A green inclination

Being green is oft a philosophy that is followed meticulously when the aim is to reduce the carbon footprint. But when the same is the very nature, one that is inborn where the commitment stems from a conviction that much can be achieved with little, the creativity that manifests goes beyond just being green or green inclined.

For architect Renu Mistry of Mistry Architects, green is not just a philosophy but an inherent lifestyle, an inborn thought process which evolves into an eco-sensitive design feature when she builds. Her four-decade-long design career bears ample testimony to this thought process and leaning in design.

Her structures display a strong presence of natural materials, recycled elements, salvaged items that have been so aesthetically used where not only the new buildings but even old structures that she renovated, transform into astounding living spaces, with creativity reigning supreme.

Interestingly, Renu has shown strong partiality towards opting for projects that required facing the challenge of designing residences in extremely small sites, and renovations where she had to re-architecture the old buildings. “It is certainly a challenge fitting in all the multiple requirements into a small site without impacting the functionality or aesthetics”, she says.

Her renovation of the Ganjam House is testimony to her high sense of aesthetics where the capacity to recycle and rework the existing elements is strongly displayed.

The large family home was converted into a marriage hall by removing some of the existing walls and raising new columns though a major part of the space was cleverly retained. Renu used an existing carved door and heirloom Ganesha for the entrance while the garden area was turned into a cheerful open dining space by erecting a simple steel structured roof.

When a totally closed residence came up for renovation, given her strong inclination to incorporate outdoors into the indoors, Renu magically transformed the space by physically opening up the house to the setbacks. She thus converted the living area to include a green patch where the garden area in the sky-lit courtyard became a seamless part of the living space.


The courtyard placed in the setback was incidentally created by raising the compound wall to a double height by using exposed bricks which brought in an earthy flavour to the décor. The grill and mesh roof in the sky-lit space also brought in visual connectivity from the living space to the trees on the street.

Given that verandahs traditionally served as functional spaces for interacting, Renu uses them effectively by turning them into dramatic regions that overlook or are a part of green spaces. “They are excellent spaces for breakfast nooks and informal dining especially if they are an extension of the kitchen”, says Renu.

Her Air Force bar project showcases her design ideology in totality. Faced with having to design on a shoestring budget, Renu used the junk from the aircraft yard and came up with a décor that was not merely stunning in its creativity but one that effectively addressed function as well as the kind of customer it was designed for. Thus, missiles were turned into bar stools, cluster bombs into floor lamps, the wings became the bar counter, the nose of the aircraft served as the décor piece placed at the entrance. With the need to budget even the painting of the space, Renu opted to have hands dipped in paint creating a unique texture and pattern for the wall.

Strongly believing that even small sites can create spectacular living spaces, Renu has come up with some stunning designs through her design efforts in her company, Dwarecodesign, where small as well as extremely small and at times narrow sites are designed most efficiently and aesthetically while making no compromise on the functionality or on her concepts of green.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 6:31:38 AM |

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