Cattiva TFAO Mobile Blood Donation Bank
(Image credit: press)

One of Gurjit Singh Matharoo's passions is transportation design. The Ahmedabad-based architect's (see the current issue of Wallpaper* (120) for a profile) buildings are rich, textural exercises in sculptural concrete, but when it comes to mobile design, his aesthetic approach is very different. The Cattiva TFAO is a case in point.

Matharoo’s mobile blood donation bank

(Image credit: press)

See more images of Matharoo's mobile blood donation bank

Designed from 2003 to 2004 and built in 2005, the Cattiva is a mobile blood bank, a striking machine designed to draw crowds and draw blood, upping the region's vital stock of surplus plasma.

Built in conjunction with the Prathama Blood Centre in Ahmedabad, the Cattiva stalks the streets of Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Chennai, seducing the uncertain into giving something back. TFAO stands for 'the fangs are out', and there's something rather vampiric about this bold yellow beast.

Based on a Tata 1616 bus platform, the Cattiva is unlike anything else on the roads. With its angular superstructure, raised cab and ducts and vents it looks more like the output of Sant'Agata rather than a backstreet metal beating workshop. The project has been a major success, and a new Cattiva is currently under construction and should hit the streets in a month's time.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).