By Ar. Nitin Killawala
Photography: courtesy Archohm
I always believed that when an architect designs for himself, irrespective of whether it’s a desk or a house or an office, he thinks that is the best he has designed, and why not?
In the case of Sourabh Gupta, he has gone a step ahead and published an entire book on his work space as passionately as the structure itself! This certainly needs courage for a young practice, apart from believing in your work.
I've never met Sourabh, nor seen this rather elaborate office, but the book speaks of both - about the Studio Archohm as well as the architect himself. The manner in which various sections are divided in the book, apart from light, volume, etc., it speaks about his romanticisation of various building materials such as brick, stone, concrete, glass, steel and so on, as they are expressed in abundance in several segments of the structure from within as well as outside.
At some point, one wonders about the form and space of the building, which perhaps might have been influenced by Mario Bota's works, especially detached and exposed brick circular service core or long multiple book shelves against glass facade like in Tadao Ando's compact office. The book also showcases the joy of symbolic collection of master designers' products such as… chairs from Herman Miller and Rietveld or a perpetual calendar designed by Gideon Dagan or even Zaha Hadid's tableware.
The large square format of the book is spread with some essays by friends and excellent printing of photographs of almost all corners of the building; including its setting amongst a densely populated neighbourhood.
This book could be a message as to how future architectural practices in India may evolve and certainly is an inspiration to any architect to build a working environment of a large growing practice, which goes beyond a normal studio. Now I look forward to a similar coffee-table book on Archohm's works, which are conceived from this structure.
Publishers: Rupa Publication
Available at: Flipkart and Amazon
Nitin Killawala is a veteran architect in practice for over three decades. His USP is a strong architectural vocabulary that is independent of any add-ons. He is a master at chiseling spaces. He can be contacted at: Group Seven Architects & Planners Pvt. Ltd. # 022 26207601