Accepting Challenges to Create Designs for Others
In my opinion, Architecture and Interior design are 2 sides of the same coin, as it were. Architecture – basically starts with planning and integrating interior spaces which then evolves into a large built form when the process of Architectural design in detail takes over to create an overall building form. It’s only after the Architectural process is complete and the interior spaces are defined and built, the Interior Designer comes in to further work on the micro planning of the interiors, as also the look and feel, and ambience created inconjunction with the intended function.
Basically, designs are created for others who could be large Corporate houses, Institutions, Developers and Individual clients. In my opinion, the wide and diverse spectrum of client requirements are extremely varying in nature and therefore each project always has its own challenges. The key role of a designer is therefore to accept these challenges and convert them into opportunities to effectively translate the clients aspirations into the best possible design solution.
SIRAJ & RENU Architects & Interior Designers is a multi-disciplinary design firm and offers a comprehensive package of services for Residential, Commercial Development, and Hotel & Hospitality projects. In our practice, we design a range of 2 Star to 5 Star Luxury Hotels, Small, Medium and Large size Residential, Commercial and Development projects, Large homes, Small homes and very Small homes ! Irrespective of the projects magnitude, we give each project our best in terms of our design and detail and make sure that our clients get the best for the value of money in each.
Siraj informs, “In the past 40 years of practice, we have designed and implemented 65 plus hotel projects all over the country besides around 50 plus ( 25 to 30 million sft. ) of residential, commercial projects of varying magnitude.”
It was in the early 80s that Siraj set up a design firm ‘Siraj & Renu’. They both work together initially, a lot of challenges, as at that point in time as the profession of architecture and design didn’t find favour with manier clients and therefore took a long time in educating people the importance of our design brief and how it would give them the best value for their money.
However, there were better times later on when the firm earned recognition and thereafter expanded our operations in Bangalore and Chennai and since then have designed land mark projects and have won many awards and accolades of our work.
In the words of Siraj, “We are associated with all major Developers and Hoteliers pan India for whom we perform designing keeping in mind their diverse requirements of end-use in an equally diverse project magnitude. We handle large Residential and Commercial projects for Developers, a range of hotels rating from 2 Star to 5 Star deluxe depending on the requirements and positioning of the property, for owners and reputed hotel operators, and a few overseas.
A few of their notable hotel projects are The Residency Group of Hotels (Chennai, Coimbatore & Pondicherry), The Movenpick Hotel, Bangalore, The Starwood Aloft Hotels ( Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore & Chandigarh ), Ocean Spray – a 5 star resort in Pondicherry has been featured in major national interior design publications, ITC Gardenia, Bangalore ( Resident Interior Designer ), The Grand Hyatt, Kochi ( Resident Interior Designer ), Lemon Tree Hotel, Chennai, The ITC Hotels, The Accor Hotels, ITC Fortune Hotels, Dolphin Group of Hotels, The TAJ Group of Hotels, Country Inn & Suites by The Carlson Hospitality Group, Sterling Holiday Resorts, Jaypee Group of Hotels, etc.,
Few of their Developers / Builders include Appaswamy Real Estates Pvt Ltd., Chennai, Ashed Properties and Investments Private Limited, Bangalore, Ashed Valmark, Arge Developers, Cornerstone Properties Pvt Ltd., Godrej Properties Limited, Tata Housing Development Corporation, Raheja Developers, Epitome Developers, Bangalore, Casa Grande Pvt Ltd., Chennai & Coimbatore etc.
To maintain the pace with the changing market trends, the firm ensures to be in constant touch with the developments, everchanging designs/trends, and the fast-growing technology in the field (perceptions). The firm boasts about having the best of all the technologies and design trends that keep evolving over the years.
R & D
Siraj believes, “R&D is important for businesses because it provides knowledge and accurate deep understandings, leads to improvements to existing processes where efficiency can be increased and costs reduced. It also allows businesses to develop new products and services to allow them to survive and thrive in competitive markets.
INTERIOR DESIGNING REQUIRES PASSION, CREATIVITY & KEEN EYE
Talking about the scope of Interior Designing, Siraj elucidates, “The scope of interior designing involves executing commercial spaces/hotel & hospitality and home’ designs to create a client’s desired ambiance & environment. Therefore, people who want to make a career in the field must have a passion for design, a keen eye for detail, a high degree of creativity, and at the same time, s/he must be capable of logical thinking. A thorough understanding of clients needs functional, aesthetic, and cost parameters and factoring it in a comprehensive design package.
Siraj asserts, “Let me clarify that in any design office, it’s the collective input of the entire team that finally emerges as the final product and therefore, all involved in these starting from the design processes to endeavor to create challenging landmark projects, are not merely “Employees” but “Associates” for the firm/organization. Their happiness and contentment mean a lot.”
Siraj adds, “Needless to say, they are adequately compensated for their valuable works.”
WORK HARD & PLAY HARD
Siraj feels a good balance is to work and play and that always augurs well for creative thinking and plays an effective role in any design process.
He cites the example, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” In the same way, he is firmly of the belief “Work Hard and Play Hard”.
Siraj explains, “Our profession is certainly not a bed of roses. When we started on our own particularly in an environment where the awareness of our profession was not much and about 4 decades ago, it took us a long time to prove ourselves in the field. Also, creating projects that made people understand the design processes involved in creating design solutions and effectively illustrate the client’s aspirations and what it took to create landmark projects then, was not that easy. To put it in a nutshell, our struggle to create a niche for ourselves in the early stages and with ever-going competition, is a long journey of struggle, hard work, perseverance, confidence. The belief in ourselves led us reach higher echelons in our profession and the awards and accolades would adequately illustrate that.”
The architect is quite confident about the future and acclaims, “Well, the going has been good so far, and being optimistic, can say that it will stay that way !!”
According to the design firm- The fact that they have won many design accolades and having widely featured in major design publications in the country is indeed very encouraging. Undoubtedly, they are widely recognized in the field.
ROLE IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Siraj speaks, “We are basically design professionals and therefore, each project of ours is a contribution adequate to the society to enrich the lives by providing ‘built environment’ (the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks or green space to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructures such as water supply or energy networks) for the living and working. Thus, we play an important role in giving back to society.”
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