Design in architecture is calculated artVaishnavi, Architect
With a sustainable mindset and in the spirit on doing ‘different’ each day, the team of six at ‘GreenCrete Architects’ vouch for designs that are relevant to the theme and today’s time and age. Based on a round of fantasies and dreams of the client, they tend to become a better version of themselves day after day.
For those who do not hire interior decorators, what are the easier modes of implementing sustainability in personal spaces without a professional?
Sustainability is using a commodity you have already invested on, to its maximum capacity before you decide to discard it. Real sustainability is actually conscious consumption, be it buying new or what we own already. The concept of sustainability is a mindset and understanding that is important. Minimum intervention is a gesture of living sustainably. On that note, a few simple yet effective ways to go sustainable all by yourself would be to invest on thick blinds and double glaze your windows, use eco-paints, replace fluorescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, keep your house construction work, material sourcing and repair work – local, buy upcycled furniture and minimal retrofit, install solar panels on your buildings, create spaces with passive designs and make space for plants.
What are the prototypes that your latest venture, ‘UrbanMaadi’ revolves around?
Most of our terraces or balconies are idle or dumped with stuff which we actually never needed. But everyone has an idea associated on utilizing that space into some use. The ‘UrbanMaadi’ is a concept that was built on this idea of curating an idle space based on the owner’s personal tastes, interests, dreams or fantasies within a given budget frame. The prototypes that we have created are based on some of the common interests that we have come across among people of different age groups. The predominant ones were, a gym/workout corner, a movie night set up, a terrace garden set up, a reading lounge, an intimate party cum open mic set up with karaoke and/or a lounge to just chill with a bunch of friends and/or family on Saturday nights.
Your designs, be it for the Blue Bar or Twisty Tails have a quintessential balance of space and aestheticism. What are the other modes of designs that you emphasize and vouch for?
Design in architecture is calculated art. We believe, idyllic design ideas start from a simple pencil and paper. Sense of proportion in terms of scale, colour, material and texture is key to a design that stands the test of time. And that is also the reason behind our emphasis on keeping the materials true to its nature or original character. On the whole, our practice lays emphasis on design solutions that are relevant to the context, as well as to current trends and contemporary ideas that amply serve their functions and are aesthetically pleasing.
You have incorporated brick walls in almost all your designs. Is it a fetish or something that you specialise in?
You can call it a fetish! We really love the kind of vibe that an exposed brick wall adds to a space. So, we do try using the exposed brickwork in a different form, style or color. Again, it goes along the lines of our preference in showing the materials we use at its natural character.
What does your motto, ‘God is in our details,’ tell our views about your company?
It is just like how the hero of a sumptuous meal is always the delicious dessert at the end. Its lingering taste lasts in our taste buds for a while longer and that gives us the satisfaction of a complete feast. In fact, when you go back and remember that meal, you would definitely talk about the dessert. Similarly, it is always the finishing touches that matter and are remembered. However good the planning, cost or the quality of materials be, it is the workmanship and the finishing details that bring out the appeal and the essence of all the hard work. This is the notion that translates in the words ‘God is in the details’ and we strongly believe in the same.
Since the start of the pandemic, have you shifted to an online mode of accepting projects?
Online has always been a predominant platform for us. Not just for accepting and sourcing projects, but also for meeting clients out of the city and for design presentations.
What are some of the ‘most wanted’ designs that clients ask for?
What excites us is that each client comes to us with a dream or a fantasy. They come with having so much passion, desire and vision for the outcome of their space. The beauty is that they come to us to bring it to reality and that is why we love what we do. In our experience so far, each site and setting has been different, each client has a different requirement set, values, cultural background, likes and dislikes. And hence it has been a unique, fresh journey, and nothing like the ones before. This is why we enjoy every day at work because we know we have something interesting and challenging in store for us each day. As architects, we love resolving challenges because that’s what we do best.
What are the challenges that you have been facing, with the pandemic having been a major barrier?
The progress of work, definitely! Be it on site or in house in our studio, there has been difficulty in pushing ourselves to reach deadlines. The availability of materials, workmen, transportation and many such basic requirements have been irregular in supply. However, fortunately, things have gotten better recently. We sincerely hope that we all get back better than normal and make the world a much more peaceful place to live in.
Since you were hiring interns in the month of July, what were the safety protocols inculcated by your company, during these unprecedented times?
We are a small team of 6 who currently work at the studio. Basic but important precautionary measures like not travelling by public transport for their conveyance, maintaining social distancing at site, continual and periodic use of hand sanitizers, wearing masks at all times are enforced. Unaccounted off days are granted for any sort of medical issue pertaining to self or for family. Meetings with clients and vendors have been majorly handled by video graphic and telephonic conversions. Apart from the transportation issues, or any sort of crisis for the team has been and will be personally sorted out by us. The customary everyday tea and snacks for the team is sourced specially with hygiene standards and safety. Apart from these, we are following all the mandatory safety protocols rigorously.
Do you plan on expanding your business to other parts of India, in the near future?
Certainly, we are aiming to take our services Pan India and we can see that happening very soon. Expanding is always the dream of any entrepreneur and so is ours.