He calls his mind a laboratory of spatial thinking where one can experiment with design… he puts great value in research & sees the build as an opportunity for experimentation with technology & geometry… here’s Aditya Goswami, Founder & Principal Architect, Architectonic Services giving a sneak-peak into his thoughts…
What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
A The advantages of using steel over conventional materials are significant. Historically, steel has been more commonly used in Western countries, but in recent years, India has started recognizing its benefits. One advantage is the expertise of our labor force in working with steel. Unfortunately, we sometimes overlook the cost-benefit analysis of steel until recently, particularly its ability to accelerate progress and provide precision.
We are trying to harness the technological advancements in terms of its physical properties, such as spanability and tensile strength. Embracing steel as a primary material is crucial for respecting time constraints and achieving quicker turnarounds.
How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer an economical solution?
The potential for using structural steel in innovative and aesthetically pleasing ways is virtually limitless. Architects, engineers, and designers are continually exploring new possibilities. We haven’t even begun to grasp the essence of designing with steel structures.
By collaborating with structural engineers, we can break away from ‘cookie-cutter’ style traditional design constraints and embrace new parametric structures and breaking paths in producing different, innovative designs. Let our minds flow as our pencil flows on the drawing board and let steel take shape. The opportunities are as endless, as are our design ideas!
What trend do you think we are going to witness in the next five to seven years as far as the designing structure with steel is concerned?
A Instead of limiting the timeframe to five to seven years, let’s consider the next decade. Based on the current domestic construction growth, it is evident that steel will play a crucial role in India’s “Make in India” campaign and infrastructure projects. Steel will become omnipresent, not only in construction but in infrastructure projects & in various aspects of our lives.
The groundbreaking aspect lies in utilizing steel in ways that have not been explored in the past five decades. In the next ten years, India will witness and experience the use of steel in ways that were previously unimaginable. Therefore, construction will be the key strategy for incorporating steel into diverse applications.
What should be the strategy of the industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
A Putting it very bluntly, we must not be bogged down by the myth that steel costs more. It is essential to re-evaluate and reset this belief and consider the cost and time analysis that demonstrates how steel can create timeless structures and unprecedented speed. Instead of discouraging ourselves based on the perception of higher costs, we should study the benefits that steel offers. Steel’s advantages extend beyond construction, and by embracing it, we can achieve remarkable outcomes in terms of efficiency, durability, and overall project success.
What is your take on modular buildings in construction?
A The Philosophy behind modularization is to replicate & proliferate. Steel ensures such modularization, and minimization of work at the site, and helps achieve machine perfection in a world that’s eager to grow. Taking the environmental concerns into account, the lesser the work at the site, the better the AQI value. We as a practice constantly and consciously look for opportunities where modular construction can be adopted, so that the finish & finesse both are ensured.
Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
A Currently, we are actively working on several iconic steel projects that showcase the innovative use of modular construction. One notable project we have collaborated with Saha Steel on is the Maitri Museum, which tells the story of Indo-Bangladesh friendship. I personally feel that it is a fantastic way of looking at modular construction. We have chosen steel as the primary construction material for this project due to its numerous advantages. I am grateful to the Government of India and the Border Security Forces (BSF), the clients for this project, for their unending encouragement and open arms in embracing the concept of modular construction using steel.
We are also engaged in various other projects where we explore the innovative use of steel. While our understanding of innovation in this context is still evolving, we believe that steel offers immense potential for creative and groundbreaking designs. We are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this versatile metal.
How has your relationship with steel been?
A It’s a love-and-hate relationship. Like any relationship, my interaction with steel has its ups and downs. There are times when we are on tenterhooks and end up disagreeing with our structural consultants. During such instances, the progress of the project can be hindered, and we may face discouragement from clients or market forces. During such times it weighs us down but otherwise, I always have a pure heart for steel.
Sometimes we Architects often find ourselves in a hurry, eager to see our projects come to life quickly, me being one of them!
So, steel, with its inherent strength and versatility, aligns with our desire for efficient and timely construction.