BIG INTERVIEW

Nature Fosters Architectural Aesthetics

It would be right to call him a man with a golden heart as he not only puts his soul in his designs which is in harmony with the nature but also has his heart out reaching to the less privileged children by aiding them with their education.

He has been inspired by some of the stalwarts in the field and his works reflect the same which first serve the humanity and then the client requirements.

The man of the hour Rahul Kadri, Partner & Principal, Kadri Consultants Pvt Ltd is here with us speaking about the same in-depth….

 

What originally made you want to study architecture and become an architect?
I spent most of my formative years amidst lush landscapes exploring the forests of the Kumaon Himalayas while studying at Sherwood College, Nainital. This early relationship with nature infused within me, a deep passion to create buildings & spaces, which are in harmony with its natural context.

What particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophies?
My Father being an architect was a major reason for my interest in architecture. I have been mainly influenced by the work and writing of Christopher Alexander and Charles Moore.

How would you describe your approach to design?
We are passionate about building environment in harmony with nature and are committed in our endeavor to find creative solutions to people’s issues. We believe in delivering and following a rigorous design process to achieve our goals. At Kadri Consultants we have a four-pronged approach to architecture that spans the entire realm of expression from sound engineering and environmental consciousness to community building and finally, timelessness.

Level 1
At the fundamental level, it is our aim to plan a feasible project that is structurally viable, follows building codes and regulations and is economical & robust.

Level 2
To consciously design a building that is contextual, sustainable and environmentally holistic – through careful articulation of form, materials, textures and proportions.

Level 3
To design socially responsive environments where people and activities thrive. To infuse spaces with vibrance & warmth by fostering a connect between the users, the outdoors, light & nature.

Level 4
To craft buildings that are contemporary, yet timeless. To use cutting edge technology and innovation to build environments that evoke awe and inspire.

What do you feel is the role of architecture on a humanitarian level?
Humans are biophilic and perform the best in good daylight and plenty of oxygen. Planning for maximum daylight, thermal comfort and fresh air requires orienting the building in accordance with the sun path. To achieve this, all our buildings follow simple rules. Maximizing the Use of North glare free light with large opening/ Windows for educational, institutional buildings. Adequately shades the south and west to avoid heat gain, harness the wind pattern to promote cross ventilation.

Use single loaded corridors with functional rooms on one side and the other side facing an open space or courtyard. These simple principles reduce the energy consumption by 50 per cent and enhance human performance by 10 per cent. Also, architecture plays an important role for creating socially vibrant places for people to connect with each other. The way the built form interacts with its surroundings dictates the social space quality. Spaces need to be designed considering the users most important needs, they need to be functional.

How have technological advancements influenced your work?
The biggest technology input today is from applications and software’s. Software’s like Vectorworks, Revit, AutoCAD, Naveswork, Synchro etc. not just helps convert an idea into precision drawings but can also quantify and help in total management of a project till execution.

Apps like Trello can be used for project management application that makes collaboration simple. It allows a shared perspective on any project enabling teams to work more efficiently together and Apps like WhatsApp is enabling quick and effective communication between the site and design team, resulting in quicker coordination.

Construction technology wise, post tension concrete is permeating to other building typologies like hospitals and hotels and bringing more flexibility. In the design of such building’s, flexibility is key in order to meet the challenge of complex room configurations and circulation routes.

What does “sustainability” mean today?
Sustainability today means efficiency in order to preserve for the future. It looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life. Using methods of design, material, energy conservation and development that is not damaging to the surrounding ecosystem.

Do you think that building heroics kill the beauty of the material?
No, Infact to build heroics material play an important part of the structure- The Form.

Could you tell us about your interest in the immaterial part of architecture, and how you handle light and space?
Immaterial part of architecture is to experience a place spiritually rather than physically. It is the Perceived sense of a place rather than the actual sense of a place by seeing it. The User experiences the space differently due to the absence of something rather than what is present in that space.

Eg. A Jaali wall and its use in play of light and shadow in a sunny area which creates a design due to the absence of a material in the Jaali which partially allows the light to penetrate. Here the user experiences this place differently by the absence of light. The play of light and shadow plays an important role to create immaterial architecture. Another example- the overwhelming mental effects of entering a large hall due to perceived sense of volume.

What do you feel is your practice’s strongest skill, and how have you worked to develop that over the past years?
I.M. Kadri Architect deeply looks into the client’s highest aspirations. We are not just concerned about a clients’ requirements of building a project, but also its end users and the wider community. In order to achieve that we have a disciplined process called the IMK SCRUM System. We have been developing this process system with experiences from clients and their feedbacks from the past years. This helps us be focused, achieve our timelines and deliver a product which is line with what the client wants and needs.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?
Christopher Alexander, Charles Moore, Jeff Sutherland, Frederic Laloux, Martin Selijmas, Byron Katie and Erkhant Tolle.

What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to be remembered for?
Being a firm that is continuously learning better ways to serve the users of our buildings, someone who has trained many architects to lead effectively.