SAV is an international contemporary architecture and design studio producing highly original and intra-disciplinary work. Its work is inspired from nature and its resourceful efficiency and complex beauty. Founded in 2011, the firm’s work has already grown across different continents and involves a wide range of project portfolio consistingof landscapes, highrises, facades, mixed use masterplans, hotels, resorts, private houses, interiors, installations, exhibitions, furniture and objects.
Amita Kulkarni is the co-founder of Studio Amita Vikrant. She completed her Masters in Architecture and Urbanism at the AA School of Architecture, London in 2005 after being qualified as an architect in Mumbai in 2003. Vikrant Tike is the cofounder of Studio Amita Vikrant. Having studied fashion design and sound engineering in London, he completed his architectural studies at the London Metropolitan and the AA School of Architecture.
SR- How did you come up with the idea of SAV?
Amita & Vikrant- We were always interested in the boundaries of art and science. Our time at AA in London is an important influence in our current path in architecture; equipping me with the skills I needed to bridge my interests between art, humanities and science. Having studied fashion design and then sound engineering, my partner Vikrant has always pursued multiple interests. This enabled us to create SAV with a strong critical thought process that allowed to see an architectural studio more as an initiator and a platform for multiple processes to be researched and applied almost like an atelier rather than just an office.
SR- Do you follow any particular design philosophy?
Amita & Vikrant- Our designs are very much inspired by natural systems which have evolved over so many generations. Their combination of ordinary beauty, elegant tactility, experiential sublimity, and meticulous efficiency shape our work. Along with that constant research and emphasis on innovative craftsmanship form the core of the studio philosophy.
SR- What is the basis of the selection of any project?
Amita & Vikrant- The approach for us is more important than the end result and each project, whatever scale it may be, is given equal importance. The studio approach is shaped around a combination of narrative, technology and crafts to create original, innovative and experiential spaces that bring us closer to nature. The studio and our projects are equally about the process of making within architecture with research, testing and craftsmanship forming the core philosophy.
SR-Having designed commercial as well as high-end residential apartments, tell us about the challenges and positives in both.
Amita & Vikrant- Since we bridge new technologies with craftsmanship, all the projects that we work on are unique in their manner. We are also fortunate to work on projects on different continents as well as different programs and scales, from furniture to art installations, to commercial spaces, to masterplans, to high-end villas to high rise towers. This gives a broader understanding of challenges within projects especially being as time and cost-efficient as well as optimise resources during construction.
SR- What defines the choice of any material in your projects? Do you also work with recycled materials?
Amita & Vikrant- For all our projects we choose simple and easily available materials. We believe that architecture is more about creating profound experiences through low tech innovation and creative narration, rather than about expensive finishes and too many materials. We like to use concrete, steel, bricks, local stones as well always water, plants and light as an integrated part of materiality within both interior and architectural projects.
SR- What is your approach towards meeting client satisfaction while not compromising with the design aesthetics?
Amita & Vikrant- Since we are working with a lot of like- minded clients we feel that the design processes have gotten more collaborative as well as more like a team working towards similar goals. Most clients that we get today have traveled the world, have an international outlook as well as are looking for a blend of modern aesthetic that responds to the context and clients. Hence satisfying clients has become more of refining the designs rather compromising them.
SR- With the emergence of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), how do you think would be the future of architecture and design?
Amita & Vikrant- Being actively involved in academia reflects our constant desire to learn and innovate. We see our design studio more as a platform to bring technology and experiences together so we like to embrace and adapt with new technologies like VR, AI, rapid prototyping, computational programming enabling them mainly as tools to create more interesting, experiential and resourceful architecture and design.
SR- Your opinion about SURFACES REPORTER (SR) Magazine.
Amita & Vikrant- Surfaces Reporter allows Indian architects to know about the latest materials, trends and innovative use of surfaces within India as well as internationally.
A Project by Amita & Vikrant
Sun House, Goa
Inspired from the fiery nature of the sun, the architects created the house with local red laterite stone exterior walls, large sun screens as well its double height brick inner entrance and living spaces. The form of the house is derived from landscape, with emphasis on bold sweeping strokes, fluid lines and large overhangs that reflect within the interior spaces. Working within a tightly constrained site which is not usual for holiday homes and with little views, the architects focused on creating an inward looking house, that draws the elements of nature towards itself.
The exposed brick wall forms the central spine of the house changing its course as it moves to the double height living space creating a dynamic and sweeping effect. The architects used a simple, minimal and locally available material palette that allowed them to stay true to the architectural experiences while focusing on the craftsmanship and details as well as nature and the connection to the outdoors.
Exposed concrete roof and floors lend a seamlessness to the interiors while also keeping the house cool in the tropical weather of Goa. Designed artistically, the house still responds to its tropical climate with large overhangs and shaded courtyard green spaces. The entrance of the house is designed with a brick lined wall over a linear water body with large sun screens on the south wall that create both a reflective and performative mood as soon as one enters the house. The floating teak open riser stairs with its brass rods create layers of texture and materiality that flow through the entire house. On the first level, the stairs end with an open plan mezzanine space that looks onto the double height sunken living. The unique lights were designed by the architects specific to this space and were inspired from the architectural lines of the house.
All the bedrooms open up through fluid sweeping white corridors that provide an element of surprise when one enters them. Each bedroom has its unique connection to the outdoors, while the main master room has a large private terrace that looks onto a louvered courtyard on side and the pool onto another. Fitted timber joinery as well as hints of bold colour in textiles and art provide a contrasting warmth to the minimal and meditative architectural pallets.
One of the most important spaces in the house are all the bath spaces, and all five of them are designed to create a strong connection to the fiery nature of materials, top lit skylights as well as to the fluid spatial lines of the house.
The bar and poker room spaces around the pool side offer a mix of chic interiors with crafted furniture with a strong connection to the tropical plants outside, both near the pool as well as the inner courtyards they look onto. The landscape around the pool although not large, takes its cues from the dramatic lines of the house , creating spaces that flow in and out seamlessly lending a dynamic and picturesque quality to the space. The pool and landscape were designed to feel like part of the house itself, dramatically moving in shape and form to blend seamlessly together.
The Sun House has louvered verandah / porch creating an inviting and perforated entrance to the house. Local laterite walls with on the entrance and southernfacades facade allow for cooler temperatures within the house while lending a fiery identity to the house.
The Sun House has a central curved courtyard with topical ferns that rise up towards the sky giving cool shaded light and natural ventilation to the adjoining
The lobby space was designed to be a cool meditative one. The chairs were designed as sculptural objects elevating the minimal and elemental mood. The sun screen pattern was inspired from the Goan Portuguese tile pattern that was chosen for the kitchen floors.
The exposed brick wall forms the central spine of the house changing its course as it moves to the double height living space creating a dynamic and sweeping effect. The curved living space is a sunken one designed to be in line with the level of the pool outside creating a poetic visual bridge with ‘water’ with its amphitheatre like seating. The double height doors of the living slide and fold to open the interiors wherein one feels that the living spaces are a part of the pool.
The Sun House is divided into sweeping curved bays that form the different spaces within the house. Each of the bay ends with a large overhang and varying sloping roofs that allows for semi shaded spaces that cool the interiors in a tropical climate and create distinct private outside spaces for the bedrooms.
Open Plan Dining
With its Goan-Portuguese inspired traditional cement tiled flooring, local granite counters, with a high spec modern kitchen, and bright fresh furniture the open plan dining and kitchen is designed to be a fun, fresh and light space that beautifully blends a local and international feel. Shaped around an internal courtyard on both sides, the kitchen and dining areas receive a lot of light, natural ventilation and a constant connection to the outdoors.
Each of the bath spaces in the Sun House is as dramatic and experiential as the rest of the house. One of them ends in a sharp cornered wet shower space with an angular skylight and is clad with red stone tiles to create a strong evocative mood reflecting the blazing intensity of bathing closer to the ‘Sun’.
The terrace seating area is a tropical and minimal outdoor extension to the master bedroom. The architects wanted it to have a clean bold look with large plants that complemented the handcrafted teak sofa sets.
Name: Sun House
Architect: Studio Amita Vikrant
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