Designed shortly after the Teak museum in the mid 80's, these are architectural design studies for the offices of the State Institute of Encyclopaedic publications (SIEP) in Trivandrum. Situated at the PMG (Post Master General's Office - a colonial building) junction in Trivandrum, situated in the heart of the city. It was to be sited right next to the brusquely modernist Kerala Students Union Building (built 1969 by Kerala PWD and designed by Prof. Oommen's professors at CET).

Perspective: Offices of the State Institute of Encyclopaedic publications © Prof. Oommen Thomas Archive

The State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications was formed in 1961 to produce a Malayalam encyclopaedia and reconstituted in 1976 under the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala.

A few features of the project are worth noticing. The pinwheel plan of the teak museum is taken forward to a more compact version to suit the site. The flat roof fully disappears for a steeply pitched roof angled to make use of the approach to the site from a lower level. The neo-regionalist vocabulary is expanded to the sun shades on every floor with balustrades and brackets adapted from traditional wooden architecture. On the other hand modernist tropes of a servant and served space and structural rationalism continue even through these new influences. It is also significant that the project is conceived of as one growing incrementally over time. The prospective studies are in that sense a study of what is possible as one possible outcome.