Based in Chennai, Madras Office for Architects and Designers (MOAD) is flexing its muscles in pursuits as dynamic as architecture, urban design and interior installations.
The firm boasts of a portfolio seeped in myriad interests. In their repertoire one will not only find architectural projects but also residential extensions, designs for theatrical set-pieces, interior design, schemes for public spaces and more.
The diversity in MOAD’s thought process is like its home itself, because like Chennai, the firm’s outlook leans heavily on cultural pursuits, as much as on building the life blocks of a metropolis.
Active since 2004, MOAD has divided its energies across the different branches of architecture like architecture and urban research, architectural design, master planning, graphic design, installation art and set design, architectural interiors, and relevant academic pursuits.
The team is committed to understanding clients’ requirements and offering them “creative design solutions”. The following three projects highlight the firm’s solid creative ethic.
House For Two Brothers
This was to be a home extension project, and therefore in effect, also an effort in integrating two generations of design thought within one compound. “The extension is designed as a stack of boxes that both deliberately offsets from the old building at ground level and gestures to overlap at the first level,” states the team. The most eye-catching feature of the extension is the jaali wall that encloses the corridor up to a transparent dining room. It is the most flamboyant sign of new having landed in an old expanse.
The lower level also features a kitchen and a bedroom. Up a folded sheet metal stairway is another level, housing a living room and a terrace over-looking a garden; and a bedroom with a private balcony.
The MOAD team has maturely infused the extended 1,600 sq. ft. area with a refreshing vigour, without compromising on the old charm of the pre-existing structure.
Interior And Theatre Set Design
Like almost everything that MOAD likes to associate itself with, its interior design portfolio isn’t straightforward. It doesn’t just involve sprucing up the insides of stores and homes, but includes helping enhance the theatre experience.
In collaboration with Chennai-based group, The Madras Players, MOAD has designed the sets for three of its productions – including Tunnel Vision and Serious Men.
Arguably, the set pieces have a strident architectural vision just the same, and are strong structures that become benches and podiums, thereby demanding a closer look by the audiences who are struck by their deceptive simplicity.
When it comes to de rigueur interior design, look for MOAD’s work at Carbon Banjara in Hyderabad. This ‘retail container’ has been transformed into a towering visual experience with the help of criss-crossing white bands of reinforcements across the store, and the effect of all the glass in the middle.
This non-linear thinking is a surprise element in what could have easily turned into a staid retail display. Now, the store looks like a shape-shifting zen master, just as MOAD’s smart team must have wanted.
This urban design-biodiversity project is another interesting effort taken up by MOAD and because the aegis of this assignment goes beyond just beautification, it adds further credence to the firm’s reputation as a place of unconventional thought.
The Water Edges project is a collaborative effort which aims to bring forth ideas and designs for responsible public places in the city of Chennai.
The timeline for the project stretches up to the year 2020, and its priorities are broad and encompassing of all the elements of a fulfilling city experience which includes infrastructure, ecology and culture.
The sub-projects under this scheme will be realised along the Chetpet Lake water-front, the Pallikaranai Marsh and the Egmore Cooum water-front.
Commissioned by the Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the conceptualisation for ‘Water Edges’ is currently being handled by MOAD and team, in collaboration with the Chennai-based NGO, Care Earth.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photos Courtesy Ganesh Ramachandran, Dhivya Ravishankar,
Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Saravana Raja and MOAD