Top 10 Architecture Studios That Are Transforming the Face of Indian Urban Homes

These leading design studios are constructing stunning new homes around the nation

With exquisite sculptural forms, rich material palettes, charismatic design elements, and creative responses to their unique contexts, some Indian residences are no longer being built for mere luxury and functionality. These homes are aware, alive and works of art. Setting new benchmarks in residential architecture, here are ten exemplary Indian design firms that are setting trends in creating unique habitats across the country. These firms also were the recipients of the ID Honours Awards 2023 in the category of residential architecture.

1. Wallmakers

Founded in 2007 by architect Vinu Daniel, this celebrated and award-winning firm has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to upcycling debris and promoting traditional building techniques. With a strong focus on using local materials,Wallmakers‘ projects showcase alluring designs, such as a sculptural residence in Kerala embracing a historic jackfruit tree and a subterranean home in Shoolagiri, Tamil Nadu, ingeniously built from reclaimed wood, resembling a coiled snake to blend harmoniously with its surroundings. Vinu Daniel was also a recipient of the ID Honours 2023 Architect of the Year Award.

Residence in Shoolagiri. Photo by Syam Sreesylam

Residence in Kerala. Photo by Anand Jaju and Syam Sreesylam

2. Matharoo Associates 

With over 30 years of experience and multiple awards to their credit, Matharoo Associates is a leading name in Indian architecture. Founded by Gurjit Singh Matharoo, the Gujarat-based firm is notable for their mastery over materials such as concrete and stone, building remarkable and poetic homes that exude sculptural qualities. The firm’s experiments in materiality and construction have led to several acclaimed residential spaces, such as an Ahmedabad home whose facade is made of spinning marble walls, a as well as another one in Surat featuring a centre that has been scooped out to cocoon the family living area. Also to their credit are several high-profile homes in concrete in Delhi, Chennai, and more. 

Residence in Surat. Photo by Dinesh Mehta

Residence in Surat. Photo by Dinesh Mehta

3. Architecture BRIO

Based out of Rotterdam and Mumbai, this firm founded in 2006 has a remarkable portfolio of context-specific and sustainable design projects ranging from carbon negative homes to award-winning luxury homes in locations ranging from the Alibaug seafront and Karjat to a mountain-side town in Switzerland. Founded by Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijit, Architecture BRIO takes an interdisciplinary approach to each of its projects, and has won numerous prestigious awards such as the Global Lafarge Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction, President’s Award of Singapore, NDTV House Design of the Year Award, and more. 

Residence in Alibaug. Photo by Randhir Singh

Residence in Alibaug. Photo by Edmund Sumner and Randhir Singh

4. The gRID Architects

Established in 2002 by Snehal and Bhadri Suthar, The gRID Architects is a renowned firm based in Ahmedabad. They specialise in designing a diverse range of projects, including residential homes, communities, commercial complexes, educational institutions, and hospitality spaces. Notable for their sustainable approach and biophilic design philosophy, the firm has created impressive structures like a concrete-based brutalist home in Ahmedabad and a red brick home in Hyderabad, thoughtfully integrated with existing trees and natural landscapes.

Residence in Hyderabad. Photo by Vinay Panjwani

Residence in Ahmedabad. Photo by Photographix

5. Samira Rathod Design Atelier

Since founding her practice in 2000, Samira Rathod has become a towering figure in Indian architecture. Working in response to the unique context of each site, the firm experiments with material and form to create exceptional built structures — such as a home in Baruch, Gujarat that features inward-facing windows and courtyards which channel wind into the building, helping it to stay cool during the area’s extremely hot summers, or another home in Alibaug which explores different methods of laying concrete.

Residence in Alibaug. Photo by Niveditaa Gupta

Residence in Baruch. Photo by Niveditaa Gupta

6. 3dor concepts

In the short span since its founding in 2013, 3dor Concepts has worked on several remarkable architectural projects across Kerala. Led by Muhammed Jiyad CP, Ahmed Thaneem Abdul Majeed and Muhammed Naseem M, the firm often combines modern architectural principles with vernacular elements, as can be seen in projects such as a three-storeyed house in Kannur enveloped by a large sloping tile-clad roof that gives it a distinct look but also shields it from extreme weather conditions.

Residence in Kerala. Photo by Prasanth Mohan

Residence in Kerala. Photo by Prasanth Mohan

7. Language.Architecture.Body

Along with a range of high-end commercial projects including storefronts for Nicobar, Anita Dongre and more, Shonan Puri Trehan’s Language.Architecture.Body has crafted several notable residences in the country. The firm’s design solutions place great emphasis on sustainability, local materiality and engagement with local craftsmen, as best exemplified in a recent Delhi home created with a sculptural clay brick facade graced by unique stained glass windows. The firm’s work has been celebrated through multiple awards including several IIID Anchor National Awards.

Residence in New Delhi. Photo by Pankaj Anand

Residence in New Delhi. Photo by Pankaj Anand

8. BetweenSpaces

Founded by Divya Ethirajan and Pramod Jaiswal, Bangalore-based BetweenSpaces has a knack for tactfully introducing playful elements into pragmatic design solutions. Recent examples include a home in Bengaluru that takes inspiration from the imagery of a cuckoo clock – layering the spaces within the home such that the transition from outdoors to indoors happens in a sequential manner. Another home in Bangalore is tactfully composed of voids and masses in wood and stone. Founded in 2010, the firm strives to practise contextually relevant design and has worked on a variety of residences, educational institutions, hospitality and commercial spaces. 

Residence in Bangalore. Photo by Shamanth J Patil

Residence in Bangalore. Photo by Shamanth J Patil

9. Madras Office for Architects and Designers (MOAD)

Deep cultural influences and a celebration of local materiality and skill inform the practice of  Chennai-based Madras Office for Architects and Designers (MOAD). Founded by Mahesh Radhakrishnan, the firm has worked on a range of institutional buildings, commercial spaces, as well as residences across India. The firm’s body of work also embodies its dedication to sustainable architecture, seen in projects such as Chennai home built from reclaimed bricks aged between 15 to 100 years sourced from over 40 demolition sites in the area.

Residence in Chennai. Photo by Yash Jain, Ganesh Ramachandran, Senthil Kumar Balraj

Residence in Chennai. Photo by Niveditaa Gupta

10. architectureRED

Established in 2008 by architects Biju Kuriakose and Kishore Panikkar, architectureRed has a remarkable portfolio of award-winning projects ranging from institutional buildings, public spaces and city master plans to home interiors and architecture. Notable projects include educational buildings such as the Crescent School of Architecture in Chennai, and housing projects such as a multi-storeyed building in Kerala that stacks angular solids atop each other to achieve a distinct look, making it a visual landmark in a busy area. The firm has won numerous awards ranging from the World Architecture News Award for urban design, to the IIA National Award. 

Residence in Bangalore.

Residence in Kerala. Photo by Sriram Ganapathy


Story by Sridevi Nambiar.

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