CollectiveProject | Eliza Higgins & Cyrus Patell
After returning to Indian shores following a degree from Yale University, Cyrus Patell founded CollectiveProject along with Eliza Higgins. An architecture studio based in Bangalore, the young, design-driven atelier has already established some game-changing projects since its inception in 2013. Born out of their shared interest for spaces and its transformations, the studio’s investigations occurs on multiple scales—from furniture and interiors to residential and institutional buildings. The duo has a keen eye for the entire architectural experience — combining spatial narratives, landscape and material, creating designs that are both detailed and conceptually driven. They met on the grounds of Yale while pursuing a Masters of Architecture, and their synergy was hard to miss. ‘Cyrus was always very sure that he wanted to move back to India to start his own practice, so it was just a matter of timing. We both loved working in the US but in the summer of 2013 we realised that it was the right time to take the risk of starting off on our own. CollectiveProject is a constant reminder that we are working towards something larger—an overall body of work across our lifetimes, never in isolation but in collaboration with the many individuals that come together to evolve a project from the initial concept through construction,’ says Eliza.
Ekya Early Years
Their project Garden Folly transformed an unused private residential plot into a densely planted garden and library. Clad in thin strips of locally reclaimed wood, the space frames two contrasting scenarios—a dense ‘wild’ garden and a grass amphitheater. In the same year, they also shaped Ekya Early Years, a kindergarten carved out of an abandoned and dilapidated watch factory. ‘The design capitalised on the beauty of the old industrial building by retaining the existing shell as a framework for spacious, naturally ventilated and sunlight filled classrooms; at the same time crafting a unique learning experience for 2-6-year-olds. The primary goal of this project was to provide a constant interaction between students and nature. To achieve this, the boundaries were blurred between inside and outside with the learning environments (classrooms) accessed from a covered walkway circumnavigating a densely planted central ‘Jungle’ courtyard,’ sums up Eliza.
[L] Ekya Early Years; [R] Garden Folly
2017 promises to be a busy year for CollectiveProject. They have already started work on several residentials along with a school project for a rural community in Andhra Pradesh. ‘As a young practice, our philosophy is still evolving. Taking the time to understand each problem and develop a design that fits the brief is incredibly important to us. Right now, we just want to take each day as it comes,’ says the duo.
Take a look at Cyrus and Eliza's work here.
Text Ritupriya Basu