Bursts of colour, impressive graphics and applied intelligence are striking elements in Architect Sandeep Khosla’s body of work that ranges between beautiful homes, snazzy clubs and institutions that are steeped in the highest realms of architectural values. As I headed down to attend his talk, I was very impressed by the alacrity of the design intent and more importantly the application of a process that we are taught in architecture college, something that is very easy to forget in practice. The process that includes a strong narrative in design and peppers spaces with objects of joie de vivre, in simpler terms, art. Donning the hat of a landscape consultant, a lighting designer or even a furniture designer when necessary Khosla reinstates the importance of intelligence in architecture and interior design producing a result that is quite marvellous.
The man himself stresses repeatedly on the importance of “breezes”, as he terms wind circulation, light and shade, delving in materiality, in the simplicity of elements and paying attention to sustainable measures, many a times, even collaborating with India’s TERI, an energy research institute.
Of a dozen projects that he shared, a few stayed in my mind for their stroke of genius. Am writing about three of them today, one the Library House, two the Roxy pub and three the DPS school.
The Library house
Built for an industrialist and his writer wife, Khosla was approached with a 12 page brief, something that included in descriptive detail what the family of three wanted in their dream home. Using simple materials of Sadar Ali stone, jaisalmer stone, a custom made patterned flooring, employing a double layered roof, exhausts in flat slabs, the house is deeply rooted in its context. The program that included a gorgeous library overflowing into the reading verandah and the garden with a pool makes the home ever so exquisite. The couple being avid readers ensured that their book collection deemed a befitting name to the house.
The Roxy Pub
Located on ‘the’ Park street of India’s renaissance city, Kolkata, the Roxy pub is Khosla’s tribute to the renaissance age he says. In reality having been there I must say, its quite striking with hovering masses over a largely narrow volume. The store room of the Park hotel was converted into the pub he discloses, but one would never be able to tell!
The DPS school
Built at a modest cost of 1200 RS/sft and in a span of 6 months this is definitely Khosla’s most laudable project. Not just me, but the judges of the World Architecture Festival also thought as much. The school is designed as a module that could be replicated by the every expanding popular school chain in the country. Though the plan is kept simple, almost like the neighbourhood government school, Khosla nails it with an eccentric application of material and a decisive use of colour. Taking inspiration from the vibrant temples of south India and interpreting the school as a temple Khosla uses bright corrugated sheets as vertical planes to divide space and creates angans or courtyards to facilitate the gurukul style education under trees. One month he says is all it took on the drawing board and five months to complete construction. Impressive really.
Here’s a link to Khosla’s portfolio for your further reading.
We then caught up with him and his advice? Do what you believe in, your work is a part of you and will eventually attract more of the same. SO simply do what you believe in, in life.