(2014 August) Built Expressions

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Creativity Unbound

Shreepati Gardens, Mumbai

Ar. Reza Kabul

“When I design a project, I visualise it from my client’s perspective. I live and feel as though I’m the end user of that project. This element of design focus has helped me to scale my profession to reach completely new height,” words Ar. Reza Kabul, Director of ARK

Prior to the inception of his own firm, he worked with wellknown Ar. Hafeez Contractor for two years after which he took up each and every job he was offered and he said ‘no’ to none. Crescent Ruby Boulevard Commercial.

Talent and Technology

Recipe for Success Ar. Reza Kabul, known for his dedication, out of box thinking and refreshingly unique design capability speaks to Built Expressions on how his dream architectural firm evolved and the winning elements an architect must possess to be successful. He has the credit of designing some of the tallest structures of India in addition to well acclaimed projects in India and outside.

A

r. Reza Kabul needs no introduction as he is well-known for his architectural marvels across India and overseas. From a very humble beginning in the mezzanine of an Iranian restaurant, his firm, ARK

has expanded into an international practice with offices in Mumbai, Pune and San Fransico. When inquired Ar. Reza Kabul about how he turned out to be an internationally acclaimed architect, he credits his fame to his

Radison Mauratius PG 102 Built Expressions

Vol: Vol: 33 Issue: Issue: 87

August July 2014 2014

Vol: 3 Issue: 87

August July 2014 2014

hard work, passion and dedication. His designs speak volumes of his allegiance towards his profession. “When I design a project, I visualise it from my client’s perspective. I live and feel as though I’m the end user of that project. This element of design focus has helped me to scale my profession to reach completely new height,” words Ar. Reza Kabul, Director of ARK. Prior to the inception of his own firm, he worked with well-known Ar. Hafeez Contractor for two years after which he took up each and every job he was offered and he said ‘no’ to none. The architectural firm of Ar. Reza Kabul saw a meek beginning in 1985. “I started with practically no staff and no clients. Thus, it forced me to play the role of the peon, secretary and boss. The only asset then was an infrastructure with a 200 sq ft and a telephone extension from the Iranian restaurant, as an MTNL phone then was just a dream. Initially, I started contacting acquaintances and family informing about my venture.” He continues, “I have designed mere bedroom or even a bathroom at times. Always ready to do any type of project. Built Expressions PG103


Creativity Unbound

Slowly as the work started pouring in, I employed a peon, secretary and couple of draftsmen. Computers for drafting were not heard of as it was the time of ‘T’ and set square, pencils, rubbers and tracing sheets,” he adds. Eventually, he began getting stand alone apartment buildings of 2 & 3 houses in and around the city of Mumbai like Kalyan, Badalpur and Thane. His dedication and hard work was recognized by the clients. “You never know when the opportunity knocks on your door and if you are not there to open it, it would knock somebody else’s. Thus I was always eager for new and challenging projects and hell bent on learning from each of those projects,” he adds. The big break came with “Sagar Classic” an 18 storied tower in Byculla, on a plot bang opposite where he lived as a child. He created the model and it became a standpoint in achieving an overwhelming response and the client’s happiness. “It was the first time my name was flashed in all Mumbai newspapers. It was a great turning point with no looking back. Opportunities rushed in as more and more well known builders turned way for their projects. My first international project was in Dubai in the year 1991, a 4 star hotel of 80 rooms. I grabbed the opportunity and immediately started working on it,” he reminisces.

Creativity Unbound Shreepati Arcade

central atrium a chowk with staircases and drainage pipes going through had practically no open space for a swimming pool leaving me with the only option, the terrace. He recalls and says, “I converted the chowk into an atrium and in order to take the load off the structure, erected the column from the ground in the atrium and put the swimming pool on the top. The need for natural light in the atrium surfaced the idea of a glass bottom pool.” Shreepati Arcade, tallest tower in India is yet another milestone for Ar. Reza Kabul. “It was the first project that Shreepati Group of companies came to us to work with. When we visited the site for the first time I did not believe it would be even remotely

possible to build the planned 39 storeyed. But the determination of Shreepati Group and days of discussing the various shortfalls and ways to overcome the same made it possible. Initially the FSI allowed us to plan only for a 39 storey but with the increase to 2.5, under the redevelopment scheme it gave us enough room to grow to 45 stories. Today it is listed as the tallest Residential building of India - Limca book of Records 2003. This 118000 sq ft of development was executed over a period of 5 years with its completion in the year 2002. The initial shortfalls that we experienced was being greatly handicapped by the horizontal space constrains and brimming tenements and chawls. The

PG 104 Built Expressions

Sustainability, Technology in Architecture Architecture is not just about creativity, design and technology. The element of social propositions can be integrated by the way architecture interacts with lifestyle and urban design. The imaginative and creative architecture can help to speculate about possible futures outside of some of the more usual constraints of commercial architectural practice-the environment. Corroborating this statement, Ar. Reza Kabul says, “Sustainability should not be confined to a particular project alone rather should be extended beyond such as creating sustainable cities.” The use of technology to design and build constructions with respect to their conditions and situations is considered to be a novel and particular concept in modern architecture. The accurate and appropriate use of technology can result in the creation of perfect and flawless buildings. Hence, the sensible use of technology along with the application of local civilization is the resolution to the current challenges in architecture. “Today we are witnessing that the idea of architectural project is not the same as it was during the

Ar. Reza Kabul

Tallest Building in India After Sagar classic and Dubai hotel, his next greatest break was when a client walked into the office and offered a project in Mauritius. It was a five-star property, which was his life’s greatest moment. Marine Plaza Hotel, earlier known as Bombay International Hotel was another key project he designed. The biggest challenge being it an existing residential structure and having to turn it around into a five star hotel without demolishing it. The

access road was just 10 ft wide making it almost impossible for tractors, other machinery and trucks to reach the site. Eventually the tenants were relocated and slums cleared making it easier for the construction on site to begin,” he recalls. The penthouse gives one a view of the entire Mumbai skyline leaving one speechless. Even 10 years later Shreepati Arcade is a landmark of its own and a pride for all Mumbaikars. The profile and work of his firm speaks for itself. It has the credit of designing well-known projects in all fields of architecture. His team is always ready to explore new concepts and technologies to give our clients the best always.

Shreepati Arcade, tallest tower in India is yet another milestone for Ar. Reza Kabul. The highlighting feature was, it created a unique bond of four towers.

Vol: Vol: 33 Issue: Issue: 87

August July 2014 2014

Vol: 3 Issue: 8

August 2014

The big break came with “Sagar Classic” an 18 storied tower in Byculla, on a plot bang opposite where he lived as a child. He created the model and it became a standpoint in achieving an overwhelming response and the client’s happiness.

Renaissance, the Baroque or even 20 years ago. We are now in the Digital Age where architects, we find a new way to represent, express, generate and construct buildings through digital information. By using processes and techniques identical to those employed in the industry and this is the most

important aspect of the Digital Architecture. However, many people, architects and students interpret that the features of the digital architecture is the rediscovery of complex curving shape,” he adds. Built Expressions PG105


Creativity Unbound

Hotel Marine Plaza

Urbano Restaurant- Wangapala Hotel Digital Technology allows complex calculation, a variety of complex forms to be created with great ease using computer algorithms and increasing the possibilities in architecture design, rather than simply production. Digital Technologies are enabling a direct relation between what can be designed and what can be built, also they enable a real image for the building before it is actually built and you can see if it looks nice, ugly or look like an unpleasant fly. PG 106 Built Expressions

Technology can be very helpful in architecture. For example, Frank Gehry knows how to use those advantages of technologies and lead us to a new style and a new way of thinking. Ar. Reza Kabul has a word of advice to budding architects, “All our actions have repercussions. As in the case of architects too, it isn’t just about designing a building. One should keep in mind the effect especially long term. Architecture and ways unknown to many has an impact not only on

the resident but its surroundings too especially the environment. One needs to consider various aspects like the displacement of old tenants, ecological factors, materials for the long run etc. One has to keep in mind that the creation and changes may last for the next 100 years.” It is vital to nurture never give up attitude, always grabbing an opportunity and keeping par with technology. “I believe that has helped me to a great deal, the same suggestion he likes to pass on to the upcoming architects. Think outside the box. Explore your creativity. Be patient. Today’s generation has immense talent and great resources too. They need to just strike the perfect balance between the two. Architecture, designing buildings of the generation the future compromises of my entire past, present and future. Constantly designing and working towards my best ever,” he concludes. BE Vinutha V Vol: 3 Issue: 8

August 2014

Vol: 3 Issue: 8

August 2014

Built Expressions PG107


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