Creating Façades with Robust Characters

By June 30 , 2016
Abin ChouduriAr. Abin Chaudhuri, Principal Architect, Abin Design Studio

Ar. Abin Chaudhuri is the founder and Principal architect at Abin Design Studio, Kolkata. He graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1998 and pursued specialisation in Industrial Design at Domus Academy, Milan in 2003. Abin attended Glenn Murcutt’s International Master Class, 2014. Abin is an architect, innovator, quirky designer and notable entrepreneur. His creative mind is constantly in the process of exploring new thoughts and ideas; drawing inspiration from the ordinary to create something extraordinary. He founded Abin Design Studio in 2005. Today ADS is among the top design rms in the country. Over the years, ‘Abin Design Studio’ has grown to become a design-centric group of passionate people.

WFM: Please give us a brief introduction of yourself and your rm and few of your recently completed important projects?

AC: I was brought up in a small town near Kolkata, in a large joint family surrounded by endless farmlands and a fierce passion for football! It was a building of Charles Correa’s that inspired me to change my trajectory from mathematics to design. With this I began my journey in Architecture. I graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1998. In my first job while working with him, Ar. Prabir Mitra inspired me to drive into the ‘details’ of Architecture. Thereafter, I served as the head of National design at Lafarge for a few years and later as director of a firm called Adler. In 2003 I pursued specialisation in industrial Design from DOMUS Academy, Milan

‘Abin Design Studio’ began in October, 2005 and has grown to become a design-centric group of Ar. Abin Chaudhuri is the founder and Principal architect at Abin Design Studio, Kolkata. He graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1998 and pursued specialisation in Industrial Design at Domus Academy, Milan in 2003. Abin attended Glenn Murcutt’s International Master Class, 2014. Abin is an architect, innovator, quirky designer and notable entrepreneur. His creative mind is constantly in the process of exploring new thoughts and ideas; drawing inspiration from the ordinary to create something extraordinary. He founded Abin Design Studio in 2005. Today ADS is among the top design rms in the country. Over the years, ‘Abin Design Studio’ has grown to become a design-centric group of passionate people. Ar. Abin Chaudhuri talks passionately about his tenure and journey as an architect, his studio’s principles and outlook, his experiences with designing facades for various buildings, and much more during his candid conversation with WFM. passionate people. After 10 years we continue to explore and enhance the value of each design. With my recent attendance of Ar. Glen Murcutt’s Master class, I have realised that there is no need to rush for a ‘Solution’. The journey, and all that we come across during this process, is what contributes to one’s growth. With every project, we feel ourselves becoming more and more mature. That makes all projects important to us. We see a finesse developing and we realise that we still have a long way to go. However, we also notice that we have learnt something at the end of the day.

WFM: Please tell us about trends in current curtain wall and façade designs? What is the importance of building facades considering occupant comfort (thermal performance) and energy efciency?

AC: Building facades are purely an outcome of design and orientation of the building. Rather than l 80 WFM Anniversary Edition l following a ‘trend’, it is more important to address the thermal, functional and aesthetic issues of the building and the utility of the spaces within.

WFM: How do you project the building facades in your signature projects? How important is branding through facade designs?

AC: Visual appeal is good for marketing (in terms of facades). But the ‘identity’ of a building holds more weight than its ‘brand’ value. Good architecture is not purely determined by the facade, but rather on how the spaces in-between work for the end user.

WFM: Modern façades make more use of multilayered constructions to fulfi complex functional and design requirements. After sophisticated glass envelopes, the focus is more on plasticity, material character and colour concepts now. What is your take on this point?

AC: There are various technologies available to address a number of issues. However, it is all dependent on the design intent of each project. There are a number of methods available for a desirable outcome.

WFM: Considering that Indian building industry is floded with new technologies and ideas pushing glass processors and glaziers to innovate and collaborate, what kind of QC procedures do you prefer while procuring materials for building facades? What are the important safety measures taken during installation?

AC: Although we make it a point to be informed of the specifics, most of these issues are taken up by facade consultants, contractors and the client.

WFM: In your tenure as an architect, how do you see fenestration (Doors & Windows) scenario changing, why and how?

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AC: Today, whatever one can think of, one can get. Personally, we are more into an explorative design process where we design our own systems, for example, our treatment of the facade of Nazrul Tirtha. However for some projects, such as I.M.I. Kolkata, we had taken help from glass processors.

WFM: What are the criteria to choose the glass for facades and fenestration?

AC: Insulation and Shade/coating. With respect to the criteria for choosing glass for facades and fenestration; the primary concern is the comfort of the user. Thus its thermal properties remain the basic factor that we consider. Thereafter, the view of the surroundings, building orientation, aesthetic appeal and design of the façade determine the shade/coating of glass to be used.

WFM: What do you think are the main hurdles/bottlenecks in Indian construction scenario in terms of fenestration?

AC: Cost and availability of material.

WFM: What advice would you like to give to the manufacturers/fabricators of doors and window systems in India?

AC: In the order of priority: Quality control and audit > Upgrading knowledge > Installation > Commercial viability of their projects.

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