‘It is critical to have a well-planned city, with an outlook of the future requirements of a hundred years.’
Amit Gupta, a post graduate from Architectural Association, London, started (with Britta Gupta) Studio Symbiosis in 2010 which has today become multi-disciplinary architectural practice with focus on cutting edge contemporary architecture. Studio Symbiosis has today become multi location architecture firm spreading its wings over Europe and Asia and winning many accolades in the process. Amit Gupta, in an exclusive interview with Sawdust, shares his views on various issues relating to architecture, education and smart cities.
How did the idea of Studio Symbiosis (SS) evolve? How different is SS from other architecture firms?
Studio Symbiosis is an architectural & interior design studio based in Delhi, London and Stuttgart involved in projects of various scales and sectors. The design philosophy is to create integrated design solutions imbibing amalgamated, efﬁcient, robust and sustainable designs leading to performative architecture. The research and intent of the practice is to create performance as a design driver, to achieve Sustainable and Smart buildings.
Is there any special benefits – in terms of knowing latest techniques, architectural practices, etc.- by enrolling oneself in international architecture schools as compared to the best Indian architecture schools?
The quality of education is very important, however as important as education is the professional work experience. Architecture being such a vast field requires an in-depth knowledge of the various disciplines.
Architecture education is lot to do with the individual. With open resources available it is very easy for anyone with an intent to learn to do so. So, this international school vs Indian school discussion is a bit irrelevant. The paradigm has shifted from institution to individual.
Tell us some of your projects which have given you the most satisfaction? (I know, all projects are satisfying, but best among them!)
The projects that gave us most satisfaction is Punjab Kesari Headquarters and Double tree by Hilton Kathmandu. Also, Smart Lounger designed for Godrej Design lab.
How do you define your convictions as an architect?
The greatest achievement of being an architect is to see our projects on site and executed.
What is your opinion about Vastushastra? Do you also take into account Vastushastra principles in your projects?
Vastu Shastra is a principle based algorithmic system. We have studied Vastu in depth for our temple projects. This research lasted a couple of montsh from studying old temples, understanding the proportion system and the logic.
Vastu is much beyond the direction of the kitchen and bedroom. It is a concise system and in temple architecture as we found it’s a complex algorithmic system.
How important is client briefing? Apart from client briefing what are the other ways you adopt to know client’s mind?
It is important to understand the mindset of the owners. It is a part of the process of collaboration between the architect and owner. At times, we agree and at times we propose the owners our point of view. It’s critical that both the architect and the owner are excited with the end product.
It is not just the owner, it is also the site and our internal agenda for design that is taken into account for any project.
Comfort, cost and environment friendliness – which aspect is the most important for you?
Architecture for us is an amalgamation of the various elements of site, topography, typology, budget, program, landscape and structure.
This integration of performance based aesthetics exists in nature everywhere around us. The complexity of the various subsystems is selectively articulated to generate the ﬁnal design solution. Our practice believes that with computational tools it is possible to create elegant design solutions driven by performance. Performative ecologies can respond to various parameters integrated as design drivers.
What do you say about the planned ‘Smart City’ projects in India? Do you think they are workable? You have any suggestions?
It is critical to have a well-planned city, with an outlook of the future requirements of a hundred years. In the masterplans, we are doing in our office, that range from 1200 acres to 2500 acres, we look at integrating studies of traffic analysis, human comfort engineering and simulation studies to create a sustainable and robust city.