Studio VanRO, founded by Vandini Mehta and Rohit Raj Mehndiratta in 2007, is a design and research firm based in New Delhi that works in the domain of architecture, urbanism and art. The firm has successfully completed projects in institutional, infrastructure, industrial, landscape and interior design. As a sister concern of the famed engineering firm, MRC pvt ltd, Studio VanRO offers total design consultancy for its projects.
Our philosophy and process of work foregrounds a collaborative approach to bring rigours of various disciplinary and contextual perspectives together. This we believe creates design outcomes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but have the strength to generate transformative processes.
The work of Studio VanRO is an outcome of several years of international experience, engagement in the public domain through presentations, exhibitions, publications in urban and architectural research and also academic teaching. The firm’s work has been published and presented nationally and internationally and has also won many awards and recognitions.
art, architecture, urbanism
From Word Net, a lexical database for the English Language
The noun studio has 3 senses: studio — workplace for the teaching or practice of an art.
studio apartment, studio – an apartment with a living space and a bathroom and a small kitchen.
studio — workplace consisting of a room or building where movies or television shows or radio programs are produced and recorded.
The noun van has 4 senses:
avant-garde, vanguard, van, new wave — (any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts))
vanguard, van — (the leading units moving at the head of an army)
van, caravan — (a camper equipped with living quarters)
van – ( a truck with an enclosed cargo space)
The noun RO has 1 sense:
— an artificial language for international use that rejects all existing words and is based instead on an abstract analysis of idea
Vandini Mehta received her undergraduate degree from School of Architecture CEPT, Ahmedabad, India (1997) and an MS in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley, USA with a specialization in Environmental design in developing countries. She was awarded the department block grant for all three semesters at Berkeley and served as a teaching and research assistant at the university. She also spent a semester at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia on an exchange study. Her academic and research interests include investigations of urban histories and geographies as revealed in the current neo-liberal times, film and space especially of current Bollywood cinema and also spatial issues dealing with the Indian rural development sector. She has presented her research work in different international conferences and is currently a visiting faculty in the Urban Design Program of SPA (School of Planning and Architecture), New Delhi.
Her professional practice included non-profit community based planning and architectural work with SevaMandir (Udaipur, India). At SevaMandir, as an Architect and design Consultants, she designed a Block Office and Community Centre in Kotra, a village Community Centre using participatory design method and local eco- friendly materials, and a showroom for the handicrafts made by village women in Udaipur City. Besides these she was involved in a few research and writing projects and finally in heading a funding initiative with PoonamAbbi, called Friends of SevaMandir, in New York. She is currently a member in the Executive Council of SevaMandir.
During 5 years in New York she gained experience in high-end residential architectural work and some office and gallery renovations at McBride and Associates Architects along with two Tibetan projects - a monastery and a school for the Vikramsila Foundation in India & Nepal. Later, she joined Magnusson Architecture & Planning (MAP) as a Project Architect/Manager for mixed use and mixed income housing and planning projects. During her work at MAP in New York City her team was awarded the 2005 AIA New York Housing Design Award for Melrose Commons, a revitalization plan of an inner city neighborhood in NYC and 2009 Big Apple Brownfield Awards for the Affordable Housing Award category for Parkview Commons, a brownfield redevelopment housing project. She is also an accredited LEED professional (a US Green Building Council accreditation) and led MAP’s team proposal of Melrose Commons which was a qualifying entry for the Pilot Program of LEED for Neighborhood Development, 2007. Since 2007, she has started her own consultancy firm called Studio VanRo in partnership with Rohit Raj Mehndiratta.
Rohit Raj Mehndiratta graduated from School of Architecture CEPT, Ahmedabad, India with a distinction in his thesis and received a SMArchS (Masters of Science in Architecture Studies) degree in Architecture and Urbanism from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) in 2002 . Among other accolades, he received the Merit Recognition Award for the years 2000-01 and 2001-02 in M.I.T. He has also received the ANN M BEHA Award 2001, J N TATA Endowment Scholarship 2000, American Alumni Award 2000, Piroj Shah Godrej Scholarship 2000.
His professional work experience includes an initial training in India from Arcop Associates and Sachdev Eggleston Associates in Delhi and BV Doshi in Ahmedabad. His international exposure started with CA Ventin Associates, Toronto, Canada and Frei Otto’s Institute for Light Weight Structure in Stuttgart, Germany. He went on to work for 5 years in New York City with Davis Brody Bond (DBB) and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA). In DBB he worked on some very prestigious projects, namely, The World Trade Center Memorial, New York and Nicolas Grimshaw’s Experimental Media and Performance Arts Center in RPI, Troy, NY State. While with Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA) he worked as a project architect and design consultant on the Harlem Stage Gate House project and an interpretive landscape project at the site of the first free African American quarters in Weeksville, Brooklyn, NY. Weeksville won the 2006 Arts Commission Award for Excellence in Design and the Harlem Stage Gate House project won the 2008 Lucy G Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Since 2007, he has started his own consultancy firm called Studio VanRo in partnership with Vandini Mehta.
While in America he was invited to studio jury’s in MIT, NJIT and Pratt. Since fall 2007 he has taught in the Urban Design Program of SPA (School of Planning and Architecture), New Delhi and is currently a visiting faculty at the Sushant School of Architecture. His academic and research interests in the domain of visual urban representations and politics of urban development have led to a photographic exhibition called ‘Placed Settings’ in New York, paper presentations in a number of international conferences and published paper in Sarai Reader 09. He has recently co-edited the monograph titled “The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj” published by Park Books, Zurich.He has been a part of expert panel committees on Public Arts initiatives at the Delhi Urban Art Commission and UTTIPEC’s MRTS Corridor Development sub group formed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Division.