In 2012, three young architects got together with a common understanding that they would design spaces that would make people happy. They called their firm Design Work Group (.DWG). “We wanted to take things in our hands with the full responsibility of making the design process better, efficient, transparent, productive and beneficial for all stakeholders,” says Dinesh Suthar, who met fellow-founder of .DWG, Jitendra Sabalapara at SCET, Surat, where both of them had enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Sabalapara, in turn, met Bharat Patel — .DWG’s third pillar — at SCET again, at the Master in City Design class. The trio, with their individual strong points — Sabalapara is a people’s person and oversees .DWG’s performance as a corporate entrepreneur; Suthar is keenly interested in residential design and urban masterplanning; while Patel focuses on concepts and the design process — provide wholistic expertise to their clients.
The early projects — centred mostly around residential interiors, master plans and residential architecture — taught them that transparent communication was key to everything they practiced. “The key learning was to understand the client well. It was all about what their requirements were. We had to transform their dreams into reality through design by doing it in the right context,” says Suthar, who also obtained a degree in Master of Arts in Urban Design from Cardiff University, Wales. While projects such as Brick Curtain House, Surat (residence); Vanvaaso, Surat (farmhouse); Pramukh House, Vapi (corporate office); Tropical House, Surat (residence); Radhika House, Kankroli (residence); Broadway School, Surat (institute); Rivera Estilo, Surat (apartment); and On the Hills, Khapoli (weekend home masterplan), have contributed to the firm’s incremental evolution, responsiveness to climate and context have remained constant. This is aligned to the practice’s heightened interest in “real” green buildings which are local in terms of design, material, appeal and performance. The trio’s advice to the design fraternity is to treat local projects in the same way we look at international projects: “All of us architects keep an eye on global trends. We should look at our own architecture and our regional design and culture in the same way,” they sign off.

Looking Back

Brick Curtain was the first time .DWG had to work on a façade which would help to combat the climate. It was also a first, for them, where they used parametric modelling to achieve the curvilinear wall. This marked the practice’s leap from using conventional methods to those involving extensive 3D modelling.

Looking forward

The Broadway School, built on a small site, seeks to give students from various age groups spaces relevant to them. The architects’ aspiration is to generate more interaction between teachers and students. The team is also working on Rivera Estilo, one of Surat’s first five projects to scale a height of 77m, a new experience for them.

 

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