It was in early 2006 that Abin Design Studio (ADS) was started as a small three-person firm with the simple objective of exploring the independence of private practice that evolves from conceptualisation, to rendering complete design and management solutions. At the core of the practice is the execution of design solutions through synergy between extensive research and innovation. Founder Abin Chaudhuri’s aspiration, while setting up his firm, was to be involved in the design and construction of a public building, a dream which was realised quite early in his professional journey. “We were fortunate to start off with large-scale institutional buildings in the early days of the practice,” elucidates the alumnus of Kolkata’s Jadhavpur University. These proved to be great training grounds in how to handle large projects and the attention to detail involved in site planning, architecture and interiors. “The economics of architecture involved in such projects is quite different from usual design, in terms of allocation of resources, design intent and manpower,” says the admirer of Charles Correa.
ADS is currently focusing on small explorative projects, with an independence to experiment, that offer an oppurtunity to make holistic and inspirational buildings —although, says Chaudhuri, they still do large projects “with a lot of cautiousness.” While the focus may be dynamic, their design philosophy — to provide a “soul in a shell” — has remained constant. “We believe architecture is an artistic expression as far as it transcends its purely utilitarian, technical and rational realm and turns into a metaphoric expression of the lived world, human condition and context,” emphasises Chaudhuri, who has also studied Industrial Design at Domus Academy (2005) as well as attended the Glen Murcutt International Master Class of 2014 to further his education in design. Modest about the diverse and laudable nature of his oeuvre — Ballygunge Place, a villa turned restaurant; the Bamboo Pavilion for a socio-religious festival; International Management Institute, Bhubaneswar, among many others — Chaudhuri calls their work “average” at best, especially in the current economy. However, as their inclination towards creating a socially-responsible design studio grows, he is optimistic that his practice will have a global impact. “Responsible design is the need of the hour, to stay in context, especially with the physical environment. We can contribute towards society in a much bigger way, not only by satisfying the needs of the private client or work within boundaries, but we should be able to act beyond,”
he concludes.

Looking Back

One of the initial projects, IMI Kolkata had a tremendous impact on the practice, majorly due to its scale and the goodwill gained from its experience. It paved the way for many institutional buildings that were eventually taken up by the studio and pushed them to create a similar impact.

Looking forward

At the moment, ADS is excited about a few interesting projects which are coming up in Bansberia, in Hooghly district, along with a couple of corporate and training complex assignments, in which they have “pushed the boundaries of architecture”.

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