Breaking the convention in design

Sreeram Rama Chandran, Principal Designer – Resorts, KGD Architecture, talks about his inspirations, recent design trends in the hospitality industry, and combating budget constraints to achieve the desired result in projects.

Would you say your architectural style is conformist or non-conformist?

I am a non-conformist. In my opinion, it is important in these times to break convention and think out of the box.

Architecture is to revel in or marvel at. What’s your take?
I feel architecture is made to revel in and marvel at, both. That said, it is important to cater to functionality first, the rest follows.

Modern or cultural, which has been a more definite influence in your work?
Modern, certainly, with a connect to the local culture in which the project is placed has been a bigger influence in my work. It’s important to ensure that the local context is reflected in your work, without which architecture has no significance.

Tell us something about the hospitality projects you have worked on.

Some of my hospitality projects include a resort at Vythiri, Wayanad, which spreads across 50 acres; another resort in Athirapally; a resort in Kochi and ibis hotel in Goa.

What was your inspiration behind these projects?
The inspiration behind each of these projects was the site’s typography – challenging to decode and design in alignment with the site parameters and keeping the local context intact. The resort at Athirapally was especially challenging. We have used containers sliding down one another on an extremely steep hillside, with green roofs to camouflage the building complex into the surrounding jungle.

What are the trends in design you see for the year?
Recent trends depict the concept of ‘less is more’. A paradigm shift towards clean lines and minimalism, with use of local materials has swept the design scene by storm.

Hotels these days are very strong on sustainability. How are you achieving that in your projects?

Sustainability is being achieved by respecting the site’s, wherein use of local materials and natural means of spatial flow minimise use of mechanical implementations which make up a project.

Do budget constraints act as a hindrance to delivering your best?
A relaxed budget gives the designer a free hand to go berserk with creative design ideas, but a limited budget presents a challenge in attaining the desired design without compromising on different aspects of the project. That said, the best comes out when the budget is stiffened.