Kickstarting young - Shailendra Nangalia

Young Turks Dated:  June 2, 2014
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Ar. Shailendra Nangalia

I recently caught up with Shailendra Nangalia, the fiery architect and founder of his Design firm, Design Studio , based currently at Brahmapur. Below he shares his views on starting young in India, his skills as a designer and aspirations from the field, excerpts:

Could you share some personal Information with us?

I did my schooling from Dayanand Anglo Vedic Public School, Brahmapur in Odisha and thereafter received my Bachelors of Architecture degree from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. My father is a cloth merchant and my mother is the M.D. of a play School. My younger sister is also purusing her Bachelors of Architecture degree from National Institute of Technology, Raipur.

Other than architecture, I have a passion for cooking and my hobbies include Photography (Indoor, Outdoor and Portraits), travelling as well as Coin collection.

I was awarded the Pidilite Award for Best Design in Optimum Space Utilization for the year 2012.

When did you first start practice and what are the projects you have you been doing at your firm?

I started my practice in February 2014, although I had been taking projects since second year of college.

I have been working on a variety of projects viz. interior of small retail business shops, residences, apartments, factories, hotels, shopping complex, hospitals, guesthouse, marriage halls etc.

What is the range of services at your firm Design Studio?

Our firm provides complete consultancy in architectural design and planning as well as design detailing and development in electrical, plumbing, mechanical services like HVAC etc, civil services like structural design, project management, building information modeling, interiors, landscaping etc. We even participate in competitions in India and abroad. We believe the competitive feeling should never end.

What is your approach (to your projects)?

Firstly, we visit the site and document it. A meeting is held with the client and details of requirement are recorded. A concept is prepared which best suits the design problem. Proper arrangement and planning of spaces is done to keep in mind the concept, elevation and view of the structure. The design is then discussed with the client. Finally, detailed drawings are made.

Any signature styles that you have developed?

Simplicity - It never goes out of fashion. My designs are formal and qualitative. Goals are achieved in a planned manner.

Which is your most favorite project?

I would say it was a residence in Bangalore while I was working with Ar. Chitra Vishwanath of BIOME. It was an ancient bungalow which had to be demolished and a new bungalow was to be constructed. And in this process, we had planned to use all the material we had acquired in the demolition for the new construction in some way of the other. (0% Wastage).

And the most challenging one yet?

Designing a residence 7.5 ft wide was so far my biggest challenge. Climatology and thermal comfort is also a big challenge. A great design includes both aesthetics and comfort. To acquire a comfortable condition, many strategies must be used which alter the concept and design.

What challenges have you faced so far in this field? Any strategies that you have developed to tackle them?

Here in Odisha, plots are mostly of 10’ X 100’ size. This is a common challenge that I face. To tackle this, I wish to propose a new law to the Odisha Development Authority to increase the minimum plot site to at least 30’ or so.  This will increase the quality of design and allow proper planning of the space.

Who inspires you?

Ar. Chitra Vishwanath, Principal architect, Biome Environmental Solution, Bangalore is my inspiration. Biome’s guiding philosophy is an enduring commitment to environmentally and socially responsible living. Her methods for achieving the goals include the use of locally sourced materials, design for maximum efficiency in energy, water and other natural resources, and adhering to ethical labor practices.

Why should someone hire you over a more established architect?

I believe that there is energy in freshers, the energy to give more then what we have got. We have a new scene of creativity and with time and experience the designs become very stereo-typical. I'm highly motivated and bring a professional approach to the projects I work in. You should hire me not for my experience but for my skills. I can handle my responsibilities well. And have a lot of potential to develop experience from my skills. 

What is your vision? Where do you see yourself five years hence?

Corporate architecture is not what I have in my mind for my future. Architecture is my passion and it should stay as a passion. I plan on doing some research and develop softwares in the field of programmable architecture. 


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