Ameyaa Chawda – Director & Principal Architect, Arkhein Atelier
Arkhein Atelier, a Pune based Architect and Design firm, came into being in 2008 with an objective of providing guidance, expertise and experience across all phases in the architectural process, ranging from thinking, to designing, building, and ultimately finding the right way to communicate the results. Their studio is full of projects that are like open ended enquiry, helping people to challenge their existing state and work towards an alternative, desired one. They have intentionally never developed a stylistic formula for their work, which is why the projects never quite look or feel the same. Each of their spaces is the result of the ability to listen, which has turned designs and buildings into personal reflections of clients’ personalities and values, which is largely co-constructed through research, workshops and surveys.
Ameyaa Chawda, the founder of Arkhein Atelier, has been a passionate designer since childhood, who later went on to complete his B.Arch from Bharti Vidhyapeeth, Pune and soon after started practice in architecture, interiors and landscape designing. He has always been indulged into designing, which eventually been his career. Also, he would go on to use the skills that he learned from the University days, synced with the experience he gained from all his previous roles to better performance in the construction field when it comes to designing. According to him,
“Originally, I chose it because it’s a very creative profession, plus the fact that you could have something that you’ve designed realized in real life. As time progressed, I began to be intrigued by how buildings could affect the way we live, our mood and behaviour. We spend most of our lives in buildings – through architecture you can influence the way people live their lives for the better.”
Ameyaa believes that their ability to promote innovation makes possibility of a future world where the environment and humans thrive, and as an architect community they help shape up society by providing custom living spaces that gives comfort, good health, and safety. However, new technologies that is evolving at an exceptional rate can be intimidating – many of the things learned will soon be outdated. Yet, as a design agency it takes the challenge to step out of their comfort zone and into this sometimes-ungraspable field of new architectural technology.
Using the new techniques that are constantly popping up, and more importantly, combining these new techniques with age-old traditional tools, is a way to explore largely uncovered ground. Before the Industrial Revolution for example, architecture had remained largely unchanged for years. Then came the age of steel and mass production, and from it emerged the Eiffel Tower and the New York skyline. Of course, now building high is no longer a novelty; originality only lasts for so long.
As per Ameyaa, his firm’s fundamental USP is very simple – increasing the chance that a solution’s behaviour will be predictable, understood, and a good fit to its objectives in unique and cost-effective budget with early deliverables. He is also hopeful for the future – with changing cultures and technology, architects must go beyond the construction of a structure. As the country’s population grows, so does the demand for space. In the next two decades, another quarter-billion people are expected to dwell in India, necessitating the construction of about 10 billion square feet of residential and commercial space. And hence, Arkhein Atelier is working on smart cities, sustainable architecture, vertical building, immersive technology, and urban life and economy.
Ameyaa feels that the most beautiful aspect of architecture as a profession is how the industry embraces the individuality of each person. Of course, designing buildings is in itself a fulfilling creative pursuit; but even beyond that you are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to have a style which can manifest beyond your work. An architecture career is really about providing a service of creating a functional environment for clients with a variety of needs and wants. Having a passion for understanding about different types of people and cultures helps fuel the process.
To Ameyaa, nature is the greatest inspiration. The concept of incorporating natural principles into design is happening in many ways. In the search for more sustainable and eco-friendly living, we are referencing all things natural, and studies repeatedly show that being in touch with the natural world enhances our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
While he has been into the industry for quite sometime now, he believes that creative skills are necessary to shine in this field. Understanding the trend and people’s needs and implementing it the way they want in a sustainable manner helps better in identifying opportunities. He has been adjudged as “Top 40 under 40 in 2022” & bagged the “Best Designer Award 2022” and thereby shares his piece of advice to all the new comers in this field, before signing off. In his words,
“Architecture is a discipline that tends to borrow from other disciplines which intertwine with life : art, engineering, project management, psychology, sociology, philosophy, linguistics, logistics, and so on. It is amazing how many architects lose sight of the core of the discipline. But one thing the architect does that nobody else does is the ordering of space. And space has order, enclosure, presence, character and aura. To learn the discipline of architecture is to understand space at a level that allows you to pursue mastery of how to offer meaningful spaces for living.”