Ar. Sabeena Khanna Creative Head, Studio KIA

Ar. Sabeena Khanna
Creative head of the Studio KIA, Ar. Sabeena leads an energetic & enthusiastic team through inspiration, vision and leadership. An architecture critic and designer, she is the master – mind behind each project undertaken.

Recipient of Le-Corbusier Gold Medal in 1987 from Chandigarh College of Architecture, Ar. Sabeena topped the University with her in-depth creative intellect. Immediately after graduation, she was selected by late Prof. R.N. Dogra, former Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Capitol project to work on the Master Planning of PGI, Chandigarh.

Presently, a Fellow member of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) and Associate member of Institute of Interior Designers (IIID), Ar. Sabeena is on the Juries for many a renowned architectural awards, recognizing fresh talent. With an inclination & flare for writing, she has authored various articles and papers subjected to Architecture for leading publication houses in the country.

Architectural inspiration came to her at an early age from her architect father, V.N Shah. Spearheading Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for almost 20 years as Chief Architect, Sabeena travelled the length and breadth of these states with him and was fascinated to see new places & cultures, meet people and even visit construction sites. Little did she realize that via participating in daily discussions or travelling with her father, she was subtly being exposed to the design environment long before her formal education was to be in architecture.

Architecture, for Sabeena, is a way of life. Her architectural lineage includes her illustrious father, Ajay -her brother, Rajiv-her husband as well as Sakshi-her daughter. She says, "Architecture to some is an Art, to some an inhabited sculpture, to some it is frozen music, while to others it is fluid poetry" but "To me Architecture is an ever encompassing feeling which we experience all the time."

She believes in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and her works resonate this design philosophy. Immense thought is given to detailing and creating meaningful spaces. With a consistent record of delivering designs close to original intent and within the stipulated time & budget, she won many accolades and received much acclaim from the press, profession and general public alike like the ICI-Ultratech Awards 2012 for Outstanding Concrete Structure. Doing repeat projects with satisfied developer clients speaks volumes for the work being done by the studio.

Ar. Sabeena does not rest on her laurels as she is of the strong belief that "Life is short. Let's build stuff that matters." Under her able leadership, Studio KIA has done projects of all types and magnitude globally for renowned business houses, developers and government organizations, marking its presence in diverse sectors of Infrastructure development, mixed land use planning, residential, commercial, institutional, interiors, hospitality, recreational and leisure. Each project designed is unique to its site and setting, planning and purpose, having a strong sense of belonging. She believes that a successful design hinges on site conditions, technology and communication.

Studio KIA has a diversely elaborate portfolio owing to its rich expertise, experience and excellence in the profession over the last three decades. Ar. Sabeena says, "For us, everyday is a learning experience and we seek inspiration from everything around us. For Studio KIA, it is always about people; hence, all our designs are people- centric. Each completed project which is appreciated by the client and end users, is a recognition and an award in itself. Our accomplishment and accolades rest on the fact that we become a part of our client team to deliver successful projects."

Studio KIA's current focus is majorly on High Rise Residential environments ranging from affordable to luxury and ultra luxury segments. KIA has an international design team which brings value to each project via its expertise on cost savings, decreased construction time, quality control and efficiency. Its residential developments focus not only on the visual aesthetics but also value the functionality & space creation for its end users. The studio team envisages making the end user as comfortable in the surroundings created, by giving special attention to spatial character, efficient planning, material maintenance, functional quality as well as aesthetic enhancement.

While sharing her most memorable moments Ar. Sabeena said that Studio KIA Team had burnt enough midnight oil through endless nights to research for the competition for District Headquarters for South Goa Collectorate, Goa on Portuguese and Goan architecture styles, colors, textures as also to put-to-paper, a design which best converted the clients' brief into a workable, practical solution. "We went through a rigorous Jury for the presentation of our design proposal as also one to the Chief Minister of Goa who greatly appreciated the design. Winning this competition was a joyous and memorable moment. This was a very prestigious project for Goa government owing to its scale, quantum and stature. Studio KIA feels proud to have successfully completed the project as envisaged in the competition entry with minor internal tweaking and it stands today as a landmark of Goa."

"Nothing succeeds like success and living is all about winning! Winning, not from people around you but from your own self, every day" voices Ar. Sabeena. As a professional she believes, "Passions and curiosities aren't always in search of an immediate outcome. Ultimately, it's about observing situations—whether it's process, an object, or a place—and having a belief that it can be better."

Following this theory Ar. Sabeena Khanna seamlessly creates new designs for the future generations to come without compromising on the present and learning from the past. "I take great pride in all my architectural projects and more so when they become a reality" she says. Residential and mixed land use developments are Studio KIA's forte and it is very satisfying to create meaningful, people centric spaces which are actually lived-in. "We look forward to challenging projects where our creativity is stimulated, demanding nothing but the best of our skill set to produce satisfactory designs."

Talking about the current technological trend she said that technological advancements have revolutionized the profession today. Architectural trends could range from tall, glitzy buildings of Dubai which defy all standard practices of structural design to the green, vernacular architecture imbibing the need for sustainability in today's times. The current designing scenario is vast and varied. India is spearheading the development of 'Smart Cities' today and we hope the progressive vision envisaged is futuristic with awareness from the past.

In the year 2014, Studio KIA has spread its wings globally. 'Space Creative Design & Engineering LLC' came into being in the Middle East with comprehensive offerings of Architectural Design, Development and Project Management. Space Creative Design hopes to set new standards of design and bring the best of International practices with rich and varied expertise, experience and excellence to the Middle East region.

Ar. Parul Zaveri Abhikram

I believe that ‘architectural style’ should be a response to the various climatic zones in context of India, to be designed according to clients’ personalities and project needs. Each place has a plethora of creative solutions, that have evolved using local resources and techniques, which constitute the part of our architectural knowledge. It is necessary to achieve a balance between continuity and desirable change, without fossilizing the past, and without making the change incongruent with... Read More ...

Ar. Reza Kabul ARK Reza Kabul Architects

I believe in liberating spaces, not enclosing them. Every space needs to have a good optimum, be it a small sized apartment or large commercial offices. Every good designer analyses the plans from the client perspective, regarding practicality, functionality, and accessibility, before executing it. I don’t believe in confining spaces between four walls, on the contrary, I believe in open spaces, both for the interiors and exteriors.It takes exemplary quality to reach elusive heights. The... Read More ...

Ar. Lalichan Zacharias Atelier

My approach to design is simple and open. I start my design with two guiding factors: the requirements and the site. I would like to see the building grow from the site naturally while fulfilling the requirements. I try to keep it extremely simple and responding to the climate. Integration of nature in the built form is always given importance.  Round Chapel Kalamassery Ar. Geoffrey Bawa’s works have always inspired me. Another aspect which influence my design is the sociological aspect of it.... Read More ...

Ar. Sourabh Gupta Archohm

I believe that the language and vocabulary of architecture is not a question about style. Every building is built for a specific purpose, in a particular setting, for a set of audience, and it is therefore intentional that we don’t impose any pre-defined visual form onto a project, rather let things emerge as the project evolves. There is a deliberate attempt to not make specific choices in our design directions.As a philosophy, we try to work on projects that allow an element of... Read More ...

Ar. Jay Shah Access Architects

Architectural style is characterized by the feature that makes a building structure notable and visibly identifiable. Every architect has a specific style and I would call mine “form follows function” as was the thought of Architect Louis Sullivan. However, my style of architecture is not confined to one kind since every client is different, every project is unique, every plot is diverse, and every functionality brief is exclusive. So, any one style of architecture doesn’t work as the design... Read More ...

Ar. Dinesh Verma Ace Group Architects

My style is versatile. In today’s context, where pace and universal availability of materials supported by technology is the base, it is but imperative to develop designs that are adaptable and go with the times. Around 30 years back, when I started my design practice, local and natural materials were in use, Granite was not less than 75mm thick, walls were minimum 112mm and wood was available in plenty. We did a lot of work in natural brick, stone and wood. Even today, the Mysore Haat... Read More ...

Ar. Alfaz Miller & Aahana Miller ABM Architects

The designs by our firm have not changed the skyline of cities, but our smaller architectural projects of commercial buildings and bungalows have made a significant design impact, producing architecture that is site specific, sensible and timeless.We believe in architecture that is simple and controlled and lacks stylised decoration. With large exposure to interior design, the buildings we design are practical with emphasis on function rather than just form. The designs are constructive, with... Read More ...

Ar. Ahmed Shaikh Ahmed & Associates

Architecture is an ever-evolving process and depending on the lifestyle, material availability, weather conditions, and geographical location, we can apply various types of styles. In Mumbai, for instance, we can see contemporary architecture along with classical typology.I believe that there is no single style to work on as we try to give multiple options depending on the clients’ requirements. Our style includes contemporary, classical, art deco, and minimalistic, which we can identify by... Read More ...

Ar. Shobhan Kothari & Ar. Anand Menon ADND & KdnD Studio

We constantly strive for simplicity of form and design. Our architectural style is a minimalistic interplay of lines, planes and volumes. We believe that beauty lies in the ability of a design to be explained through a few lines. We constantly explore the power of lines and their ability to shape space. We work intuitively to create spaces that are episodal and spatially engaging. The core aspects of scale and proportion in design are constantly debated upon to arrive at spaces that balance... Read More ...

Ar. Arpan Johari AW Design

We believe that an architect’s signature style should serve more than just being a set of features to identify ‘the architect’. At AW Design, climatic and site response are the essential guides to evolution of our building’s aesthetic language. In case of interiors, it is the purpose, services and available internal volume around which proportions, openings, systems are designed.Given that most of our work is in the hotter regions of the country, we have developed an unsaid affinity towards... Read More ...

Ar. Monish Siripurapu ANT Studio

The nature around us consists of divergent facets that can be aptly fabricated to alter the paradigm of Architecture and Design. Not only is it inspiring in terms of its organic forms but is also helpful in imparting us with a natural know-how of functionality. So, when Ant Studio came into being, I was convinced that we had to create designs that not only celebrated nature but blurred the lines between the built and the un-built. As a result, ‘Biomimicry’ emerged as a style that I wanted to... Read More ...

Ar. (Dr.) Harish Tripathi & ID. Jyoti D Tripathi Architect Harish Tripathi & Associates

Over the years, we have positioned our efforts around the belief that the best objects of nature are simple, not complicated. Consequently, we try to create buildings with simple forms and facades. This is often achieved, in our case, through the case of sunken windows wherein the building is double skinned and neat. This way, unwanted protrusions get negated and the double layer of the façade provides a better response to climatic extremities.We have always been fascinated by the virtues of... Read More ...

Ar. Babu Cherian Babu Cherian Architects

I believe good architecture is one wherein functionality and aesthetics form a harmonious conglomeration in a way that successfully follows the context of the land and its traditions while exuberating its rich culture. With an unceasing love for Kerala and a thirst for reviving the past, I believe my architecture is in essence a contribution to the future through a tribute to the past. While my professional portfolio consists of a mixture of architectural styles, a majority of my projects are... Read More ...

Prof. (Ar) Charanjit Shah Creative Group

For an architect, the primary function is to create usable spaces for the masses; only with a true understanding of humanity can he or she create the kind of human settlement which is required for a common man.Since the inception of my career in 1970, I have believed that a built form should not be treated as a dead mass of brick and concrete, but as a living organism, allowing it to breathe with nature. Only when one respects the site conditions and existing natural resources, one can build... Read More ...

Ar. Iqbal Chaney Chaney Architects

Architectural design is an expression of an individual’s understanding and comprehension of the client’s need and demand, translating it into design and thereby establishing an individualistic style. This style, over the years, gets imprinted so strongly into the personality of the individual and the team that it gets hard to distinguish the two. The individualistic designs evolve into a statement and are marked as a style. The style of many great architects in the modern era has become the... Read More ...

Ar. Dikshu C. Kukreja C.P. Kukreja Architects

We believe that design is a process and not the end product. It is a journey of discovery, innovation, evolution and eventually, creation. With each project, we aim to “read” and “respond” to the built and un-built contexts of the urban scape. The most important exercise in the design process is to read the silent gestures of forms and spaces, to converse with the natural environment and then translate those gestures into architectural ensembles. We refer to it as “Responsive Architecture” – a... Read More ...
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