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Ravindra Kumar: Kohler Bold Design Award winner – Public Institution

JAN 16, 2017 | By Nupur Ashok Sarvaiya
Founder and principal architect of Bengaluru based Pragrup Architecture|Urbanism, Ravindra Kumar believes his strength has been in providing innovative design solutions to emerging project trends and typologies in India. This credo propelled him to envision his Kohler Bold Design Award winning project 1000 Yogas in the city.
Completed in 2015, 1000 Yogas was designed as an addition to an existing three storied building, where the high ceiling of the studio and conference room are formed by the graceful curves of the exposed brick barrel vaults. The courtyard acts the platform bridging the different zones of the wellness centre. The space has been treated with contextual underlay, where the diverse layers of determinants are overlaid. The functional need has been addressed with originality of purpose, the final finish being the culmination of pure procedure and true intent.
In a private chat, Ravindra tells us what it means to win the Golden Pencil at the maiden Kohler Bold Design Awards and his major inspiration behind the project.
ELLE DECOR India: What does winning Kohler Bold Design Awards mean to you?
Ravindra Kumar: It is a joy space, given the way Kohler India organised the awards, the criteria that was required and their evaluation process was all very high end. We have been in the practice for 13 years and it gives us an assurance of the kind of work we do, where we stand as well as the direction we want to head in.
ED: Take us through the design process of the winning project and two things this project taught you…
RK: Prima facie, when we were given the plan there were many complex errors. On the terrace we aimed to recreate experiences that people could resonate with, which in a way would feel like walking down an old spine of memories. This is where elements like walls, bricks and textured, timber floors and timber windows became brilliant volumes of play. In turn, the circumambulation of the occupied space around the courtyard perfectly connected the architecture with daylight, the colour of the earth, the natural oxidisation of metal work and woods.
What we learnt from this project that it is crucial to work closely with the client, and learn from them, the contractors and even the construction team to bring in accuracy. The second is to play with materials from the same family for a project because in an attempt to bring in variations we end up with a creating a discord.
ED: What’s a bold decision you’ve taken in your career?
RK: It’s to be dedicated to my profession and to enjoy it. I think architecture is a very sacred as an occupation and it brings with it huge responsibilities because it can directly affect the society. This is why, I chose live as a bachelor – my decision has accorded me immense happiness, time, space and individuality to be creative in that kind of an environment. It makes me a free spirit and that is joy.
ED: A dream project…
RK: I would love to be a leader, where I can include all the occupants, the population, the architects and designers and capable people to build a whole city.
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