IFJ|March - April 2020
Ar. Amit Porwal believes in the power of the millennial generation in architecture and design
Aadrita Chatterji

Innovation and observation have remained constant attributes throughout Ar. Amit Porwal’s architectural journey. Established in 2003, Icon Projects Inspace Pvt Ltd was the brainchild through which Ar. Porwal developed a vocabulary that tied modern and vintage, ethnic, and contemporary with a sheen of sophistication. Several people inspired him along his path, helping him explore different genres of design – retail, hospitality, commercial, and luxury residential. He says, “There have been role models at every stage. You change your inspiration as you grow, so I would rather name a collective group of people than a single person.”

Speaking from his experience of 17 years, Ar. Porwal has seen several changes; buyers increasingly demand novelty and creativity in materials; research has become important to sustain functionality and creativity. He says, “There’s something oven-fresh every other week in the architecture and interior design market, but that’s simply not enough. We need to research the market, see the design potential, and take a decision. Each project comes as a responsibility to stay on-trend. Architecture and design have now become more society centric, which has led to technological advancement as well.”

An alumnus from Rachana Sansad’s School of Interior Design with a Diploma in Interior Design, Ar. Porwal also completed a Diploma in Construction Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Thus, a holistic education prepared the foundation upon which he then built, with work experiences alongside the veteran Ar. Hafeez Contractor. He credits his brother Ar. Sanjay Porwal for his successful practice. “I joined Kalayojan and I was lucky to have my brother as my mentor.”

Known for high-end design work, Ar. Porwal’s idea of luxury certainly differs from the conventional. He clarifies: “Luxury means different things to different people, it is a wide term. I would describe luxury as a design that makes you happy and content. Sustainability of material matters equally, and that could be categorized as luxurious as well. Thus, the blend of classic and sustainability defines luxury.” He stresses the importance of bringing different tastes and trends together, as when he was designing the Manba House. “We began by developing a deep understanding of the Manba Group (Mumbai’s leading non-banking finance company) and its people. We had to design the building and its exteriors and interiors in 11 months. Ecological sustainability is certainly a matter of concern, so we implemented a rainwater harvesting system that reutilizes reserved water for watering plants and toilets. The surface run-off and rainwater on the rooftop is collected in a storage tank, and is reused when needed. Accent furniture and lighting pieces encourage the quirky, contemporary yet aristocratic feel.”

It could be said that the designs that clients demand has kept pace with the multi-generational nature of workforces at both the client and architect’s end of the spectrum. He says, “The new generation is fresh with energy which fuels our interest in the project. Personally speaking, I feel younger working with them.”


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March - April 2020