Architect Sanjay Puri
"Evolving a dialogue of spaces that transcend the ordinary in the way they are perceived while resolving the functional aspects in a more conducive way than ways explored earlier and simultaneously forming volumes sculpturally is innovation in the architectural sense."Ar. Sanjay Puri
Founded in 1992 by Ar. Sanjay Puri, the firm Sanjay Puri Architects today is one of the most sought after architectural and design firms in India. With a team of over 72 employees that work under the skilful guidance of Ar Puri, the firm is an unmatched powerhouse of designing which has an extensive design portfolio that includes architectural and interior design projects in fields like hospitality, commercial, retail, educational and entertainment facilities as well as large urban projects including town planning.
'Evolving innovative design solutions that are contextual, contributing to sustainability and creating spaces that revolutionize the way they are experienced,' form the essence of the Sanjay Puri Architects' philosophy. Currently, the firm is involved in designing over 100 projects in 40 cities across India as well as projects in Montenegro, Spain, U.A.E and Mauritius.
The book 'Fountainhead' played a vital role in the life of Ar. Puri when he was 16 and at the verge of deciding his career between fine arts and advertising. It was than he happened to read the book 'Fountainhead' and made up his mind firmly to become an architect. After graduating from Mayo College, Sanjay Puri went on to pursue his dream of becoming an architect and studied from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. Sanjay began his career by working under the Ar. Hafeez Contractor and learned a lot from him.
Shedding lights on his journey he says, "It would take many pages to describe. My journey has been eventful all along. I joined Hafeez Contractor's office when he had just begun his career and I was the 4th person to join his office. When I joined, I had not yet applied to an architectural college.
Before starting college in Rachana Sansad's Academy of Architecture in Mumbai, I had already worked on housing, hotel and office interior projects and had made working drawings, supervised sites and done a lot of what qualified architects do. That beginning itself was an unbelievably enriching experience. I continued to work throughout the 5 years of college with Hafeez Contractor. Simultaneously working on hypothetical design projects in college and on real projects in office was an extremely knowledge gaining 5 years. In addition, I also started doing interior projects on my own from the 2nd year onwards. From purchasing hardware and plywood to executing designs with unskilled workers, I went through the entire process of learning, making mistakes and gaining experience.
Even before my 5th year results were announced, I was promoted as an Associate Architect and that was another landmark event. While working at Hafeez Contractor, I was approached by Ashwin Sheth of Sheth Developers to do some small architectural work. During one of my visits to his projects, he asked my opinion on a layout of 54 acres. Instead of just giving an opinion, I sat with him for a couple of hours re-sketching the entire layout, creating a hierarchy of spaces and generating large garden areas in the layout as opposed to the original and approved one. This eventually became my first large project on the basis of which I started my own office in 1992."
Describing Sanjay Puri Architects' process of projects designing he says, "Our process of design involves the assimilation of relevant data pertaining to the site as well as the client's requirements and a consideration of the eventual users. The design encompasses all these aspects cohesively and then evolves into creating spaces that are exploratory while being functional and sustainable. Beginning with initial sketches the design is then modeled to study it comprehensively from various aspects and then finally translated into construction drawings."
He says, "Architecture is the only art form that affects human behavior both physically & emotionally in a number of ways. Hence, special care has to be taken while designing a project which can vary as per clients, functions, locations, contexts, end users and so on. Some of his renowned projects include Triose Lonavla, Oceanique Goa, Chrome Hotel Kolkata, DCaves Hyderabad, The Courtyards House Rajasthan, 72 Screens Jaipur, Bombay Arts Society, Mumbai etc.
Commenting on the changing architectural design trends, he says, "There is no field as stimulating and diverse as architecture. The ways spaces are being perceived and used are constantly evolving and architectural and design is incorporating these changes of perception based on demand as well as exploring new possibilities of space dynamics. Each location is different even within the same city and design needs to be contextual to the site's specific location, its surroundings and its relation to the sun and wind direction." He strongly suggests that always create meaningful, contextual, responsive architecture and not just merely follow trends.
He is of the opinion that each different kind of project teaches one something new, and one gains an important insight and the way space is perceived. This discovery of the nuances of spaces is an ongoing process and each one is a landmark of sorts when the projects are exciting and the clients allow some creative freedom.
In the years to come, he is looking forward to create large urban projects that will rejuvenate cities, while being contextual, sustainable and exploratory in the way spaces are perceived.
Being the Overall Winner at MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2014 at Cannes, France and the A+Architizer Award in New York in 2013, Sanjay Puri Architects have so far won 38 international architecture awards besides many national awards.