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.

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