Ar. Ahmed Shaikh Founder, Ahmed and Associates

Ar. Ahmed Shaikh

"Designs are simply an interpretation of one's dreams. This philosophy drives us to conquer what is in the mind and deliver dreams through a strong backbone of planning and implementation exercise."

Ahmed and Associates was founded in 1998 by Ar. Ahmed Shaikh. Today, the firm houses an experienced team of design professionals that bear a unique understanding of interior and architectural designing-from cultural and geographical conditions to financial and program requirements. This knowledge encompasses projects such as hotels, luxury resorts and bungalows, clubs, office buildings, hospitals, executive offices, boutique hotels, branded showrooms as well as specialty restaurants.

Ar. Ahmed was fascinated by the world of design since an early age and decided to pursue Architecture. Even before getting admission into a design school, he joined Architect Hafeez Contractor in 1988 and spent the first five years of his professional practice working on different interior and architectural projects. In the beginning of his career, he used to work until midnight and also follow up his college work early the very next day. According to him, "It was tedious and hectic but not impossible for him to manage between office and college hours and yet he was punctual and stood out from the rest of his classmates in his academics."

He became an Associate architect at Architect Hafeez Contractor within a few months of graduating from college and went on to work there till 1998 and later on in the same year opened his own practice 'Ahmed and Associates' where he follows the Design Philosophy 'Function follows form'- Architecture has persisted as one of the most profoundly important reflections of culture and tradition, and he truly believes in that.

His belief in seeking and sharing knowledge led him to become a visiting faculty at M.H. Saboo Siddik Polytechnic, Mumbai from 1994-1997 and also a visiting jury member at SNDT college at Churchgate since 2006. Ahmed and Associates has revolutionized the practice of hotel design with over a decade of experience with projects all over India and parts of South Africa.

Sharing his view about the current architectural trends, he said that there has been a realization in the industry for a need of function in architecture. The trend has changed from copying and applying to smart thinking and modifying. The concept of living has evolved with the needs of the people. With lots of adjustments and less land, the solution is 'high rise buildings' with sensual minimalism and dynamic spaces. The technology and innovation also plays an important role which further contributes to 'value for money concept'. Apart from this, people are more conscious of the environmental issues and prefer eco-friendly concepts along with luxury. This, the firm has implemented in its recent project of Hyatt Place Hinjewadi where they have made sure to implement the use of water harvesting and solar panels to generate electricity. In short, the latest trends are still evolving between space and people, since today's clients are more creative in their own sense.

Over the years, Ahmed and Associates has won many awards. To name a few are Ace Tech design wall 2014, Ace Tech design wall for eminent jury 2013, Connect 2013, IIID copper award 2011 for excellence in design with copper and so on. Together with their clients, the firm has successfully addressed every design challenge, to create what has been mutually conceived and beyond their clients' expectations and has become a landmark in their own sense. Some of the firm's unique projects include: Hyatt Place, Pune; Evershine resort Mahabaleshwar; Hospital-The Umrao Institute of Medical Science and Research; Rajmal Lakhichand Jewellers, Pune etc.

In the years to come, Ar. Ahmed is looking forward to create a 'lifestyle resort' which is based on the concept of 'paradise living–'A concept that is so apt to India which is one of the culturally richest countries in the world but so threatened by the forces of globalization that it can only grow out of a poetic way of thinking.

On being asked about the mantras of a successful life, he recites "Surat ki haseen ho, sirat fazool hai; jis phool mai khusbho nahi, wo kagaz ka phool hai" and explained that these are his mother's words which have been and will stay with him for life. For Ar. Ahmed, 'Good design is the topmost priority, but a unique experience is always the Holy Grail.'