Updated: Aug 1, 2019
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ARCHITECTURE ?
I am a passionate third generation architect, privileged to belong to a legacy of forefathers responsible for some of South Mumbai’s iconic structures. As a child, I was surrounded by creative people, all equally passionate about art and architecture. I realised very early on that architecture was the profession where I could satiate my creative abilities and make an impact on my immediate surroundings.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
I believe that architecture is not just design, it is a passion that is related to art and the people that are associated with it. Architecture is a wonderful tool for understanding lifestyles and their various perspectives. I strive hard to achieve the most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective yet aesthetic solution for each scale. Applying no pre-conceived or stylistic notions, my approach attempts to enliven and enhance the built environment by means of my architectural and interior design services. At GA design we have established a reputation for excellence in this field, which is augmented by our ability to conceive and achieve complex spatial configurations.
WHAT IS THE MANTRA THAT YOU'VE RELIED ON IN BALANCING FUNCTION WITH AESTHETICS?
Working under the maxim ‘Live, Work & Play’ my research and design services are tailored to the needs of all our clients. In order to provide the highest level of architecture and interior design, I start each project afresh and by working to this principle, our team at GA design ensures that each project will have its own unique identity and will create a mark of its own.
TALK ABOUT THE SKILLS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU BEST IN YOUR CAREER.
As an architect, my aim is not merely to fulfill my client's expectations but also to exceed them. Setting up a good design team is quite an onerous process but an insightful one. My flexible and approachable nature has helped me to create the right framework of in-house staff as well as external consultants, all of whom contribute to a large extent in shaping my designs. I am always prepared to constantly motivate them to come up with intelligent design solutions for any scale of project. My design team is always striving for perfection by considering the smallest detail as well as the overall visual aesthetic appeal. As a result GA design is known among builders, developers and private clients not only for the quality of our work but also for our intelligent manipulation of space, light and flow. Attending events related to the industry and expanding my network of fellow architects, consultants and vendors has helped me grow tremendously. Valuable fraternal advice can be exchanged using this common ground and it benefits the industry as a whole.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS A BUDDING ARCHITECT SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO WHILE HANDLING PROJECTS? WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU ARE THE DO'S AND THE DONT'S IN THIS FIELD?
At the onset, to study any creative subject, you must enroll into a place that offers a conducive environment which is full of inspiring ideas and a thirst for being the best. Client briefing is the first step to commence a project as it allows him and the designer to understand the expectations from the project. It provides a platform to get acquainted with each other’s requirements and vision. To know a client’s mind you need to familiarise yourself with his lifestyle and be slightly intuitive about his preferences. Try to achieve sustainable architecture by adhering to certain norms and help to create a healthy living environment for future generations.
MENTION FEW OF YOUR NOTABLE PROJECTS AND WHY THEY ARE CLOSE TO YOU.
A recently launched project KALPATARU BLISS in Kalina opposite the Mumbai University, is distinctive for its striking design and unique blend of different spatial configurations. In this project we have achieved a harmonious amalgamation of different spatial configurations, making the complex look coherent and unified. Despite the stringent laws of building regulations in Mumbai, the façade has a dynamic design which is meant to break the repetitive pattern of traditional facades. The building has a two dimensional façade with an animated surface that lets it stand out and contrast with the adjacent buildings.
Another project that is close to me is APSARA HOUSING SOCIETY at Kanjur Marg in Mumbai. Being the only avant-garde building in its immediate vicinity, it is unmissable in its form and identity. The design is highly efficient in terms of floor space, and provides apartments with a view of the road in the front and open grounds in the rear. The building design is complemented by a sustainable vision for the entire area, strengthening the neighbourhood as a whole - particularly the busy road leading to the Kanjur Marg railway station. Each apartment is intended to connect to the external environment by means of a wide deck, which essentially forms the main design feature of the building. In the process of developing this element, the design incorporates tapering decks of varying widths, connected by inclined walls to form a wrap-around design. A compelling visual outcome is achieved by these alternating, angled balconies, especially when coupled with the interplay of light and shadow. Instead of being stacked one on top of the other, the balconies are staggered and double-heighted, crafting an open-to-sky experience that also allows for cross-ventilation through the living and dining rooms. The design of the façade relies on carefully detailed concrete profiles, rather than the use of applied finishes. The white & grey colour palette and the use of textured paint clearly defines the modern form of the building.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION IN DESIGN?
Architect Frank Gehry who is famous for his contemporary architecture, never fails to inspire me. Said to "defy categorisation", Gehry's work reflects a spirit of experimentation coupled with a respect for the demands of professional practice and has remained largely unaligned with broader stylistic tendencies or movements.
Gehry's style at times seems unfinished or even crude, but his work is consistent with the California "funk" art movement in the 1960s and early 1970s, which featured the use of inexpensive found objects and non-traditional media such as clay to make serious art. His works always have at least some element of deconstructivism. His most notable projects are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Wald Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE ARCHITECTURAL/DESIGN PIECES AROUND THE GLOBE?
The Colosseum in Rome is undoubtedly my favourite architectural monument. The grandeur and scale of this monument is unbelievable. This is one structure that I believe needs to be seen and studied by all engineers and architects for its engineering marvel as well as for its architectural detailing. The fact that it was built more than 2000 years ago to stage deadly combats of gladiators and wild animals for public viewing with a capacity of over 55,000 seated spectators plus an additional 10,000 standing, itself goes to show how advanced Greek and Roman architecture was. Remarkably it took only 10 years to build this massive structure which has 80 arched entrances each with identical layering of bricks and Travertine stone for arcades. This stadium can be used as a master template for creating stadium designs in the modern world.
Another remarkable building is the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China. This 600 meters tall observation tower looks like a bunch of twisted pick-up sticks, in a scale that is unimaginable. The narrowest part or the waist of the tower contains an open air skywalk where visitors can climb the tower. The high speed elevator with a glass floor which takes you to the mid-level sets the tone for the adventures to follow. The steel steps are interspersed with glass mid-landings, making the climb more thrilling for adrenalin junkies. At the observation deck on the top floor are two amusement rides which are not meant for the weak-hearted! There are 16 glass bubble cabins holding 4-6 passengers each, travelling on a track on the edge of the roof circumnavigating it. There is also a speed drop ride which is 30 meters above the top deck and drops at a speed of 16 meters per second. The most remarkable feature of this tower is the lighting at night. The tower appears to be glowing and emitting light rather than being lit externally.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT DESIGNING?
You will always find me lounging around with my sketch book and pencil. I love to sketch imaginary designs of buildings as well as interiors in my spare time. I have a huge collection of vinyl classics which I love to listen to on a lazy Sunday morning, while stirring up some delicacies in the kitchen.
SHARE SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE FOR OUR READERS TO GET INSPIRED OF.
Pursue your passion, it is important to love what you do. There are so many layers to each profession, you must explore all of them and pick out the one that suits your personality and skill set the most. Respect nature and try to enhance your surroundings to achieve a healthy lifestyle.