Ar. Kalhan Mattoo and Ar. Santha Gour Mattoo, Planet 3 Studios
Graduated from Sir J.J. College of Architecture in 1996 and founded Planet 3 Studios in late 1998, Ar. Kalhan Mattoo and Ar. Santha Gour Mattoo, the husband-wife duo are famous for their out of the box thinking, avant-garde and creative designs. The couple devoted to design of 'wit, wisdom and whimsy', has been recognized with over forty prestigious international and national awards, over past years and their works were displayed at museums and galleries in New York, Barcelona and Singapore.
At Planet 3 Studios, the focus is always on the context, the constraints and the opportunity that a project presents. They like to create designs that maximize the positive impact of design on the environment, use appropriate technologies and materials and source labor locally.
Talking on their design methodology, Ar. Kalhan and Ar. Santha say, "Our studio is where creativity, skill and knowledge are essentials and everybody is encouraged to bring an intellectual and creative mindset to work. We work in a non-hierarchical, communized environment, discussing and sharing insights very informally. Our studio is exploring parametric and computational design tools that fundamentally change the manner in which we create design. We literally created the design of a whole campus in a North Indian town using scripts that define usage parameters, instead of drawing out the design intent. We have recently completed the construction of an auditorium in Central Mumbai that was designed by simulating the sound waves emerging from stage and modelling the space to respond to that key parameter. This kind of methodology offers the opportunity to check and vet key performance criteria and allow us to do a more informed design, based in intelligence rather than aesthetic whim."
"'We are working in multiple geographical locations across country, on projects that range from concepts for new cities, master plans and right down to design of individual buildings and even interiors. We love cross fertilization of ideas, where insights from hospitality situation are applied in corporate situation and in turn in design of healthcare facilities! The essence of our way is to address the fundaments through intense programming, offer solutions that balance wit and wisdom, keep it fresh and never lose the visual appeal. We believe that it is possible to be profound and light-hearted at the same time. We do not burden ourselves with 'isms' and focus on the context, the client and the realities of budget and time.
We seek to define the design determinants by inhabiting and experiencing the client's business, requirement (stated and unstated) and processes. Architects from our studio dig deep through research and by physical experience to understand and formulate the design program. Out of this exhaustive process, we collect useful data and mine it for nuggets of insight and points of inspiration. Our design never happens in vacuum. It is rooted in context.
About their success mantra, they quip, "Within our studio, there is a mantra: Talk less, build more. We ensure that our concepts are rapidly implemented. We keep pushing the envelope incrementally, but we remain insistent. Our design perspective is anchored in constructability. If it can't be built, it is an academic exercise and we are not an academic institution. We design well and ensure that it is built proper."