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Inspiration and insight for architects and interior designers

⊲ Dona Sylvia by Charles Correa ⊲ Tipsy Gypsy by SEAD Consultants

MAN OF THE MOMENT 2018 PRITZKER PRIZE LAUREATE

ARCHITECT, URBAN PLANNER AND EDUCATOR FOR THE PAST SEVEN DECADES, BALKRISHNA DOSHI RECEIVES GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE’S HIGHEST HONOUR IN TORONTO THIS MONTH

All you need to know about

Laminates, veneers and plywood

Published by ITP Media (India)

Total pages 86 + 8 pages supplement

Vol 10 | Issue 2 | `50 May 2018


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EDITOR’S LETTER

10

AN ARCHITECT AND A GENTLEMAN

DOSHI’S CONTRIBUTION TO HUMANITY FOR THE PAST SIX DECADES IS LEGENDARY, BUT HE REMAINS HUMBLE TO THE CORE

Anyone who has even briefly encountered Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, better known as BV Doshi, would have been thrilled at the news that he was selected to be the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. When the announcement was made by Tom Pritzker, chairman of Hyatt Foundation, sponsors of the award that has come to be known internationally as architecture’s highest honour, I happened to be at an architects meet in Ahmedabad. An air of celebration seemed to pervade the city that the Pune-born architect had made his home. This is scarcely surprising, considering that the iconic architect who recently turned 90, has spent a major part of his life shaping the city and its creative minds. Over the past seven decades, as an architect, urban planner and educator, Doshi has been pivotal in moulding our understanding of climate, content and culture and their relationship to our built spaces. As the citation of the Pritzker Prize says, “By granting him the award this year, the Pritzker Prize jury recognises his exceptional architecture as reflected in over a hundred buildings he has realised, his commitment and his dedication to his country and the communities he has served, his influence as a teacher, and the outstanding example he has set for professionals and students around the world throughout his long career.” Having worked with two masters of the 20th century, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, it is evident from the sturdy concrete forms of Doshi’s early projects that he was influenced by his teachers. To his credit, however, he developed his own vocabulary based on his understanding and appreciation of vernacular Indian architecture, combining local craft with modern prefab construction techniques. Doshi’s contribution to humanity for the past six decades is legendary, but he remains humble to the core. “My works are an extension of my life, philosophy and dreams…I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier,” he declares. “His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat.” As the editor of Architect and Interiors India, I have been privileged to meet Doshi on numerous occasions…and each time I do, the one thing that strikes me is his approachability despite his stature and fame. Students flock around him, and he continues to influence generation next through his work, his lectures, his writing and, most importantly, through his personality and gentlemanly behaviour. I will always treasure the signed copy of Paths Uncharted that he gifted me in 2011...and you can be sure that his one-time intern Joshua Dawson, who has penned a tribute to Doshi (pg22) will treasure the memories of each moment spent with his guru. Doshi is India’s pride and joy, and the Pritzker Prize he receives at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, this month is just another affirmation that a genius – nay, a living legend – walks among us. Indeed, we are blessed!

Maria Louis, Editor maria.louis@itp.com

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com


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CONTENTS

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MAY 2018 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 02

22 56

22

TRIBUTE

Dr.BV Doshi’s former intern recounts what it was like to work with and be inspired by the first Indian architect to win the Pritzker Prize. 46

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Surface treatments are fancier and more durable, thanks to laminates and veneers. 56

CASE STUDY

Mumbai’s new gastropub Tipsy Gypsy is infused with a quirky ambience by SEAD Consultants. 60

EVENT

Think Turf series by Roca headed to Surat and Ranchi to discuss architecture and ethics. 62

LAUNCH PAD

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia gets a brand new identity and a contemporary revamp.

62

66

INTERVIEW

Patricia Urquiola talks about design’s future, technology and research in product design. 74

66

84

Cover: Dr.BV Doshi, Vastu Shilpa Consultants (pg22); Photograph: Bajirao Pawar

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY

Art and industrial chic defines Toro + Ko restaurant created by Bishop Design. 84

BIG PICTURE

Artist Seema Kohli’s work illustrates her take on the idea of feminine energies.


14

60-SECOND INTERVIEW

MINJAL JHAVERI, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, BESPOKE HOME JEWELS

Volume 10 | Issue 02 | May 2018 | `50 ITP Media (India) Pvt Ltd Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, 898 Turner Road Bandra (West), Mumbai – 400050, India T +91 22 6154 6000

Managing director S Saikumar Group publishing director Bibhor Srivastava

EDITORIAL Editor Maria Louis T +91 22 6154 6037 maria.louis@itp.com Contributors Carol Ferrao, Aruna Rathod, Joshua Dawson

ADVERTISING Director Indrajeet Saoji T +91 93202 85997 indrajeet.saoji@itp.com South India Director Sanjay Bhan

If you observe the interiors retail market, it would be hard to miss how luxury is constantly evolving. A new brand, for one, wants to add more than grandeur to luxurious home decor and instill in it an equal measure of positive energy. Bespoke Home Jewels is taking ornate stones and configuring them into stunning furniture and decor pieces – giving customers ‘gems’ of furniture and home accessories to adorn their homes and offices with. Having launched its first retail space in collaboration with Sussanne Khan’s The Charcoal Project, founder of Bespoke Home Jewels Minal Jhaveri hihglights the brand’s USP and its extensive as well as diverse product line. How does Bespoke Home Jewels complement The Charcoal Project? Minjal Jhaveri: Sussanne [Khan] loves playing with a palette of muted shades, and the pop of colour of the semi-precious stones used in our products could create the right drama in the space – and yet blend with their largely contemporary design aesthetics.

T +91 98457 22377 sanjay.bhan@itp.com

STUDIO Head of design Milind Patil Senior designer Vinod Shinde Contributor Saili Bandre

PRODUCTION Deputy production manager Ramesh Kumar

CIRCULATION Distribution manager James D’Souza T +91 22 61546006 james.dsouza@itp.com

The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily

Is there a process in determining the ideal piece for a given space? Jhaveri: The basics of gemstone therapy is used in recommending which stones to keep in which areas of the space. For example, Rose Quartz in the master bedroom, malachite and tiger eye in the office space, amethyst in the living room. But these are guidelines. By and large, it’s a personal choice that our clients should go for – as all gemstones radiate positive and happy energies. What kind of lifestyle products are available under this label? Jhaveri: I have curated a collection of over 100 pieces for The Charcoal Project, each one handcrafted using the finest quality of semi-precious stones. The range includes furniture, lighting, home accents like lamps and mirrors and accesories such as photo frames, cheese platters, bookends, etc – all specially curated for the store. How does Bespoke Home Jewels redefine luxury in the home decor space? Jhaveri: Bespoke Home Jewels is a luxury home decor brand that creates jewellery for the home. All our pieces are made using semi-precious stones sourced from all over the world. We create statement furniture and accesories that epitomise grandeur, yet seamlessly fit into spaces. Every energy-radiating stone comes with a distinct aesthetic and healing power which, when incorporated into a decor piece, adds to the visual harmony of the space.

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

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NEWS BITES

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INDUSTRY DATA SCRIPT, the first “attainable premium” furniture brand from the house of Godrej, is set to impact the interior market with its unique take on luxury furniture. The newly-launched brand opened its first store in Bengaluru – owing to its perfect blend of consumer profiling and existing infrastructure. Located in the posh neighbourhood of Indiranagar, the Script store is spread over 14,000sq-ft with inspirational and design-led home interior solutions. “The premium furniture brand is inspired by contemporary lifestyle that promises to offer ‘freedom of living’, that uplifts every experience and assists consumers from Bengaluru to balance their daily activities with great ease and joy,” states the brand spokesperson. STERNHAGEN, Germany’s premium sanitaryware brand, launched three boutiques in Mumbai, New Delhi and Gurgaon respectively − where customers can see first-hand their award-winning Düne, Kristall, Urbane Pent and Seerose Suites. The brand’s USP has been to provide Sani-Quartz (patented material) bath suite products like wash basins, bath tubs, faucets, tiles and other bathroom products. Chairman and MD at Acrysil, Chirag Parekh said, “As a design-driven brand, we will constantly innovate to create products…that are worthy of the Sternhagen name.”

RENSON − specialising in ventilation, sun protection, outdoor and façade cladding − added three new international awards to their trophy cabinet. The Linarte design façade cladding and the Panovista Max sun protection screen for corner windows were awarded the Red Dot award, simultaneously the user app for the smart Healthbox 3.0 ventilation unit won the iF Design Award. “We are particularly proud of this award. It confirms that we can distinguish ourselves as a trendsetter in ventilation with innovations that respond to the needs of the market perfectly,” said CEO Paul Renson.

DSP DESIGN ASSOCIATES had the honour of being the only design firm in Asia to win two recognitions at the Liveable Office Awards 2017-2018, organised by Herman Miller Asia Pacific in Tokyo, Japan. Bimal Desai, founder director, DSP Design, was present to receive the two awards – Best Tech Design and the People’s Choice Award. Along with the awards, DSP also received USD 5,000 worth of Herman Miller products and one year subscription to Herman Miller Passport service (a technology that encourages better time management and selfimprovement at workplaces).

EUREKA, known for its decorative lighting solutions, is also on a winning spree. The company’s Flynn LED lighting pendant won a Red Dot Award — making it the fourth year running that a Eureka product has been recognised by the prestigious award. Featuring a slightly retro aluminium shade, the bold lines of the pendant are reminiscent of an industrial lamp; but on the inside, there is a generously curved and highly diffused white reflector. Eureka, along with the other winners, will be honoured at the Red Dot Gala on July 9 at Aalto-Theatre, Essen, Germany.

ANGELIQUE International Limited, an Indian EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) company, recently completed the construction of the Royal Science and Technology Innovation Park in Phocweni, Swaziland − which is expected to create economic opportunities for the African country. Inaugurated by the President of India Ramnath Kovind and the Prime Minister of Swaziland, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, this facility will mobilise new investors and private capital, create productive jobs, new economic opportunities and enhance access to and quality of services – from financial and energy to health and education.

BEYOND DESIGNS, a Delhi-based luxury home-furniture and lifestyle brand, has created a unique retail plus hospitality ambience at their new flagship store on Mehrauli Gurgaon Road. Along with the launch of Beyond Designs Homes − their new accessory vertical, the store houses Cafe We, a space where design meets food and art. Designed by founder Sachin Gupta and wife Neha Gupta, the 8,000sq-ft store showcases a series of carefully curated vignettes of living spaces along with a beautiful French bistro-style 52-seater cafe with a private dining area.

SAINT GOBAIN hopes to give façades in India the golden touch with its brand new product Midas Gold – a golden sheen glass exclusively designed in India and for India, under their Sun-Ban category. Made using the cutting-edge magnetron process, the glass provides optimum light transmission and allows daylight indoors while also reducing glare. It also brings benefits of UV protection, and the low internal reflection gives freedom from unhindered exterior views, ensuring privacy through out. Midas Gold is designed to function efficiently as structural glazing, façade glazing, bolted system, curtainwalling, windows and other fenestration applications.

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com


NEWS & PEOPLE

18

‘Baaya reimagined’ impresses its clientele

When its new avatar was unveiled, Baaya Version 4.0 enjoyed a brief moment of internet attention as a meme. While team Baaya took the joke in its stride, the design community welcomed the new store that will help them to re-imagine interiors spaces with its eclectic mix of innovative art, artefacts, zany furniture, mirrors and rugs. Curated from all over India, the collections continue the thread of quintessential ‘Baaya appeal’ – where tradition

meets design. The store also features a Baaya Design Studio, where an in-house team will help create customised solutions for residences, offices and even hotels. “Handcrafted products not only give a personalised touch to interior spaces, but also connect at an emotional level to our roots. Our social agenda is to be a platform for talented artisans who can work with designers to showcase their capabilities and create new and exciting interior styling solutions,” team Baaya notes. The launch gathered some of the best names in the industry, from Sanjay and Nina Puri (who inaugurated the store along with founders Shibani and Vipul Jain) to Mamta Raja, Colleen Khan (who came along with husband Derek Affonso), Ashwini Kakkar, Dennis Metzger and singer Isheeta Ganguly.

MAIA Estates to create a new oasis in Bengaluru It was a big announcement impacting the real estate market in Bengaluru, when MAIA Estates LLP announced the launch of its first residential project, Pelican Grove, in the city. Founded in 2016 by CEO Mayank Ruia, MAIA will be focusing on developing the highest quality real estate across various socio-economic segments of Bengaluru. Ruia was previously group director – Residential at Phoenix Mills and responsible for the development of its residential assets in Bengaluru Dr.Ranjan Pai and Mayank Ruia at the launch of Pelican Grove in Bengaluru. and Pune. With MAIA Estates, Ruia attention to detail. MAIA Estates was founded to has entered into a partnership with the Manipal represent the values of real estate development Group − comprising Global Education Services in modern India.” The key focus areas for chairman TV Mohandas Pai, Manipal Education the company will be developing landmark and Medical Group (MEMG) chairman Dr.Ranjan residential projects across micro-markets and Pai, and group corporate affairs advisor Abhay price points, as well as commercial and multiJain . Speaking about the venture, Ruia said, use developments. With Pelican Grove, MAIA “As a developer, we would like to be known as Estates announced both its momentous arrival in someone who brings efficiency into all aspects of the city and the standards it hopes to set. a project, with extremely well-planned spaces and

If we...concentrate on an experimental dimension or ambition, our hope is that the intelligence...might be recognisable as ‘signature’.” REM KOOLHAAS, FOUNDING PARTNER, OMA

I keep in mind... not to highlight my architecture in the environment, but rather to highlight the environment.”

TOYO ITO, PRINCIPAL, TOYO ITO & ASSOCIATES

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

Stay cooler with Crompton Crompton, India’s leading consumer electrical company, has launched the Tricool window cooler and a new range of fans. The Air 360 and Air 360 Deco fans have a unique elevated blade design that delivers air over 50% more room space than regular fans, while also offering smoother airflow and air delivery of 265 cu mtr/min − considered highest in its segment. Tricool window cooler is one of its kind because it can be fitted like a regular window AC. It draws air from the outside and delivers 60% better cooling than a standard plastic cooler. Mathew Job, CEO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd, noted, “We have placed the consumer at the heart of our innovation process.”

French flair in the kitchen

Le Creuset, the iconic brand from France that’s known for its enamelled cast-iron cookware, hosted an interactive baking session with celebrity chef Pooja Dhingra at its High Street Phoenix store in Mumbai. The dishes were demonstrated using the brand’s vibrant products. Ankur Damani, country head - India and SAARC, Le Creuset, said, “Baking has become a rage in India, and who better to collaborate with than chef Pooja Dhingra! We continue to create exclusive experiences for our guests...not just to showcase our cookware, but also to communicate the benefits and uniqueness of Le Creuset products.”

By definition architecture is a collective practice… (it) is an expression of needs and desires and forces that are outside yourself.”

ALEJANDRO ARAVENA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ELEMENTAL SA


NEWS & PEOPLE

20

ColourNext 2018 turns aspirations into trends

Going beyond trends, Colournext2018 – the 15th edition of Asian Paints’colour and decor trend report – is a reflection of what’s needed in the world today. Amit Syngle, COO, Asian Paints Ltd, said, “Colour Next 2018 is a fascinating process of mapping societal currents and décor trends... In its essence, it is not a monolithic design diktat, but a fountainhead of inspiration, rich with all colours of opinion, emotion and experience.” As per the report, Passion Flower is an apt Colour of the Year choice, while Busy Cool, Alchemy of Memories,

Humane and Untamed form the four fascinating trends to consider. Passion Flower is a goldtinged ray of hope with warmth of openness that triggers discovery. It is quietly receptive during the day and reflective in the shade. Alchemy of Memories is about documentation of art, history and culture through people as a medium – it includes moody mauve and aqua punctuated by a fresh green and a pale grey. Busy Cool resonates with today’s hyper-busy professionals showcasing their work on social media – deriving a palette of plush purple and a flamboyant red. The trend Humane comprises a grounded colour palette with shades of earth, sand and soil, the colours in it reflecting a longing to reconnect to what we are made of. Untamed, the last trend, is made up of overthe-top fluorescent colours – where absurd juxtapositions take centerstage, lit up by the psychedelic. This intriguing forecast is a result of a year-round scientific study, carried out by an expert panel of India’s top designers, architects, noted sociologists and advertising professionals.

Experience doors and windows at Encraft’s store Encraft’s first Experience Centre is not only its biggest in the country, but also the most comprehensive centre of its kind. Located at Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi, the 5,000sq-ft centre houses several departments – from an R&D centre and fabrication departments to window testing – while also showcasing lifesize settings with actual doors and windows. Elaborating about the centre, Maja Hoellrigl, Group CEO, DCJ Group, said, “At the R&D Centre, one can take a look at how it all begins; that is, the beginning of making doors and windows. The fabrication department tells all about how a window or door is manufactured. At the window testing area, the products are checked for performance with water, wind, rain, etc, against EN Standard using KS Schulten, Germany test rig.” Known for

Indian handicrafts soar at IHGF

The 45th edition of IHGF (Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair) Delhi Fair Spring 2018, held in Greater Noida, concluded with much promise. As one of the major marketing platforms, the fair has improved businesses of small and medium entrepreneurs in the handicrafts sector. This year, in particular, the theme pavilions of NER (North East Region), Jodhpur, and Jammu & Kashmir were key highlights – as the exquisite crafts from these states attracted many buyers. When the fair was first initiated in 1994 -1995, the handicrafts exports were at Rs.3,159.62 crore, whereas by 2016-2017 it had soared to the height of Rs.24,392.39 crore.

Smart homes by Haware

providing accurate test readings about quality and function of the test elements, the German test also checks for air leakage measurements, water tightness and wind resistance. Hoellrigl added, “The Experience Centre will help bring us closer to our customers. We believe that it will enhance the product buying experience. The centre celebrates our strengths in applying technology to offer window and door solutions in a meaningful manner.”

I particularly like steel, but paper too can be strong and permanent. We need to get rid of material prejudices.” SHIGERU BAN, FOUNDER, SHIGERU BAN ARCHITECTS

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” LATE ZAHA HADID, FOUNDER, ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

The future of Smart housing is almost here, as Haware Properties gears up to build Haware Intelligentia – India’s first automated homes. With homes powered by Amazon Echo and Apple Home, the two proposed residential towers in Vikhroli, Mumbai, will make automation its trademark. “Every home (will be) fitted with amenities that one would imagine belong to either the future, or inside a celebrity home in a magazine,” said CEO and joint MD Amit Haware.

After sixty years in practice, I still find the greatest challenge is to design appropriately for each context...”

FUMIHIKO MAKI, PRINCIPAL, MAKI & ASSOCIATES


TRIBUTE TO AN ICON Our three-part cover story celebrates Dr.BV Doshi, a giant in the world of Indian architecture and design who has recently received widespread international recognition with the announcement of the 2018 Pritzker Prize for Architecture www.architectandinteriorsindia.com | MAY 2018 | ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA


TRIBUTE BV DOSHI

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TRYST WITH A

TITAN BY ANY STANDARD, BALKRISHNA DOSHI IS A GIANT IN THE WORLD OF INDIAN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN, AND HIS INFLUENCE ON FUTURE GENERATIONS CANNOT BE CHALLENGED BY JOSHUA DAWSON

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ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com


TRIBUTE BV DOSHI

W

hen you say that there are many ways to use a staircase, then the word ‘staircase’ does not exist. You have changed the whole definition. Your image of a stair changes. All we need to know is, where and how we want to go up and in what time. But if you say to yourself…a stair...is a stair...is a stair… Then how would you ever invent anything new?” Balkrishna Doshi’s words resonated under the concrete vaults at Sangath, where we eagerly learned from a master who seemed more like a guru with his disciples than a teacher in a classroom. That was just one of many such evenings where we would sit cross-legged in the subterranean studio and hear him speak on the importance of embracing – but not abusing – technology, the secrets of measurement and the power of observation in developing your intuition. In Fall 2011, I was fortunate enough to be trained at the office of Vastu Shilpa Consultants at Sangath. I spent most of my time at the model shop, and I soon received direct assignments from Doshi himself to make models of Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan in preparation for us to study and consider the addition of a vertical circulation core to its exterior. He told me, “This will be a good opportunity for you to visit the building, because they usually don’t allow people in there.” Though Doshi did not mention it at the time, he knew that working on the project would teach me to look beyond the obvious to see a structure’s deeper meaning and potential. By measuring, drawing and physically modeling specific areas of the Villa, I discovered that the use of Corbusier’s Le Modulor was more than just a tool to create proportional harmony; it was meant to control the user’s experience through his highly-defined programmatic spaces. The human-centric nature of its design exerts a form of control on every user moving through the building, making circulation more than just a route to get from point A to B. He had also harnessed concrete’s plasticine quality to contain the arrangement of these spaces in his precise mathematical alignment. Doshi first worked on this building in the early 1950s, and I was lucky to play a small part more than half a century later. The task instilled in me a method of reading, deciphering and analysing any building I visit. And that is at the heart of what Doshi tried to impart to me and to all of his students: a new

way of seeing. Though many architects specialise in one field, Doshi has always brought together diverse perspectives, disciplines and practices to find the best solution. In his work and his teaching, he emphasises the importance of re-examining your premises and challenging your own perceptions – even if that means starting over from scratch. Doshi’s work stands apart because he is not bound by assumptions about what something should be or how it should be done. Instead, he focuses on using his formidable skill-set, design tools and vision to reimagine what a structure can be. His work defies convention, and so does he.

THE STAIR In the post-starchitect era, many designers believe in the avant-garde ‘masterstroke’ or the ‘genius sketch’. The thick line-drawing on a napkin at a cocktail party that ends up being passed on to lower-level employees to develop with sophisticated software tools. They believe that there’s only one answer, and the artist’s first thought is usually the right one. Any indication of rigorous self-critique is seen as a sign of weakness, and any deviation from the initial plan represents a failure of your design capability. Anything less than beginning on a perfect note is unacceptable. The act becomes more a form of image-making than the making of place and space. In the most extreme cases, each new building becomes almost a caricature of the last. In an age where the value of a building is judged by its retweets and Instagram likes and where photorealistic renderings are meant to look better than the finished building itself, it becomes harder to take a firm stance against such practices of showmanship. Perhaps they are less about style and iconography, and more about efficiency and frugal management of resources. But Doshi’s approach is the antithesis of this. He always starts from first principles. His design decisions stem from a rigorous line of inquiry that investigates the root of any problem. This process resembles a form of self-dialogue through a meticulous investigation where every fresh iteration he produces, challenges its predecessor at its very core. Besides the many active projects in the office, Doshi often had a few pet projects he would take on, primarily extensions or additions to his existing buildings. One of them was the design of a staircase.

1. Balkrishna Doshi has been making the architecture community in India proud (and grateful) even before being awarded the Pritzker Prize. 2. Doshi seems happiest when he is encouraging and challenging young architects.

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TRIBUTE BV DOSHI

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further building upon the mobility that the invention of the wheel has allowed us? Over time, I’ve come to realise that, for Doshi, it’s not about the wheel itself. He doesn’t take the wheel at face value. He isn’t always certain that he can find a better solution, but he dares to challenge the premise behind it. Doshi is happiest when finding multiple ways to arrive at a solution. He takes pleasure in discovering new approaches by looking at the same problem from a different lens. His particular quest to rethink existing solutions gives each of his projects distinct characteristics. If the process leads him back to the wheel in the end, then so be it – but he sure likes to try new approaches first. Although, knowing Doshi…if he ever really did reinvent the wheel, he would put millennia of human civilization to shame.

THE STORYTELLER & MYTH-MAKER 4

3. Sangath has become a temple of architecture for young architects like Dawson. who are forever indebted to Doshi. 4. Doshi at the annual exhibition of RV College of Architecture, Bengaluru.

The east wing of Sangath had a gallery space that was populated by a few models and a collection of books. Doshi intended on splitting it into a double-height space connected by a stair. He walked into the model shop one morning and asked us to make a model of the Sangath gallery. That afternoon, Doshi placed a stool adjacent to the model, pulled out a sketchbook and began to sketch his ideas for the stair. Purushotham, his longtime model-maker, observed the direction of his sketch and sculpted those gestures in high-density thermocol with a hot wire and sandpaper. Doshi then held the model to the light, dusted off the sandpaper residue from his sketchbook and continued to sketch a variation of the model. Purushotham picked up from where Doshi left off. The two had developed a shorthand of their own over many decades of working together, making verbal communication unnecessary. Doshi came in the next morning and began the same process from the very beginning, producing new versions by completely rethinking the earlier ones. The entire process ran a little over two weeks and resulted in 18 different options, each a unique invention and all physically hand-modeled. All of them worked perfectly but could never be reused on any other project, since they remained rooted to the constraints of that single gallery space. Every evening, the employees would stop by the model shop and gasp, “Oh my God...he changed it again?!” In our minds, it was, after all, a simple staircase that a couple of interns could have quickly drafted and built. I had questions of my own. Why reinvent the wheel with every project? I wondered. Wouldn’t our time be better spent

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

Doshi loves a good story. Myths and fables are all a part of his ethos. While he frequently quoted the Mahabharata and Ramayana, he also used his own metaphors and rhetoric to convey complex ideas. We most often heard his recollections of his encounters with Corbusier and Kahn – but over time, we came to understand his use of mythology and narrative as an important part of his design toolkit as well. Doshi’s buildings are intricately-carved storyscapes. Every representational line drawn during the design process has a narrative connotation that extends directly into our lives. He takes myriad perspectives and points of view into account during a building’s conception. As opposed to an inert thrusting of programmatic spaces into a drawing, he instead envisions a series of characters and their possible routines. He establishes direct lines of sight, visual connections and circulation patterns that cater to every possible way an individual could use the space. The relationship with nature, materiality and response to local site conditions are all part of the larger narrative, which remains integral to his plot device. The logical framework that binds his worlds together is organic, making every element of his building coherent and meant for his characters to inhabit. These characters are not restricted to people. Dogs love to borrow shade on his tree seaters at CEPT, squirrels run wild between his vaults at Sangath, peacocks visit the garden at Kamala residence and honeybees hive under the high beams at IIM-Bangalore. The rigidity often brought by pragmatic and functional constraints is turned on its head to make way for a unique spatial experience. Every user and visitor develops personal relationships with Doshi’s buildings, because the spaces he crafts behave as a canvas for life itself.


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His buildings incorporate a dynamic adaptability to diurnal and seasonal change. As a result, every event that I remember at Sangath or CEPT has etched with it the exact time of day and precise location. With such an evocative and memorable nature, his buildings have become the obvious choice as backdrops and thematic settings for movies in popular culture.

THE FUNAMBULIST

5-7. Dawson trained at the office of Vastu Shilpa Consultants at Sangath, where he spent most of his time at the model shop, even receiving direct assignments from Doshi.

Just as Doshi’s buildings have taken on a whole new life in popular culture, so too has the legend of Doshi himself. The public perception of Doshi is akin to that of a mystic, content to let life happen to him. From tributes to Doshi, biographies, documentaries and interviews, it’s easy to buy into the collective image. He himself attributes his success to chance, fate and an alignment of the stars. In this age of super-specialisation, we tend to separate everyone into simple dichotomies: the dreamers from the doers, the thinkers from the makers, the creatives from the suits, the academics from the professionals, the commercial practices from the ateliers. Some international design schools have even abandoned the profession altogether, believing that the discipline and profession of architecture are completely distinct entities. A highly-respected professor once told me that you’re either a good teacher or a good architect, but can never be both. When I hear such broadly generalised and circumscribing statements, I often think to myself, “But what about Doshi?” It is easy enough to conclude that everyone else falls short compared to your idol, but Doshi truly does stand out. His career has encompassed all of the aforementioned identities. Not only is he an intuitive designer and thinker, but also an ambitious entrepreneur, teacher and institution-builder.

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When imparting his knowledge, Doshi’s favourite analogy to illustrate these dualities in life was of walking the tightrope. He would explain how the left and right brain find perfect balance, but you’re never consciously thinking about it. You’re focusing on the absolute certainty that you will make it to the other side alive. At that moment, you are one with your core being. Doshi embraces nuance and believes in thinking on a spectrum. Over time, the analogy of the tightrope has begun to make more sense to me. As a 21-year-old, I was always thrown off when Doshi would share stories with morals of discipline, ritual, cleanliness and punctuality. What about the image of the creative individual as a rebel with no respect for authority, which I often read about? My preconceived biases didn’t quite align with Doshi’s philosophy of “cultivating good habits”. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to see the value of his habitualised self-discipline, and I have realised that it serves as an asset to his creative mind. His discipline and his creativity serve as counterweights as he walks the tightrope, helping him balance so that he can travel much further than he would with just one or the other. Instead of embracing a false division, he uses both traits in conjunction, and he encourages his students to do the same.

THE INTERDISCIPLINARIAN The year after I finished my internship at Sangath, Doshi embarked on a book tour through the country. Seeing an opportunity, the RV School of Architecture student body timed their annual exhibition to coincide with his visit to Bengaluru. In 2012, RV School of Architecture was still located within its engineering campus. We had an unspoken hostility toward each other on account of our differences. As students of the architecture school, we took pride in being ‘edgier’ than and a cut above the engineering students. We never participated in engineering events, and they never participated in ours. After the inauguration and formalities, Doshi walked through the exhibition, observing every project carefully – but reserving any comments. Curious to hear his thoughts, I asked him as we drove him back to his hotel. He responded with a question of his own: “Why does all of the work seem to look the same?” Before we could respond, he followed his first question with another: “Do you not engage with the other departments on campus?” His questions illuminated possibilities we had never considered. Perhaps we would have a more diverse range of designs if we had exchanged knowledge across schools...


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Doshi’s ability to recognise the strength of an alliance among disciplines, when we saw only segregation, struck a chord with me. So when I headed to the University of Southern California (USC) for my post-professional Master’s program, I decided to experiment with Doshi’s idea of “engaging with other departments on campus”. This approach broadened my outlook, encouraging me to re-examine my assumptions and reimagine my own work. My observations confirmed that architects are passionate about finding unique solutions to complex problems and resolving complexity into favourable conditions. But when I worked with filmmakers at USC film school, I quickly realised that they were obsessed with the opposite: they loved finding a conflict in every situation, analysing its narrative potential – even if it meant writing themselves into a corner. This exchange of problem-solving and problem-finding mindsets led to some truly unusual and unique ideas. That is what the true meaning of the word Sangath is: ‘Moving together through participation’. This experience revealed to me that true innovation lies in the synthesis of interdisciplinary collaboration. Forging alliances, building bridges, exchanging information and sharing knowledge make for better outcomes. And that is at the heart of Doshi’s philosophy. Doshi’s own relationships with people like Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Vikram Sarabhai, MF Husain and many others all show his openness to a broad range of influences. His career stands testament to his ability to bring together disparate ideas in a quest for novel results.

THE TEACHER

8. At RV College of Architecture’s annual exhibition, Doshi inspired the students to interact more with the other streams on the campus so as to broaden their understanding of their chosen field.

It wasn’t until I completed my training period at the office that I realised that Doshi was aware that I was witness to the entire process of the design of the staircase. On my last day of training, he asked me, “You watched the transformation of the staircase, didn’t you?” “What finally happened...” “Isn’t it completely different...” “Which was your favourite...” “Do you think the last solution is better? Do you think it’s simpler?” Purushotham later revealed to me that Doshi might not even end up building the staircase. These experimental projects are for students like me to watch and learn the process of design. At Sangath, I made lasting friendships with people from different cities and countries. Just as Sangath expanded my personal worldview by introducing me to new friends, it also fostered my architectural knowledge through journeys to heritage sites and monuments in Ahmedabad. When we returned from those visits, Doshi would make

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time to meet with us at his house or on the lawn at Sangath, and ask us to tell him what we saw and what each of us thought. He never accepted vague answers like “it was nice” or “beautiful”. He wanted us to articulate the experience in detail. He was keenly aware of the varied interpretations of his work, and he liked to hear all of it. He believed that someone new to the field could ask better questions about architecture because they come with no baggage. Doshi often attributed his own unique understanding of Corbusier’s work to his background: unlike the other employees at the atelier, he never went to architecture school. Our training varied from a semester to a year, and Doshi realised that, in the limited time we were there, he might not be able to impart all of the technical knowledge we would need to design a building. So, in order to convey information as efficiently as possible, the office was loosely structured. His door was always open, and he was never unapproachable. Doshi often referenced the story of Ekalavya to highlight the value of having a mentor or role model, even one that you may not have a direct connection with -- just like Kahn acknowledged Corbusier as his mentor because of Corbusier’s influence on his work. “Be a thief…” Doshi would say. “You must absorb as much knowledge as you can from here before you leave.” I learnt even more from him about life than I did about architecture, partly because the launch of his autobiography, Paths Uncharted, coincided with my training period. This makes it hard for me not to evaluate all of my life by the standard that he set for us. After all, as Doshi himself said, “It’s not enough to simply reflect on your current position in life and have affirmations. One must evaluate and take action.” Looking back on my interactions with him, I realise that Doshi’s most valuable lesson was teaching me how to learn. Before I completed my training at Sangath, Doshi wrote me a letter on the importance of discovering alternative routes to solutions. I try to live by those words every day. That letter serves as a physical reminder of the personal interest he took in understanding each of his mentees. He saw potential in me that I myself did not, and that is the mark of a great teacher.

DAWN OF A NEW EPOCH The announcement of the winner of the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize has filled me with joy, renewed my passion, drive and hope for the future. Doshi was instrumental in shaping me as an individual and a thinker, and has had a tremendous influence on our lives as architecture students. Like many, my initial reaction was that this honour was long overdue. However, in an age of extreme climate change, polarising partisan bias and a shortage of quality role models, I cannot help but see this event as more timely than ever. Never more than now has there been a need for his ideology. His sustainable thinking, concern for the have-nots and mentality of doing more with less transcend architecture. These are timeless values, and humanity should take note. He is the living embodiment of practising what you preach, and his architecture is simply an extension of himself. By honouring Doshi, this year’s Pritzker jury not only celebrates a life devoted to architecture, but also recognises an architecture that celebrates life. His work shows what architecture can be, and his teaching has shaped generations. Through his ideals, he has influenced the entire field, and his impact will continue to resonate for years to come. He has my heartfelt congratulations on this well-deserved honour and my deepest thanks for his life of service to his pupils, to the field of architecture and to the world. A&I


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THE PATH BREAKER

ASK TODAY’S YOUNG INDIAN ARCHITECTS TO CHOOSE THEIR DESIGN ICON, AND BV DOSHI’S NAME INVARIABLY CROPS UP BY MARIA LOUIS

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1. Dr.BV Doshi: an officer and a gentleman. 2. Doshi’s office: Sangath, Ahmedabad.

y close encounters with the legendary BV Doshi have left me even more in awe of his spirit than I was before I met him. An unassuming personality, both in the way he dresses neatly in traditional Indian attire and interacts humbly with his peers and juniors, he displays none of the flamboyance that characterises those who have achieved just a fragment of his success. His life, and his work in the realm of natural materials, energy-saving techniques and interpretation of traditional Indian architecture in a contemporary vocabulary, have been an inspiration for generations of architects, and undoubtedly will be for generations to come. So, I was delighted by his promise when, in September 2011, I met him at Sangath – his masterpiece of an office in Ahmedabad – soon after he received France’s highest honour for the arts. “I’m going to give you a book. It has the whole story of my life,” he declared. And he kept his promise, generously handing me the first issue that arrived at his office and making me the proud owner of a signed copy of Paths Uncharted (his recent book, based on notes from his diaries). The ‘Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters’, equivalent to the Padma Bhushan award in India, was conferred on Padma Shri Dr BV Doshi by the French consul general Jean Raphael Peytregnet at a gracious function hosted at CEPT, Ahmedabad,

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by the Alliance Française of Ahmedabad. The choice of venue was apt, considering that he is the ‘founding father’ of the Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology (CEPT). The title recognises Doshi’s association with France’s master architect Le Corbusier and his contributions to facilitating relations between the two countries in the field of architecture and art. “If you are highly motivated, your thoughts about your aspirations and dreams travel, reach out and, eventually, the cosmic forces create situations for them to happen really.” One of the brilliant gems contained in Paths Uncharted, this is the most probable explanation for the incredible events that led Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, born in 1927 as the son of a furniture maker in a joint family in Pune, to the atelier of Le Corbusier in Paris (1951-54) – and thence, thanks to “a series of seemingly disparate coincidences,” to oversee his guru’s projects in Ahmedabad. Doshi set up his own studio, Vastu Shilpa Consultants, after he returned in 1955. His experience in Paris was a stepping stone to accomplishments such as working closely with Louis Kahn when the American architect designed the campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. In 1958, he was a fellow at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. “I got this fellowship because I happened to meet Dr Sigfried Giedion, the Swiss architectural historian and


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SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, CEPT, AHMEDABAD

A young architect we interviewed recently, maintains that anyone who passes through the portals of CEPT is either already an architect or vows to be one – the ultimate tribute to Doshi’s genius! Built in 1966-68, the School of Architecture was the first stage in a much more ambitious understanding of an entire multi-disciplinary campus that would include further studios, a library, an exhibition area and facilities for painting and sculpture; the whole, to be called the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT). A simple structure of parallel, load-bearing brick walls with concrete beams and floors added up to an extendable system to house multi-purpose studios and teaching spaces. The emphasis was on maximising airflow through the building while minimising the impact of the sun. A north-south orientation of parallel bays offered the best solution. The climate control features include deep overhangs shading southward-facing openings; minimised openings to east and west; thick walls doubling up as insulative and structural elements; overlapping sectional volumes and double heights for convective cooling; north lighting for glare control, lush greenery and landscaping. Conceived as a free-flowing space with no compartmentalisation or segregation, the campus encourages interaction, both between students and faculty; an epitomisation of the notion of the ideal institution in which teaching and learning could happen anywhere, at any time, with an unfettered exchange of ideas actualised by interacting individuals. The built and the unbuilt harmonise by means of gradually increasing or decreasing senses of enclosure, light and scale. Transitions are also effected by the animation of the ‘inbetween’ spaces by interlocking platforms and steps/plinths of various scales and sizes, shaded or otherwise, for large/small group gatherings or individual contemplation. The efforts towards designing an educational campus of international standard has been infused with local contextual flavour, as evident in the narrow, long main corridor leading from the entrance to the library, interspersed with flights of steps overlooking balconies and bridges, recalling the spatial experience of the ‘pols’ or traditional residential areas of Ahmedabad. This ‘street’ terminates in the large court or square, which takes on the multi-purpose function of larger gatherings, playground, activity, etc. The School of Architecture, which combines the plain brick walls of Doshi’s own house and the concrete cantilevered overhanging slabs and verandahs of the Institute of Indology, shows evidence of the influence of Louis Kahn as well as that of Le Corbusier.

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3. CEPT, Ahmedabad.

critic, in Corbusier’s office, just a few days before I left Paris,” says Doshi matter-of-factly. Soon after, came his formidable achievements as an educator and institution builder – the first founder director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (1962-72); first founder director of the School of Planning (1972-79); first founder dean of CEPT (1972-81); founder member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad; and first founder director of the Kanoria Centre for the Arts, Ahmedabad. Doshi’s work is at once modern and traditional, his architecture interpreting the Indian vernacular in a contemporary idiom. Among the significant institutional campuses that he has designed are IIM-Bangalore; Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board, Jabalpur; NIFT, New Delhi; CEPT University, Ahmedabad; and Yashwantrao Chavan Development Academy, Pune. His urban-scale projects include the planning for the BandraKurla Complex, Mumbai; development of the Kharghar node, Navi Mumbai; and the proposal for the new city of Jaipur,

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Vidyadharnagar. Doshi’s mastery over housing is evident in Aranya, Indore – a slum redevelopment township, for which he received the international Aga Khan Award in 1996. Winning national and international awards has become almost second nature to him now. Indeed, the young ‘Bal’ has come a long way from the time when he gave up his share of his ancestral property in Pune for just enough money to survive in London, where he headed at the invitation of a friend (Hari Kanhere, his senior at the JJ School of Architecture, Mumbai). In 1951, his unquenchable thirst for knowledge took him to Hoddesdon for the Eighth Conference of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM), which he managed to attend against great odds after persistently calling up Cadbury Brown, then the secretary of CIAM. Since he was neither a member nor a full-time architecture student (but studying independently for the RIBA examination), he had to use all his persuasive skills. “Even today, I often


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4. Book reading and launch of Paths Uncharted, held at Studio X in Mumbai. 5. IIM-Bangalore. 6. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad.

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wonder about this bold and courageous act of calling him up, considering that I was quite shy and could not converse properly in English,” says Doshi, who went on to become a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for his “lifetime contribution to Indian and international architecture” and has been on the selection committee for the Pritzker Prize, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. A chance meeting with German Samper from Bogota, Colombia, who was working with Le Corbusier on the master plan for Chandigarh, prompted Doshi to write to the French master asking if he could work with him. At the time, he knew almost nothing about him; though he learnt later that Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose work impressed him, had been influenced by Le Corbusier. “Cosmic forces” must have been at work, for the aspiring young Indian architect received a reply immediately: “You would not be paid for eight months. If you want to come, come,” was Le Corbusier’s terse rejoinder. That was enough for Doshi to leave for Paris, with his meagre savings, on a boat from Dover to Calais. “Thus I began another chapter in my life, in another strange city, just as in Mumbai and London earlier,” recalls the 86-year-old architect six decades after that momentous decision. The language barrier and having no acquaintances outside office took its toll. “I kept asking myself: why did I come? Lonely, exhausted and nervous, I would go to the hotel, drink some milk and cry.” What kept Doshi going was the advice that his “dada” had given him: “Bal, don’t leave anything halfway because, if you do, you will repent all your life, think of it as a failure and, chances are, you will never take another risk. Determination to go on is very crucial for excellence and success.” Today’s young architects do not have to contend with the problems faced by this living legend (they have their own), but they could learn a lot from this advice – just as they will from his work. While Doshi’s projects are lessons in architecture, his Paths Uncharted is a must-read for the promise of a life well lived… even for those who are not fascinated by architecture. A&I Note: This article was first published in April 2013, after the launch of BV Doshi’s book, Paths Uncharted. Doshi is now over 90 years old.


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INSPIRATIONS IN STONE

OVER THE YEARS, BV DOSHI’S PROJECTS HAVE GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND THEIR SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND BECOME LEARNING GROUNDS FOR GENERATIONS OF ARCHITECTS. WE WALK THROUGH THE MOST DEFINING ONES, FIND OUT WHAT MAKES THEM NOTABLE AND HOW THEY CONTINUE TO SHAPE INDIAN DESIGN SENSIBILITIES

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School of Architecture – CEPT is truly a modernist classic! The building itself was our education in architecture. It taught us that simplicity of plan and architectural richness are not mutually exclusive… The most radical aspect, however, is the conscious departure from the ‘room and corridor’ format. Forced movement ‘through’ studios encourages interaction between students, as does the cross-section of one studio overlooking the other. This sense of community is reinforced further by the the grand, monumental, but – importantly – single entry and abutting ramp, which makes it the great meeting point and iconic centre of the campus. It is a building that is enigmatic when first encountered as a young freshman, grows on you over the years spent there, and stays with one for a lifetime. Rajesh Renganathan, owner, Flying Elephant Studio

CEPT, AHMEDABAD

Conceived as a free-flowing space where knowledge is not restricted within closed walls, the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) has been a defining architectural expeirence for many. It’s the curriculum embedded in the structure itself that has encouraged and inspired young minds as they walk along its built and the unbuilt spaces and its varying volume, each space illustrating the beauty of light and scale. Whether it is the strong climatic response (north-lit studios, stepped profile on the south that allows only the winter light in, overlapping sectional volumes and double heights for convective cooling...) or the restrained material palette and structural finesse (rough brick, raw concrete, kota stone and wood), there are so many reasons to marvel at this epitome of learning.

Pragmatic and yet the most romantic of all; creator of some of the largest buildings of his time while being involved with the smallest of nuances; founder of one of the best schools while continuing to be a student through his life. Always fresh, young, awake and present – that’s Doshi to us. He created the CEPT School of Architecture 60 years ago, and I have been blessed to have spent the larger part of my life as a young student who jumped its balconies holding robust railings, observing sunlight changing with the angles of the massive doors, and understanding how to create the most evocative spaces by minimal possible means. The building embodies his visions of a society that is truly liberal, a place where people and minds are independent and free, and where differences co-exist side by side. People like Doshi should run countries, not just institutions. Gurjit Singh Matharoo, principal architect, Matharoo Associates

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY VSF/PRITZKER

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When I walked into CEPT as a 17-year-old, I was completely awed. The complexity of spaces and volumes created by pure materials was nothing short of amazing. It was one of the finest examples of architectural form encouraging diverse use of spaces by the students. It was then that I decided that, if I were to study architecture in India, it had to be at CEPT. This is a tribute to BV Doshi who, by the strength of his architecture, could evoke such strong emotions in a 17-year-old who knew nothing about architecture. Over the years, this building grew on us and ‘got into our DNA’. BV Doshi is not only an extremely sensitive architect, but also a wonderful professor and a mentor to the students. Sonali Bhagwati, president, DPA


TRIBUTE BV DOSHI PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY VSF/PRITZKER

continues to help cool the energy-efficient structure. Further, we see odes to master architects in the form of the ear-shaped pool (Corbusier), amphitheatre steps (Wright and Aalto), broken china mosaic on the vaulted surface (Gaudi), and a water feature resembling Salk Institute (Kahn). Walking from the entrance and around the structure is inspiring in itself. Each gradation – whether its is the levels inside the office, stepped landscape, or the play of materials – speaks eloquently of the architect’s sensibilities. Simple but not simplistic, modern and yet at home amidst its surrounding.

SANGATH, AHMEDABAD

From its strong temple influences to its deep connection with nature, Sangath stands out as a quintessential Doshi project. The architect’s studio cum research centre has been a second instituition for many young architects. Its almost cave-like appearance is refined by a spatial language that is as much contemporary as it is contextual. Ingenious efficiency can be seen throughout – the sunken interior spaces finished in clay facilitate cooler ambience, a clever manipulation of daylight ensures well-lit spaces minus the heat ingress, and the generous landscape

We had a chance to interview Doshi professionally for the Calcutta Riverside Project that he was involved in around 2005. That gave me some insight into how he thinks about architecture. As a first, it is the Tagore Memorial that has had a lasting impact on me…But I think Sangath, his office, has to be the most significant memory I have of an environment created by Prof. Doshi. I’ve bumped into so many people using its gardens, people who had no reason to be there in the first place. Even today, you can freely walk into the premises, listen to some gurgling streams, birds chirping and, you never know, you might bump into Doshi himself. This was his idea of architecture, that as a student at CEPT, we were so convinced about – open, natural and grounded. Zameer Basrai, architect, The Busride Project

six sectors of residential spaces lie to the east and west of the spine, each diagonally interspersed with parks. A cluster of houses, each with a courtyard, opens onto a paved street – a place where human connection thrives. Doshi himself designed 80 houses, from one-room spaces to spacious houses, as examples for the neighbourhood. The self-contained dwelling, with a private compound and territory, allows for social interaction in a manner that is familiar to the locals. Designed in the schematic of row houses, the units are oriented in the north-south direction. Mimicking mohallas, each cluster is provided with short streets and open squares. The formal street network, however, maintains all vehicular movement in the perimeter; while pedestrians can move about on informal pathways and open space network that flow in the opposite direction – thus creating safer movement patterns. Streets vary in terms of widths, bends and widening so as to support various human activities.

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY VSF/PRITZKER

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ARANYA HOUSING, INDORE

“It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling” − these are not words of an idealist, but of an architect with a heart for service. Completed in 1989, the Aranya housing project in Indore is a human-centric masterplan that has been lauded for integrating families from diverse income backgrounds into one harmonious community. In the masterplan, a business district forms the central spine, and

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Doshi’s method of handling spaces and volumes and interconnecting them with each other and with the outside has always influenced and inspired me. He always thinks out of the box and in larger perspective encompassing an atom to the universe, which is what I have learnt from him. Parul Zaveri, principal, Abhikram


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IIM BANGALORE

In a beautiful amalgamation of north and south was born the 54,000sq-m Indian Institute of Management Bangalore complex, standing with pride on a 100-acre campus. Fascinated by Fatehpur Sikri’s courtyards and lush greenery that gives Bengaluru the title of ‘garden city’, Doshi designed a campus of multiple corridors and courtyards with a generous inclusion of gardens. The courtyards became more than bare cavities for climate control, but a green haven for informal learning as well. Built in 1983, all Doshi wanted was “to create an atmosphere where you don’t see divides and doors.” Hallways, open green quadrangles, sunlight streaming in through pergolas, and geometrical roofs define the buildings. Visitors take delight in the structure’s ability to ‘change’ during the course of the day and seasons as the solid brick walls and voids create a dramatic play of light and shadow.

I was introduced to BV Doshi while working on ‘What is Indianness?’ - DY Patil Trophy for NASA. William Curtis’s recently published book on Doshi had evocative images of IIM Bangalore and, as soon I was there, I encountered what in hindsight was to be one of the most instructive experiences for me. I still remember that first glimpse of the triple-storey pergola connector – something archaic and yet modern, systematic and yet messy and open-ended, voluminous and yet intimate. This idea of an ambiguous, difficult to define entity is such an apt metaphor for this place of higher learning – an open frame constantly expanding, able to receive any number of variations and additions, and yet retaining its integrity. What a beautiful idea! Bijoy Ramachandran, partner, Hundredhands

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HUSAIN DOSHI GUFA, AHMEDABAD

The genesis of Amdavad ni Gufa began 20 years before its completion as a result of a spirited discussion between Doshi and artist MF Husain – with the artist being intrigued with underground buildings. When Doshi finally set out to design the gallery, the whole design process turned into a mystical exercise for him. The underground gallery that is also known as Husain Doshi Gufa, housing the works of Husain himself, is a fascinating story in conceptual development which eventually gave birth to the organic structure. Not only does the Gufa reinterpret cave typology, but it also questions the nature of space and the ways in which it can function. Designed using computer aided technology (CAD), the exterior tortoise-inspired shell was built using wire-mesh and ferro-cement, covered with compacted vermiculite and mosaic pieces – built by tribal labourers who were so moved by the build process that they even consecrated the place after its completion.

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY VSF/PRITZKER

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INDIAN INSITUTE OF INDOLOGY, AHMEDABAD

It was Doshi’s first public building project as an independent architect, designed after extensively studying a Jain upashraya − a home for monks. Recognised for its strong Indian character, it was designed as a space for ancient manuscripts, a research centre and a museum. Lighting, temperature and humidity levels – required to preserve the ancient artefacts – were controlled through an effective design and structural plan. The boat-like structure with its sunken

The Amdavad ni Gufa represents the confluence of Indian art and architecture and quite literally so, with Doshi and Husain behind its creation. To me as an architect, the Gufa is a structure that responds to its primal function of a gallery of Husain’s work in the truest form, with his brush strokes adorning its walls and the play of light in its cavernous spaces resembling the Ajanta Caves. Abhishek Ray, principal, Matrika Design Collaborative

BV Doshi’s works are inspirational and meaningful at many levels. We have found many of his projects very stimulating in thought and influential in our works. These would particularly include the Gandhi Labour Institute and the Indian Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad. Moving through these projects is like a story unfolding. The approach and movement through these buildings are filled with varied experiences. Their ideas about context, scale, light, materials and the relationship between spaces within and without are masterful in balance and articulation. Through these works, we learn the influence that architecture can have on human nature and behaviour. We try to understand and imbibe these human scales in our works. Dipal Kothari and Atrey Chaya, partners, Design Urban Office Architects basement, ‘floating’ ground floor, and the winged top floor, addresses the climatic needs of the building, while also developing various degrees of intimacy with the outdoors. As much as the building looked to history for its context, it also pushed post-independence India forward with its ingenious use of concrete and construction techniques.

Co-ordinated by Carol Ferreo

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT LAMINATES, VENEERS & PLYWOOD

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GREAT SURFACES

LAMINATES, VENEERS AND PLYWOOD OFFER DURABILITY AND STYLE, MAKING THEM THE PREFERRED CHOICE OF MATERIAL FOR INTERIORS BY ARUNA RATHOD 1

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT LAMINATES, VENEERS & PLYWOOD

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nteriors are ever changing and, thanks to the almost limitless options in surface treatments, the possibilities in terms of design are endless. High pressure laminate (also known as HPL) is one of the few surface materials that perfectly combines robust durability with stylish versatility, perfect for all designs in any given space. Recently, new and innovative designs have been introduced, thus putting this material to good use and enhancing aesthetics. One of the best things about laminate is its versatility – as architects, designers and clients can get the look of real wood or stone by using laminates at a fraction of the cost of the original material. Thanks to advancements in modern technology, laminates are now imitating the look of wood, granite and other stones, making it impossible to tell the difference between the real thing and the laminate version. This quality provides designers and businesses with much more freedom when coming up with design concepts. Certain wood or stone styles may be unattainable due to budget constraints – but thanks to high pressure laminates, the exact same look can be created effectively and affordably. Shankho Chowdhury, executive business head, Decoratives, Centuryply, says, “Design trends in the laminate and veneer categories are ever changing due to changing interior décor preferences of consumers. Globally, subtle or soft textures are gaining popularity in the laminates category. The demand for soothing colours and textures is increasing, thus new colour palettes with soft pastel tones and elegant natural wood shades with soft matt finishes is an upcoming trend. Whereas in the veneer category, grey smoked designs

1. Century VenLam combines veneer’s aesthetics with laminate’s durability, making it ideal for wall applications. 2&3. CenturyLaminates,, whether for colour or texture, remains one of the all-time favourites in office spaces.

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are gaining relevance due to their distinct look. These designs also complement the changing interior décor trends.” Today, veneers can be combined with treated reclaimed wood, glass and stone interiors or furniture applications. In recent times, it is also used on MDF cut-outs, as a solid surface for wall and even ceiling applications, each providing a unique look to the interiors. Not only is a high pressure laminate surface robust, it is also exceptionally hygienic, making it a fantastic choice when designing spaces in restaurants and hospitals. Easy to clean, safe to use anywhere and immensely strong, laminates can be both stylish and practical. Parul Mittal, director, Greenlam Industries, reveals that Greenlam has some interesting textures in the market – like the Stucco range, which has a rough uneven texture that adds a rustic feel to interi-

ors; while Greenlam’s Synchro range offers a tactile element to the laminates. “In the case of veneer, the herringbone and chevron patterns are trending right now,” adds Mittal. Laminates and veneers complement each other, making for great interiors. Rachpal Kanwar, national head, Sales & Marketing, Stylam Industries, states ,“The global market witnessed a significant growth in recent years. The major factor which has contributed in influencing the market is the structural properties of laminates, which render it useful for various applications in residential and construction projects. Overall, latest developments, varieties and lots of options in terms of design, quality, texture, feel and durability have made laminates a preferred choice.” As for plywood, there are numerous advantages of using it. Navarun Sen, executive business head, Panels, Century-

INSTALLATION TIPS

4&5. Ply Mahal’s intricate patterns are elevating laminates to pieces of art.

In the case of laminates, installation must be done carefully, while in the case of veneers it depends a lot on the environment. Chowdhury advises, “While installing laminates is very easy, good quality adhesives and proper taping is required for sufficient period of time to let it glue properly with the base. Also, laminates cut in straight line have fewer chances of cracks and de-lamination, hence appropriate shape should be considered for installation.” Whereas, in the case of veneers, it should be given ample time to accustom to the climatic conditions before starting the installation process for better finish and durable installation. Polishing the veneer surface is the most crucial step in the installation. There are various types of polishes available for different types of applications and looks - for example, PU (polyurethane) polish provides mirror finish and enhances natural grains of the wood. Chawla advises, “Like all wood products, (veneers) respond to moisture in the form of water as well as humidity in the air. Consequently, care must be taken to avoid water pooling. While cleaning, it is best to use only damp and not wet mop. ” Laminates and veneers help to create multi-dimensional style through the use of shapes and patterns. Its design potential knows no bounds, as it spans all styles - from sleek and modern to retro and rustic. Through its flexibility, durability and versatility, it’s clear to see why it’s a popular material to achieve the modern, minimalist style. 5

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT LAMINATES, VENEERS & PLYWOOD

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NEW ON THE BLOCK Century Laminates’ new introductions feature more than aesthetics: germ-free laminates that use unique Silver Nano technology, anti-fingerprint laminates, Lucida - a high-gloss scuffand abrasion-resistant range, and Nature Plus - a ‘natural wood looking’ laminate which is also low on maintenance. Century’s newest product line, VenLam, innovatively combines the aesthetic beauty of real wood with the efficiency of high-pressure laminates. It is made by a technologically-advanced process where decorative face veneer layers and layers of impregnated Kraft paper are fused together. VenLam allows application in those areas where traditional veneers cannot be used. When it comes to plywood, the Centuryply Bond 710 is a new launch with a warranty of seven years. Ply Mahal recently launched Glorious Backlight Laminate - a new concept that fuses metallic finishes with backlighting. Suited to living areas, bedrooms, sideboards, kitchen cabinets, it can be used to create an arresting focal point in a space. Besides colours, the panels come in a variety of patterns such as geometric designs, fusion of tradition and modern, as well as unique contemporary designs. 7

6. More urban consumers are seeking natural-looking textures like Greenlam’s Oak Summer. 7. Greenlam Stucco breaks away from conventional surface patterns with its bold look.

ply, explains the plus points of plywood. “Strength-wise, plywood is stronger than wood by three times and it’s durability is higher in comparison to raw wood – depending on adhesive. It can withstand extreme climatic condition. It is also economical compared to the use of direct timber.” Another important trend is towards sustainable and environment-friendly materials leading to the use of natural, sustainable and healthy materials. Satinder Chawla, managing director, Span Floors, observes, “With people being more and more sensitive about the impact of chemicals on health, there has been a move towards natural as well as benign materials which do not contain harmful chemicals and, thus, do not harm the indoor air quality.”

ECO-FRIENDLY SURFACES Designs in 2018 are set to focus more on being environment friendly. However, this is not a new concept – since most of the designers are constantly coming up with designs that are both stylish and eco-friendly. Whether it’s for a bar, restaurant or shop, the materials used to create the desired look

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

Span will be introducing a unique plywood shortly under the specialty exterior brand called Outwud. It is specifically meant for harsh, exterior applications – from façade and signage to similar robust exterior applications. need to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Mittal states that all products at Greenlam Industries are environment-friendly. “We adhere to the strictest of guidelines during production. We have received FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certifications and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), and we are also a member of the India Green Building Council. Moreover, we offer a range of anti-bacterial laminates to our consumers. All our products are NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), Greenguard and Greenguard Gold certified.” CenturyLaminates has an expertise of more than 30 years in the industry, with the research and development team continuously working towards developing world-class products, upgrading manufacturing technology and delivering highest value products. “With consistent investment in brand, products and technological innovations we have always brought


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The sustainability aspect looks at the production as well as the raw material sourcing part from the viewpoint of environment friendliness and impact on the local environment. Practices such as using wood waste for creating local energy needs are given top priority,” explains Chawla.

SPACE WISE

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8. Stylam laminates have a durable finish that is suited to kitchen areas. 9. Stylam mirror laminates are good alternatives to glass amd mirror.

the best, to our customers,” maintains Chowdhury. Some of their recent innovative additions are Germ-Free Laminates with unique Silver Nano technology that keeps interiors safe; Borer and Termite Resistant Venlam and veneer product range; anti-finger print laminates; Lucida, a high-gloss scuff and abrasion-resistant range of durable laminates; and Nature Plus which is a ‘natural wood looking’ laminate. Kanwar explains that consumers, today, are extremely aware of environment-friendly products. “They are looking for companies who offer such products and are yet cost competitive. They want quality with the add-on feature of environment-friendly. Our Fascia Exterior Laminates are manufactured with special properties linked to the low surface tension, optimal UV resistance, high chemical resistance, anti-soiling and anti-fouling. The Stylam Laminate range is resistant to ultra violet light, water, hail, adverse weather, termite and borer.” Indoor air quality is a much-stressed-upon aspect. “When we talk about health, air quality becomes an important aspect. We look at the impact of the product on indoor air quality, so that it remains good for the building occupants.

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

The manufacturing process of laminates creates a surface that is strong and exceptionally durable. For 2018, the trend is minimalist, hence the design has to be as durable as it is stylish. Compared to stone and wood, laminate tends to be more robust and also hygienic – making it a fantastic choice when designing hospitality and healthcare spaces. Chowdhury recommends, “For high-use areas, higher thickness and high abrasion-resistant materials are recommended to prevent scratches and de-lamination caused due to rugged use. Our 2K abrasion laminate range is designed to withstand rough applications.” While there have been many innovations on application and usage of exterior laminates, one global trend which is yet to come to India is Digital Printed Panels wherein any picture or image can be printed on the laminate surface and can be customised according to the need of the user. “This innovation will give a completely new dimension to the exterior laminate category,” adds Chowdhury. Laminates are probably the best product for spaces with high use and exposed to a lot of human traffic and corrosion, because most laminates are resistant to wear and tear and can last longer in such environments. “Our AFX laminates, for example, are smudge-proof and fingerprint-proof and require very little maintenance,” states Mittal. Kanwar says, “Every company is into a lot of R&D. We have come up with anti-fingerprint; anti-bacterial and antifungi laminates which are best products to go ahead with in conditions of high use. These laminates are manufactured to provide better hygiene and long lasting results.” For exterior laminates, Stylam brand’s fire-resistant, weather-proof, and water-proof products are quite useful for use in Indian weather conditions. A&I


2018 IN TERMS OF DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILITY. What’s the trend forecast for 2018? Shankho Chowdhury: Use of contrasting laminate designs in the interiors. For instance, if the wall panelling is being done with a lighter shade of woodgrain, then the furniture (bed) is being done with a dark shade of woodgrain laminate. This trend will continue in 2018 as well. The trend of high- gloss laminates will continue to shine due to its attractive finish and low-on-maintenance feature. CenturyLaminates’ Lucida Kitchen Pro, not only provides one of the best high-gloss finishes and wide range of solid colour options, but also comes with superior features like scuff- and stain-resistance. There is a trend to use two contrasting solid colours in the kitchen area to make it look unique. Parul Mittal: There are a lot of textures and colours that are trending right now − marble and wood textures are something to look out for. The herringbone and chevron patterns are making a big entrance. Apart from that, we also have the Pantone colour of the year, Ultra Violet, which is definitely something you need to be on the look-out for. Rachpal Kanwar: This year has many trends to offer in terms of finishes, colours and textures. Stylam has come up with laminates in magnetic finish, mirror finish in various colour options, Flickers designs, Synchro designs and texture. We are also coming up with acrylic solid surfaces, which is going to be a trend in the coming years. Satinder Chawla: In terms of finishes, products with a very natural and matte finish remain quite popular. These finishes are possible with the use of natural oils that retain the natural earthy feel of wood. Finishes with a slight and subtle gloss, such as silk oil finish, are also gaining strength depending on the design language of the particular project. With regard to texture, open grain finishes are seeing continuing strong demand from the architecture and design segment. Another important trend that we are seeing is the increasing attention on the use of natural, sustainable and healthy materials. With people being more and more sensitive about the impact of chemicals on health, there has been a move towards natural as well as benign materials which do not contain harmful chemicals. Do you adopt sustainable practices for manufacturing laminates and veneers? Chowdhury: Our wood is sourced from FSC certified forests which are environmentally appropriate and encourage responsible forestry. Navarun Sen: Our factories are FSC certified and (we) manufacture products using sustainably sourced wood through official channels. Mittal: At Greenlam, we use resources and materials responsibly and make constant efforts to reduce waste. We do not employ toxic inputs or materials that may be considered unhealthy for the environment, employees, society or users. We keep our emissions and wastes within the statutory guidelines. We have instituted a stringent health and safety policy – resulting in a comprehensive compliance with government regulations. We have received FSC & PEFC.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT LAMINATES, VENEERS & PLYWOOD

EXPERT OPINION LEADING BRANDS IN THE SEGMENT SHARE THE FORECAST FOR

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Shankho Chowdhury, executive business head, Decoratives, CenturyPly Navarun Sen, executive business head, Panels, CenturyPly Parul Mittal, director, Greenlam Industries Ltd Rachpal Kanwar, national head, Sales & Marketing, Stylam Industries Satinder Chawla, managing director, Span Floors How do laminates and veneers enhance interiors? Chowdhury: Both veneers and laminates hold a great deal of aesthetic value in residential as well as commercial interior spaces. While there are over 500 designs in CenturyLaminates portfolio, some of the distinctive textures like cementous, woven textile and natural stones are preferred for specific applications like wall panelling, kitchen or bathroom interiors. Metallic shades of bronze, burnished copper, nickel in laminates are also being preferred for walls and furniture to give a rustic, antique look to the interiors. Today, due to rapid urbanisation and increasing concrete structures, one segment of consumers prefers the subtle, down-to-earth look – thus natural wood grain designs are prevalent these days. Different characteristics of real wood, such as knots, chisel markings, saw-cuts, makes natural veneers a preferred choice over any other surface material to provide a distinct and rich look to interiors. A&I

1. Greenlam laminates mimic natural textures with ease. 2. Shankho Chowdhury. 3. Navarun Sen. 4. Parul Mittal. 5. Rachpal Kanwar. 6. Satinder Chawla.

www.architectandinteriorsindia.com | MAY 2018 | ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA

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CASE STUDY TIPSY GYPSY

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY USING FUN AND FANTASY AS THE KEY, SEAD CONSULTANTS BRINGS ALIVE THE TIPSY GYPSY GASTROPUB IN MUMBAI BY MARIA LOUIS

A 1. The boombox bar is designed to be synonymous with the brand Tipsy Gypsy.

mere 8ft high ceiling, no natural light, and three large columns hampering views. What could one do to make such a space more open and inviting? Ask Priyank Mehta, partner at SEAD Consultants, who manfully took up the challenge of making the space occupied by the old KFC outlet at Fun Republic suitable for a gastropub that would draw the young and the restless. “It was a challenge to translate all our conceptual ideas into built, especially with the many site restrictions,” admits the designer. “So, we decided to work organically on this project. It is our belief that only from chaos can there be order.” The mantra that SEAD Consultants followed while designing this project, was to not try too hard. “Letting the design be dictated by an emergent process, we conceptualised first and then took up the challenge of actualising the abstract idea. We aimed to be whimsical and tipsy in a subtle and thought-provoking way. Every time we visited the site, we just tried to have fun,” recalls Mehta.

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

While the clients didn’t offer a concrete brief or vision for the interiors, the designers picked on the fact that “the attempt was to reinvent the pub culture of Mumbai, which had become hackneyed with undone grunge becoming a norm, an almost rebellious response to the finer things of city life.” Thus, the brief turned into a conversation about how one should design in order to create a space to dream in, to believe – a wonderland of sorts. “The important question today is, are we willing to dream? Thus, in its own way, the space aspires to be a respite from the city. We believe that the USP of the place lies in its motto: Exist or Live.” A motley group of elements come together to create a refreshing and ‘alive’ environment. Material like pine wood is used to create different patterns on table tops in an attempt to reinvent the way materials are used. On the other hand, gestures which are meant to stand out – such as a larger-than-life boombox, which doubles up as a bar – serve to draw attention, and the colour changing lights lend a dreamy essence. Conical lights have been customised


CASE STUDY TIPSY GYPSY

and handmade using crotchet threads of myriad colours to reinterpret the gypsy tradition of using lace and thread − but with a rather unusual pop twist. Smaller gestures in the form of artwork serve to underline the whimsical quality of the space. At the entrance, on the soffit, you see what the designers like to call “Tipsy Feet” − which stands in contrast to the classic black-andwhite striped walls. To add some more funk to the space, a Calendar wall is created using 24 rotating squares − each with fun artworks on one side and white board on the other − to announce upcoming events. Even simple signages were rethought and conveyed using art, and larger strokes such as the funky bathroom doors add a great deal of colour and character to the interior space. Keeping in mind the function of the space, which is to celebrate live music and performance, the designers created island tables inspired from over-sized mushrooms to serve the standing and moving crowds. The space had to work in a three-fold manner. First to disconnect the visitor from the outside; second, the inner space had to feel warm and enigmatic; third, the guest had to enjoy the live performances. The solution arrived at was an interactive façade that speaks about the experience one is about to have. Stop Play and Pause buttons form the façade, which is an extension of the large boombox installed inside. One must push ‘play’ to enter. A 36ft-long ticker on the top constantly interacts with people outside – displaying the scheduled gigs, promotional offers or simply entertaining with graphics or live game scores. Black and white (granite and marble) from the floor wrap the façade in a candy-cane like manner. The furniture was custom designed, governed by the need to orient guests towards the stage. A three-tiered seating was decided upon, in order to give optimum views of the stage. The tables closest to the stage are the lowest, and they get taller as one moves behind. The front row has low loungestyle seating and the last row has a community high table, while the peripheral seating is more suited to groups and traditional dining. The larger play was with the upholstery, which brings in bursts of colour and illustrations echoing the ideology of the gastropub. Beginning with the colour palette they wanted to follow, the designers found suitable materials that could be used in their natural form. Black granite and Statuario marble are used to create the black-and-white pattern of the floor, while teak and pine wood lend their warm browns to the walls and table tops. The cement is literally painted on the wall, while the crochet and upholstery lend abundant colour to the subtle backdrop of walls, ceiling and floor. Convincing the client was not difficult, as he believed in the vision of his designers. “Tipsy Gypsy being Vishal’s first solo venture into hospitality, we almost worked like partners,” discloses Mehta. “It always takes a good client for an architect to deliver a good space.” The biggest challenge, of course, was the constrictive height, the lack of natural light and the three central large columns that made space planning difficult in terms of placing the stage. To start with, the designers got special permission from the mall owners to break open some border walls to let natural light flood the place. The ceiling was stripped open to its bare form to attain maximum height, AC ducts were strategically located over the passages to give maximum height over the seating tables, and the stage was made visible with the help of seating design that went from the tallest at the back to the lowest in the front.

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THE DESIGN CONCEPT “Our early inspiration came from the gypsy culture which originated in the northern parts of the Indian sub-continent almost 1,000 years ago.” elaborates Priyank Mehta of SEAD Consultants. “A music-loving, nomadic tribe which enjoyed everyday life, but not as a response of rebellion from existing cultures. “We believe that the space had to allow for the freedom to dream and aspire and use music in an uplifting sense. The question being, is there a synonymous culture that exists today which recreates that feeling? Our research led us to ‘The Burning Man’ festival which takes place annually in the middle of the desert in Nevada, USA. Our design is a modern take on the gypsy life, hence we coined the name Tipsy Gypsy. “The 16ft-long and 10ft-tall boombox which doubles up as a bar is the highlight. We played with the scale of a classic element and gave it a function, so that it does not remain a cosmetic gimmick. The boombox is designed to be synonymous with the brand Tipsy Gypsy, and we hope to redefine the way it materialises in each outlet.”

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2. Fun artworks, like those on the Calendar wall, lend a whimsical quality to the design of the space. 3. The brand’s motto ‘Exist or Live’ is visibly evident. 4. Priyank Mehta, partner at SEAD Consultants.

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CASE STUDY TIPSY GYPSY

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MATERIALS & SUPPLIERS Flooring: Black river-finished granite and Statuario marble, Nasik Laminates: Timex, Parle Plywood Decorative lights: Custom-made by SEAD Lighting: Philips dimmable LED Chairs and sofas: Liv Modular Loose furniture: Nirali Interiors LLP Sanitary fittings: Yug Ceramics Air-conditioning: Daikin Hardware: Enox and Hafele Sanitary fittings: Jaquar and Saffron

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5. The ceiling was stripped open to its bare form to attain maximum height, AC ducts are located over the passages to give maximum height over the seating. 6. Conical lights, handmade using crotchet threads, reinterpret gypsy tradition. 7. Even the bathroom gets funky decor features.

PROJECT DETAILS Name of the project: Tipsy Gypsy Gastropub The client: Vishal Gurnani, Gipsy Hospitality and Destinations Pvt Ltd The designer: Priyank Mehta, SEAD Consultants Lighting consultants: SEAD Consultants Chief contracting team: Nirali Interiors LLP Area: 3,390sq-ft Location: Fun Republic Mall, Off Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai Cost: Rs.1.3 crore Duration: Three months Date of completion: October 15, 2017

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

Having worked on over 40 F&B outlets in the past six years, Mehta feels that a greater integration is required across fields of expertise. “I have worked on the design and, then, often found that the food does not match the identity of the place, or the music is not in tandem with the experience one wishes to provide to the guests,” he observes. “One of the largest reasons for Tipsy Gypsy’s success was the fact that the client, designers, graphic team, chef and the marketing and business team sat together to chalk out a cohesive plan. As a designer, I had discussions about the plating and ingredient costing with the chef, about return on investments with the clients – which was not only enriching, but gave me an understanding of how the industry works. Indirectly, it makes me better equipped to provide design solutions which not only cater to aesthetics, but also provide a robust working environment.” While the gastropub has received rave reviews for decor as well as its fusion cuisine and funky cocktails, Mehta believes that design is a process that could lead to something better. “There is always room for improvement,” he insists. Since this is a ‘chain’ which is expected to extend across the city soon, the designer is not satisfied and declares that he has even more ideas up his sleeve for future outlets. All we can say to that is, welcome to funky town! A&I


EVENT ROCA

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ADDRESSING ARCHITECTURE: BUSINESS AND ETHICS THE SURAT AND RANCHI EDITIONS OF THINK TURF BY ROCA PROBED THE SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF DESIGN BY SHRISTI NANGALIA

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oncerns over the depleting standards of business and value of architecture have been presenting a particular challenge lately. Many a time, it becomes critical for the upcoming generation to understand and apply an ethical base to their businesses. As a leader in manufacturing sanitaryware, Roca joined hands with ITP Media to gather great minds from the design fraternity to address a variety of business-related issues of today. The forum marked a successful exchange of ideas and best practices on which this passionate field is built.

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pointed out, “Any design has to go through the five filters – timeless aesthetics, socio-cultural appropriateness, environmental efficiency, economical affordability and structural stability. If a client comes with a brief, we have to think for

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2. Keynote speaker at Surat, Yatin Pandya. 3. Sandeep Abraham, GM Sales (West), Roca, delivered a snapshot of the brand. 4. Delegates at the Surat edition of the forum.

Azmi Wadia, partner, Azmi and Sarosh Wadia Dinesh Suthar, principal, Design Work Group Jignesh Modi, principal, Jignesh Modi & Associates Sanjay Punjabi, head, Image n Shape Snehal Shah, principal partner, Essteam Vishal Shah, founder, Aangan Architects Yatin Pandya, principal, Footprints EARTH

Delivering the keynote address at Surat, Yatin Pandya, principal, Footprints EARTH, mentioned that professionalism and the business of architecture are two different things. He

SURAT EDITION 1. The panel at Surat: (L-R) Vishal Shah, Azmi Wadia, Sanjay Punjabi, Yatin Pandya, Dinesh Suthar, Snehal Shah, and Jignesh Modi.

PANEL OF EXPERTS - SURAT

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EVENT ROCA

PANEL OF EXPERTS - RANCHI • • • • •

Rajiv Chadda, chief architect, Chadda and Associates Chitrita Virnave, partner, Design Team Architects Mayukh Dhar Virnave, partner, Design Team Architects Arun Kumar, principal architect, The Creators Anupam Deb, principal architect, Yantra Architect 7

roles are not defined. “We need to learn from the medical profession to respect each and every specialist. And we need to learn from the film industry how to credit everyone at the end of the project.” As the brain-churning discussion concluded, Abraham distributed a token of appreciation to each of the speakers for their sporting participation. The event concluded with a sincere vote of thanks shared by Roca and ITP. 5

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the overall societal good.” Following Pandya’s insightful address, Sandeep Abraham, GM - Sales (West), Roca, delivered a short snapshot of the brand in terms of its products, worldwide presence, drivers, innovation and collaboration. Following this, a panel of eminent personalities from the city’s design fraternity shared their experiences in the field to spark up a dialogue. They first addressed the issue pertaining to the conflict between the client, architect and the city over many stages during design. The audience, too, was eager to know more about the social responsibility involved in the shaping of any space or building. Vishal Shah believes that a dilemma for choosing what is ethical and legal continually persists in the field. “When one decides to take a stand and pursue ethics, the actual professionalism starts taking shape. We need to do our bit for our cities, irrespective of the business and profit attached to it.” Dinesh Suthar agreed with the thought: “Every morning, we need to prove ourselves to the client and to society that we can make better buildings,” he declared. “Even if the brief is beyond our expertise, we need to collaborate and find the ‘best fit’ solutions.” With the number of stakeholders involved and the challenges faced in being the conduit, the panel was asked how they go about the complete phase of project development. Jignesh Modi commented, “The architects need to have a good equation with the consultants, managers and stakeholders. Our job is not only to make sure everything happens on time, but also to take care of the budget and post-design operations.” Talking about the idea of taking care of post-design operations, Wadia pointed out, “We need to go back and refer to the designs made by older generations. At the end of the day, it is about the communication and comfort attached to the particular client or project that makes us go back to our designs and work on them.” Snehal Shah’s firm has a rule of hiring consultants for different verticals within a project. He summed up, “In the last couple of decades, technology has taken a pivotal place in architecture and is continually evolving. Engineers, project managers and consultants complement our designs and help us create robust buildings that survive better. We give the DNA to the buildings, but the consultants enrich the DNA.” Sanjay Panjabi stepped forward to reiterate that the profession is passing through a transition where the different

RANCHI EDITION Amit Aurora, partner, DCA Architects of New Delhi, gave the keynote speech for the evening’s forum at Ranchi. Aurora believes that a perfect design is created when there is nothing left to add and there is nothing left to take away. He shared his idea of architectural practice, saying, “I strive to have fun, to be eclectic, to explore different materials in their true honesty, to explore the rawness of those materials, to bring out the rawness of intent by bringing out the rawness of space and the rawness of the human soul. I feel that a designer is not in the forefront of any project, but we are the backbone of the space we create.”. The evening was further addressed by Subimal Mukherjee, general manager - East, Roca India. He elaborated on the journey and presence of Roca as a brand in India and on the global platform. He also introduced their flagship products, different innovations and reformations that took place with the materials and products of the company. The speakers were then invited on stage to commence the panel discussion. Following tradition, the design heads shared their stories associated with their first project as an architect. In the architecture business, the fraternity grapples with everyday issues of fulfilling the needs of clients, following governmental norms and giving justice to their own design philosophy, all at once. While trying to juggle all these responsibilities, the design tends to move away from being responsible at a city level. Taking this issue into consideration, Arun Kumar said, “Our architecture community has no love for towns in our hearts. We care about our pocket these days; while our designs are, after all, directly part of the city and its texture.” Agreeing with Kumar, Mayukh Dhar Virnave reiterated, “As architects, we have the responsibility to preserve our city’s royalty. If we sense any wrong, we can talk to the clients and government officials, and warn them of what could be the outcome. Gradually and unfortunately, we are taking away the open spaces, ponds and greenery of our cities, and turning them into built masses.” In conclusion, everyone agreed that it is the architects’ sensitivity towards design that makes them represent the city and the client appropriately and efficiently. Closing the forum with high hopes of creating a better tomorrow, Subimal Mukherjee of Roca offered a token to the speakers as a gesture of appreciation in return for their time and thoughtful conversation. A&I

5. Keynote speaker at Ranchi, Amit Aurora of DCA Architects. 6. Subimal Mukherjee, GM East, Roca India, elaborated on the journey and presence of Roca as a brand. 7. The panel at Ranchi: (L-R) Rajiv Chadda, Chitrita and Mayukh Virnave, Arun Kumar, and Anupam Deb.

www.architectandinteriorsindia.com | MAY 2018 | ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA

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LAUNCH PAD NOVOTEL GOA DONA SYLVIA

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CELEBRATING A CLASSIC

DESIGNED BY THE LATE CHARLES CORREA, DONA SYLVIA RETAINS ITS TRADITIONAL SOUL WHILE WEARING A CONTEMPORARY CLOAK

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BY MARIA LOUIS

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1. Dona Sylvia, now rebranded as Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia, has added modern refurbishments while staying true to its traditional essence. 2. Most public areas, like the reception, are just large verandahs and pavilions - semi-open spaces which allow for cross-ventilation, simultaneously providing protection from the sun.

ith its large wooden roof embracing weary city dwellers and chilled-out holiday makers alike, entering the reception area of the Dona Sylvia resort complex is nothing short of a homecoming. Comfortable chairs, easy vibe, natural light and sea breeze add up to make you feel at home. Just minutes away from the breathtakingly peaceful Cavelossim beach, in South Goa, it is designed to hold your attention during the times you choose not to kick off your shoes and sink your feet in the sand. The form of the wooden roof is echoed in the adjacent restaurant, Seagull, as well as in the club/recreational facilities across the swimming pool. Conceived and executed by the legendary architect, the late Charles Correa, who has left his stamp on the urban landscape of India, the project began in 1988 and was completed by 1991. In sync with his mastery over built spaces for a tropical climate, most of the public facilities for guests are really just large verandahs and pavilions – semi-open spaces which allow for cross-ventilation and sea breeze, simultaneously providing protection from the sun. The guest rooms are housed in small casas, grouped around courts. While there are only four basic types of casas, the use of ancillary elements like railings, gargoyles, balcao (balcony) seats and window shutters add up to a considerable degree of variation and individual identity. A walkway leading from this central space via the verdant lawns to the sandy beach is flanked by guest rooms housed in low-rise clusters. The heart of the complex, this walkway – anchored by the swimming pool and reception area at one end and the exquisitely beautiful beach at the

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other − is like the activity spine that provides easy access to all the facilities. Walking down to the beach after a lazy lunch at the Seagull restaurant next to the reception, it is evident that Correa’s vocabulary is drawn from Goa’s local architectural tradition. Situated in South Goa, the resort features 181 well-appointed and spacious rooms, villas and suites on the Arabian Sea coastline. When AccorHotels launched its latest Novotel in partnership with the Alcon Victor Group and its fourth property in the ever-growing Goa market, the event just had to be held on the emerald-green lawns of the resort complex. Tempting travellers with powdery white sands, water sports, magnificent sunsets, plush rooms, along with local and international gastronomy, AccorHotels has rebranded the globally-known Dona Sylvia resort to Novotel Goa Dona


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Sylvia resort, adding the Novotel brand essence with modern refurbishments and continuing the fairy tale on the sands of Cavelossim. At the launch, Varun Albuquerque, director, Alcon Victor Group, paid tribute to the genius of Correa when he remarked, “Dona Sylvia Resort has always resonated with old-world charm and new-world luxury, creating an authentic Goan ambience along with its perfect location on Cavelossim beach. Today, through the rebranding of the property as a Novotel resort, we look forward to offering an international standard product to our guests.� Also present on the occasion was Jean-Michel Casse, chief operating officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels. Built like a small luxury village, the property provides a glimpse into the rich traditional Portuguese culture through a mix of contemporary and local heritage architecture. The resort offers an eclectic range of dining options too. Seagull, the allday dining restaurant, serves delectable buffet spreads,

3. The resort offers modern travellers a much-needed break from the fast-moving, tech-driven world. Its activity spine is anchored by the swimming pool. 4. Seagull, the all-day dining restaurant with buffet, has live cooking stations and comfortable interiors. 5&6. The room interiors, too, provide a glimpse into the rich traditional Portuguese culture through a mix of contemporary and local heritage architecture. 7. The driveway received a facelift before the rebranding as a Novotel.

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RENEWING BEFORE REBRANDING Creating a harmonious new identity for Dona Sylvia needed certain upgradations in the interiors as well as the premises. Starting with the entire driveway that was given a facelift, the reception counter was adorned with a new backdrop, lobby flooring was changed and a new improved lighting scheme with chandeliers was introduced, along with brand-new furniture. All the 181 rooms were renovated and the bathrooms were extended; while additional bay windows were added in the boutique rooms. The two- and four-room villas were given the added luxury of private sit-outs. The Mermaid fountain, Abade Faria and Conquerors statues were added as focal elements in different clusters of the premises. A Sheesha Lounge was also introduced as a new food and beverage outlet. As general manager Vishal Khosla explains, “With the newly-refurbished rooms and various other locations of the hotel, the property adheres to the true essence of the Novotel brand. As a brand, Novotel appeals to both the business and leisure travellers - given its unique positioning of modern, easy living. Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia resort beautifully lends itself to the brand attributes with the focus on the same.”

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8. The lobby bar Amalia is characterised by the dark roof and chevron flooring. 10

9. Mama Mia, the poolside grill restaurant, seems to mimic the Goan shoreline. 10. Sohum Spa’s minimalist design with hints of Goan architecture makes it a suitable setting for revitalising therapies. 11. Kebabs & Kurries presents signature dishes from royal Indian kitchens within a quintessential Goan home-like ambience.

scrumptious à la carte meals and offers a satisfying dining experience with its live cooking stations and comfortable interiors. Guests who would like to enjoy an Indian meal could head to Kebabs & Kurries, the fine dining outlet that presents enticing signature dishes from the royal kitchens of India. At Mama Mia, the resort’s seasonal poolside grill restaurant, guests can partake of an appetising selection of fiery grills prepared by the talented chefs on hot stone that keeps the food sizzling even as you enjoy the open air. The Goa experience would hardly be complete without the intoxicating charms of its bars, and the lobby and poolside bars – Amalia and Tia Maria – serve the purpose beautifully. Wide access roads, large courtyards and passages, sprawling lawns with tropical vegetation, well-spaced cottages

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– the design of this resort that intelligently blends traditional style with modern comforts, exemplifies a minimalist intervention within the coastal environment. In keeping with the needs of today’s traveller, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia resort features two dedicated conference rooms with a capacity to serve about 200 guests. The resort also has two magnificent seaside lawns overlooking the Cavelossim beach. Then there’s the Sohum Spa – which provides a variety of Indian Ayurvedic spa treatments, aromatherapy sessions and revitalising Western massages. Besides the outdoor pool that takes centrestage, there is a fitness centre, an activity area and shopping centre to keep guests occupied while at the resort. Surf, sun and sand with the added bonus of luxury are indeed the mantra here. General manager Vishal Khosla puts it succinctly when he says, “We seek to offer solace to the #hashtag tired traveller, offering a place where the incessant mobile phone ring can be forgotten and activities indulged in that bring back fun and laughter, making it into a style of living. At Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia, we aim to host a complete getaway package, where guests can come and enjoy the simple but luxurious pleasures of a resort.” In an age when the internet and the world of social media often results in the disconnection of people from family, community and surroundings, this getaway is geared to ensure that guests reconnect with fun, deepen family ties, improve relationships and rekindle the spirit of living. Through its architecture and design, this timeless resort can ensure such invaluable and memorable experiences. A&I


CONSUMER CONNECT

Jaquar Group’s Luxury Bath Brand Artize wins the Red Dot design award for Tailwater

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he Red Dot Design Awards’ panel of experts awards its internationally recognised seal of quality only to products that win them over with their high design quality. Included in the winner’s list of 2018 is the Tailwater faucet, manufactured by the Jaquar Group’s luxury brand Artize, and designed by the London-based product design consultancy DanelonMeroni Design Studio. Sandeep Shukla, head - Marketing Communications, Jaquar Group, added, “Jaquar Group truly believes in providing bathroom solutions where design, technology and talent combine to deliver a masterpiece. Tailwater is aimed to provide the luxury segment, a synthesis of true craftsmanship. We are glad to receive yet another accolade for our design and innovation and will continue to create exquisite bathroom products for the connoisseurs of fine living.” A unique, one-of-its-kind creation Inspired by nature and the elegant, fluid lines of contemporary architecture, Tailwater is the result of the designers’ deep research of freeform, combining technological know-how with a unique vision for modern bathroom. A beautiful faucet that reminds you of a bird perched at the edge of a pool, the Tailwater faucet’s lever and spout are united in a single, friendly form, which is simple and enjoyable to use. The ‘tail’ acts as a mixer lever, which moves smoothly backwards and to the left and right. The curve of the tap’s body echoes the movement and flow of water, while its reflective surface appears as seamless as liquid metal. Extensively prototyped and finely tuned for ergonomic comfort, function and aesthetics, the curved lever is both intuitive and inviting to the touch. When tilted backwards, the tap’s form is transformed into a graceful silver arc. Manufactured to the highest quality standards, Tailwater is a new design classic that takes inspiration from the natural world and embodies it in a beautifully engineered piece of industrial design. Artize Tailwater is now available in over 40 countries around the world. Claudia Danelon, co-founder, Danelon Meroni, commented, “We are extremely elated to receive the significant Red Dot award for Tailwater. We always wanted to create something unique for Artize, which inspired us to explore the abstract image of a bird, perched on the edge of a pool

emerged. Tailwater expresses how technological know-how and inspiration from the natural world can be embodied in a beautifully engineered piece of industrial design.” An evaluation platform for good design The Red Dot Award for product design has roots dating back as far as 1955 and determines the best products created each year. In 2018, designers and manufacturers from 59 countries submitted more than 6,300 objects to the competition. True to the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, a jury comprising of roughly 40 members, assessed the products individually based on the original. The strict judging criteria, which include level of innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics and durability, provide a frame of reference that the jurors then complement with their own expertise. About Artize Artize, a luxury bath brand from Jaquar Group, has been introduced to cater to customers who aspire for luxury in their bathing spaces. The brand aims at excellence at all levels and seeks to surpass global standards of quality and design. Artize pays a tribute to the fine traditions of exquisite craftsmanship and precision through a wide range of products that are designed to create trends in the bathing industry. A perfect balance of design, quality, production standards, technology and precision combine to produce the masterpiece called Artize. Some of the other awards and recognitions received by Artize for its products include the iF award, Plus X award, and the Good Design, Chicago, and the India Design Mark for Confluence; and the Elle Décor awards for Tiaara that was designed by Bengaluru-based designer Michael Foley.

www.architectandinteriorsindia.com | MAY 2018 | ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA

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INTERVIEW PATRICIA URQUIOLA

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A SENSE OF CURIOSITY PATRICIA URQUIOLA TALKS ABOUT HER EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH TO DESIGN BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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you have to live it in a kind of light way. When you turn 90 years old, you either decide you’re an old person, or you decide you are finally young,” Urquiola jokes. Being both a designer and an architect, Urquiola says that she directs her multi-disciplinary curiosity to all areas of the brand, while staying experimental, open-minded and pushing for alternative ways to see a project. She adds that, with the type of work she is involved in – from her own studio to working with Cassina – it is important to have a sense of rigour, but that should not compensate in the name of experimentation. “My process is very rigorous,” she says. “It starts with research to understand the identity and the heritage of the client; to understand the technologies used in that sector, and then you try to move the limits of that technology, market and culture. I learnt something very important: if you repeat a formula, you are no longer creating.” Cassina is a brand with a strong past, an attribute that Urquiola believes the brands need to stay passionately connected to. However, it is also important to be connected to the future in an open way, she explains. Digitalisation and contemporary living is playing a lead role in the new brand identity of Cassina, driven by Urquiola as a step towards connecting with present-day technological realities and new behaviours and attitudes to living spaces. The brand’s two-storey retail space in the new Dubai showroom is characterised by its recently developed presentation approach, In-store Philosophy 3, which combines classic and contemporary qualities, perfectly characterising the contrasts within Urquiola’s own body of work. “The idea of places and objects is changing – from houses to cars and bicycles – as people share more. Just as our

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atricia Urquiola had stepped off the plane from Vietnam just a few hours earlier, before having to make an appearance at the newly opened Poltrona Frau Group ME’s showroom in Dubai, which showcases Italian brands Cassina, Cappellini, and Poltrona Frau. “I haven’t slept much, but I am a strong girl – I’m resilient,” she laughs. It is precisely this attitude of open-mindedness and vigorous strength that drives her approach to design, which combines a sense of curiosity, an experimental approach to materials and craft, and an unprejudiced outlook towards embracing change. Spain-born Urquiola opened her studio in 2001 in Milan, where she now lives with her husband, Alberto, and 12-year-old daughter, Sophia. Over the years, she has designed for global brands, and collaborated with some of the most well-known names of Italian design including Maddalena de Padova, Piero Lissoni and Patrizia Moroso. Three years ago, Urquiola was named art director of storied Italian design brand Cassina, who last year celebrated its 90th anniversary. Seated on the 552 Floe Insel sofa, which she designed for Cassina, Urquiola, 57, shares her relationship with the renowned furniture brand. “It is an honour for me to be associated with a company that has been connected so strongly with design for nine decades, and has been related to some of the most important architects and designers. It has a lot of strong research and heritage, and an incredible archive of 600 pieces,” she says. “All this can be a kind of heaviness, an important heaviness – yet a fantastic thing. But I think when you have in front of you a responsibility that can be heavy and strong,

1. Patricia Urquiola has been Cassina’s creative director since 2015. 2. Cassina’s headquarters in northern Italy was renovated by Urquiola.

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3. Digitalisation and contemporary living is playing a lead role in the new brand identity of Cassina, driven by Urquiola. 4. The newly-opened Poltrona Frau showroom in Dubai offers a new sensory retail approach. 5. Urquiola is pictured seated on 552 Floe Insel sofa designed by her for Cassina.

phones have become smarter with more functions, a lamp may soon do more – not only serving as a light, but also a projector or to screen a film on the wall,” she explains. “People can spout a lot of nonsense when they talk about the future. Technology is cheaper than ever, and there will also be a lot of getting back to our roots and local values. Good taste and quality will go together with transparency in the materials used.” The question of the ‘future’ arises in every industry, and design is no different. With topics like technology, sustainability and energy efficiency leading the discourse, Urquiola says that to answer this question “one would need a crystal ball,” and yet the topic can also be handled in a more “humble and natural way” than it is being done in many instances.

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“Technology is a part of our life,” Urquiola says. “I don’t have any kind of prejudice in relation to words like sustainability and technology. Many times, I speak to people about these subjects and they are using these terms, but they are using them in a very limited way. They are part of our process.” One of the ways to think about the future that is “intelligent,” she says, is to not think of it in singular terms. “If you only think about one future, you will just have some dystopian thoughts. Society is complex, and there are


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many things happening in the world and not all are good. If you think only about one future, perhaps you will have a perception that is more complex and less humble, less energetic. So we [at Cassina] thought: if you think about the future like a set of different futures, you have more ways to move around it,” she explains. Cassina commissioned a book entitled ‘This Will be the Place’, which involved five different dialogues about the future of design by various architects, designers and intellectuals. “Those conversations gave us a way to think in five different ways of how we can see products inside a new future,” Urquiola discloses. She also shares some new collections that will be launched at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan – from a new table collection by Michael Anastassiades, to projects by the Brothers Bouroullec, to a contemporary rendition of Vico Magistretti’s Maralunga sofa. “Design is not only about what you launch during Salone, it’s a kind of a lot of research, a conversation, trying new things with designers – things you don’t even know if they will be produced this year, or the next, or in two years. And that’s an important thing: to be open to those paths,” says the architect. She adds that the pressure of launching products annually causes designers to “suffer”. “Every time I go to the Venice Biennale, I think to myself that this is the way to do it: present a collection every two years instead of annually at Salone del Mobile. The market puts this idea in our minds, and we all suffer a bit. It would be better to introduce a new product once a year, and then have a year to work with the sales team and others to help integrate that piece into a brand’s collection,” she opines.

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In terms of her work, Urquiola explains that it is essential to have an “element of fundamentality” – a term coined by one of her mentors, Italian designer Achille Castiglioni (she counts Magistretti as the other mentor). She says that design has to be open to compromises, but never when it comes to the essence of the product or project’s fundamental idea because it is something “that drives the whole process.” “You have to have a clean idea, an essential way to approach a project,” Urquiola says. “You can have a very open attitude in a project; but if you have an essential attitude, you drive the thinking in one direction. You cannot have many elements. If you have too many elements driving a project, you get lost. That, I think, is a good lesson he [Castiglioni] gave us.” A&I

6&7. Embracing both classic and contemporary influences, the designer has infused the brand with freshness.

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PROJECTS EMBASSY OF EGYPT

NATION’S IDENTITY THE NEW EMBASSY OF EGYPT IN LISBON FEATURES GEOMETRIC BAS-RELIEF PATTERNS ON ITS STONE FAÇADE BY RIMA ALSAMMARAE

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY PROMONTORIO ARCHITECTS

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PROJECTS EMBASSY OF EGYPT

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esigned by Promontorio Architects, the new Embassy of Egypt in Lisbon features robust concrete walls that have been covered with bas-relief patterns inspired by traditional Egyptian motifs. Located in Lisbon’s affluent Restelo district, where many of the neighbouring villas from the 1940s and 50s have been converted for diplomatic use, the embassy was designed to fulfill the security criteria while incorporating symbolic references to Egypt’s culture and history within the architecture. “An embassy building is one that embodies the notion of national identity,” said the architects at Promontorio. “It is just as much a harbour and safe-haven for its citizens, as it is for the state’s foreign representation at the highest level. It must combine the idea of sheltering and safety with the symbolic values of the country’s history and culture.” The architects added that between these two poles, the design must seamlessly bring together various principles, including modernity with timelessness, comfort and warmth with protocol and solemnity, quality and refinement with elegance and discretion, high technology with low maintenance, and functionality with beauty. “We believe that the tectonic expression of compactness and solidity yielding from the Lisbon municipality’s regulation constraints could ultimately be interesting for an embassy building of a country such as Egypt, given its notable tradition of architectural massiveness and stereotomics,” they added. Consisting of a solid concrete mass that lends an impenetrable feel, the embassy’s design alludes to Egypt’s long

1&2. Consisting of a solid concrete mass, the embassy’s design alludes to Egypt’s long history with stone construction.

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history with stone construction. The building is essentially a monolith composed of three thick slabs combined with an interweaving mass of patterned walls, featuring bas-reliefs evocative of ancient Egyptian geometric motifs. Consisting of three floors, the embassy follows the classical post-and-lintel system. The walls are interrupted at specific positions to form windows, while on the upper floor, each corner forms a balcony by receding and revolving from one angle to the next. The patterned sections of the façade are made of pre-cast panels of anthracite-pigmented concrete that accentuate the overall mass of the building. Intended to be enlivened by the way light casts across the exterior, the grey hue and repeat pattern creates a homogeneous surface that contrast with the lightness of the bronze-coated stainless steel window frames. Inside the building, public areas feature extensive timber panelling and flooring made from large slabs of white stone. The materials were selected for their ability to age well, disclosed the architects, as they will be subjected to continuous use. The atrium’s skylight, which hangs above a stairway, allows light to filter down through a perforated Islamicpatterned screen, producing a kaleidoscopic pattern of light and shadow that changes throughout the day. Positioned like a large 19th century villa in the centre of a plot, the building is further surrounded by a narrow garden on its contiguous sides. The landscaping was completed by Promontorio’s landscape design department, which aimed to create a luxurious garden along the building’s perimeters. “Most of the project’s landscaped plant species are from the Mediterranean region, but some of them are from Egypt,” said the architects. “Cyperus papyrus was specified for the embassy’s main entrance. Another Egyptian origin species is the lotus plant, as it’s a major reference in all ancient Egyptian paintings.” Completed in 2017, the project spans 1,359sq-m, while the entire site measures 1,510sq-m. A&I

3&4. The patterned sections of the façade are made of pre-cast panels of anthracite-pigmented concrete that accentuate the overall mass of the building. 5&8. Light filters down the atrium’s skylight through a perforated Islamic-patterned screen. 6. Most of the project’s landscaped plant species are from the Mediterranean region, some from Egypt. 7. Positioned like a large 19th century villa in the centre of a plot, the building is surrounded by a narrow garden on its sides.

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INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY TORO + KO

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THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL

TORO + KO BY BISHOP DESIGN IS ANCHORED BY GRAPHIC ART AND INDUSTRIAL ELEMENTS 1

1. Designed along an industrial theme, the eatery is inspired by Manhattan’s chic dining venues. 2. Corrugated corten sheets are further enhanced by colourful wall art. 3. Dark, sophisticated tones in brown and teal demarcate the two levels visually. 4. A staircase built out of cold-rolled steel is one of the design highlights.

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he food and beverage sector is perhaps the most dynamic milieu for designers and property owners alike to establish a unique brand identity for their projects. Often the genres cover the entire interior spectrum from modern Occidental to elegant Oriental. A new space in Dubai, Toro + Ko Spanish tapas restaurant by Bishop Design, exudes the cosmopolitan, urban edge the city is known for. Its location in Citywalk 2, one of the city’s toniest areas, also lends to the design concept. The eatery is the fourth international outpost of the successful brand by awardwinning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, which also has branches in New York, Boston and Bangkok. The project brief mandated that, while the design language of the local outlet should remain synonymous with the more established branches overseas, it should also allow room for a unique imprint of its own which suits its context. “It translated into a refined elegance balanced with a raw, industrial-chic environment,” says Paul Bishop, founder of Bishop Design. “It is lavish, but not extravagant; dynamic, yet comfortable. We optimised the space in line with the client’s vision for his venture.” One of the biggest challenges of the project was to establish a seamless connection between the two independent floors occupied by the restaurant through spatial and visual means. The location also presented a challenge, demanding certain requirements to be adhered to with regard

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5. Spanish artist Ruben Sanchez was commissioned to create bespoke art. 6. Live plants along the staircase wall add elements of interest. 7. High-quality, refined furniture balances the industrial elements. 8. Natural light and exterior views make the space appear to be expansive.

to the surrounding indoor and outdoor views. “We created a seamless transition between the interior and exterior dimensions, which allows the space to open up and become more versatile to the operator’s needs,” says Bishop. Among the design highlights in the restaurant is a metal staircase which leads to the upper level, where subtle tones of cerulean and cocoa provide a contrasting yet harmonious backdrop. Constructed out of cold-rolled steel, the metal staircase is a central representation of the refined industrial style. It becomes the initial focal point as soon as guests enter through the main door, building up the anticipation about what awaits on the upper level. The indoor landscaping and colourful artworks on the walls enhance the experience while visually and spatially facilitating movement between the two levels. A long martini bar, modelled after old-school watering holes, and a DJ station on the second level, add to the fun vibe. The design team used a diverse range of materials to create a sophisticated grunge look, referencing hip restaurants sited within industrial warehouses in New York City’s Manhattan borough. “Toro + Ko is essentially a Spanish tapas joint with the achingly cool personality of New York City,” says Bishop. “Its trendy culture provided the inspiration to create this chic hybrid space that best encapsulates Barcelona’s vibrant food offerings – which

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

include pintxos, small sharing plates, cheeses and a mix of hot and cold tapas.” Its clever spatial planning aside, the two-storey dining venue is teeming with many interesting elements, such as commissioned artworks by Spanish artist Ruben Sanchez. “The brief to the artist was to work alongside both Meraas, the owners of the property, and ourselves as the project designers, to create unique, statement art pieces which are synonymous with the brand’s ethos,” shares Bishop. “The artist had complete carte blanche to create the content under the given direction.” Sanchez has worked on the commission in-situ, since the application differed with the varied wall surfaces. In addition to the art-filled walls, there is a mélange of different surfaces throughout the restaurant. Some of these materials include corten (rusted) sheets, reclaimed, distressed wood, trowelled concrete-rendered wall surfaces, cement screed and terrazzo flooring, as well as saddle and cracked leather and fire-glazed kitchen tiles. Running the course of the restaurant, all the materials, which vary in their textures, have been applied to the maximum effect. The ambient interior lighting has been custom-designed to create the desired effect, which animates different spatial layers throughout. “The light naturally enhances the finishes and overall setting,” points out Bishop. A&I


DESIGN UPDATE 1

KUWAIT’S NEW MUSEUM COMPLEX BOASTS OF A SPECTACULAR LIGHT FAÇADE

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s a new museum complex, the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) in Kuwait is poised to become the cultural district within the country’s capital, alongside the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre. Both centres are designed by SSH – a master planning, infrastructure, building design, construction supervision and project management firm in the Middle East. The new complex is made up of six main buildings, including a National History Museum, Science Museum, Museum of Islamic History, Space Museum, Fine Arts Centre, as well as a theatre. Each building will house an array of permanent and temporary exhibitions and artworks. “The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre is a fitting and spectacular addition to Kuwait’s cultural heritage, and sets out to embrace the rich diversity of the world’s finest achievements,” said George Abi-Hanna, managing director of SSH Kuwait. The buildings within the complex are connected by a central ‘street’ which winds around the complex, referencing the traditional ferej, or neighbourhood, found in Kuwait and nearby countries. The meandering walkways mirror the experience of walking down a typical, busy Kuwait street. The ‘street’, which serves as the central spine of the complex, links the “wide-span flexible” buildings from the city entrance from the south of the site to the sea in the north-east. The buildings and the circulation spaces between them are shaded and partially climatically controlled by a 200m-long solar shade canopy, with cantilevers of 30m. Consisting of an inverted structure, this allows the installation of 2,000 LED-lit shingles, which is parametrically designed linked by a DMX controller to provide evening light shows, in addition to daytime shade. The orientation of the shingles creates a downdraft to lower the ambient temperature by 10 degrees, while providing shading space between the buildings. Ranging from 3sq-m to 9sq-m in area, each

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shingle consists of a single piece of fibreglass that reflects ambient light and creates effects to celebrate national holidays and events. Additionally, the shingles are able to create a live light show that reacts to sound and climatic variation through environmental conditions, while being independently yet collectively controlled. The exterior cladding of the building and the roof paving is made using marble from Turkey called Skyline, which features a defined vein orientation in the quarry strata. “Skyline has all the technical and aesthetic characteristics to fulfill the strict requirements of the scheme,” the architects say of the material. The museum is expected to be open to visitors sometime in the near future. A&I

1. A central ‘street’ winds around the complex, referencing the traditional neighbourhood that one finds in Kuwait. 2. The 200m-long solar shade canopy with LED-lit shingles is parametrically designed to provide evening light shows, in addition to daytime shade.

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DESIGN UPDATE

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LUXEMBOURG-BASED ARCHITECTURE STUDIO METAFORM VIES FOR THE DUBAI MARKET

L 1. The Dubai office will mainly handle the daily business concerning the Luxembourg Pavilion for Expo 2020.

uxembourg-based architecture studio Metaform, in charge of designing the Luxembourg Pavilion for Expo 2020, has opened its Dubai office. Located in Downtown Dubai, the regional subsidiary will focus on the realisation of the Expo pavilion, as well as handle the daily business concerning the project. In addition, it will also promote the firm’s architecture across the Middle East. “In the last couple of years, Metaform has grown by almost double, with upcoming new projects and several competition wins. Subsequently, our ambitions were on the rise, and we were thinking of eventually expanding and taking on some new challenges,” said founder and partner, Shahram Agaajani. “With the winning of the competition for Expo 2020 Dubai’s Luxembourg Pavilion, the idea came very naturally: to set up our office in Dubai, from which we would control and manage the pavilion construction itself; and at the same time, it would be a new base for prospective projects in the area,” he added. Agaajani explained that the firm had been previously approached by investors from the region – but at the time, unfortunately, the firm’s scope didn’t allow for the partnerships to move forward. “At the time, our scope was different. We were a smaller company, more locally focused on Luxembourg and its close surroundings. Now, with our new growth, our larger experi-

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ence and expertise, we are hoping to extend our services not only to Dubai, but also to the wider region, to combine our own knowledge with the local culture and ideas,” he said. “Metaform Middle East is effectively in the beginning of its journey,” Agaajani said. “At first, we are planning to use our premises to meet with potential clients and investors, and to manage our project for Expo 2020. We are, however, ready to adapt accordingly to the size and proportion of potential projects and demands. Our goal is to ultimately develop a fully-equipped and structured design office, from which we would also manage projects on site.” The theme designated for Luxembourg’s pavilion is ‘Opportunity’ and it reflects the history of the country, as well as its present and future. The formal composition of the pavilion is inspired by a Möbius strip, where the twisting and folding of a ribbon results in a single surface, with no beginning or end, symbolising an infinity – and, in turn, the circular economy. This allows the interior and exterior to blur, where the single face of the ribbon is at once a floor, a wall and a ceiling, creating a multi-layered ‘scenography canvas’. The pavilion aims to engage visitors in understanding the landscape of Luxembourg, which is mimicked by the spatial changes attributed to the pavilion, in terms of width, height, depth, view and perspective. Work on Expo 2020 Dubai country pavilions has commenced in April this year. A&I


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DESIGN UPDATE

DANISH FIRM SCHMIDT HAMMER LASSEN ARCHITECTS JOINS PERKINS+WILL

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lobal architecture firm Perkins+Will has acquired Danish design firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen (SHL) Architects with the aim of encouraging its work in civic and cultural architecture and its commitment to sustainability. Founded by Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John F Lassen in 1986, the Scandinavian design studio includes a portfolio of sustainable cultural and civic buildings around Europe, including The Black Diamond, an extension of the Royal Library in Copenhagen and the ARoS Museum of Art in Aarhus, Denmark. Joining Perkins+Will now allows SHL to expand into new geographic markets, as well as growing its client base and engaging in more design research. “We want to be known as a company that is both design-driven and client-focused, as a firm that produces extraordinary designs and delivers them with extraordinary efficiency. Merging with Perkins+Will enables us to maintain this critical part of our identity while having the support, technology and reach of a much larger organisation,” said SHL’s CEO Bente Damgaard. “It’s a fantastic opportunity.” Perkins+Will’s global platform also provides a host of benefits to SHL’s international clients, Damgaard adds, as they now have all of the resources, talent and expertise – including research – they need within a single firm. This streamlines collaboration, facilitates communication and ensures smooth project delivery. “Our firms share a clear mission. Through architecture and design, we make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of others. We both believe strongly in the transformative, healing power of design to address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our

time. And we both thrive in a design culture that encourages collaboration,” disclosed Hammer. Perkins+Will’s CEO Phil Harrison said, “Part of what makes this partnership so special is that Perkins+Will and SHL share a common set of values: design excellence, sustainability, innovation and the highest level of client service. “We also maintain the same design ethos, believing that exceptional architecture is always democratic and in the service of the greater good. We’re compatible at every level.” SHL Architects will, in turn, reinforce the calibre of Perkins+Will’s design portfolio. A shared vision for architectural sustainability also connects the two firms, both contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and to the improvement of human and ecological health. The firms have designed hundreds of projects, collectively amounting to several hundred million square feet, that meet or surpass various international standards for Green building. Perkins+Will’s move of purchasing all the shares in SHL has also helped the studio secure its future. “We have been working in New Zealand, Australia, China, North America, Greenland, Iceland, the UK, all over the place, but we’re only 150 people,” said Schmidt. “It has been very demanding in many ways and we’re vulnerable.” “The bigger and more complex these projects become, the more management is required,” he said. “If we lose some competitions, then we are vulnerable, and we can’t secure our staff to be on board.” Perkins+Will has also recently acquired the branding, retail strategy and design consultancy Portland Design Associates, which is based in London but has a base and large presence in the Middle East. A&I

1. The newly-acquired Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is in the process of transforming one of Scandinavia’s largest retail destinations - Fisketorvet in Copenhagen.

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NEW ON THE MARKET

PRODUCTS

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SUMMER LOVIN’ It was about time Cottons & Satins launched bedding collection as a permanent addition to its product offering. Their Spring-Summer line turned out to be the perfect way to introduce a sophisticated range of bedspreads, shams and cushions. Dusky blues, fresh greens, neutral greys and soothing browns – with glimpses of elements picked from nature − mark this comforting collection. The cushions make for a stellar focal element with ikat prints, quilted patterns, and hand-embroidered motifs of paisleys, honeybees and birds. This celebration of textures and colours is exclusively available at C&S’s Mumbai store.

COTTON AND SATINS Contact person: Anupriya Grover Tel: +91-22-40143005 Email: anupriya@cottonsandsatins.com Website: www.cottonsandsatins.com

DESIGN TRIFECTA

TO GOOD HEALTH

Three is better than one, at least in the case of Havwoods’ The Design Collection, which presents three stunning patterns in wood floors: Herringbone, Chevron and Versailles. The Herringbone and Chevron blocks comprise solid, reclaimed and tumbled textures that are engineered in a wide range of sizes. Versailles are pre-finished, engineered planks with a thick European oak lamella, a smooth surface and an oiled finish. Suited for Indian climatic conditions, they can be configured for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Spine-related health issues have become extremely common in the urban setting, and Godrej Interio has a solution to mitigate the problem. Its new concept, Motion Chair, is responsive to the natural postural change and enables active sitting and dynamic body movements.The back tilt with variable limit adjustment allows for three comfortable positions that can be configured, based on the function to be performed. Through its active sitting feature, Motion Chair reduces the chances of a static posture – releasing pressure from muscles at regular intervals and promoting better blood flow. The result is healthier and more productive employees and the making of an efficient organisation.

HAVWOODS INDIA

GODREJ INTERIO

Contact person: Pooja Chimnani Tel: +91-22-24938633 Email: info@havwoods.in Website: www.havwoods.in

Contact person: Manjiri Jamadagni Tel: +91-22-6476 2467 Email: interiooffice@godrej.com Website: www.godrejinterio.com

MODERN BEAUTY Contemporary sideboards are a thing of beauty, and Idus has made sure its latest collection qualifies as such. Each sideboard has its own distinct flair – be it minimalist design, geometric pattern or rich intricate carvings – that has been crafted in either solid wood, graphite painted glass support, black embossed lacquered steel feet, lacquered wood or oak veneer. One of the pieces is Stella, a compact creation in alluring oak veneer and brass polish steel frame, apt for modern décor settings.

IDUS Contact person: Sameer Hora Tel: +91-11-45888000 Email: enquiry@idus.in Website: www.idus.in

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com


The Whiteteak Company’s Thinking Men sculptures is a series of “thoughtfully” crafted pieces that depict the eternal occupation of man with ideas and thoughts. Its simple and yet provocative form – designed with resin, iron and gold metal with a gold finish – proves to be more than a décor element for a space. Take, for instance, the Lonely at the Top sculpture, which is inspired by real-life experiences of many a solitary man who, once he has climbed the ladder of success, ponders about the complexities of life and human emotions.

PRODUCTS

ART WITH A THOUGHT

THE WHITETEAK COMPANY Tel: +91-9873994497 Email: help@whiteteak.com Website: www.whiteteak.com

CLASSIC COMFORT The Demarlos bedroom collection by Dash Square has the feel and look that can easily transport you into the world of your favourite American classic literature. Exhibiting rustic beauty, the collection of dresser, bedroom mirror, chest of drawers, and night table – including panel footboard and headboards in King and Queen size – are crafted in select oak veneer and hardwood solids. Each piece has been gently distressed in parchment white finish, which lends it the vintage casual look. They also feature heavy mouldings, shaped fronts, framed pilaster mouldings and block legs. It evokes both simplicity and love for finesse from a bygone era.

DASH SQUARE Tel: +91-9035419911 Website: www.dashsquare.com

HUSHED ARTISTRY Combining rich, detailed embroidery with light shades such as cream and off-white creates a spectacular furnishing line. Just what you find in RR Decor’s Bianco collection – a new entrant to its vast home furnishings catalogue. Celebrating handcrafted artistry, the collection is a beautiful take on traditional patterns immersed in a modern colour palette. Embroidered paisley and floral patterns rest beautifully on long and sheer drapes. The use of hushed colour schemes make the collection suitable for all kinds of home interiors.

VINTAGE LUXE With inspirations drawn from Asian, Colonial and Renaissance aesthetics, Ochre at Home’s newest offerings blend the vintage and the contemporary to create modern luxe décor pieces. The designs – Asian Tub Chair, Highback Mop Chair, Mughal Console, Origami Accent Table, Origami White China Blossom and Twin Console – are characterised by florals, intense lacquer finish, subtle veneers or bold beaten metal. Upholstered in Kanchi’s Soleh fabric on lacquered teak wood in China white, Asian Tub Chair’s gently curved profile adds comfort to a stylish form. Inspired by French Renaissance, the highback Mop Chair is rendered in solid teak wood, with lacquered floral motif in mother-of-pearl inlay – making it a statement piece. Origami White China Blossom peg table is finished in porcelain-like lacquer with hand-painted spring flowers. Each piece seems to be capable of adding elegance and joie de vivre to any design story.

OCHRE AT HOME Contact person: Ajay Arya Tel: +91-9830036202 Email: ajayarya79@gmail.com Website: www.ochreathome.com

RR DECOR Tel: +91-11-41731107/08, 46068777 Email: export@rrdecor.com, admin@rrdecor.com Website: www.rrdecor.com

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FLEXIBLE ILLUMINATION Introduce flexible accent lighting in any space with Drop, a configurable system which combines spotlights and structural elements to create luminaires. Easily installed on walls, ceilings or even a rail, the spotlight has no screws but integrated hinges, which allow quick installation. Its main advantage is that it fits seamlessly into any existing structure – its diameter is only 57mm – to provide a flexible light. It is available in various colour temperatures, and has a range of optics and anti-glare accessories for a high-quality light and maximum visual comfort.

FLUVIA Website: www.fluvia.com

CLEAN LIGHT The new Vitawork lamp by German lighting company Luctra is a new variant intended to illuminate an entire office room with both direct and indirect light. The touch panel on the lamp has a clean design and can be operated intuitively. Not only does the material used underscore the lamp’s high quality, it is also recyclable. The lamp head’s centre of gravity is located very close to the lamp mast, providing optimal stability both structurally and visually. While the LED light adjusts itself automatically to achieve consistent lighting, the lamp can be dimmed in the upward and downward direction.

LUCTRA Tel: +49-2371-662445 Email: info@luctra.de Website: www.luctra.eu

PATENTED GLOW With patented OptiBeam lens technology that provides uniformity and efficiency in light distribution, View is a compact aluminium spotlight encompassing cutting-edge technical components. Highly adjustable, the luminaire is available in square and round shapes, which can be trackmounted on ceilings or walls. The technology is also equipped with a DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) driver for intelligent lighting management. The electronic track allows flexibility, making the luminaire suitable for museum and retail environments.

IGUZZINI Website: www.iguzzini.com

HIGH ON LIGHT High-luminosity is the trademark of the new Stella spotlights, floodlights and wall-washers by Erco. The high lumen output is suitable for large distances and extreme ceiling heights. It comes in two construction sizes and several wattages to provide varying degrees of luminous flux. The light intensity can be tweaked either via the potentiometer located on a separate control gear panel or via phase dimming on the circuit, as well as digitally.

ERCO Email: info.in@erco.com Website: www.erco.com

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com


PRODUCTS

HOT CLADDING External cladding in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain, alongside the vertical wall of greenery, proudly displays Italian stone specialist Lithos Design’s new launch – Virgola. Part of the Le Pietre Incise collection, it is made out of Grigio Cenere marble that responds well to dry and hot climate. Produced out of an extensive range of durable natural stones, it is deemed perfect for use in outdoor settings because of its noninvasive impact. The material also blends in seamlessly with the surroundings, and offers resistance to harsh natural agents such as heat.

LITHOS DESIGN Website: www.lithosdesign.com

SOFT LANDSCAPE Parallel fabric collection by British designer-duo Doshi Levien was originally designed to be used as screens for pavilions, as the weave allows light to pass through while still keeping privacy intact. The fabric’s fine weave casts striking shadow patterns when exposed to sunlight. It was created using a combination of two colours to introduce visual texture, and is used in Kettal’s Landscape collection.

KETTAL Website: www.kettal.com

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THE BIG PICTURE SEEMA KOHLI

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1. The Secret Whisperer (from The Golden Womb series), 24x24 inches. 2. Seema Kohli, the artist. 3. Cosmic Strides, 36x48 inches. 4. Wings of Epiphany, 3ft in diameter. 5. The Realms Untold (from The Golden Womb series), 24x24 inches.

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ETCHED IN MEMORIES

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n her new body of works at Tao Art Gallery, titled What a Body Remembers and curated by Lina Vincent Sunish, contemporary Indian artist Seema Kohli shows a renewed commitment to the idea of feminine energies − but has a self-reflective turn and asks what relationship is established with her works. She presents 35 zinc plate etchings on paper titled Memoirs, a collection of works done over a period of several years − her memories while growing up, the images, objects, environment and people which influenced her. According to the curator, What a Body Remembers is a compilation of recent works by Kohli that embody a symbiotic relationship between the self and the cosmos. Over several decades of artistic practice, the artist has developed a unique language; her visual vocabulary is associated with altering hierarchies within the corporeal, cognitive and subconscious states, communicating both imaginary and abstract impressions. The grids that exist between the sacred and secular, reality and fantasy, performance and documentation, objectivity and subjectivity, action and passivity are negotiated, stories are told and memories are resurrected. The current exhibition traverses some of the most significant cusps of Kohli’s journey, of which Hiranyagarbha (The Golden Womb) set her off on a path where she moved away from limiting labels of feminism (in its Western construct as being obstructionist) to declare the universe as female, the womb of all creation, the seed of birth, the dot into which everything converges. But even more than these contextual subtexts is her use of mediums that include her luminescent acrylics on canvas with gold leaf that leaves them glowing – a technique one associates with her. But here, too, the delightful twist for the exhibition includes her drawings and works on paper − those building blocks of an artist’s work that are rarely shown, but which reveal not

ARCHITECT and INTERIORS INDIA | MAY 2018 | www.architectandinteriorsindia.com

ABOUT THE ARTIST Born in 1960, Seema Kohli has, through the visual language of art, tried to grasp the metaphysical truth of existence and the cosmic energy that is responsible for all creation. For this celebrated Indian woman artist, art is a philosophical engagement with the enquiry of life. Her creative repertoire is eclectic and covers various mediums encompassing graphics, ceramics, murals, installations, sculpture, printmaking and the performing arts. Kohli’s work has redefined the basic contours of figurative art in India. A visual storyteller, she weaves stories that are not autobiographical but deeply personal. These have been showcased in over 30 solo shows - in Venice, Basel, Brussels, Melbourne, London, New York, Dubai, Singapore as well as in Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. just drafting skills and the way the eye moves, the fingers capture, but also the heart and soul of a painter’s universe. The sacred and the secular intersect in Kohli’s work, just as every being is an amalgamation of yin and yang, positive and negative, man and woman. There is no conflict of gender, as her expression crosses all barriers. The canvases are based on the heightened state of life, which we are all aspiring for − the birds, angels, gandharvas or our breath that becomes air as soon it breaks away from the physical forms. Above all, it’s her colours that speak...as they are reflective of inner peace, vibrating with the rhythm and joy of life. A&I By Maria Louis Note: What a Body Remembers by Seema Kohli was held at Tao Art Gallery, Worli, Mumbai. For more details, call +91-22-24918585 or visit www.taoartgallery.com


A&i 01 05 2018  

TRIBUTE TO AN ICON Our cover story celebrates Dr.BV Doshi, a giant in the world of Indian architecture who received widespread international...

A&i 01 05 2018  

TRIBUTE TO AN ICON Our cover story celebrates Dr.BV Doshi, a giant in the world of Indian architecture who received widespread international...

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