Known as a treasure trove of talent, Kapil Gupta, along with his partner Chris Lee, founded Serie Architects in India in 1997. Since then, the firm has delivered some of the most fantastic designs including The Blue Frog, the internationally acclaimed acoustic lounge and studio in Mumbai that has been voted as one of the top ten music venues in the world by The Independent, UK. Named as one of the 10 visionary architects for the new decade by the Leading European Architects Forum, Gupta is known for a clear style that offers very specific and explicit architectural responses.
Born: March 8, 1973
Qualification: B.Arch, AAGDG
Firm's specialization: Architecture and Urban Design
Clients to boast of:
- Singapore Government- The New Subordinate Courts, Singapore
- BMW Group: BMW Group Pavillion, London, UK
- Shrimad RajChandra Mission: SRM Ashram Masterplan, Dharampur, Gujrat
- Degustibus Hotels: The Tote, Mumbai
- Fomento Resources: Aarvli Estates, Goa
- Government of Wuxi: Wuxi Xi Shan district Civic Centre and Cultural Centre, Wuxi, China
- XinTian Di: Factory H, Hangzhou, China
It was a spontaneous decision on a visit to Ahmedabad where I chanced upon the architecture of Louis Kahn and Corbusier. I was pretty much hooked from that point on.
What role should the youth (architects) play, as things stand today?
Young architects must reclaim the societal role that architecture has lost. It has become a merchant profession. We need to make architecture relevant again, to our cities and to our environment.
A piece of architecture that has had the most lasting impression on your mind...
I'd rather name architects whose works have been deeply influential - Le Corbusier, SANAA and Rem Koolhaas.
A piece of architecture you simple hate!
There are too many to single one out!
A philosophy of design you like to follow...
To work typologically, to work in series. That is, to harness the cumulative intelligence of precedent types and project them to new solutions. We begin always with the most typical elements in the city, context or site we work in and transform them into what we call common artefacts. This is because what is the most typical is also most common and thus belongs to all.
Architecture you would like to create...
Architecture that is meaningful to the city, to history and the context within which it is situated.
Architecture you have created and are proud of....
Tote and The Blue Frog in Mumbai and our upcoming projects.
How do you think can we solve the problem of Indian architects aping Western trends?
Your question presumes that Indian and Western architecture are mutually exclusive. We live in world that is too globalised now for this presumption to have any relevance. There has always been culture of the innovative assimilation of 'foreign' influences on architecture in India, both historically through pre-colonial and colonial times as well as through mid-20th century modernism.
The larger problem is the commodification and glamourisation of architecture as a seductive tool to promote the real estate economy. The profession and the discipline have hence become bereft of their social, cultural and political role within the context of the city. It is this role that architects in India must reclaim.
What would you like to be known as?
A sensitive architect.
Your most innovative design...
Yet to be conceived!
If you were not an architect, what would you be?>
A chef, probably.