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Architects Prashant Sutaria and Hemanti SutariaBy Andrew Chyne
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We caught up with Ar.Prashant Sutaria and Ar. Hemanti Sutaria who won the AICA award earlier this year for designing the "Arihant World". Their charisma and commitment towards their profession reflects in their designs, leaving a positive impression on the users as well as the spectators. Despite the rising cost of inputs, the duo strive to deliver affordable housing designs. Their goal is to promote and accomplish better living conditions for the masses.
When did you start your practice and what is the story behind the name "Center of Living and Planning for Tomorrow"?
We started our practice in 1989, in Mumbai. Center of Living and Planning for Tomorrow is our vision to contribute significantly for better living conditions of masses. Under “CELPT”, we are working towards creating knowledge based solutions for affordable & low cost housing.
Tell us something about your design philosophy.
Ar. Prashant Sutaria: Architecture is the sacred art of creating meaningful, Responsible built environment on mother earth. For me, good architecture is a fusion of local material, trational way of construction along with modern technology and material in response to local conditions.
Ar. Hemanti Sutaria: Design, Innovation & Dynamism with a play of material, judicious use of technology and boldness of conception is what defines my style. My aim is to transform every site into a stimulating environment, rich in inventive detailing. I like to merge classy with the contemporary, fusing traditional art & crafts of our country into modern, contemporary designs.
From affordable housing to luxury apartments & villas, you have done them all. How do you handle the transition from one form & type to another?
Design always depends on the correct response given to a context. ‘Solution to the problem always lies in the problem itself.’ The transition is a natural process to create and evolve any structure depending on the solution required.
You are committed to delivering sustainable and eco-friendly architectural solutions customized to client needs. Is that often a challenge when working on large or luxury projects?
Yes, any project large or small is always a challenge as many external varied factors are involved like climate, local material, culture, budget and so on & so forth. It is always important to focus on the core requirement and positively bring about a customised solution. Then the challenge becomes a path to successful result.
What is the biggest challenge youfaced so far?
Biggest professional challenge was to conceptualize a utility and business oriented mega ware housing project of 21 million square feet, one of the largest warehousing projects in the country.
The challenges included selection of an architectural vocabulary with innovation, functionality and cost effectiveness as the main criteria. To make the design to a human scale, humble yet bold & user friendly were some of the other challenges.
Which projects are you working on currently?
1) Warehousing Project near Mumbai- which is one of the largest storage spaces in India, with an area of over 21 million sq.ft of warehousing complex and is spread over 550 acres.
2) A 180 acre, 10 million sq.ft residential township in Chattisgarh, India, is a development which is self sustained has every thing from school, club house, shopping within it and it is one of the widest entrance gate notable that for a project in India, spanning at over 260 feet.
3) Luxury hotels for brands like ITC- Fortune, Sarovar Group.
4) Premium office buildings and mixed use buildings.
5) Shopping malls and retail Architecture.
6) Residential and Villa Architecture.
Since you are a master planner as well, could you
Many! To begin with well lit, well ventilated, well maintained natural open spaces created with the existing infrastructures. Simple norms to avoid sound pollution & air pollution. Attractive, advanced interacting spaces showcasing a lot of talent need to exist. This will transform the minds of people and encourage people to have qualitative lifestyle. Open, Semi Open Galleries temporary or permanent created which will encourage art & music. It is through these that creativity & calm flow in abundance. There is a lot of talent in our country. Platforms need to be created for them to get seen and heard.
What is your dream project?
Our dream project is to create an ideal, affordable residential township with the right balance of open community spaces, which will be an example for others to follow, and thereby make a significant contribution towards the ‘Idea of Good Housing for all!’
What do you like to do in your past time?
Ar. Prashant Sutaria: Travel and Interact with people from different parts of the world. Meditate, Read, Reflect.
Ar. Hemanti Sutaria: When not at work, I like to Pray, Meditate, Read and Exercise.
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