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Ashwin AP of Ashwin Architects Believes In Creating Healthy Living Spaces

By admin / Published on Monday, 04 Feb 2019 17:03 PM / No Comments / 459 views

Ashwin AP of Ashwin Architects Believes In Creating Healthy Living Spaces

The design philosophy of Ashwin Architects is creating a meaningful interface between self and the surroundings be it house or office; it should be in a qualitative manner that enhances the positive energies in terms of form, function, climate control, vaastu and more.

Ashwin AP of Ashwin Architects Believes In Creating Healthy Living Spaces
Ashwin A.P. Principal Architect of Ashwin Architects

Ashwin Architects started in mid – 2003 with the intention of bridging the divide that exists between people’s perception of their personal spaces and the stark reality of the buildings coming up in our urban jungles. He is of the belief that experience lies in holistic designs for individual residences, bungalows, development of housing layouts, apartment complexes, and commercial complexes and gated communities. As one of the renowned architects of Bengaluru, the firm transcends the divide between contemporary architecture and the cultural context, which they are set in. With, Ar. Ashwin A.P, Principal Architect speaks of his journey in this industry, how his firm balances the challenges of new magnitudes of demands, growing expectations of home and interior architecture. All of these for healthy, lively and enthralling spaces blended with energy efficiency and sustainable architecture norms.

Since 2003 when you began your practice, were you able to bridge the divide that existed between people’s perception of personal spaces?

It is an ongoing process where every client when they decide to build their private space, has set ideas, expectations and outcomes. It is the architect’s responsibility to put everything in the right perspective with a balanced approach, so that he/she is able to experience the spaces in the best possible way considering the ‘context’, i.e. the area of the plot, the budget, the built up area as well as the “response”, i.e. the design approach, building style and geometrics.

What is your definition of holistic designs for individual residences, bungalows, apartment complexes, commercial complexes and gated communities?

I have had the good fortune to design varied buildings from residences in a 20’x30’ plot to hypermarket complexes to school buildings. The one common denominator I have found amongst all is how one perceives the space and how comfortable the space makes a person feel. Whatever maybe the function or purpose but if the building environment is able to make the person feel at ease or enhances the specific function of the building, then you could say that design, in its entirety has been achieved. I feel holistic design is an elevated state of mind a user experiences when in that space.

What are your parameters for undertaking any projects? Is there any kind of specifications?

Yes, I have. The foremost ‘specification’ or ‘parameter’ to take up a project is that the client should have an intense desire to participate and enjoy the design journey and exploration.

How are you able to fulfil the expectations of home and interior architecture, creating healthy, lively and enthralling spaces?

Two factors go hand in hand here. First is the attention to the smallest detail and the second is to realise when too much is too much and the ability to restrain yourself. These two traits go a long way in creating meaningful and fulfilling architectural spaces.

Tell us more on your projects involved on energy efficiency and sustainable architecture norms. Would require project description of those?

There are two ways to achieve efficiency. The tangible way is in the form of using sustainable materials, reuse, etc. The intangible way is to reduce the building footprint through intelligent design, creating multi-functional spaces. A simple illustration would be that most of our residential projects do not have false ceiling. If good design, intent can be established with the use of lesser quantum of materials that it is a huge saving of materials. Less is more is something that I adhere to as much as possible. Coupled with the natural lighting, thermally efficient components help our buildings to reduce the load on the artificial lighting and air-conditioning.

Initially how was your journey in this highly competitive industry? Your experience doing the first project, which was it; tell us more about the same?

I would not exactly call it a competitive industry as architecture leans more towards arts than engineering and the thought process is as important as the application process. As such, doing so many projects has helped to evolve and hone the designing skills. My very first project was a duplex residence on a plot of size 40’x50’. It was a great learning process of resolving aesthetic & engineering conflicts. The construction period was like watching a child grow into a complete human being.

Since then how was your experience working on different scale of projects, how many have you done so far?

Till date, I have completed over 350 projects comprising of mainly independent houses, with a few commercial and retail complexes and a couple of institutional buildings. I have learnt that small or large projects, resolution of spaces are an integral part of design. The journey so far has been fulfilling.

Which was the most challenging project undertaken so far, where and what was the project about?

Rather than physical challenges, in some instances, it is about containing the anxiety of the clients about the way the project is going out to shape up. Some of our happiest clients were the most anxious ones during the construction stage.  The long gestation period for project completion is the most challenging factor.

Your advice to the budding architects and interior designers

An architect needs to have ‘some’ knowledge about a variety of trades and professions like electrical, plumbing, HVAC and many other specialisations. An architect is an ‘integrator’ of various disciplines in a building. Strong design skills have to be complemented by a working knowledge of other disciplines for a successful completion of a project. Therefore, if a person spends a lifetime gaining knowledge about a subject, an architect has to know the basics of many such subjects. A practical knowledge will allow a person to understand the behaviour of various materials and ultimately improve their design skills. The newcomers have to spend quality time not just in their studios but at the project sites to see how their creation is taking shape and tweak it continuously.

Shivakumar Residence:

This is a contemporary residence designed on a 40’x60’ plot. Clearly shows minimalist design, which highlights the use of less material. Natural lighting is made available throughout the house thru the use of skylights, clerestory windows, etc. Easy to maintain drip-irrigated greenery is a relief from the concrete jungle.

Purushottam Residence:

This is a house designed on a plot of size 20’x30’ plot. The client allowed us great freedom and this project is a good example for space utilization and resolution of spaces. The site limitations did not impose any limitation on the design aspect and it was possible to meet the requirements of the clients for the 20 years at least.

Savita Residence:

Massive 25’x6’ skylight above the staircase brings natural light to the entire house. Multi-function spaces like waterscape below the staircase, etc., makes the building very space efficient and yet gives a feel of luxury.


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