Music For Your Eyes

Construction Week|July 2020

Music For Your Eyes
Kamal Sagar, MD, Total Environment, blends music and an architect’s mind to bring to life architecture that make for better living
Jayashree Kini Mendes

Timeless. Craftsmanship. One with nature. These are just some of the principles that the team at Total Environment embraces. Dig a little deeper and one is curious to know more about the beneficial values that have been carefully nurtured and cultivated within the company. It begins with Kamal Sagar, founder and chairman. By his own admission, he prefers to imbue his homes with functionality, space and humanism, and the architect and musician in him has honed this through a combination of technology and housecraft. And this is visible across every aspect of his body of work.

Sagar did not mean to start out as a developer. That role was nowhere on the horizon. All that the architect from IIT Kharagpur, along with his architect wife Shibanee, wanted to do was create homes that were a far cry from what he saw around him. Finding little acceptance, Sagar took matter in his own hands and founded Total Environment, a construction and real estate development company, which he says “would build out my designs without compromise”.

The grit to construct memorable buildings comes from his admiration for works by Moshe Safdie’s ‘Habitat’ in Montreal and Charles Correa’s ‘Kanchenjunga Apartments’ in Mumbai. Otherwise, he thinks that little has been achieved worldwide in architectural design with respect to multi-family housing.

Since then, Total Environment has built 4.6 million sq-ft of high quality, individually customised and furnished spaces, mostly homes, across Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

Staying true to his core profession, Sagar has worked largely as an architect with customers, understanding their families and their needs in order to design and deliver homes that will work for them. Today, a large number of their homes continue to sell through customers.

PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS

There are different skills that are important in life that can be developed by music. Sagar believes that music brings in harmony which also reflects in one’s work. “My work has always been inspired by music. I founded Windmills Craftworks in 2012, a Jazz theatre, microbrewery and restaurant, where people can experience talent at close quarters, with exceptional sound quality and in a beautiful, warm and comfortable setting with some of the best beer and food in Bangalore. In less than two years, Windmills Craftworks established itself as the best live music venue, bringing path breaking music ranging from Jazz, Blues, Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Indian Classical & Folk and Latin.”

This passion also reflects in the nomenclature of hisbuildings, a rarity in India. Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody, Windmills of Your Mind, In That Quiet Earth, The Meadow Dance, Van Gogh’s Garden, Greensleeves, After the Rain, are just some of the delightful places where his buyers live and thrive.

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July 2020