With a desire to practise architecture in a manner that would be distinct from the prevalent traditional firms, Sanjay Srinivasan and Ravi Sarangan started Edifice in 1990, armed with their degrees from Sir JJ College of Architecture. “We saw Edifice as a creative hotspot which encouraged collaboration and contribution, and questioned tradition. We also wanted to be a large-format practice,” share the Mumbai-based architects. Small commercial interior projects made way for bigger things. Twenty-five years and 1,200 projects later, they now handle projects across different scales — from urban design to architecture and interior design.
“We have ensured, through each of these projects, that our idealism remains untarnished. We have been blessed with a like-minded team. Our people are our best strategy,” they say, adding that they have retained talent over the years and have been grooming leaders within the firm. Consistent delivery has ensured that their design and documentation goes through an internal review system that filters out errors, translating into precise and relevant deliverables every time.
With offices in eight cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kochi — the duo asserts that they see themselves as a collective. Therefore, they have as many design philosophies as designers. ”Ultimately, we believe that sensitivity should be the one quality that distinguishes our designs. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) has been our mantra — in words, in thoughts and in action, which means relying on common sense at all times.”
Every design is a concerted effort to improve the immediate environs of the project and contribute to the well-being of its occupants and its social context. The firm is interested in genuine sustainable goals that go beyond mere green certifications. “India has been blinded by the [rapid] pace of growth over the last two decades and is re-learning/re-discovering the three principles of conservation — Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, something that came naturally to us because we lived frugally,” explain the duo, who are constantly looking for newer challenges. Now that they have made significant inroads in the healthcare sector, they are keen on building similar capabilities in the science and technology space, as well as in transit architecture.
What can young and fellow architects learn from their experiences? “Never compromise on your core value — namely, integrity. This has guided our internal conduct as well as our relationship with the external world.”

Looking Back

The duo says that every project has impacted their practice, mainly because their stringent design documentation process records and analyses lessons from each project they undertake. These inferences are routed back into the system at the design stage for future projects.

Looking forward

Both architects are looking forward to the completion of several projects at the moment, particularly three hospital campuses: AIIMS in Guntur, Nagpur and Kalyani (West Bengal), and a 400-bed cancer hospital for Tata Trust at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

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