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How to Build an Indian House

Join us June 11 for the Livecast of new release How to Build an Indian House by Sameep Padora at Pakhuis de Zwijger. 

During his TED Talk in 2019, long before COVID-19, Indian architect Sameep Padora made a clear statement: "Mumbai's architecture is slowly killing us." He explained how over the last century the focus of the government had shifted from building a healthy environment for its citizens, to maximising profit. The consequence: neighbourhoods with barely any space between the buildings and small apartments without decent ventilation. In this LIVECAST you'll get an insight into one of the most challenging cities in the world. What can be done to give the people of Mumbai a healthy home?


Sameep Padora

Architect & writer


Dick van Gameren

Decaan faculteit bouwkunde (TU Delft)


Vidhee Garg

Housing and urban development specialist


About the book

How to Build an Indian House focuses on one of India’s perennial and most daunting questions: mass housing. It documents, analyses and represents robust and ingenious examples of different housing types in the city. Along with the documentary drawings and photographs, international award winning author and architect Sameep Padora developed a series of analytical models in order to understand the unique spatial organization and infrastructure in these residential building typologies.

This documentation is particularly pertinent today, given the critical need to address the issue of housing in India and in many other parts of the world. Since this subject is of immense interest to professionals and students alike, the cases studied here range from residential typologies in Mumbai, such as the chawls (originally workers’ housing that has morphed into vibrant communities), to more hybrid examples such as the Swadeshi Market, which demonstrates an interesting multiuse building. These Mumbai typologies challenge architects, planners and designers everywhere to test their imagination in thinking about affordable housing.

The present publication is a handbook for academics as well as practitioners: designers could use it to compare and discern efficiencies and various ratios that can inform the process of other design exercises.