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In Conversation with Architect Shresht Kashyap of KNS ArchitectsBy Andrew Chyne
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KNS Architects is one of the renowned Architecture firms based in Mumbai. The firm has won several International and National Award with the latest addition being the AICA awards 2014-15 and also received a commendation at the NDTV Design & Architecture 2015 award for its “Space within a space” project. Below are my excerpts from my chat with Principal Architect Ar. Shresht Kashyap of KNS Architects:-
How did you start KNS Architects?
KNS was not a pre-planned venture. The three of us Ar. Kanhai Gandhi, Ar. Neemesh Shah and myself, are old friends from the Academy of Architecture Mumbai. We were working for highly reputed Architect firms. We got a project which we started working together and eventually founded KNS Architects.
How has the journey been so far considering that you started together with your classmates?
Yes, all the three of us studied together for five years in the same school of architecture and we have known each other well. We have different personalities altogether. All of the three of us think very differently and from the product’s perspective, it helps us in giving more options to our clients. We work hard on every project and we do apply some workshop ideas in our project to ensure client delight. Besides, getting a positive feedback from each other helps us a lot in improvising our designs.
What kind of projects have you been working on?
We are working a lot on residential architectural projects and residential buildings across Mumbai. We work on villas, second homes and bungalows. We are also working on commercial projects but now due to the slowdown in that segment, we are working more on residential projects. We cater to high end interior residences and interiors for company showrooms as well as corporate offices and restaurant. For any project, the three of us have three different outlooks.
You recently received a commendation at the NDTV Design & Architecture award for designing “Space within a space”. The design itself looks very spacious. Can you shed some light on this?
Our job is to maximise the utilization of space available. The main intention of architecture and interior design is to design the space that you have. It can be an open ground or it can be small space. The designs that we create allow more of natural light and least amount of structures, so that when you enter you have a sense of volume and space.
The project “Space within a space” showcase was not big but, the amount of work we put in for designing the space was enormous. Instead of going horizontal, we had this container which was sourced from the company’s showroom which is known as Nolte. Nolte is a German furniture brand. The whole back office was kept in the container, which was above the ceiling. And we used the space available in the air which is proportionate to the volume. So whoever comes in, could feel the space inside the showroom. We used yellow colour since it identifies with the company’s logo.
You have also won the AICA award for designing E-pad and you have been winning awards after awards. What is the secret mantra?
We don’t have a signature design. We try to create each space on the merit of the end user. Our USP is to bring out the character of positivity of a particular space rather than insisting on any specific signature design. It is like walking in a particular space being created by the architect for us, which is what we think. The space that we designed should make the end user happy. It can be a house or an office. The designs that we create, speak a lot about the variations and the work that we do. We innovate with a lot of space, materials and many other things so that we can come up with something which is unique and different. We don’t follow a particular design but it all depends on spaces that the end user wants us to design.
Do your clients give you a free hand on the projects?
Initially we need to understand what the client wants. Before we design, we sit and listen first to the client and once we understand the requirement, we work it out accordingly and give the desired result. We do receive feedback from the client because the space, which we design, will be used by the client.
You have worked for many projects, from residential to commercial. What are the projects that you enjoy doing most?
We enjoy all kinds of projects because our work is driven by passion. Every project is challenging for us. We enjoy working on those challenges because as a firm, we also have our own parameters that make KNS different from others. Exploring our creativity is what we enjoy most.
What is your biggest challenge so far, in terms of the projects that you’ve worked on?
It was challenging when we started first. This is because we already have some Architectural firms who already have a big name in the market. They also have a more sound background than us. Gradually, we are getting an upper hand because of the designs that we create and the projects that we work on. We work very differently.
What is your dream project?
Our dream project would be a township which is state-of-the art in terms of the way, buildings are laid out with a proper town planning, that can become a model town or a model city. We need to believe in the power of our hands. Our hands can design beautiful spaces that can communicate with the user.
How would you like the world to know you?
We would like people to know KNS as a firm that dwells on sincerity and creativity.
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