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Architect Shweta DeshmukhBy Devashruti Banerjee
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Meet Shweta Deshmukh, the young Architect from Navi Mumbai who specialises in weekend home design. Inspired by nature, she lends a pragmatic approach to her projects, focusing on comfort, functionality and sustainablility. Read on know to know more about this young and enthusiastic architect.
What is the person behind the architect like?
My creative inclination towards sketching, painting got me into architecture. I always wanted to be an architect. Me and my friend had actually designed our future office in 9th standard. I completed my B.Arch from Nagpur and Construction management from Pune. My parents, husband always supported me for my passion in life. So it was like dream come true when I joined architecture as it was the best era of my life. I am a very simple and integral person. I am spiritual but not religious. I feel if I do my work with all sincerity and honesty then grace works in my favour and its true for me! I am just grateful to God for whatever I am being blessed with. This reflects always in my work.
When did you first start your practice and what kind of projects have you been doing?
I shifted to Pune right after my B.Arch and got into a job. Fortunately within 6 months i got an opportunity to work on my own project. I gave my best to it. Then I had started my own practice. This was a foundation for my career. I learnt a lot more than I would have learnt in any job. When I shifted to Mumbai post marriage, I did a stint with couple of companies here to get to know the market. I had worked on Pre-engineered construction system while working with Sterling Construction Company as a Senior Architect. I also developed few construction details for the same with guidance of Mr. Mark Taylor who invented this system. Its cost effective, speedy and eco friendly system widely used in western countries for mass housing. I finally started my own firm when I was offered Bhimashankar Hills project at Karjat. It’s a 25 acres of weekend Homes project with 300 villas, Clubhouse, Temple, Swimming Pool etc.
I mostly do weekend homes project and not the conventional towers and other such building structures which are more of a mechanical job with less creativity. I was in fact approached by a company from Bangalore who had stumbled upon my LinkedIn profile and learned about my specialty in pre engineered construction system. It was a big project, an amusement park, a first of its kind in India, and I was invited to visit the site. Somehow it did not work out due to the magnitude of the project and its feasibility in India. But they considered me for the project. Within the span of 13 years since I started, I have worked on different projects like mall and multiplex at Pondicherry with four screens, green house at Pondicherry, Master Planning for a dairy plant of 64 acres at Malawali, bungalows, farm houses, weekend homes and many residential and commercial interiors right from 500sq.ft. to 10,000 sq.ft.
Tell us something about your approach to your projects.
My personality reflects in my design. It’s never too flashy or larger than life. However I give importance to comforts and functionality while approaching any project be it architectural or interiors. For me client’s requirements are my topmost priority instead of just making it look good without any functional necessity. I also consider environmental impact wherever possible. For example, we give away scrap material to recycle company, follow rain water harvesting, maximise usage of green material, usage of locally available materials, climatological considerations and many more.
What defines your style?
To put it in a simple way I would say form follows function! I don’t fit into a particular style. I just enhance and groom clients requirements as per their taste. I don’t enforce my own taste on them.
Which kind of projects do you enjoy the most?
This is a commonly asked question to all architects and I belive most of them give the same answer i.e. Architectural projects! But I have been doing architectural and interiors both.
Your most favorite project is...
All projects are my babies. How can I differentiate them? My work includes Bhimashankar Hills at Karjat 25 acres, Master Planning for La Era at Lonawala 15 acres, Multiplex at Pndicherry 74000 sft., Green House at Pondicherry 5000 sft, farm Houses at Karjat, Neral, Warai Woods Villa at Neral, Sibermond Residences at Shedung, 7acres, Commercial Interiors at Chembur 4000 sft, Comm Interior at Thane 7000 sft, Comm Interior at Fort 4000 sft., Residential interior at Kharghar 5000 sft, Various Residential Interior of 600-3000 sft in Mumbai. These are few to mention.
Who/what inspires you and your works?
Nature!!! Just purity and elegance at its best! I am inspired by the works of great architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Laurie Baker for concern and sensitivity for nature and contribution towards low cost housing respectively. I also admire works of Architect Frank Gehry for its creative attributes.
Do you feel architects and designers should be concerned about environmental sustainability?
Definitely. Its our responsibility to be sensitive towards environment and mother earth. Else there will be nothing left to show our future generations to get inspired from except concrete jungles.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I would say when you love what you do challenges are never hurdles. They are just like stepping stones to grow higher. Being a female it sometimes works against you in terms of geographical constraints. But now due to enormous use of internet it’s no more a big problem.
What drives you?
I am totally in love with life and live every moment to its fullest as Buddha says. So yes life drives me. I do every bit of my work. I feel grateful when clients send me thank you testimonials and appreciate my work.
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