Sanjay Puri Architects weaves its magic on a global platform
Sanjay Puri, Founder, Sanjay Puri Architects, is a leading architect in India today. His name is widely respected not just in the country but also overseas. Reversing the trend of foreign architects being called to India to design projects, Sanjay Puri is being sought out to lend his design expertise abroad. His avant-garde architectural style is truly unique and a true expression of his creativity. The essence of Puri's design theory is creating innovative design spaces that are contextual as well as sustainable. After having won the prestigious 3 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards in Cannes in 2013 and the A+Architizer Award in New York, also in 2013, Sanjay Puri Architects' tally to date has gone up to 32 international architecture awards.
Tell us about some of your current projects overseas. We have won two large township projects in Spain and Montenegro; they are yet to begin, but we have commenced projects in Mauritius and Montenegro and finished few in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
How was your experience working abroad as compared to working in India? Abroad, once the projects are detailed, submitted and approved, not a single deviation is permissible. It is followed by commencement of the construction on site. In India, we start off with submitting drawings followed by drawings of construction, making it a lengthy process.
Inter-¡national firms are very organised with skilled manpower, better quality and are faster compared to Indian counterparts.
What is your design perspective in the Indian scenario? It is constantly evolving. However, commercial projects outweigh few of the genuine architectural spaces and it is definitely regrettable. India is witnessing rapid urban growth with tremendous opportunities to create interesting architecture but most projects, unfortunately, are being designed for commercial purpose with little thought given to climate, context and tradition.
Do your designs draw inspiration from India in any way? Each design is contextual to its location and consequently is not always inspired by India.
What are your influences for Indian projects? With regards to Indian projects, references to the Indian context are an integral part of the design.
Do you have projects in India that are inspired by traditional Indian architecture? We have designed 72 Screens in Jaipur inspired by the local jail and The Courtyards House in Beawar inspired by the traditional Indian courtyard. We are currently designing two hotels, one in adobe, influenced by mud houses in villages and another in bamboo, infused with our traditional construction methods.
And, one ultimate dream project that you are currently aspiring for? It would have to be a large public space or a mixed-use development, since these projects allow me to truly create a space that can be experienced by a large number of people.
Palmyra MauritiusIsland DreamsPalmyra is a building built and designed to be energy efficient, keeping in mind the island country's climate. This is a project on a beautiful river side plot with a large landscaped garden overlooking the hills beyond. The apartments built on this site are angled to overlook the garden below and the hills in the distance. The wind in Mauritius blows from the South East during the year and the apartments are largely oriented in the direction of the wind to facilitate cross ventilation and to craft energy efficient homes.
URBAN MASTER PLAN AND PIAZZAQUEENS BEACH Old World CharmTwo hills comprise this beautiful site in Montenegro touching Queen's beach towards the south. The old towns of Montenegro including Kotor and Budva were studied before facilitating the project. These old towns have an organic layout with narrow spaces opening into larger piazza spaces in various parts. They were planned centuries ago and they still retain a charm and character that the newer structures do not have.
The buildings we created have twisted staircases interspersed with open spaces and integrated with natural contours on the sides. Each apartment opens into a large terrace overlooking the sea. The villas are positioned on existing slopes so that each of them can enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean. Large car parking spaces are provided along side a terminal for electric cars, which are the only vehicles which will be allowed inside the 100 acre development, ensuring a pollution free environment.
MIRAJ DubaiRetail ArtMiraj is a two-level retail store built for Islamic artefacts. The display walls at varied angles have punctuations creating a path in circular motions leading up to the next level through the central atrium space. The partitions act as display walls or backdrops creating an uninterrupted flow of spaces that changes in character along the circulation path while creating individual mood rooms for the display of artefacts from different regions and creating a dynamic retail space. The entire retail space of 3,000 sq m is designed like a museum, allowing the visitors to focus on one part at a time, creating a unique experience.
SAGA DubaiMall CultureSaga is a two-level retail mall covering 20, 000 sq ft, leased to display products ranging across carpets, artefacts, jewellery, clothes and lifestyle products. The focus was to retain six existing shops on two levels, creating 'shops within a shop' concept. Each of the spaces has been designed individually and yet a common thread links them holistically.
As you move around, the colour schemes change subtly. Designed within a very restricted budget, the floor is made of epoxy with gypsum partitions and niches and eco-friendly wood substitute particle boards, furniture and display racks along with display walls, lending each shop an individual identity.
Terasa 153 MontenegroSculptural DesignTeresa 153 has won recognition at the World Architecture Festival 2012. For this project, the organic patterns of the roofs of the old town of Budva, a 600 year old town close to the site, were studied in detail and then dematerialised to create an organic pattern imbibing the inorganic character of historic development in the seemingly random stacked apartments and large balcony spaces in front of each room.
The Teresa 153 is designed in response to Montenegro's climate and exhibits an individual identity with 53 apartments, thereby creating a sculptural presence while being contextual and sustainable at the same time.