walls have been decorated with board games designed by the client Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

Shelves, wardrobes, and other display areas placed both internally and along the colonnaded walkways showcase the clients' other wares, emphasising the importance of heritage and craftsmanship in their respective design practices. Some of the external walls have also been decorated with board games designed and crafted by the practice, providing a change from the otherwise austere feel of the project. Above, the roof accommodates abundant landscaping that connects it to the surrounding countryside.

  • The complex accommodates a studio, workshop, retail space, and apparel making space under its program | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    The complex accommodates a studio, workshop, retail space, and apparel making space under its program Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • The naturalistic palette exudes a warmth that is further filled with light through large openings | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    The naturalistic palette exudes a warmth that is further filled with light through large openings Image: Advait Pandya, Courtesy of Studio ii
  • A section of the upper level features a pitched roof lined with clerestory windows | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    A section of the upper level features a pitched roof lined with clerestory windows Image: Advait Pandya, Courtesy of Studio ii

With the Shed 2.0, Studio ii has devised a fresh take on an emerging trend in office design that eschews cold contemporary workspaces in favour of warmer sanctuaries filled with light and nature. In essence, this connection to its context is what elevates the ambience within the entire collection of spaces, beyond that of conventional sealed and climate controlled studios in urban areas.

  • Floor Plans | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Floor Plans Image: Courtesy of Studio ii
  • Section | Shed 2.0 | Studio ii | STIRworld
    Section Image: Courtesy of Studio ii

Project Details

Name: Shed 2.0
Location: Surat, Gujarat, India
Site Area: 930 sqm
Built Up Area: 325 sqm
Year of Completion: 2021
Client: Nika Shah, Priyanka Shah
Architect: Studio ii
Design Team: Mitul Desai, Priyank Parmar
Structural Consultant: Darshit Vejani, S & V Engineers
Carpentry: Rameshwar Suthar
Plumbing Consultant: Badrubhai
Contractor: Nareshbhai

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