Is there a greater compliment you can receive as a practice than knowing that most of your clients have not changed the environment you’ve designed for them and are happily inhabiting the same space, years later? Calling your work “innovative, effective and trendsetting” isn’t far off then. It’s impressive to chronicle how far Abraham John Architects has come, a practice established in 1967 by Abraham John that he now co-manages with his son Alan Abhraham —both registered architects with Council of Architecture. Interior projects gave the practice a start, gradually overseeing buildings as well and collaborating with a envious clientele like TCS, Britannia Biscuit Co., Glaxo Laboratories, Canara Bank, United Phosphorous, YMCA, Oxfam International, and several other organisations. “We can proudly say we have had a lot of repeat clients since 1967,” adds Alan Abraham.
This popularity is because the studio combines the strength of experience with a contemporary perspective and a focused attention to detail. Additionally, their design approach is to re-connect architecture with nature, make optimum use of space, natural materials, lighting and landscape — re-invent and transform living environments and urban spaces in the process. This design philosophy has remained constant. “A definite milestone in the growth of the firm was the transition into BIM a few years ago. Working in 3D from the start has allowed us to do more in less time and focus more on design rather than the mere process of drawing. It has enabled faster decision-making, better documentation, and the ability to predict performance before ground is ever broken,” explains Abraham about the evolution of their Mumbai-based practice since its inception.
The future plans for the firm include more architectural, landscaping and urban planning projects, mainly because the principals recognise architecture’s ability to make a positive and lasting change. Collaborations and partnerships with fellow colleagues is also on their wishlist because “solidarity is the key to the future of the design environment”. It is our duty as architects, says Abraham, to invest time in areas other than designing buildings. “Educate and prepare clients for a better lifestyle where they can enjoy their environment to the fullest. It is upto us to make them brainstorm, imagine, and give them a product that finally matches their values and (possibly) surpasses their aspirations. Creativity is the watchword.”

Looking Back

Charity related architectural work has always given the duo a lot of satisfaction. They have worked in calamity affected areas such as Latur (Maharashtra) and Rajkot (Gujarat) which were devastated by earthquakes, coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh that were affected by the tsunami and various other flood related calamities.

Looking forward

The practice is “enthusiastically” working on a series of urban renewal plans designed to positively transform the city: among them is Shivaji Park, Carter Road, Mahalaxmi, Saat Rasta, Juhu Beach, Andheri Station, etc. “We are very excited about this initiative for the benefit of the people, which could bring a tremendous change in lifestyle,” says Alan Abraham.

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