For Krupa Zubin & Zubin Zainuddin, it was a personal project that started it all. “The staircase we designed for our own house won an award and got a lot of recognition. It led to a few small private commissions and, later on, we decided to formalise our setup.” That was the genesis of ZZ Architects (ZZA) in 2002. This experience cemented the idea that every single opportunity counts. This humble start, along with their self-discipline and determination , has been instrumental in helping the architects run a successful practice.
Now the ZZA team — of around 75 members — has evolved. The unusually diverse work in the firm’s repertoire includes award-winning private residences, corporate spaces, hotels, hospitals, large master planning projects, and commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. The duo believes that design cannot be categorised; it is a result of the clients’ needs and a response to the environment. “Our work is very personal and process driven. We ensure that all our projects have their individual identities,” say the architecture graduates who studied at Mumbai University.
The underlying philosophy has always been to ensure that the projects have a timeless appeal. It isn’t a far-fetched aspiration, because their clients remain content with their designs even decades later. Creating designs that could be assets to the clients and the city as a whole is paramount to them. “We need to make sure that the structures that are built today are well-designed assets for the city. This would clearly define the way forward,” express the duo.
The future is exciting and ZZA is looking at expanding their space, with some challenging and exciting work on the boards. And for the rest braving a similar future, they say, “It’s important not to be blinded by current trends. Have clarity on what’s best for the work you do — that is what makes every project unique. We would recommend that every designer read Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth and make their own version based on it. It has heavily inspired and influenced us in the past too.”

Looking Back

ZZA’s first few large-scale private homes made them serious contenders in the luxury space. “All of them were such eye-openers and changed the way we approach homes… It was a period of constant learning and exciting exploration,” remember the architects.

Looking forward

Among the 50 projects ZZA is currently overseeing, they are gearing up for the completion of a few hotels in the coming year. A ‘yet to be named’ luxury hotel in Pushkar, Rajasthan, and The World in Surat, a high-end luxury service apartment project, are among them.

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