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Akshay Heranjal: Kohler Bold Design Award winner – Hospitality

JAN 5, 2017 | By Nupur Ashok Sarvaiya
Co-founder and principal architect of Bengaluru based The Purple Ink Studio, Akshay Heranjal pursued his graduation from BVB Hubli that propelled him to incept the firm. At the nascent stages of his professional adventures, he worked under three different gurus, Karan Grover, Sameep Padora and Sanjay Puri, to further hone his skill set. The company’s credo in constantly exploring the parameters of design and blurring the boundaries between architecture, landscape and sustainability has been instrumental in earning several awards.
Akshay’s latest 20,000 sq ft Anaha Spa at Shreyas Retreat in Bengaluru project was realised as an inimitable “retreat within retreat” wellness centre. One of distinct features include the main block that appears to “disappear” into the earth and is half submerged to connect to the isolating quality of the earth, with the light and air movement planned from a series of sunken courts. The entire space exudes an organic aura with natural light washing the exposed walls and ceilings with a spectacular play of light and shadows. The interiors are further held together with a strong design language of hand crafted jaali screens, solid wood doors and openings to merge the interior and exteriors, quite literally.
To delve deeper into the creative’s Kohler Bold Design Award winning Anaha Spa venture, we caught up with him.
ELLE DECOR India: What does winning Kohler Bold Design Awards mean to you?
Akshay Heranjal: Being a relatively young practice, winning the Kohler Bold Design Award is encouraging for our team. It’s extremely exciting! This only pushes us further to explore new horizons in design.
ED: Your inspiration for the winning project and one thing this project taught you…
AK: The architectural vision for the spa is planned as a sustainable model with a strong focus on the connect of man in the realm of nature. The entire feel is organic devoid of all superficial elements and retained the spaces in its purest form by being true to the materials and opening up to natural light and ventilation.
The project is a beautiful journey and a realisation of how organically designed spaces become sustainable and can instantly connect with every end user.
ED: What’s a bold decision you’ve taken in your career?
AK: We initiated an idea of ‘Kilometre Zero concept’ in our projects, which means that everything that a building needs to sustain and survive is created / generated right there within a radius of zero kilometres including energy, food and water etc. When it is not always possible to be 100 percent sustainable for every project, the idea of ‘eco cities’ shapes up. It would be a dream project where ‘Future Typologies’ , where say if ‘Building X’ is self-sufficient with water, and if ‘Building Y’ has reached a stage of excess in food generation, then they should be able to inter-connect and share their resources to be able to be stable and help each other achieve a stage of balance.
ED: A dream project…
AK: I’m excited to say that the studio is in a stage with projects of varied scales and typologies at the moment. Each of our projects goes through this rigorous process of design development and evolution with very careful consideration of the context and limitations, making every project a “dream project” for us.
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