It’s where context-sensitive architecture meets innovation to create highly-original and experiential homes, that we find these five talents. They are on a constant journey of research, exploration and development of sustainable techniques, adaptive reuse and intuitive design. The winners of the ID Honours Awards 2023 in the category of Holiday Home/Second Home Design showcase a deep understanding of the relationship between good design, luxury and the natural environment.
Spasm Design Architects
Mumbai-based Spasm Design Architects is not interested in simply being avant-garde; for them, good design is intuitive and transformative. Their vast repertoire includes austere and elegant projects like the House Cast in Liquid Stone in Khopoli, the Copper House in Ahmedabad, and the Exim Tower and AON in Tanzania, to name just a few. With each project, the design firm focuses on building the script of their architecture in tune with the location and the people. Marrying all their shared experiences, their approach to each follows the journey from chaos to creation. Elaborate discussions, deep study of the site and intrinsic involvement of the team produces a tangible construct that is striking while lacking pointless ornamentation, functional and in line with the surrounding climate and landscape.
Matra Architects is an architectural and urban planning firm known for streamlined, context-sensitive architecture that focuses on integrating material and construction, in the search of archetypal form. For them, architecture is about finding that connection between the form and place where the context is absorbed by the building. Principal and founder, Verendra Wakhloo believe that the composition of building is transcultural with global references that aren’t necessarily contemporary. Established in 1990 in New Delhi, their architectural projects include schools and universities, industrial buildings, and a wide array of commercial and residential projects. In the search for an Indian identity, the formative years were influenced by the masters of Indian modernism, Charles Correa and B.V. Doshi.
As young architects, Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt met in Sri Lanka where both were deeply influenced by the works of architect Geoffrey Bawa. It wasn’t just the forms that fascinated the duo, more specifically how his creations, though bold, did not demand submission of their surroundings but established a profound connection with the sensitive environmental setting. This seed eventually led to the starting of their own studio in 2006, Architecture BRIO, which strongly believes that architecture should remain a backdrop rather than take centre stage while creating a healthy relationship with the natural world. Operating in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Mumbai (India), the studio is lauded for projects spanning a vast array of cultures, climates and landscapes across the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia with an emphasis on residential design. The studio’s portfolio also includes hospitality, educational and humanitarian design as well as cultural and institutional projects.
Meaningful, sustainable design and adaptive reuse form the very core of what Mumbai-based Studio PKA is all about. Puran Kumar – Principal at Studio PKA – shuns unnecessarily complicated design in favour of letting the space’s identity speak volumes. Through a diverse spectrum of projects, the architecture and design house consistently explores fresh and innovative design expressions based on a deep understanding of the structure, site and occupant. Since its inception in 1993, some standout creations include corporate projects like The Loft | Redefined and Tianu | The Revival Project, architectural projects like the 5 Element House and The Mango House as well as residential interiors like The Canvas and The 18th.
Vinu Daniel believes if we focus on the question of ‘Should we build?’ rather than ‘What should we build?’, the end result is a manmade form that is a relevant response to its surroundings; one that not only co-exists with its environment but maybe even capable of acting like an innate extension of the original form. The principal architect and founder of WALLMAKERS is the brain behind highly original architectural masterpieces like Chuzhi, a subterranean home in Shoolagiri, Tamil Nadu that originates from the rock bed, and The Ledge, a residence perched on the edge of a mountain and camouflaged within the landscape of Peeremedu, Kerala. His projects strip away the unnecessary to deeply focus on engaging with the site and utilizing the materials available in the vicinity including reimaging a purpose for waste materials.
Story by Nadezna Siganporia
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