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Beyond building a building

“I think architects will have the greatest influence, with architecture offering enormous challenges and opportunities to design environments. Materials are getting smaller, lighter and stronger, and we can do more with less,” remarks Architect Sabeena Khanna, Studio K.I.A.
Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano once said, “Good architecture is intentioned. It touches the people who use it and live in it.” Architecture to some is an art. Architecture to some is an inhabited sculpture, a frozen music while to others, it is a fluid poetry. In an exclusive interview with ACE Update, Ar. Sabeena Khanna shares why architecture is an ever-encompassing feeling.
Architecture and IndiaIndia is the cradle of human race. Ancient India offers finest examples of world’s first planned cities: Mohenjo-daro and Harappa (3000 BC) complete with a sanitation system in place. World’s oldest university in Takshshila (700 BC) and world’s oldest dam in Kallanai came to be in India.
The Greek and Roman civilisations have some finest examples of monumental architecture. The great pyramids of Egypt are epitomes of exemplary architecture.
Ar. Sabeena Khanna believes today in the architecture created eons ago.
Need and necessity for settlement gave rise to creation wherein architecture enmeshed itself into the fabric of everyday living. Mankind began to develop towns and cities.
Today, architecture is visualised as a profession for which a formal education is imparted. The role of an architect, in today’s times, is that of a designer rather than of a creator in earlier times.
Architectural education is very diverse which prepares a professional for a diaspora of disciplines. The role of an architect today is beyond “building a building” offering a kaleidoscope of opportunities in the fields of landscape, interiors, lighting, set and stage design, public art, installation design, design of public space, brand design, community consultation, research and urban design — where the scope is limitless.
Likewise, architecture and design are gaining acceptance today with the profession attaining a commanding stature. Offering comprehensive and a multitude of services as a one-stop shop, wherein the skill sets are combined for collective offering, is fast gaining acceptance.
Over the coming years, this acceptance will gain momentum and architecture as a profession will be poised for greater reverence and accomplishment.
Growing Studio K.I.A.Potential growth of architecture as a profession with increased acceptance is positive for the enhancement and advancement of the discipline itself.
26Studio K.I.A. is an established multi-disciplinary firm with over three decades of expertise, experience and excellence in design consultancy, real estate development and project management within India and globally.
The firm offers a multitude of services covering the entire panorama of creating a vision, feasibility analysis, project development, financial assessment, conceptualization, design, detailing and documentation up to delivery. Planning, architecture, design, engineering and management are the responsibilities that Studio K.I.A. undertakes.
Its presence in the Middle East and USA along with already established local and international alliances puts Studio K.I.A. on a sought-after pedestal, and growth of architecture will only do value addition to the practice.
Some of the international concerns of Studio K.I.A. include the Dubai Lifestyle City, Dubailand for ETA Group; concept creation of a mixed land-use development in Sharjah on a land lot admeasuring 1,000 acres; hospitality project design, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and a 500-acre mixed land use com residential development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
X-FactorsArchitecture as a profession is very diverse and dynamic. Creativity and design knows no boundaries. Each building is driven by an architect’s vision based on a client’s brief.Architecture profession is undergoing a rampant change as technology has affected several aspects of architecture and the wider field. Challenges are also arising due to extreme urbanisation, reducing natural resources and climate changes. Architecture profession has to keep in perspective these global challenges and carefully tread the path of sustainability, alternative technologies and eco-friendly solutions.
Architects have a social and cultural responsibility to create buildings that uplift the human spirit in addition to the function they serve. They create physical environments and subtly infuse positivity and relevance, which improves quality of life. These collectives make architecture meaningful beyond its physical manifestation.Factors governing architectural practice will continue to be sensitivity and responsiveness, so that engaging and collaborative environments are created.
Achievements in 2014The year 2014 is gone by keeping the computers overworked with their creative minds in the studio, burning midnight oil much too often. Studio K.I.A. widened its client base and bagged several designing of some prestigious projects for renowned developers. Creativity unfolded with the launch of “Petioles, Gurgaon” and “The Grand, Gurgaon” — two decisively creative residential developments as part of a larger residential commune. The firm also added “Wave Executive Floors” to its project profile.
Residential and mixed land use developments are its forte, and it is very satisfying to create meaningful, people centric spaces which are actually lived in. Ar. Khanna takes great pride in all her architectural projects and more so when they become a reality.
In the year 2014, the firm also spread its wings globally, yet again. “Space Creative Design & Engineering LLC” came into being in the Middle East with an emphasis on architectural design, development and project management. “Space Creative Design” will 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.
In addition, “The Hectare Group” was formed in New York to render real estate feasibility and advisory services. Both these expansions will be looked forward to eagerly in 2015.
Expectations in 2015Being a diehard optimist, Ar. Khanna looks at the New Year with tremendous positivity. For Studio K.I.A., it will definitely be a year of achievement, accomplishment and successful design and deliveries. Space Design Creative will work alongside Studio K.I.A. to attain a stronghold in the Middle East, and she feels very confident and excited about this international venture.
The year 2015 will see Studio K.I.A. making meaningful contributions to the built environment — a visible architecture that will excite, calm, please and make one think yet function well.


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