Arpan Shah: Kohler Bold Design Award winner – Bold Luxury

APR 13, 2017 | By Tasneem Merchant
The living area and verandah are covered by thick glass which serves as a barrier from the harsh sun. The family home was imagined like a resort. The breeze blowing in from the south is cooled by the swimming pool. The Open House has two structures, one containing the living rooms and verandah, while the other has bedrooms and other private areas.
The project is located on swathes of green which help in cooling the space naturally. Left: The Open House in Ahmedabad was imagined as a resort Right: Arpan Shah established his architecture firm Modo Designs in 2002. Left: The Open House in Ahmedabad was imagined as a resort Right: Arpan Shah established his architecture firm Modo Designs in 2002.
Arpan Shah established his architecture firm Modo Designs in 2002, based on the principles of exploration, research and refinement. Modo, Latin for “of its time” is perhaps the best suited for the work done by him as his projects are contemporary, responsive to the environment and embody the fundamental tenets of modern living.
His recent project, The Open House was envisioned as an open get together family house. Situated in Ahmedabad, the residence boasts features equipped to handle the climatic conditions of the place. For instance, the glass pavilions act as a shield from the sun where as the pool, located in the south-west corner, cools the wind coming into the house.
The client’s brief was simple – the space had to resemble a resort. To achieve this, Arpan and his team created two blocks connected by a stretch of open space which connects the entire project. While one structure houses the living and dining rooms, the other one has private areas such as bedroon and kitchen.
We talk to the architect about his award winning creation and what it means to win a Kohler Bold Design Award. A few excerpts from the conversation:
ELLE DECOR India: What does winning Kohler Bold Design Awards mean to you?
Arpan Shah: It is overwhelming and inspiring to get this award amidst the wonderful work done by the nominated architectural firms from around the country. I think this is a great initiative by Kohler and ELLE DECOR to recognize qualitative architectural work in India and in the process, encourage the fraternity to continuously create work that can be of high value and global relevance.
ED: Two things your winning project taught you and your inspiration for it…
AS: In the Open House project, we had our entire team of consultants, contractors and other agencies. We realised that a good team and coordinated effort from everybody is essential for a high quality product. Our references were the porous traditional Indian houses that allow natural elements within and we tried to reinterpret this to find a contemporary expression.
ED: A bold decision you’ve taken in your career…
AS: In the early days of my architectural practice, one of the decisions I took was to continue on the architectural thought process that I had been made aware of during my academic exposure and later on it was to restrict the quantum of work and focus more on quality of design and execution.
ED: A dream project for you would be?
AS: Our dream project would be to develop something progressive and innovative in nature, a demonstration design that addresses sustainability issues and finds a relevant local expression of the place and culture. It would mean developing a rooted design that interprets natural and cultural ethos while being a rich experiential place for the users.
Also read: Take a look at the International EDIDA winners