07 June 2020

Guest Article - AR. Vinay Patil, Director, Vinay Patil Architects

Architecture to come

BIM is already an old idea. The new buzz word is 3D printing, and Parametric architecture. Big Data is a relatively new and unexplored concept, and needs to be explored for its full potential in the Smart City space. AR. VINAY PATIL, DIRECTOR, VINAY PATIL ARCHITECTS, discusses emerging trends and how technology is opening up new design vistas....


"Every great architect is — necessarily – a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age."

Those were the words of an undeniably great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, whose visions of harmonious design and innovative urban planning amounted to his own brand of organic architecture. We'd argue that Wright wasn't just an interpreter of his time – he was able to foresee the needs and desires of ages ahead of him. The architect is – necessarily – a visionary capable of seeing into the future. The trend of architecture just 100 years apart is completely tangential to its predecessors. For example let me quote the famous architect  Late Zaha Hadid.

 "I'm trying to discover - invent, I suppose - an architecture, and forms of urban planning, that do something of the same thing in a contemporary way. I started out trying to create buildings that would sparkle like isolated jewels; now I want them to connect, to form a new kind of landscape, to flow together with contemporary cities and the lives of their people"- Zaha Hadid.




It was mere hand drawn sketches to working drawing's which dominated the design fraternity in the early 1900's as technology was limited. With the invention of elevators towers started to shoot up to 80 storey buildings in New York.  So imagination was limited to the capabilities of invention and science. This also limited the capabilities of human imagination. Today just 100 years later everything is either automated or controlled by machines. We have software which help assist in the construction field right from designing to construction. We also have robots which assist in the construction field today. We have driver less cars and planes in the form of drones which help us in our daily lives.





Straight lines and minimalist is taken over by fluidity and 3rd axis designs. There is no rational today between the floor occupied space and the building envelope. This fluid concept is developed into a landscape envelope which wraps around the building. An internal space within the built environ is considered most important space during conceptual design. Convergence of this space internally accounts to an interactive element which is a space of congregation within the building. These binder spill surfaces are environment sensitive which play an important role in vertical buildings.

The race to build the first 3D-printed house has begun. Teams of architects in London and Amsterdam are competing to produce the first habitable printed structure, using technology that could transform the way buildings are made. Though they all have the same objective, the teams are investigating very different materials and fabrication methods.





Another area that’s catching up momentum in architecture is parametric design. Parametric design is a generative design system, where adjusting the parameters will compute to create different types of outputs, and create forms and structures that would not have otherwise been possible.

Parametric architecture uses internally a geometric programming language that can be used directly by coding. Or you can design parametrically using a software extension of Rhino called Grasshopper and make the same operation visually with a User Interface. Grasshopper shows you the shape of the building, and gives you a way to define handles to control it. Today collaboration of architects is just not limited to their field of experts but they have to interact with social anthropologists and environmental scientists. This helps an architect create, nurture , sustain meaningful environments. Buildings are becoming more invisible today so that they blend with the surroundings.





The BIM is already an old idea but it has started to build massive momentum in the architectural community. The BIM (Building Information Model) is based on several principles that can be implemented with relative independence:

  • We design a project using an unique 3D model which is modified throughout the project’s life
  • This 3D is not only has volumetric surfaces, but has metadata attached like the material of the element and parametric modifiers like the height of a wall
  • The 3D model can be stored in a multi-client database and stored in the cloud to be accessible at the same time by several people
  • Multi-user permissions on the model can be defined precisely to reflect team member responsibility on the project
  • All construction elements are classified using standard categories, namely the IFC
  • Libraries of construction products can be inserted in the model and even get actualisation if the product version changes.




Architecture in the early 2000's started with smart buildings or green buildings which were a single unit or an entity in the city. Today architecture is trying to integrate all buildings to make a smart city. Let me elaborate a little about smart cities.

As populations grow and resources become scarcer, the efficient usage of these limited goods becomes more important. Smart cities are a key factor in the consumption of materials and resources. Built on and integrating with big data, the cities of the future are becoming a realization today.





Although Big Data has a lot of buzz around it, I believe that in many ways it is still a relatively new and unexplored concept. However, its potential for human analysis is already obvious. This makes it a perfect and integral part of the planning and creation of smart cities.

With the growth of our population and the advent of ideas such as big data and the Internet of Things, the natural step cities will take is to become more interconnected. There are millions of sensors in place already, monitoring various things in metropolises. In the near future, these sensors will multiply until they can monitor everything from streetlights and trashcans to road conditions and energy consumption.

These smart cities will allow us to make more efficient use of our resources, lower our energy consumption, and build our cities to maximise efficiency. Big data is essential to understand how people in cities move, how energy is used, how various aspects of infrastructure interact, and much more.

The integration of big data and interconnected technology?—?along with the increasing population?—?will lead to the necessary creation of smart cities.

To continue providing people with safe, comfortable, and affordable places to live, cities must incorporate techniques and technologies to bring them into the future.

I am looking forward to seeing the advances that will come to my city in the near future.



Ar Vinay Patil pursued his Bachelors Degree in Architecture from D.Y. Patil College of Architecture, Mumbai University. Thereafter he pursued a Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, (Chicago). He has served as a Guest Lecturer in D. Y. Patil College of Architecture for a year and a half and also as a Jury for L. S. Raheja college of Architecture. He has worked on numerous Gold rated LEED projects. Prior to this he has five years of international experience working with architecture firms like Eifler and Associates and Urban Works, both based in Chicago, USA. In a short span of less than 10 years, his firm – Vinay Patil Architects, has emerged among the leading award winning design firms in Mumbai.


For more details contact:

Website : www.vparch.co.in


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