Envisage, an interior and architecture firm is the brainchild of Meena Murthy Kakkar and Vishal Kakkar. It investigates design beyond form, function and aesthetics. Established in 2007, this firm provides comprehensive turn-key solutions. The firm strives for a clever and empathic perception of the client’s needs to ‘Envisage’ – visualize and create their dream spaces. Being a visionary, Meena Murthy explains the importance of Project Management for the successful implementation of a project. She also speaks about exploring the nuances of technology to establish effective architecture planning and cost-control.
Meena has an intrinsic strength in design and providing quick solutions for any given situation, while Vishal’s forte lies in cost control and highly effective planning and implementation. Their practice has a designing edge in implementing turnkey residences and offices. In 2007, they landed their first institutional project was at Una, Himachal Pradesh. They set up their first office in South Delhi and started teaching at SPA. Further diversifying, Envisage expanded its operations into hospitality interiors execution. A good rapport with clients shaped Envisage to evolve into a turnkey solutions-centred practice.
“Every design can be done at a basic cost or stretched to an interminable upper limit; thus, it is extremely important to know the tentative ballpark budget from the beginning.”
The design and construction industry are based on well-built relationships and fostering these architect-client associations is priority. Thus, the clients need, budget and choices move to the forefront of the design process. Meena adds, “Being a part of this industry for decades, we can come up with a thousand ideas instantly, but they may not suit the clients’ needs and choices. As design professionals, we have to realise that we are working with someone else’s money, land and time. Thus, sensitivity and empathy towards a client’s requirements is the foremost thing we believe in.” She illustrates the aspect through one of her upcoming projects – Kirti Nagar Residence. She addresses how every nook and corner has been thoroughly detailed according to the client’s need. “With our third year into this project, it is much more detailed than many of the hotels we have previously worked on.”
An effective integration of MEP services into the design process is a primary building block for methodical planning, management and execution of a project. Meena Murthy confers to think of the design process from an execution perspective from the first day itself to abstain from any encumbrances, however at the same time to be prepared for any eventuality. She elaborates, “Sometimes, there might be unforeseen circumstances that crop up during the execution – in terms of budget, material, or labour – hence ‘flexibility’ is the keyword. As a design thinker, our job is to respond quickly and modify our situation. If we are flexible and pliable, we can keep the project on track and well within the designated budget.” She spells out the indispensable role of project management in architecture and interior design for timely completion.
“The planning has to be impeccable to execute the design efficiently. If either the design or the services is not planned or up to the mark, it is the loss of the project.”
For any thriving practice, it is important that drawings perfectly translate into the built-form. Meena Murthy points out how in an ever-changing scenario, a person can choose from a wide array of options. Elucidating upon the same she signifies, “The foremost is the inclusion of technology – You can have cameras installed on the site so that it can be monitored from home itself.” She emphasizes adopting modern methods like Augmented Reality for better visualization. “After designing the projects in a BIM software, these can be uploaded on the apps and used to experience the drawings through the AR devices on the site itself. For example, if you are an electrical contractor, you can look up at the ceiling and see where the roots have to be taken from. It is an effective way which will make an appearance soon, even in the residential construction sector.” Well-skilled personnel and a planned-out construction lay the foundations to ensure best practices. She addresses this saying, “No one wants to have the liability of hiring unskilled workers unnecessarily. For efficient site management, supervisors who can be the bridge between the architect and the site are very important.”
Calling attention to seasonal changes in one construction, she exclaims, “Do not start the construction in the rainy season; POP shouldn’t be cladded in winter months, lest it won’t dry. Similarly, concreting should not be done in peak summer, otherwise, it will dry too soon and result in honeycombing. The timeline also has to accommodate the festival season as the labour is unavailable during those periods.” Envisage is currently working on diverse architectural typologies like residential and institutional buildings as well as corporate buildings. Saraswati School and Kirti Nagar Residence are a few of their forthcoming ventures.
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