They’re a strong force behind truly unique, exquisite living spaces working hard to make your world a better place to live in. RITZ MAGAZINE speaks to some of Bengaluru’s top-notch architects and interior designers who are doing their bit, to not just beautify and enhance the wondrous world around you, but to help you sit back and relax.
BY NAMITA GUPTA
Student life: I studied Architecture at Pratt Institute, New York, and in the undergraduate program I was introduced for the first time to Architectural discourse. I was exposed to a variety of methodologies and complex abstract exercises in the making of form. The inspiring professors I had were architectural thinkers and not practitioners. On returning to India, I worked with the late Charles Correa in Mumbai. At Charles’ office I learned how an intelligent practice has drawn inspiration from our history and tradition and developed a strong contemporary design language. This is where I gained the practical knowledge of practicing in India. Interior design as a discipline has been completely self-taught. I picked up skill by delving into one project after another, from Hospitality to residential interiors. I started designing interiors innately from the gut, and I still do.
Design highpoints: I established the firm in 1995 and it has been an exciting journey ever since. I have also had a strong and rewarding 15-year working relationship with my partner Amaresh Anand who is the other Principal in the firm. We both head a relatively small boutique outfit of 15 architects and Interior designers, and have a very collaborative approach to our work. The excitement for us has been to be able to work on a varied palette of projects, with some exciting clients and inspiring sites. The shifting of scale in our work from a small detail to a large master plan keeps us engaged and never bored of a single typology of project.
Awards and recognitions: Our body of work at Khosla Associates has won us over 30 national and international awards in the past 23 years; Awards that stand out include the Inside Outside Designer of the Year Award, 2010, The ‘Education’ Category winner at the World Architecture Festival WAF/INSIDE Festival 2013 in Singapore, and very recently the Winner of “House of the Year 2017” at the WAN (World Architecture News) Awards, London. We have also been named by Architectural Digest India one of the 50 most influential names in Indian Architecture and Design in the Subcontinent for 5 consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Some of our key award winning projects include ‘Retreat in the Sahyadris’, a weekend home in the Western Ghats, the ‘Cliff House” in Kerala and the ‘Bhuwalka House’ in Bengaluru. In the Education space ‘The DPS Kindergarten School’ in Bengaluru, and ‘The Arts and Media Centre’ at The Doon School, Dehradun have brought our firm recognition. ‘Shiro’, ‘Loft 38’, ‘Touch’ and ‘1Q1’ have been key breakthrough projects in the Hospitality category.
Signature style: Our work is highly contextual and rooted to ones environment and to a particular site. We draw inspiration from traditional concepts, craft as well as local material and interpret the same in new and innovative ways. In doing so, we have over the past 20 years developed our own version of an ‘India Modern’ Sensibility. There is a certain timeless quality to our work that seems to appeal to our clients.
Current trends: Trends in Architecture are short-lived. The time has come to create buildings that are truly “relevant” and “sustainable”, not just “trendy”. Concerns of buildings should be driven by the need (social, economic, cultural, environmental and local) rather than only an image. There is no doubt that there is some sensitive and thought provoking architecture emerging from our country, but a majority of architecture in our urban environment has been put up by developers and sadly in their case, whether residential or commercial it’s really about building an image and selling an aspirational dream. Hence ideas from distant parts of the world are transported and replicated in a cut-and-paste way into our urban fabric with absolutely no sense of context. In Interior Design there is a wave of eclecticism with the barrage of images that everyone has from the Internet. As a firm we personally seem to be gravitating towards interior spaces that are hand crafted, authentic, natural, tactile, warm and friendly.