“Architecture is glamorous but the fight on the inside is tough”
What was the one thing that made you decide you want to be an architect?
I always had an inclination towards art and building. But I never decided professionally that this is what I wanted to take up as a career. It just happened.
You undertook your formal training at J. J. School of Architecture. How was the experience like?
J. J. School of Architecture was the best thing that happened to me. The entire experience was blissful. It was all so good – the campus, the faculty, friends, studies. We enjoyed every bit of it.
Tell us about your approach towards your projects.
At Purple Architecture, which is jointly owned by me and Prashanta Ghosh, we initially take a brief from clients and before starting work on the drawings, we do a lot of brainstorming sessions. We reach to the minutest details of every aspect as to how certain subjects can be addressed in the best way. Based on such sessions and on those few conceptual sketches shown to clients, we transform and take them to the next stage.
How do you try and integrate, in your projects, the new trend of “going green”?
In our projects, our way of going green is to try to infuse as much local materials as possible. We outsource materials those adapt to the architecture and interiors of the building. Clients are also always supportive and the use of such local material give a unique aesthetic sense plus helps reduce costing. A good example would be one housing project that we undertook in Shillong for which the stone we used was procured from Cherrapunji and it gave the facade a totally different look.
What are the challenges you face as an entrepreneur?
The challenges are many. The most difficult thing is to get projects. It is not a rolling thing for us as, in a place like Shillong, people are still opening up to the idea of going to an architect to build their house or even redo it. The situation tends to be different in mainstream cities. Finances act as another challenge with so many people dependent on us for their livelihood. Architecture is glamorous but the fight on the inside is tough.
Which project would call a favourite or a challenging one?
We, of course, are in love with all our projects. But there is this new project coming up. We are working for the hospitality sector and working on a hotel project in Shillong. We started from Mumbai and moved to Shillong 5 years back still maintaining a presence in Bangalore.
How important is international exposure for the growth of an architect?
Personally, I consider international exposure to be very important. It opens your mind to think without boundaries when it comes to design. It also helps build a practical approach as you get to work on live projects and you learn the challenges that come with it, like interacting with labourers on a daily basis. The practical aspect is vital to growth.
Any words of wisdom for the aspiring architects?
Be passionate about your work, then nothing can come in the way. Passion should stay inspite of all hurdles.
To see more of Purple Architecture’s work, click here