Ar. Sachin Bandukwala & Ar. Melissa Smith banduksmithstudio

Sachin Bandukwala Melissa Smith

“banduksmithstudio combines a materially sensitive approach to design with respect for the context into which each project is placed. Each celebrates its context through a considered relationship with the physical and social condition of its surroundings.”

Ahmedabad – based banduksmithstudio is an architecture, urban design, and research practice founded by Sachin Bandukwala and Melissa Smith. Their work engages processes of making through research on unique construction methods, both institutionalized and inventive, and built projects that explore the boundaries of material and craft in the context of contemporary Indian construction.

Ar. Bandukwala holds a B.Arch from CEPT University, where in 2003 he completed a research thesis that compared the structure of natural and manmade elements in architecture through the lenses of perception and formation. Before founding the firm, he worked and collaborated as an independent architect in Ahmedabad, and also documented a number of architectural significant temple complexes and stepwells around western India. Throughout his career he has explored the subject of the person and his inspiration from nature. He is perpetually in pursuit of understanding, through primary observation, the ageing of material and its effect on tectonics, and the institutionalization of rituals in architecture.

Ar. Bandukwala entered architecture with an idea that buildings affect our lives, aiming to make them better. His interest was in the possibility of serving for something so basic, yet at the same time so celebrated. His approach to design, like the rest of life, is that “To make something, you have to break something, so make sure you connect it well to your needs, purposes, intentions and celebrations. Try to stay close to the original form of the material as much as possible, so that it may easily return to nature or be adapted for reuse. What you make must have a purpose of beauty and efficiency whether it is a tea cup, a column or a sugar factory.”

The forms and structures that inspire him reflect self-similarity found in different formations in nature—the silhouette of changes that happen on ones' skin, the building forms, in flower blossom and a tree, every jungle that are losing to cities—which address how much better one can make it with steel, concrete, and wood. How little can be built to serve maximum, is the idea.

He sees architecture as a means to appropriate things, ideas, buildings, and cities for the human habitat while responsibly using these resources in harmony with natural and built environment. “This is because architecture is about the changes that we make in our existing situations sometimes purely functional (industries etc.) or sometimes more spiritual (houses, temples, mosques, churches etc). What we make is a derivation of our understanding of the existing past and it is going to affect lives beyond the reach of our time.”

The other partner, Smith, is an architect and urban planner who holds M.Arch and M.C.P. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a John K. Branner Fellow. She is a continuing visiting faculty member in the Architecture and Planning Faculties at CEPT University. Her research, begun by investigating the incremental, unplanned transformation of aging modernist planned cities, and continued by examining settlement formation in India, follows how inhabitants tend to restructure their built environments over time.

Before moving to India, Ar. Smith worked in architecture firms in Grand Rapids and San Francisco, where she worked on residential and institutional projects. While a graduate student at Berkeley, she was involved in research and documentation of traditional housing in Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhujiajiao, and was part of the design and installation of an exhibition of this work in the Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennale in 2008. She also used a year-long traveling research fellowship to investigate the transformation of aging modernist planned cities through incremental, unplanned alterations, a project that included Chandigarh, Brasilia, New Belgrade, and several other mid-twentieth century cities around Europe and the Middle East.

Ar. Smith pursued architecture as a career because of its location at the nexus of a number of disciplines. An architect, for her, works as an interpreter of the urban and the human condition, one who works in conversation with clients' desires and needs, with agencies' skills and consultants' perspectives, bringing together multiple specialties to create a physical thing…an addition or a transformation to the space that we occupy. What is more, an architect has a specific lens—the optimistic and earthy view of the maker—through which to interpret competing forces of people or nature, that act on our environment. She admires projects that reflect this process of engagement, that look at the building not as an object but as the combination, at a particular point in time, of a series of systems that create it. This also reflects the dynamic state in which buildings exist. They are changed throughout their life by the people who inhabit them and the weather they inhabit.

With these ideas in mind, Ar. Bandukwala and Ar. Smith joined hands to form banduksmithstudio, and work together through their practice, a mode through which they explore these multiple queries at the same time. Their questions are linked by the way they see the world, but the variety of scale, place, material, let them explore the uncharted, discover the unexpected, and surprise themselves with what they make.

banduksmithstudio combines a materially sensitive approach to design with respect to the context into which each project is placed. Each celebrates its context through a considered relationship with the physical and social condition of its surroundings. It looks at design as a series of systems of pieces working together whose addition and combination adds to a whole that works in conjunction with human created, urban or rural networks, and with the natural systems of sun, wind, rain, growth and decay that permeate our lives.

Projects come at any scale, and the practice shifts from furniture and object design, to interiors, renovations, additions, residential, institutional, and commercial architecture. In each, the practice looks at how to transform the existing one through the introduction of the new, attempting to redefine the context and rediscover possibilities.

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 ...
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week