Learning is a life-long process for designer Bhadri Suthar and architect Snehal Suthar. Their formal education culminated in a Master in Sustainability from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture (for Snehal) and a diploma in interior design from Institute of Environmental Design, Vallabh Vidyanagar (for Bhadri). When they established their practice, The Grid Architects, in 2002, the learnings continued, especially in materials explorations, site and office management, economics, understanding of spaces and built environments and, later, the connection to nature. And there’s more. “We learnt to appreciate our relationship with clients, giving and inviting loyalty,” say the business partners and spouses. This is why their approach and work processes are inclusive, as they believe in “working with the client, rather than for the client.”
Starting with small renovations and refurbishment projects, the Suthars gradually progressed to small residential architecture. Today, they handle a variety of scales and typologies — corporate houses, residential communities, commercial complexes, educational institutes, hospitality spaces and private villas — unified by the common thread of sustainability. “This is a constant philosophy: being close to nature and to design with a purpose,” says the team whose work for residential complexes Sangath Posh and Sangath Terraces has received Platinum and Gold ratings from IGBC, respectively.“Through this journey, we’ve always looked forward to keep on exceeding ourselves. Our belief is to add value every time, compared to the previous project.” These principles translate into honest designs that shun excesses and are minimal in terms of materials, colours and forms. When we ask the Suthars to indulge in a bit of crystal-gazing, both the principals agree that being environment-conscious will continue to be the guiding star of the practice. In this process, they also hope to forge a team of like-minded and dedicated individuals who will help them in the goal of being specialists
in sustainable and organic architecture. Their advice to fellow practitioners? “Be open to new learnings. Avoid dependency on artificial intelligence
like softwares and eye-catching images on media. Always rely on your instincts.”

Looking Back

Some of the community housing projects, such as Terraces and Posh for developer Sangath Infrastructure, have refined their thinking process (by inspiring the Suthars to integrate nature and landscape with the built-form) and sensitised them to biodiversity.

Looking forward

The team at The Grid Architects is working on a house made from rock. The interiors and landscape have been integrated so as to retain all the trees and rocks (granite boulders of various sizes) on site, and still have a functional and aesthetically appealing design.

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