Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to pursue a career in architecture?
My experience in architecture is a never-ending pursuit of perfection. In 1998, I earned my degree in architecture from Mumbai’s prestigious Sir J.J. College of Architecture and immediately set out on a journey of creative discovery. During my time with Ar. Sabu Francis and Associates, I had the opportunity to work on development of a Software for architects which piqued my interest. This introduction was formative in my development as a designer and laid the groundwork for my later success with computer-aided design. I improved my instructional abilities and fostered young brains throughout my time as a professor at Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi College of Architecture (2000-2004). Since being a part of Trust Groups by the ASCENT Foundation in 2018, I’ve been able to take advantage of the organization’s dynamic platform to facilitate architectural partnerships and alliances. Since 2020, when I joined the PEATA India committee, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with other architects, engineers, and planners, expanding my knowledge and experience. My determination to be the best designer possible shone through when I founded APICES Studio Pvt Ltd. Raheja Prime, Eastern Winds, Opus Prime and Opal Square are just a few of the landmark buildings I’ve designed, but they’re far from the only ones. My career reached its zenith in 2013 when I was named Young Architect of the Year at the Era Fame Awards for the work, I had done in 2012 and 2013.
Sustainable architecture is gaining momentum. How does APICES Studio incorporate sustainability into its designs?
When it comes to eco-friendly building practices, APICES Studio is among the industry leaders. We use a holistic strategy, using sustainable materials and cutting-edge building methods to lessen our carbon footprint. To achieve our goal of minimising the building’s carbon footprint while maximising its occupants’ comfort, we employ a number of passive design solutions. Our designs incorporate sustainable practices such as collecting rainwater for later use and using renewable energy sources. In addition, we incorporate green areas into our designs without disrupting the flow of space, so promoting a balance between the natural and manmade worlds.
What are some of the new trends you’re observing in the field of architecture?
In the ever-evolving realm of architecture, emerging trends are reshaping the landscape. Wellness architecture takes centre stage, infusing designs with elements that prioritise occupants’ health and serenity. High-rise pods are redefining urban living, offering compact yet innovative spatial solutions within skyscrapers. A resurgence of metal buildings showcases their sustainability and aesthetic versatility. Meanwhile, architects are seamlessly integrating data centres into urban contexts, combining functionality and energy efficiency. These trends underscore architecture’s dynamic nature, adeptly addressing contemporary needs and aspirations.
High-rise pods are an innovative concept. Could you explain how they fit into urban environments and contribute to sustainable living?
Pods in the Sky are a novel approach to city planning that addresses issues of sustainability and population expansion. They offer strategies for vertical housing that maximise space while minimising the negative effects of urban sprawl. Pods fit in naturally with urban environments because they are placed on rooftops and other unused areas. A more sustainable and integrated urban lifestyle is fostered by pods’ shared amenities and green spaces, which also serve to foster a sense of community among residents.
Data centres are energy-intensive structures. How do you approach designing data centres to be more environmentally friendly?
My team and I take environmental responsibility very seriously in our approach to designing data centres. In an effort to lessen the carbon footprint, we have installed cutting-edge cooling systems that operate on significantly less power. Using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power is crucial to the functioning of these facilities. Our designs are inherently scalable and modular, allowing for malleable expansion while conserving scarce resources. Our dedication to finding novel approaches to balancing the needs of data centre users with environmental considerations is demonstrated by the fact that waste heat is recycled and used for heating or other purposes.
What excites you the most about the potential of AI-driven design solutions in shaping the architectural field in the years to come?
I definitely share the enthusiasm about how AI-driven design solutions can influence the future of building construction. I am excited about the rapid iteration of designs and how they would have a profound impact on productivity and innovation. Optimised building performance is a promise made by data-driven insights, which can help create sustainable and useful buildings. AI can free up architects from menial labour and repetitive tasks so that they can focus on ground-breaking design. More than that, the ability to imagine buildings with complex geometry paves the way for brand-new feats of architecture. The integration of AI into the architectural field promises a new age of ground breaking progress that will transform the very nature of building design.
For those aspiring to make a positive impact through architecture, what advice would you give them to navigate the complexities of sustainability and innovation?
Aspiring architects who want to make a difference must take a calculated approach to the complex fields of sustainability and innovation. My advice is to have a growth attitude, one that welcomes change and improvement so that you can adapt to changing standards of practice. Work efficiently with people from different backgrounds, as this fosters creativity. Advocate taking risks and being open to new perspectives, as this is where the most significant innovations occur. Finding a happy medium between enhancing one’s technical abilities and developing one’s capacity to empathise with users is also crucial. Aspiring architects may make a difference by combining these ideas and using architecture as a tool to create a better, more sustainable future.