Materials that Ar. Reza Kabul loves
Ar. Reza Kabul’s by chance foray into architecture gave the profession a figure that has become inspiration for many. While his story is equally intriguing, being material our first love, SURFACES REPORTER asked the ace architect the materials he loves to work with and why...
Material is the key to design a successful project. These is not mere phrase but a matter-of-fact agreed upon by all architects and designers. While a building is a cluster of various materials, there is one among all, that stands out, defines the structure and ultimately the entire design philosophy. In spite of doing a lot of innovations in design, every architect has a set of materials that he loves to work with and which is also evident in most of his iconic structures. In an ‘Out-of-the-box’ conversation with SURFACES REPORTER, Ar. Reza Kabul reveals his nine most favourite materials and their crucial role in creation of some of his signature projects.
A name to be reckoned with, Ar. Reza Kabul needs no introduction. Believing on the philosophy of ‘Liberating Spaces’, Reza Kabul’s foray into the industry was a random experience of viewing books on architecture that proved catalyst enough for a switch from engineering to architecture. After a brief stint at a prominent architecture studio in Mumbai, he has set up Architects Reza Kabul Pvt. Ltd., (ARK) India in 1988. A speaker for ‘Marcus Evans Tall Buildings Conference’ in Seoul, Korea (2008) and a pioneer in tall buildings, Reza Kabul has been listed in the Limca Book of Awards (2003) for Shreepati Arcade, the tallest building in India. Awarded with numerous accolades, his signature projects are spread globally in United States, India, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bhutan, Korea, and Nairobi. JULY 2015 SURFACES REPORTER 107
Mosaic glass tile
The major benefit of using Mosaic glass tiles is the beauty that is hard to achieve otherwise.
Ekta Tripolis, Mumbai
Glass reinforced concrete (GRC) is lighter due to the thin skin thickness used, and has a wide flexibility in design and manufacturing, which enables it to reproduce most architectural styles and features. As it is made of minerals, it does not burn easily and functions as a thermal regulator.
The facade of Ekta Tripolis designed is designed with the use of Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) to attain the desired shape of the residential tower. GRC is lighter due to the thin skin thickness used, and has a wide flexibility in design and manufacturing, which enables it to reproduce most architectural styles and features. The material has high tensile strength while being flexible and resistant to cracking. As it is made of minerals, it does not burn easily and functions as a thermal regulator. Other key characteristics that make GRC interesting to work with are its non-corroding behaviour, high damping capacity and low thermal expansion. Furthermore, artistic embellishments are also possible on GRC. Ekta Tripolis has won the Construction Times Builders Awards 2015 for Best Upcoming Green Project of the Year.
Shreepati Arcade, awarded the title of Indiaâ€™s Tallest Building by the Limca Book of Records in 2003, has an exterior facade clad in mosaic glass tiles. Though an unconventional application, the benefit of using mosaic glass tiles is the beauty that can be achieved. Their heat resistance protects them from fire against latent heat, and their high retardation helps keep the interiors cool. They cover cracks and plasters well, and at the same time their crazing resistance keeps them safe from hairline cracks from the surface below. The tiles inherent properties, in particular their impermeability, do not allow water to seep into the building structure. Their resistance to flexion protects them from bending during harsh weather. They are also resistant to chemical damage, which is an added advantage given the increasing level of pollution in the air. Glass tiles are resistant to stains, mould, and mildew; and are also very easy to clean. Their UV resistance shields them from fading. Furthermore, it takes roughly half the energy to produce a glass tile than it does to make a ceramic tile of similar size; and it can also be made from reclaimed glass refuse. All in all, it preserves the uniqueness of the buildingâ€™s facade for a long period, without the worry of maintenance.
Shreepati Arcade, Mumbai
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Crescent Group Office, Mumbai
Marble refines the beauty, adding a level of elegance and sophistication to the space.
Crescent Groupâ€™s office is spread across 6000 sq. ft. and designed in a contemporary style, with the use of warm and bright tones conveying optimism and encouraging productivity. The entire space has a beautiful balance of Italian marble, onyx and veneer, along with clear glass. The colour palette is restricted to earthy shades of beige, brown, yellow and white. While the entire office is floored in Italian Diana Marble, the walls have been clad in Noce Travertine and Gres Moroccan marbles. Marble refines the beauty, adding a level of elegance and sophistication to the space. The use of marble also offers long-lasting durability, and can be repolished from time to time to maintain its finish instead of being replaced.
Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Mumbai
Aluminium composite panel (ACP) consists of two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core. They are frequently used for external cladding or facades of buildings, insulation, and signage. Spread over 20 acres, Bharat Diamond Bourse is the worldâ€™s largest diamond bourse located in Mumbai. The highlighting feature of the otherwise flat institutional structure is the thick blue band on the exterior ACP facade. Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) offer consistent flatness, and can be easily cut, bent and shaped to fit various designs. Being lightweight, ACP is an ideal material for a large-scale institutional project such as BDB as it offers quick installation saving time and costs. Furthermore, their light-weight design reduces the dead weight of the building. ACP requires minimal maintenance, just an annual cleaning; and is resistant against corrosion, chalking and colour fading.
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DRY FIX TILES
Adamo – The Bellus, Goa
Due to their homogenous texture and non-porous material which makes them low on water absorption and extremely strong, tiles have become the material of choice.
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Another hospitality project where the use of tiles can be seen extensively is Adamo – The Bellus, Goa. The spread out washrooms have floor-to-ceiling 2x2 tiles from Nitco’s Rustic Series which are stain resistant and anti-skid. The terrace is covered in deck wood flooring tiles which are UV resistant, non-slippery, water resistant, and can withstand extreme temperatures. Due to their homogenous texture and non-porous material which makes them low on water absorption and extremely strong, tiles have become the material of choice. They are also much easier to maintain compared to marble and granite. The proximity to the beach creates the need for a higher level of cleanliness and maintenance of the property. Tiles are stain-resistant and thus help in keeping the spaces free from bacteria, increasing the hygiene level. Even replacing a single tile is much easier than an entire marble slab.
Express ExpressInn, InnNashik
While considering the right kind of tiles for a particular room, the things we kept in mind are the area of the room, budget, and function of the room. In most spaces, 2x2 tiles are used as flooring to give a neater look. Majority of the tiles used across Express Inn are vitrified tiles. The advantage of vitrified tiles is the consistency in size, shade and thickness. While considering the right kind of tiles for a particular room, the things we kept in mind are the area of the room, budget, and its function. In most spaces, 2x2 tiles are used as flooring to give a neater look. We decided to extend the use of tiles from the flooring to the walls in the wellness centre, as it helps to add warmth, and are easy to maintain. Tiles are best used in areas where one requires to maintain high hygienic conditions, user friendliness in maintenance, hard surface with high water retaining capacity, non porous and the capability to remain stain free.
Darvesh Royale, Mumbai Darvesh Royale
The Dry Fix or Porcelain Tiles are light weight and offer easy maintenance. As compared to recurring exterior paint jobs, these tiles are a onetime solution. The dry-fix tiles used for cladding at Darvesh Royale are 3 Lam by Durlax. Available in various colours and textures, we used the Ferro Moss Matt to punctuate the otherwise white exterior of the residential tower. The tiles are light weight and offer easy maintenance. As compared to recurring exterior paint jobs, these tiles are a single time solution. Available in sizes as large as 8 x 4, these tiles can be used even on curved surfaces.
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The Landmark Grand, Dubai
The material, style and colour of the carpet help reflect the personality of the space.
Carpets have immense importance and influence in the Middle Eastern culture. Carpets used at The Landmark Grand are decorative as well as symbolic of the existing culture of the city. They offer comfort over hard surfaces. They also provide thermal resistance, which is an added advantage in a centrally air-conditioned space. Carpet is also ideal for cushioning and can provide additional safety. The material, style and colour of the carpet help reflect the personality of the space; they can be either used as a base element, or even the central focal point of the space. Carpets act as a sound barrier between floors, and mask the sound of constant footsteps in public spaces of a hotel. They also absorb sound from electronic devices.
Le Meridien, Thimpu
Plaster is used while bricking to strengthen the structure. It has a great decorative appeal along with the use of POP and also offers an elegant, simple & clean look. The exterior of Le Meridien Thimpu is covered in plaster. Plaster is used while bricking to strengthen the structure. In comparison to dry walls, plastered walls are stronger and more durable. It also aligns the brick in the process. While plaster has a great decorative appeal along with the use of POP, it also offers an elegant, simple & clean look.
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