A young Reza Kabul approached every project — from
a bedroom to even a bathroom — with dedication and
hard work. This was way back in 1988, when Kabul set
up his practice, Architect Reza Kabul. He ran his practice from the mezzanine floor of his father’s Irani restaurant
in Mumbai, with no staff or clients, just him juggling between “being the gopher, the secretary, and the boss.” Gradually, small independent room designs gave way to apartments, and then to low-rise buildings on the outskirts of Mumbai. “I was, and still am, eager to try new things every day, as well as learn with each project,” adds the alumnus of MSU of Baroda.
Hard work pays off. In just four years, Kabul accepted his first international project based in Dubai, a 4-star hotel with 80 rooms. His next project, a 5-star property in Mauritius, he says, was just the first of his “life’s many great moments.” His projects have grown in scale and reached far-off shores, but his design vocabulary has remained firm. “I don’t believe in confining spaces within four walls. On the contrary, I believe in open spaces — both for the interiors and exteriors,” he discloses.
Today, Kabul is known for his award-winning tall buildings that have changed the city’s skyline — and he considers it his contribution to the country. “With arterial cities like Mumbai witnessing a boom in tall buildings — and several older properties being redeveloped to accommodate more people and a better standard of living — we strive to ensure that the design solutions [we offer] are more than just real estate developments; they are also social upliftment [projects]. While this vision is executed easily by a collaborative effort between the government and developers, with every chance we get, we ensure efficient reuse of land mass, energy efficiency, and provisions for future expansions,” says Kabul, who dreams of re-designing Mumbai with well-organised infrastructure.
According to him, his 30 years of practice is testimony to two important constants: great clients and great design. For a man who has maintained a thriving practice in an industry that is in a constant flux, given emerging technologies, he gratefully acknowledges everyone who has supported him. “Our sincere thanks to all those who have granted us the privilege of influencing and serving them for the last 30 years,” he adds gratefully.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that he advises fellow professionals to remember that the end user is the most significant aspect of any design or project. “You have to keep that in mind. If you don’t, that can be the biggest mistake of any design. While the beauty and aesthetics of design are important, the functionality should be vital.”

Looking Back

Kabul’s big break came with Sagar Classic, an 18-storeyed tower in Byculla, Mumbai. “We made the model and a perspective, which itself achieved an overwhelming response. It was the first time my name flashed across the newspapers, a great turning point. There has been no looking back since then.”

Looking forward

ARK is in the midst of some exciting ongoing residential projects in Mumbai, including Transcon Triumph, Ekta Tripolis, Joy Legend, and South Bay. “Two of our high-rise developments in the pipeline are Kukreja Infinity (Nagpur) , which will be the tallest [building] in the city, and 96 Legends Square (Colombo).”

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