‘The ambience of the place is what matters to us as designers; the cost also plays an important role for the client in executing a project. At the end of the day, it’s a balance between the cost and ambience is important to us as well as the client’ says Ar. Nagaraja GP., Principal architect, Aadyam Design Studio, Bangalore in an exclusive interview with sawdust
GP Nagaraja, Principal Architect, Aadyam Design, Bangalore-min
Tell us about a project that represents your practice best– your most important work(s) of the last 2 years
Each and every project comes with its own challenge and limitations. We rigourously approach the project with client requirements and what best suits the given condition. It is an evolving process and each project is as unique as the site and client. All projects are unique with varied level of challenges and complexity. It is not possible to identify our approach in just one project.
But Grazers is bit more challenging and experimental because of its strategic location and size and budget.
Share with us the philosophical foundation of your studio. What are the fundamental ideas that outline your practice? Is there a ‘Process’ or ‘Method’ that is central to your work – how do you approach your work.
Just like a traveller who enjoys the path taken to the destination as much as the destination itself, we at Aadyam Design Studio enjoy the design process as much the end result. Our work is characterized by clean lines, an ability to create and integrate exterior spaces with the interior, by our understanding of the responsiveness to the client’s requirement.
Are there any special benefits – in terms of knowing latest techniques, architectural practices, etc.- by enrolling oneself in international architecture schools as compared to the best local architecture schools
Knowing latest techniques is obviously an add on in any practice, but that doesn’t mean local schools deny the access to the latest trends and technology. Many institutions in India are on par with international schools of architecture.
How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your projects?
With the clientele we have, can’t really say we have induced sustainability in our projects. But of course all our projects will have air and light as the design element.
Bringing newness/uniqueness in every project is a difficult proposition. How do you tackle this?
We never try to force uniqueness in every detail which we do. It all depends on what suit the project best, if an age old approach does justice to given situation we do use them. But how we use them in the given condition and budget becomes unique in itself.
If you have to list three best projects executed by you, which ones will come to your mind first and why?
All projects are designed and detailed with same enthusiasm in our studio. Grazers is one project where we experimented the most. It was a big challenge to handle the requirements in the small site, but located in heart of city with roads on two sides facing the huge ficus tree. We thoroughly enjoyed the process of designing, hunting the proper material for the execution and trying out the apt detail for the same.
Do you think foreign architecture firms entering India pose any threats to local architecture firms?
I don’t think we need to look in that aspect. As long as the designers are capable to cater the given situation it doesn’t matter where they are located. But at the same time, local designers will be more comfortable to the tradition and culture which will be easy for better space planning. With more international firms entering the race, the construction industry is getting more organised which is good.
Getting quality manpower is a problem for you?
We find wide variety of talent in our country. We need to identify the same. With present education system, many students are coming out like the products in the factory. Think the education system in India has to be more rational approach.
How important is client briefing? Apart from client briefing what are the other ways you adopt to know client’s mind?
Client brief is the base for the project to evolve. Its very important to understand what the client needs, taste and constraints. Many times clients may not be able to express in words. We share our portfolio with them, explain why it’s being done. We do give few options in design and detail from which they will be able to narrow down to what they actually like and then re work on things according to their taste.
Comfort, cost and environment friendliness – which aspect is the most important for you?
The ambience of the place is what matters to us as designers; the cost also plays an important role for the client in executing a project. At the end of the day, it’s a balance between the cost and ambience is important to us as well as the client.
What are the main difficulties and challenges you encounter – Market fluctuations, Material shortages, Spurious materials, Clients who don’t know what they want or Others
Market influences a lot in construction and real estate industry. Change in taxation has huge impact on the industry. Unless a person has practical knowledge, it is pretty difficult to identify the materials if they are original or of low quality. It is always better to source the material from a reliable vendor or from the factory outlet directly.
Why learning to build like our ancestors is essential for the survival of the planet
If you see earlier building technology, almost 95 % of the building material would integrate with earth if they are pulled down. They were basically different forms of earth used and didn’t use any factory product. Many old buildings are still standing in good shape, not affected by natural disasters like floods, earthquake etc. In earlier generation, nature was worshipped and had respect to it, which is very rare now.
Can a history of architecture ever be useful?
Of-course yes. There is no second thought about it. We should know how to decipher it.