Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The insatiably curious Krupa Zubin and Zubin Zainuddin

Read Time: 2 mins 30 secs; Viewing Time: 5 mins

Whether in their work or home life, it’s all about details for this architect couple, who believes in creating personal spaces that are so inspirational that you never feel like leaving. 

Most people visit planetariums to get a glimpse of heavenly bodies. Architects Krupa and Zubin own a telescope that’s powerful enough to see the rings of Saturn — whenever they feel like it. In the living room of their South Mumbai apartment, a centre table of curiosities is crowded with Japanese figurines and rare coffee table books. Moving across the room, little corners come alive with other immensely cool objects that tell stories of their travels to Japan and Europe. Porcelain vases that look like crumpled paper bags; reading material; and one-off pieces of furniture beckon you to engage with them. There’s no space for boredom to arise here; contrarily, there’s plenty to inspire.  

As Zubin rightly points out, “We come home to this inspirational space, only to return to work with more energy. We want to put our learnings into architecture using our way of thinking.” 

Days begin on an early note; both rise at 4.30 am and begin the day with a spot of reading or listening to music. Their playlist is diverse, spanning the likes of AR Rahman and Jagjit Singh, to Carla Bruni, Spanish singer Jorge Drexler and Western classical composers — music that has a high production value. “You accomplish a large chunk of your day in those few hours in the morning,” says Krupa, who’s been challenging herself at the gym of late. 

Self-confessed homebodies, they make it a point to catch the sunset from their balcony on returning from office, and then it’s on to reading or watching films about food, fashion, music, design or art — topics far removed from their work. For example, Krupa, who was once “anti-kitchen”, now enjoys experimenting with all sorts of cuisines from Japanese to Korean grills. 

Krupa and Zubin travel for work throughout the year, making sure to throw personal trips into the mix. Travel, whether with their daughter Anaya or not, involves walking the streets of cities and scouring book stores. “When you buy a book you want it to have a tactile quality,” says Zubin, adding that they never resort to online shopping for high-end books. Having been to Tokyo over four times already, they admit to enjoying the familiarity of repeating destinations in a bid to really get under the skin of a city. 

Stacks of manga and countless Murakami novels are enough to believe they are Japanophiles — not forgetting the fact that Zubin is a stickler for punctuality. Still, to associate them with this trope would be a tad lazy. We can, however, safely associate them with a modern sensibility and more than mild obsession with functionality and high technology, observed in both their work and personal life. 

Rather than stepping out for the sake of it, or watching a mindless film at a cinema, the couple prefers to enjoy online shows and films of their choice in their home theatre, relishing every cinematic and audio detail as it was intended to be. “You know the saying where your parents used to tell you to eat everything on the plate? Now, the philosophy is to only consume what you need or want to have,” explains Zubin on their pernickety approach to entertainment. 

Turn the pages of their larger-than-life book by photographer Annie Lebowitz that sits on a custom stand, and you’ll understand the high degree of detail they subscribe to. That’s the thing about this power couple — they are fastidious about surrounding themselves with everything they might need to feed, and further, their passions and hobbies.  

Interview & Editor-in-chief: Savitha Hira
Text: Beverly Pereira
Videography: Sadaf Khan & Robi Mehra
Video Editing: Tajammul Khot & Bhim Sharma
Sound Engineer: Neal Shenai
Music Funny Song from Bensound.com.
Social Media: Avinash Yadav
Concept & Creative Direction: Lalit Hira

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