Top Architects | September 2011
Sandeep Khosla: Khosla Associates
Born: 8th June, 1969
Firm: Khosla Associates
"At Khosla Associates, we are contextualists who believe that architecture should be rooted in one's environment. I always ask, 'What building does this site really want to see?' While we work with an international style, we draw inspiration from traditional concepts, craft and local material. Our architecture is experiential and attempts to modulate space to create beautiful, peaceful or dramatic spaces. There is a romanticism to our work - a narrative quality that leads the viewer into varied experiences.
Our architecture is sensitive to the tropical climate we live in; often, it blurs the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors, making spaces permeable. We have a holistic view of design and believe that the dialogue between architecture, interior design and the landscape is constant and important. We also have empathy for the use of local material. Our projects range from residential and resort architecture, institutional architecture to the interiors of hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and offices; we enjoy the variety and alternate between the disciplines of architecture and interior design. Our interior design is inspired by extensive travel, local and global trends, lifestyle, fashion and contemporary art. We have, over the past 15 years, tried to develop our version of an "Indian Modern' sensibility."
Known for his celebrity clients, Sandeep Khosla's firm has been associated with some of the best brands in the country. However, what makes his work stand out from the rest is his distinct style of tropical architecture that uses local materials and concepts and reinterprets them with an innovative and contemporary design sensibility.
Before starting my own practice I was... Working as an Associate with Charles Correa in Mumbai.
I started my own practice because... My mind was full of ideas that I wanted to express, and I was excited about having people interact with my work.
My firm believes... in design that is respectful of tradition, history, climate and context, yet is innovative and contemporary.
My most creatively satisfying project is... The Cliff House, Kerala as we realised a very challenging design against some very difficult odds.
The turning point in my career... Possibly the Manwaring House (residential, 2002), which chartered the way for a new typology of homes...and 180 Proof (lounge bar, 2000), which enabled us to enter the world of interiors and hopitality design.
In my years of experience I have learnt that... Patience is one of the best virtues of being an architect, and there are always several design solutions to the same problem.
A piece of architecture (designed by someone else) I admire... Recently, the Vitra Haus on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
My dream project is... Possibly, the design for a museum for contemporary art someday. Currently, a wonderful project we are working on is the restoration and adaptive reuse of a 300-year-old mansion in rural Bengal into a cultural centre.
I enjoy experimenting with... Material. We like to find exciting and new ways of using ordinary materials, thus changing the way we might ever perceive them.
A material in construction I love and why...Polished cement, as I find it basic and honest.
An architect I look up to... The late Geoffrey Bawa from Sri Lanka.
My biggest inspiration... Travel and observing the urban fabric of exciting cities and absorbing different cultures.
I owe my success to... Faith in what we believe in and having fun in the process of making; in a good team; and a wonderful working relationship and understanding with my Director Amaresh Anand, with whom I head the practice.
I would best describe myself as... A design junkie!