“The intellectual property of architects is currently undervalued, and it is up to architects to ensure that the value of their contributions to any development is understood,” remarks Stephen Roberts, Chairman, Bentel Associates India
Bentel India is a joint venture between ICS Group and Bentel Associates International. The firm has recently entered into the burgeoning residential market. In a conversation with ACE Update, Stephen Roberts shares how Bentel is planning to maximise its involvement in this sector.
Architecture and IndiaIn India, architecture developing in two areas separately — high-density residential projects and then all other projects like commercial, retail, hospitality and other asset classes. In the next 5 years, residential architecture still in greatest demand from developers as the safest property investment and will experience the major portion of architectural projects to become reality. Other projects will continue to experience a slower growth, which will increase as more global companies enter the Indian market, with demand for offices, retail outlets and business hotels, most of which will be in the form of mixed-use developments.
The challenges of achieving good investment returns will still hinder growth, and all parties involved in development have to work closer together to lobby government and local authorities to ease restrictions, which often adversely affect development of commercial and retail projects. The architectural profession is also gaining status among developers because of this growth. Respect for the profession, particularly the added value of engaging professionals, has been lacking in the past. Since more developers engage architects for full service on their projects, the more they will realise the value. Finally, India is experiencing growth as a tourist destination, and the need for development of resorts and lodges in areas rich in wild life as being high on the agenda for the next 5 years.
Bentel India and market presence Bentel India is a joint venture between ICS Group and Bentel Associates International. Any growth in the property development market will be valuable, especially in the mixed-use development projects, for which Bentel India has many years of experience in completing award-winning projects throughout the globe. At the same time, it has entered into the residential market and expects to see much growth in its involvement in this sector.
X-Factors According to Stephen, the X-Factors governing the architecture profession are innovation in embracing new technologies, both in design and construction techniques. Then there is the need to integrate as much sustainable or green systems in all projects. Lastly, the need for developers should be more receptive to the fees payable to architects for their services. The intellectual property of architects is currently undervalued, and it is up to architects to ensure that the value of their contributions to any development is understood.
Achievement in 2014Receiving the Best Office Architecture Award in India from the Asia Pacific Property Awards was among its prime achievements in 2014. Bentel won this award for its development of Thane One Development in Mumbai. PVP Square, a retail development in Vijaywada, also received recognition from the Concrete Association of India.
Expectations in 2015As far as 2015 is concerned, Bentel Associates is committed to produce the highest quality designs that translate into successful projects, both from an aesthetic and financial point of view.
In Dehli, Bentel is currently engaged on what will be one of India’s largest mixed-use developments. It expects to complete the project early in 2016. Its involvement in off-shore projects, especially in the African continent, will increase as the relationship between its two offices becomes fully integrated into one office.