Varun Juneja, VP – Design & Development, ATS Infrastructure
In today’s fast moving world, it’s difficult yet fascinating to explain architecture. In the contemporary world, architecture is not just confined to following the prevalent trends in building commercial or residential structures but has evolved to become a pursuit of constantly redefining the trends, incorporating the latest technology to enhance the experience of the inhabitants. The complexity of the structures is increasing by the day as demands for multi-faceted projects incorporating residential, commercial and other aspects is rising. For example, a modern residential project would comprise of a variety of dwellings such as villas, low rise and high rise apartments, club house, shopping area, school and at times even office spaces. Each of these components has its own design, structure and technological requirements which vary in nature, but, at the same time have to be in sync with each other to create a great experience. Same will hold true for a commercial project that would comprise of hi tech office spaces, serviced apartments, hotel, shopping arcade, cafeteria etc. Therefore, it is fair to say that the most prevalent trend is to break away from the trend and create an outstanding functional piece of architecture.
The modern architects are extremely conscious about the environment and the impact of construction on the environment as well as local aesthetics. Therefore, unlike the past, the concept of green spaces has become an integral part of all residential as well as commercial projects in the modern times. The architects are exploring and innovating with the layouts in their bid to create maximum possible green spaces, corners and ambience without deviating from the core goals of the project. The economic and space constraints often make it impossible to devote large green spaces but the modern Indian architect is compensating adequately by sprinkling the project with smaller varying green spaces. Instead of a large area comprising of green canopy, you would see smaller manicured lawns, tree lined lanes, parks and walkways with landscaped sitting spaces.
It is no longer uncommon to see plants and indoor green areas using natural as well as artificial elements, creepers and easy to grow varieties of flowers dotting the commercial as well as residential complexes in contemporary world. Fundamentally, architecture is about designing and building corporate which are functional and safe. Architects have to pay attention to prevailing building codes, safety issues, and functionality matters such as floor plans, placement of outlets, and other issues. As an architect, the mandate usually is to develop structures which meet needs and expectations of inhabitants which generally pose a challenge of meeting a wide range of expectations in a single complex.
Modern corporate architecture focuses on designing and constructing buildings, spaces or environments with the aim of meeting the needs of a business community. With the rapid commercialization and growing business demands, most office complexes are 24/7 bustling environments and a typical corporate employee is spending more hours at work than at home. This presents to an architect the dual challenge of creating office spaces as comfortable as homes, but, as hi-tech and efficient as office. This challenge is met by intelligent interiors that take utmost care of the ambience and incorporate de-stressing elements such as green corners, fountains, murals and any other innovation that the architect can infuse into the design without obstructing/violating the functionality and the building codes/safety standards. The trend is to design informal to semi-informal offices with ample ventilation and free movement spaces unlike the cubicle stuffed spaces of yesteryears. You would find loungers, bean bags, floor mats or even swings/hammocks replacing typical workstations at many places. The open door interior is becoming a hit to enhance team building and developing a corporate culture in times where everyone is glued into some sort of device throughout the working hours. It is this need to engage employees beyond work that has made it a norm for office complexes to have relaxation zones, crèches’, libraries, gaming areas, snooze points, food courts and gyms etc. The key trends focus on designs increased attention & a healthy living environment. With the launch of Make in India campaign, lots of foreign investment is happening in Indian market. A significant example of this is global private equity firm Blackstone Group, which has over the last decade invested $3 billion into commercial real estate in India. It also invested in a clutch of office space in Bangalore. Other investors, who, for the most part, took their eyes off commercial assets in the last decade, are now starting to show interest too. China's biggest developer Wanda has signed a MOU with Haryana government earlier this year and more developers from China and Japan are expected to enter the Indian realty market. Japanese developers are keen to explore strategic partnerships and enter into joint ventures with Indian builders, and are particularly interested in industrial projects. There is likely to be an inflow of at least USD 2 billion in investments from Japan into the Indian real estate market, Reference -Forbes India, JLL. Investors & entrepreneurs are happy with current market scenario. All signs point to commercial properties being a better investment with the launch of #makeinindia & #startupprograms.
The future belongs to innovation in internal and external designs. A structure is considered a true piece of architectural brilliance only when it displays something out of the box. Whether it is the imposing height, the vastness, the European architecture or the landscapes, there has to be something different and functional every time. At the same time, people have become very safety conscious and a modern structure has to be capable of withstanding and safeguarding its occupants during any natural or man-made calamity.
A great architect is always a great painter who brings colour in the Realty sector.
Corporate architecture and designs brings life and vibrancy to work smart. My design method is to develop innovative concepts which are executable and making surprises alive.