Michael Caton

Michael Caton

Brooklyn, NY, US


Great Eastern Mills Hotel/Retail Development

GEM is a proposed hotel and retail development currently in progress in the center of Mumbai, India. The site context offers a rich history being the former site of a large cotton mill within the city as well as one of the few preserved natural water bodies within the urban context. With the goal of becoming a premiere commercial and luxury destination within Mumbai as well as a rare public space within the city, much of the site's history influenced the projects concept.


Taken from the site's history the performance of the loom brought forth an overarching idea of woven volumes, surfaces, and threads. Organized around two primary distribution zones being the commercial and hospitality central spaces, volumes wrap and weave in and out of one another. Anchoring the northern and southern boundaries of the site are the natural water body, which becomes a celebrated public performance space; and the lifestyle department store, which performs like a knot integrating retail volumes and pronouncing the commercial entry.

The 30.000 sq. ft hotel tower is treated as two bars that subtly shift in section whose form creates an overlapping relationship with the podium that flows below. A strategy of analyzing solar radiation performance in conjunction with developing building information modeling systems was taken to develop an facade strategy that responded to solar heat gain and visibility. The WWR, window wall ratios, of each facade bay shifts with respect to analysis data while further tying the formal language of the hotel tower with the horizontal weaving/banding of the podium.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Mumbai, IN
My Role: As a project designer my primary responsibilities included concept & schematic design of hotel tower and building facades, environmental performance analysis with Ecotect, design research, parametric integration of building performance analysis tools, 3D
Additional Credits: Sarika Bajoria, Mazdak Jarafian