CHATLINE Architect Sandeep Khosla tells AYESHA MATTHAN that he loves using traditional concepts in modern ways
Sandeep Khosla studied Fine Arts at Bard College, before moving to architecture at the Pratt Institute. He grew up in Kolkata before he went to the Doon School. “The atmosphere at Bard was bohemian. I was exploring all forms of art when I developed interest in the history of architecture class which made me change my mind.” At Pratt, he found that all the major architects and professors came to lecture and there was an inevitable design energy. “I was exposed to different disciplines and schools of thought from structuralism, classicism to post modernism.”
When he returned to India in the early 90s, he had an opportunity to work with Charles Correa in Bombay. “In ’95 I decided to branch out on my own and the different possibilities were to open shop in Delhi, Kolkata or Bangalore and I chose Bangalore to set up Khosla Associates with Amaresh Anand.” Sandeep said he imbibed the climate-sensitive architecture from Charles Correa and realised when he worked in New York with an architectural firm, his growth would be slow. “New York was already an overbuilt, hyper-developed city.”
When he came to Bangalore, he designed 180 Proof, which became Barista and is now Hard Rock Café. And he designed a Spanish-style villa for Kiran Majumdar Shaw. “I enjoyed using traditional concepts in modern ways and blurring the transition between indoors and outdoors in courtyards and verandahs.” Sandeep stumbled into the world of interior designing. “Our approach to interior designing is not mere decoration. We visualise furniture in a holistic way. It is a fantastic dialogue between two disciplines.” For various projects, they have tied up with different disciplinarians. He has collaborated with his wife and graphic designer Tania on projects like MTV.
They have helped build brands from Café Coffee Day, KFC, Pizza Hut, Nike to ING Vysya. Their homes have a sense of peace, calm and plenty of natural light. And their nightclubs and restaurants like the F Bar and Kitchen to Shiro at the UB City were designed to be trendy and create the wow factor. “We assimilate the latest global and local trends in lifestyle and fashion.” Shiro, he says, was a complete fantasy. “It was a modern interpretation of the surreal far-East. What was unbelievable is that we only used local materials — from Andhra slate, Cudappah stone to traditional sculptors.”
He feels that in Bangalore, there is a lack of architectural structures that promote public interaction.
“We only have the Freedom Park and now the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). But such projects take years. I am also disappointed at the lack of people visiting the NGMA. There should be more awareness and publicity generated about the availability of public spaces at a cheap ticketed price of Rs. 10.”
The partnership of Amaresh and Sandeep has seen ideas and concepts that have bounced off each other. And Sandeep loves contrasts — new and old, luxury and base materials. And he is enjoying his latest projects — designing the art complex at his alma mater The Doon School, and a luxury resort in Maldives. “From the subcontinent, I am inspired by architects Geoffrey Bawa and Charles Correa.”
Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award, ‘06
Society Interiors Editors choice award ‘05
A D Young Enthused Architect Award Commendation Trophy ‘04
IIID-MK Award for Hospitality Interiors, ‘04
IID-MK Award for residential spaces ‘03