22 August 2019

Interaction-Ar zubin Zainuddin And Ar Krupa Zubin, Founders And Principal Architects, ZZ Architects

It’s important to reinvent ourselves with every project


ZZ Architects is a leading, full service architecture, design and décor firm based in Mumbai and has been working across key cities in the country with clients including leaders in business, finance and industry, as well as society, film and politics. It has a team of 65 talented Architects and Designers who are dedicated to creating unique projects of various scales and complexities. In an exclusive interview with CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, ARCHITECT ZUBIN ZAINUDDIN AND ARCHITECT KRUPA ZUBIN, FOUNDERS AND PRINCIPAL ARCHITECTS, ZZ ARCHITECTS, share about the approach behind the designs, the use of energy efficient building materials and the architectural opportunities in the Smart city Mission.




What is your rationale behind your designs? Do you follow the minimalist or maximalist approach.


ZZ Architects has a distinct philosophy which finds its roots in design and its approach to creating and delivering something truly outstanding to each of its clients. Our multi-award winning practice has built a reputation for interpreting client aspirations and briefs creatively. “It’s often the invisible nuances that make the visible difference”, this is a quote we had framed in our office since we started and it is still close to our principle approach-Every Detail Counts.


However Attention to Detail and Design Longevity are the factors which are getting more relevant to the way we look at our projects. It’s important to reinvent ourselves with every project. We strongly believe in personalizing and evolving our style. There definitely is an unconscious style that we have probably drifted to over the years. Our work is very personal and process driven. We also feel the constant need to ensure that all our projects have their individual identities. There is a definite urge to create work that is timeless and exudes a sense of purpose driven quality. This is the reason we try and steer away from the obvious trends that prevail in the industry. As Architects we need to rationalize and also be open to the ever changing complexities in projects both as a functional aspect and an aesthetic one.




How have recent mix of technology with the innovative materials used, changed the scope of architectural design.


We feel that technology seems to be the most innovative and at the same time disruptive element in projects and keeping abreast of the latest methods and products helps to create an environment where it seamlessly integrates with our projects. Technology and efficiencies of building construction are always being pushed in all the projects that we build. Technology is primarily used to help ideate and also be more efficient. BIM has definitely caught on in most projects, especially to make all the relevant parties to coordinate in a more efficient manner. Personally we have always enjoyed designing the traditional way; paper, good pencil and Copic markers can never be replaced. Bruce Mau’s take on technology sums up the predicament in the design world, he says “The problem with software is that everyone has it”.


A combination of Technology and lighting play a very critical part. As humans we are very sensitive to light and we explore that medium within all our projects. We believe technical knowledge is our strength and smart use of natural and artificial light defines the ambience and gives the user flexibility and the needed comfort.



With regards to usage of green and energy efficient buildings materials, to what extent are they used in your projects. Could you also share with us names of such products you use.


It is necessary to be conscious of energy efficient design during the initial ideation of a project. There is a need to be aware of products that are highly energy efficient and are therefore integral to the project success. Most of the innovation we personally keep a tab on are in lighting and in facade systems and fenestrations. It is key for projects to harness as much of natural light as possible and the correct rating of the glass specified and the typology of the system is key to make the project work as desired. Among some interesting new products, we have been using metal mesh sandwiched glasses for some facade systems and skylights and are quite happy with the initial feedback that we are receiving. We are also studying various new processes of water and waste management for our larger scale projects and have realized that apart from the larger players, there are also a lot of smaller organizations making steady inroads with interesting solutions to make projects more sustainable and energy efficient.




Speaking about green projects, how important is the concept of sustainability and green footprint from the context of landscaping?


As architects we need to be sensitive to the overall process from design to execution. It is imperative to be aware of materials and solutions available to us from a local context to ensure the best that can be delivered practically. It is also heartening to see a lot of materials and solutions being made available in the Indian design scene to make our designs more sensitive. We feel that landscape is integral to any project irrespective of scale. The interaction of spaces within, in respect to the immediate surroundings ensures that the project develops a holistic experience.


Surface applications and a very sustainable material palette with adherence to a deep sense of quality, fit and finish is what inspires us. We look at a timeless appeal in our projects. Sustainability is no longer a popular term but a definitive need of the hour. There is a lot of emphasis on certification standards, etc. Personally I feel that certification for such practices is not as important. The basic understanding of the concept has to be clearly defined and shared with all involved in a project. We must be true to ourselves and the environment and every small step will definitely make a difference.




Is it possible to design a Smart, Sustainable, home at Affordable price.


Any project that considers itself to be smart and sustainable will definitely be more efficient and clearly falls within the affordable paradigm. The fact that the various categories of projects exists ensures that the end user can choose what suits their purpose. Sustainability is a way of life and cannot merely be implemented in broken segments. It's an overall approach so we try to imbibe adaptable methods to all our designs. The way the lighting solutions, automation, solar power are handled in addition to other services play an important role in the interiors we do. Houses that we design today overall need less energy to function. Rain water harvesting, use of natural light and energy, introductions of green spaces in architectural projects are also implemented in our designs.




Your comments on evolving trends in architectural designs in Indian real estate sector.


Architecture is always the mother of all inspiration for us, from the classic works to the works of todays leading architectural practices we always are inspired and feel the need to contribute to this everlasting legacy. Across the globe a large volume of both Residential and Commercial Architecture in cities seems to be gravitating towards a standard that is governed by the local bye


laws. Encouragement of the governing bodies to create more meaningful architecture will definitely result in better exploration of ideologies for building typology. This is the state in all leading cities of the world, New York , London, Mumbai all seem to be facing the same dilemma. Vertical Towers also emphasize more on the form than the actual space within and this is a disturbing trend. A lot of emphasis has to be made on the way projects seem to be connecting with the environment.




Can you state the progress of architectural opportunities in the Smart city Mission.


Smart city developments are very ambitious and personally the need of the hour. The current scenario seems a bit rushed and a clearer plan needs to be devised to take this ambitious and much needed scheme ahead. A new age architecture and a constantly evolving one. It's a time when the Indian design scene is going through a paradigm shift. There is a fusion of different styles and there is a reality between concept and execution. It's a competitive market with high deliverables. With the growing infrastructure development and the number of ongoing construction projects there is a lot of positive change one can expect from India. We wish the government considers involving design talent in development of various public spaces too. Identifying the basic bottlenecks that plague a city for making it more effective is paramount. Again we believe in incremental progress and also involvement of all citizens and civic bodies as a whole to make sure that the changes are meaningful and not superficial.


Architects have a clear understanding of the ground realities, and experience of that will definitely help in developing effective smart cities. In our country we cannot just imbibe elements from western or eastern countries and cities. The demography as well as the cultural dynamics need to be clearly understood to create city specific goals. We can revolutionize better quality of water, air, traffic management, gardens and public spaces by taking on this initiative head on and positively.




Please provide details regards to an iconic structure designed by you either ongoing or executed.


The studio is involved in a number of projects across the country. There are a few exciting projects that will be completed in the coming year and are to be delivered soon. A couple of exciting projects that come to mind range from large scale private homes in India, master planning residential projects in punjab, large scale commercial projects in Hyderabad, a state of art resort In Pushkar Hotel in Surat amongst others.


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