About Transparence 15.0

Let us celebrate the 15th Edition of Transparence by acknowledging the larger role of encouraging sensitive designs for our built public realm. This landmark edition revisits some of the past themes of Transparence that looked at architecture and spaces that are open to the public at large with an aim to design for public health and well-being.

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Ar. Nilabh Nagar

Nilabh Nagar graduated from School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi in 1991 and has been working with Architect Hafeez Contractor ever since.

Over the years he has been in charge of diverse projects from individual Residences, Group Housing in Noida, Gurgaon, Chennai, Office buildings in Mumbai, Shopping Malls in Mumbai, Delhi Noida, Slum Redevelopment, totaling more than 25 million square feet

He headed the work of Mumbai (T1C) and Delhi (T1D) Domestic Airport Terminals. He has been part of feasibility and concept design teams for VT Railway development and Mumbai Airport Master plan. He completed Turbhe Railway station in Navi Mumbai. He is the team leader in charge of 15 Metro stations developments in pune

He has keen interest in building technology and use of innovative materials as well energy conservation in architecture with special focus on fenestration and lighting. He has widely travelled around the world to study buildings, urban spaces and material exhibitions /conferences in Europe. He is currently focused on understanding and promoting public spaces, pedestrian streets and movement and transit oriented mixed use developments.

He has recently completed 3 Platinum Green rated buildings and interiors in BKC, Dehradun and Delhi with about a million sft, along with super luxury 260 room Luxury hotel Taj Santcruz. The ongoing projects include Group Housing, 1.5 million Sft, Retail mall Noida, IT park- 4million sft, Mixed use in Kathmandu and Affordable PMAY Housing of 75000 units in Navi Mumbai. A 500 bed Cancer and Eye Hospital, 200 key Hotels, Ongoing Master Planning for a 150 acre SEZ in Mumbai, 1800 acres township in NCR & a 60 acre mixed use development in Nagpur.

The Reward


National Winner

  • Per Team, a Trophy and a Certificate

National First Runner-up

  • Per Team, a Trophy and a Certificate

National Second Runner-up

  • Per Team, a Trophy and a Certificate

Regional Winners

  • Per Team, a Certificate and an opportunity to win the coveted National Trophy.

*All participants with submissions that are found technically complete by the jury will be awarded a participation certificate.

Register Now

Competition Theme

“Architects play a critical role in shaping the qualities of our environment; they work in collaboration with end users and their needs and ambitions, and they have the power to restore and promote solidarity, mental and physical health and be a source of happiness” Karl Johnson, Architecture for Humanity

Buildings and their environs are like sets of our life’s play- from being born in hospitals, to learning in schools and colleges; from working in offices to the transport system that leads us there; from meeting our household needs to taking breaks for rejuvenation and recreation. An average urban Indian would spend anywhere between 70-80 % of their lives indoors. This built environment impacts our health (both mental and physiological) and well-being; and can have long-term implications on the quality of life. When the focus of design is driven by well-being, it means that design is no longer only about making objects beautiful, but involves a more inclusive understanding .

Transparence is India’s largest Architectural Design Competition brought to you by Saint-Gobain Glass India and ably supported by Ethos. Let us celebrate the 15th Edition of Transparence by acknowledging the larger role of encouraging sensitive designs for our built public realm.

This landmark edition revisits some of the past themes of Transparence that looked at architecture and spaces that are open to the public at large with an aim to design for public health and well-being. Participants may pick any one of the following building typologies:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Institution
  3. Commercial and Retail
  4. Workplace
  5. Hospitality
  6. Transportation

As the world moves towards holistic living, typologies need to be questioned. Cities have achieved efficiency in land use and take advantage of adjacency. The millennials in their technology-dependent lifestyles are looking for different experiences in public spaces. So participants can choose to combine any two or three of the typologies which have Interdependencies and integrate into one complex.

Indeed, mixed-use built environments in cities promote sustainable utilization of resources 2 and land areas while providing urban dwellers with neighbourhoods that integrate work, home, shopping, transportation, and even recreational spaces. The mixed-use approach 3 also allows city administrations to flexibly adapt building uses as times change. This trend has successfully rewoven the urban fabric of many cities globally and created lively neighborhoods by bringing together social, cultural and economic activities.

Teams are allowed to pick any site that they see fit for the project they are choosing to design. Restrictions related to building footprint, FAR and site selection criteria are detailed out in this document. The proposed designs are expected to include innovations and strategies that promote well-being and placemaking.

Placemaking indeed is an important aspect of how architects, planners and designers can go beyond just creating better urban design of public spaces. ‘Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of activities and connections (cultural, economic, social, ecological) that define a place and support its ongoing evolution’ . The Designs should address possible 5 concerns such as the current pandemic, stress, anxiety, physical health and should induce better civic behaviour and social change.

1. Commercial and Retail

Revisiting Transparence 2007: Fashion Mall

More than being merely shopping centers, as they started out to be, commercial and retail spaces have now become complete entertainment and leisure centers with restaurants, cafés, movie theaters, arcade games, bowling alleys, and many other recreational venues. Well designed shopping facilities often configure both external and internal spaces in an innovative and efficient manner to provide lively social spaces for a wide public, going beyond their function as shopping plazas.

What would be an ideal commercial and retail facility in today’s scenario? Is it best to place it in the heart of a city or suburbs? Do we need to integrate public transport accessibility as much as large underground parking? How can such spaces become socially inclusive instead of catering to only the higher socio-economic classes?


  1. https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/tj5FlJSiuihJSlvG3pLSbM/The-mall-and-the-city.html
  2. https://urbis.com.au/projects/toombul-shopping-centre/
  3. https://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/18/thomas-heatherwick-coal-drops-yard-canal-side-shopping-centre-kings-cross-london/

2. Healthcare

Revisiting Transparence 2017: Healing Spaces

Healthcare architecture should integrate comfortable spaces for nursing and treatment along with a healing environment as spaces designed can affect both the physiological and psychological well-being of the patient. Hospital management and Designers need to consider not only short term circumstances such as the rapidly changing technical aspects of medical treatments but also long term building parameters—providing space and flexibility for future upgrades, improvements, and adaptations of the existing facility to future requirements. For example, how does a hospital swiftly adapt to increased demand of isolation wards during a contagious disease outbreak or cater to demand for extra beds during a calamity.


  1. https://www.archdaily.com/941540/maggies-leeds-centre-heatherwick-studio
  2. https://www.archdaily.com/937709/gheskio-tuberculosis-hospital-mass-design-group
  3. https://hbr.org/2018/10/how-the-architecture-of-hospitals-affects-health-outcomes

3. Hospitality

Revisiting Transparence 2009: Ecotel;

2012: Windows by the Lake

Do hospitality related buildings need to be restricted to their direct users or become part of the public sphere of our cities? How can hospitality spaces add to the urban experience of its users, planning beyond seamless in-house services and facilities. Participants are encouraged to debate the course of hospitality in the future; confront the stereotypes and explore new possibilities in the hospitality industry. Innovate spaces and programs for hosting events such as conventions and conferences, plan for flexibility and optimising resources.


  1. https://www.archdaily.com/933661/potato-heads-studio-hotel-oma
  2. https://www.hospitality-interiors.net/news/articles/2017/11/1307953392-dexter-morens-croydon-hospitality-hub-spearhead-areas-regeneration

4. Workplace

Revisiting Transparence 2018: The Business Plan

DAs a hub of technology, community, innovation and the source of our livelihoods, the workplace is an important topic of perpetual interest within architecture. On one hand companies have been considering co-working, dynamic work spaces, elaborate conference facilities etc, on the other -the work-from-orders have made them rethink the need for large office spaces itself. Post COVID, going back to work, for most people, is going to feel a lot different than when they left. Does that mean the workplace as we know it now is a relic of the past? Is commercial office space no longer relevant?


  1. https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/digitalnewsroom/a-smart-campus-to-call-home--sit-begins-construction-of-centralised-campus-in-punggol-with-groundbreaking-ceremony/

5. Transport Hub

Revisiting Transparence 2014: The Transport Hub

The Transparence 2014 brief on Transport Hub stated ‘While the metro stations are often designed in idea of relieving pressure on the already congested roads, they could also serve a vital role in the wellbeing of its patrons and the city. The aim is to create life around an already busy metro station. How there can be so much more to the station than just the platforms!’ How far have we come along since then in designing metro stations. Definitely, we have seen expansion or establishment of new metro lines across various cities in the country, but have we been able to weave them better into the urban fabric?

Station structures and finishes need to be highly resilient among many other factors. Can we find a balance between designing open, welcoming pieces of civic infrastructure and robust architecture?


  1. https://www.archdaily.com/912687/frankston-station-genton?ad_source=search&admedium=search_result_projects
  2. http://www.tod.org/placemaking.html

6. Institutions

Revisiting Transparence 2013: An Architecture School;

2016: Space in Motion, Pragati Maidan

Most often, education institutes have standard classroom spaces and layouts. Learning within educational institutes is itself limited to classroom teaching focused on academic learning, leaving little room for hands-on training and vocational training. The recent pandemic has added further constraints to this by limiting classes to online mediums. Similarly, cultural institutes are often restricted to specific users and hardly create interactive spaces that are inclusive and welcoming to larger public, especially in developing countries.

Institutes need to revisit the way they are built and support the possibility of self-learning, creative thinking and blended means of imparting lessons. Can the campus architecture inspire students and faculty, visitors and local innovators to explore new ways of learning and thinking. How about the institute itself as a living learning lab?


  1. https://www.archdaily.com/801850/enabling-village-woha?ad_medium=office_landing&ad_name=article
  2. https://www.archdaily.com/932463/bangalore-international-centre-hundredhands?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_projects
  3. https://www.arch2o.com/lasalle-college-arts-rsp-architects/

Site Selection

  1. Select a site within an urban context
  2. Site area should be above 2 acres. In case the selected site is part of a larger masterplan or is beyond the given restrictions, focus only on a part of it that is 2.5 to 4 acres, demarcating phased development.
  3. Minimum FAR (Floor Area Ratio) to be considered is 2.0 and maximum 4.0
  4. Consider ease of accessibility, neighbouring spaces and buildings, proximity to public transport hubs and desirable community of users.
  5. Refer to the locally applicable byelaws and building codes, parking calculations etc. providing reference to the same in your sheets.
  6. Participants may pick the sites from previous year briefs of Transparence, which are available here . However, it is not mandatory to use these sites.

Building Typology

  1. Participants may pick any of the mentioned building typologies or combine more than one function if the site selected seems suitable. For example, combine a metro station with a commercial and retail complex or workplaces with business related hospitality etc.
  2. It is expected that the area program will be detailed out by the teams as part of their submission. You may give a breakdown of built and unbuilt areas; spaces of public, semi-public and private use; broad and categorical functional breakdown of the spaces etc.
  3. There are no height restrictions, but the overall proposal must be harmonious with its surrounding. Adherence to given range of site aea and FAR is must

Design Considerations

  1. Teams can plan the functions of the building in response to the selected site and context. Your project may fall into more typologies than one functionally.
  2. Your designs must incorporate various qualities of space and light, creating architecture that is visually and functionally sensitive.
  3. Aim to make socially inclusive spaces that add to the activation of urban life for its users and advance placemaking in your city .
  4. Designs should aim to drive sustainability and well-being in an appropriate, effective and efficient environment. Operating processing and systems should be planned to minimise waste and maximise resources.
  5. Low carbon designs are encouraged. Aspire to create a building(s) that meet leading standards of environmental building performance.
  6. Consider how your project interacts with the context
  7. Re-usable, re-adaptable buildings: how can we design buildings of public use such as shopping plazas, institutions, hotels, offices etc. so that they can be swiftly re-adapted when a calamity strikes be it a natural disaster or a pandemic like the current coronavirus?
  8. Justification for site selection and selected building use may be incorporated into your sheets. This may mean non-compliance with city land-use plans, zonal development plans etc. Do include the relevant references where possible.

Regional Round Winners

Grand Finale


Ajay Kamaleshwaran, Balaji Ramesh & Jeffril J Kumar
School of Architecture & Planning, Anna University, Chennai

First Runner-up

Rohit Kataria
Allana College of Architecture, Pune

Second Runners-up

Dolly Gada, Rishabh Verma & Aman Attar
MES Pillai College of Architecture, New Panvel

North Regional


Mehak Madan

Sushant School of Art & Architecture

Satya Singh Bhati

Aayojan School of Architecture and Design


Nivia Jain

School of Planning and Architecture
New Delhi

Roahan Viswanathan

School of Planning and Architecture
New Delhi


Nikhil Duggal, Mansi Dengre


Adarsh K Singh

School of Architecture and Landscape Design, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi
University, Katra


Kiranmayi Yenduri, Mukul Verma & Gokul Gupta

School of Planning and Architecture
New Delhi

Anees Fatma

Modi University of Science and Technology

East Regional


Vedanth Dhal & Saket Sagar

Birla Institute of Technology

Kunal Naskar, Pankaj Kumar Jha & Sinjan Kumar Das

NIT Patna (Kunal), Om Dayal School of Architecture


Arun Kumar Rout

Piloo Mody College of Architecture


Priya Agrawal, Mousumi Subhadarsini & Manisha Adjuad

Pilo Mody College of Architecture

Aakriti Jhunjhunwala, Himanshi Mundhra & M Niharika

Pilo Mody College of Architecture

Sankhipta Das & Arpan Panda

Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology


Aastha Agrawal, Neha Modi & V.Jaswanth

NMIMS Mumbai (Aastha), National Institute of Technology
Raipur (Neha & Jaswanth)

West Regional


Rohit Kataria

Allana College of Architecture

Dolly Gada, Rishabh Verma & Aman Attar

MES Pillai College of Architecture
New Panvel


Mohsin Phudinawala

Brick School of Architecture

Pooja Chavan, Zubair Khan & Vaibhav Panchal

MES Pillai College of Architecture
New Panvel


Alveera Patel, Sharayu Jadhav & Sany Sabu

Mahatma Education Society's Pillai's HOC College of Architecture

Isha Khare, Anushi Agrawal & Vanshika Bitthariya

Madhav Institute of Technology and Science

Shihal Dhanawade & Chinmay Patil

Vishwaniketan's College of Architecture, Arts and Design

Tanisha Chainani, Rashi Chavan & Swarali Sheth

Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for Women


Rahul Parmar

Aditya College of Architecture

Prachi Jatia

MES Pillai College of Architecture
New Panvel

South Regional


Ajay Kamaleshwaran, Balaji Ramesh, Jeffril J Kumar


Vengatesh R

Siddaganga institute of Technology Campus


Neha Harish

R. V. College of Architecture

Navya R

Nitte Institute of Architecture,


Thirumurugan TK,

CAAD-Chennai Academy of Architecture and Design

Alfiya & Sai Madhuri MK

Christ (Deemed to be university)

Hariharan Parandaman

Crescent School of Architecture B.S. Abdur Rahman University

Vinay J, Anvitha Cherukupalli & Sahithi.C

Reva University

Shifany Mashoor Shah

KMCT College of Architecture

Sheena Annie Sabu

SRM Institute of Science and Technology

Ganesh Jain

SRM University

Sayeda Irum Safir, Sujan B U & Sowmya K M

Siddaganga Institute of Technology Campus


Navaneeth Raj K

Kalasalingam School of Architecture

Vidula Dinesh

Govt Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology