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Elaborate models

Although it seems to be becoming outdated in today’s era of 3D renders, a big part of understanding architecture and spaces is through making models.

Housed in the School of Environment and Architecture

A 1:1 mock up of the Ranchi project, at SEA.

Making a House

The exhibition is broadly composed of 2 projects: the pavilion itself and the models it houses.

1:75 iterations of design

Depending on the detail they’re exploring, the scale of the models do vary; but sticking to a uniform scale in general, helps the designers understand their project with respect to previous projects.

A Russian doll of houses.

At the centre of the structure was a courtyard, that harboured an iteration of the pavilion/Ranch house with a mini courtyard.

From a house to an exhibition space

Eight feet in plan, the framework of cardboard was screened with translucent nets that enclosed the series of rooms it housed.

An ensemble of nuts, bolts and cardboard

Even at that scale, using cardboard L-angles and about 4000 nuts and bolts, the structure stood poised.

A state of semi-permanence

Samir plans to reassemble the Making a House pavilion as his personal studio, while simultaneously figuring out a way to make it more perpetual.

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Lab 07 Dec 2018

Making a Home: studio eight twenty-three makes an actual 1:1 model in this Pavilion!

In a quest to learn about what – literally – makes a home, CQ converses with ardent model maker and co-founder of studio eight twenty-three, Samir Raut. Samir’s 2016 project Making a House pavilion was the perfect explanation to ‘discovering through making’.

Architecture is an elaborate process of making: making designs, details, structures and more. And although it seems to be becoming outdated in today’s era of 3D renders, a big part of understanding architecture and spaces is through making models. The pavilion Making a House introduces us to exactly what Samir Raut’s craft-aligned studio practice is. What started with Samir researching and understanding the works of architects he admires, eventually turned into an exhibition.

Elaborate models

Although it seems to be becoming outdated in today’s era of 3D renders, a big part of understanding architecture and spaces is through making models.

The beginning of Making a House

The exhibition is broadly composed of 2 projects: the pavilion itself and the models it houses. With the initiative to introduce the “making” aspect of architecture to the students of SEA, Samir began to devise 1:75 scale models of the work he was researching. For the students, it revived the necessity of physically structuring a model, which aided them in interpreting the process of architecture.

Housed in the School of Environment and Architecture

A 1:1 mock up of the Ranchi project, at SEA.

Making a House

The exhibition is broadly composed of 2 projects: the pavilion itself and the models it houses.


Meanwhile, Samir’s studio – studio eight twenty-three – was working on a house in Ranchi. Killing two birds with one stone – to better appreciate the spaces in the house, as well as to construct a host for the array of 1:75 study models – they resolved to construct a 1:1 mock up of the Ranchi project, at SEA.

Exploring scale with respect to space

Models are Samir’s way of understanding and explaining the proportions, scale and relations of spaces in a design. He tells us he prefers to work with the 1:75 scale, “It’s not too big, it’s not too small”. Depending on the detail they’re exploring, the scale of the models do vary; but sticking to a uniform scale in general, helps the designers understand their project with respect to previous projects. When developing design, both the clients and the designers grasp the nuances of each iteration better with the models.

1:75 iterations of design

Depending on the detail they’re exploring, the scale of the models do vary; but sticking to a uniform scale in general, helps the designers understand their project with respect to previous projects.

The 1:1 model that housed all the smaller models, evolved from being a space to understand scales and spaces, to a space to experience them.

When the project started, Samir wanted to make 52 models (a model a week for a year). It began with models of research, and eventually extended to models for his own studio and clients. Although the exhibition held 17 miniatures, they served the purpose impeccably.

A Russian doll of houses.

At the centre of the structure was a courtyard, that harboured an iteration of the pavilion/Ranch house with a mini courtyard.

The 1:1 model that housed all the smaller models, evolved from being a space to understand scales and spaces, to a space to experience them. At the centre of the structure was a courtyard, that harboured an iteration of the pavilion/Ranch house with a mini courtyard – a Russian doll of houses.

From house to exhibition space

Although the actual Ranchi house is constructed in rammed earth and steel structure frame, the same couldn’t economically be mimicked for the mock up. Trying to find the most cost-effective solution, they stumbled upon the workability of cardboard and paper. The model was constructed partly at the studio and partly at SEA where the pavilion was erected.

From a house to an exhibition space

Eight feet in plan, the framework of cardboard was screened with translucent nets that enclosed the series of rooms it housed.

An ensemble of nuts, bolts and cardboard

Even at that scale, using cardboard L-angles and about 4000 nuts and bolts, the structure stood poised.

Even at that scale, using cardboard L-angles and about 4000 nuts and bolts, the structure stood poised. Eight feet in plan, the framework of cardboard was screened with translucent nets that enclosed the series of rooms it housed. As part of the exhibition, each room turned to a display space.

“Understanding how to make a structure like this semi-permanent could potentially lead to new economics of making a house.”

Can the mockup/house/exhibition be permanent?

Similar to the Making a House pavilion, studio eight twenty-three also fashioned the What is Time pavilion in Delhi (2017) and earlier this year (2018) the When is Space at the Jawahar Kala Kendra, both temporary as well. This got Samir curious about the possible permanence, or semi-permanence of a similar model or pavilion.

A state of semi-permanence

Samir plans to reassemble the Making a House pavilion as his personal studio, while simultaneously figuring out a way to make it more perpetual.

“Understanding how to make a structure like this semi-permanent could potentially lead to new economics of making a house,” he points out. With plans to reassemble the Making a House pavilion as his personal studio, while simultaneously figuring out a way to make it more perpetual, Samir leaves us feeling both excited and inquisitive.

Learn more about studio eight twenty-three’s work here.
The others who helped make the project possible, along with Samir were Priyanka Poulose, Vinit Dharia, Varun Mehta, Milind Mahale
,Dhruv Chavan, Dhruval Shah,Vishal Udeshi and Deepshikha Jaiswal.