sP+a wraps its sienna apartments in a facade of rippling brickwork

sP+a wraps its sienna apartments in a facade of rippling brickwork

an expressive façade in india


in telangana, india, sameep padora associates (sP+a) completes its ‘sienna apartments,’ a work defined by its expressive use of brickwork. the project is sited in the jubilee hills checkpost area of hyderabad city, and offers views across the adjacent park. designed with a rippling pattern of brick, the building envelope is thoughtfully planned with the interior layout in mind to ensure cross-ventilation and a terrace balconies for each unit.

sameep padora sienna apartmentsimages © vivek eadara | @vivekeadaraphotography



a precise system of undulating brickwork


the facade of sameep padora associates’ sienna apartments is informed by the sun. working to protect the interior spaces against strong horizontal sunlight, the team at sP+a worked with master brick masons from pondicherry, to generate the wall system. the structure comprises nine-inch-thick brick walls that corbelled to carry the load of stone faced lintels, or ‘chajjas.’ glass bay windows are recessed behind the openings formed by the corbelled brickwork and the cantilevered stone faced lintels.


to ensure the structural integrity of the wall corbelling, the team designed custom wooden templates for the masons to work with. thus, while the project is visually defined by these corbelled walls, the systemic of the envelope is made possible with these simple low-tech wooden templates which lend accuracy to the corbelling. through this development of innovative construction processes and tools, the project served to advance the expertise of the craftsmen and broaden the scope of their craft.

sameep padora sienna apartments



sameep padora on the sienna apartments


designboom spoke with sameep padora of sP+a about the process of creating the sienna apartments. elaborating on the challenges faced during the design and construction, the architect notes:one of the main challenges we faced was that we were working with a predefined building volume as the clients had already gotten permission for it from the municipal authorities. this limited our intervention with the building form. the challenge for us then, was to search for a logic for design interventions that created perceptible value to residents and not be just an aesthetic layer that we would add on the building envelope.


the next challenge was to look at a simple material like brick and to see how we could push its usage further than typically done, but through a utility based mandate like shading windows etc. the wooden template tools were an outcome of thinking systemically about construction and assemblage processes, so much so that it could be argued that the templates are probably as important as the final project. these low tech tools helped us overcome the gap between what we drew on our computers and its implementation on site by traditional masons.

sameep padora sienna apartments



sP+a founder sameep padora continues, telling designboom about the roles of digital and physical model-making in the studio: ‘we as a studio depending heavily on physical models. most of these are studies, very rarely tending to the exact final project but leading us to next steps in the design investigation. it is not uncommon that for a project of this scale there would be 15-20 model iterations, each building on something from the previous generation.
we also use a lot of vr and parametric software to examine the project, however we tend to use these as tools and not generative systems in themselves.


for us to deem a project resolved; its spatial qualities need to come through in both tools sets, the physical and the digital. both these tools prescribe to different scale sets, a more tactile yet distanced format of the physical model and the immersive but yet transient space of the digital.’

sP+a wraps its sienna apartments in a facade of rippling brickwork sP+a wraps its sienna apartments in a facade of rippling brickwork


sP+a wraps its sienna apartments in a facade of rippling brickwork



typical floor plan
typical floor plan
floor plan axonometric
floor plan axonometric
exploded window logic
exploded window logic
window logic
window logic

project info:


project title: sienna apartments

architecture: sameep padora associates (sP+a)

location: hyderabad, telangana, india.
client: jagdish & srinivas idupuganti
design team: mythili shetty, vami sheth, aparna dhareshwar, diane athiade material:
brickwork: uma brick mangalore
lintels: sadar ali granite
windows: technal windows
photography: vivek eadara | @vivekeadaraphotography

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