Akin to life–the art of living–design is the art of creating.
Creating on the blank canvas––architecturally buoyant and visibly magnificently vibrant entities which proliferate, propagate and prosper the art of living in its truest sense.
And similar to life’s giving significance to the space it resides in, the architectonic shapes the living aspirations, dreams, desires, and lifetimes of that space’s living, breathing inhabitants, us.
At MSAP Architects & Interior Designers–an architectural studio based in Delhi NCR, the Partners, Mr Prashant Sharma and Mrs Pratishtha Sharma, aspire to create living and breathing environments that question, rethink and improve upon the existing state of affairs.
Prashant shares, “Our built environments provide meaningful and practical enrichment for users, institutes and communities.” While Pratishtha adds, “We believe that design is an ever-evolving and ever-improving journey that encompasses all aspects of work and services. Each assignment is collaborative exploitation of our clients, in-house architects, engineers as well as consultants and users.”
Prashant further says that their methodology is derived from a process fuelled by open, challenging spirits of collaboration of professionals who make up MSAP with their dedication towards design excellence and innovation. A broad diversity of participants actively engaged in the process have allowed them to analyze projects from different perspectives and develop a culturally sustainable and innovative design approach that the users widely accept.
The Inception of the Changing Constant
The husband-wife duo of Prashant and Pratishtha have completed their Bachelor’s in Architecture from Delhi. They started their career working for one of the oldest firms in the country for almost half a decade before plunging to start their own practice. With their experience working on projects like a nuclear power plant and being a part of magnificent institutions like IITs and IIMs, they decided to put these learnings into their firm, where all projects dealt with the same vivacity to introduce innovative building and design solutions.
Prashant says, “Our company believes that ‘the only constant is change.” It’s true of history; it’s true of events, of architecture, of design, of everything. Everything in life.
“This motto has helped our company to evolve and adapt to the changing times and technology, allowing us to create a niche in different architectural walks. The introduction of BIM, Project management tools etc., for suitable projects and keeping ourselves up to date with the ever-changing market has been the biggest challenge for us, like all professionals,” reveals Pratishtha.
Enveloping Tech-Centric Times
As they move towards a fast-paced, technology-centric world, MSAP is moving with the times and creating a format that envelopes the day’s needs. Whether designing, communication or purely logistical avenues, they are revamping their approach to meet the needs of MSAPs clients. Prashant says, “We have worked over a million square feet of area that have continuously taught us to deliver to the inhabitants and their needs are self-evolving and challenging.”
“This drive has allowed us to recreate our work and provide our expertise to our clients has developed this new approach manifolds. It is truly an exciting time to be an architect, and we are looking forward to leading and paving the way for the times to come,” adds Pratishtha.
Free Flowing Ideas
MSAP being their brainchild, the two young architects, Prashant and Pratishtha, have been actively involved in creating a niche for themselves in the field of architecture under their partnership firm.
Pratishtha says, “At MSAP, we believe that ideas flow more freely when architects and engineers work together and contribute to a project right from the inception of an idea.”
By doing so, they combine their knowledge and learn from one another, to devise sustainable and fully integrated design solutions. Alongside the architects and engineers are the many specialist teams whose expertise underpins the MSAPs approach. The team combines experts who bring their experience and diverse approaches to make their work a user-friendly experience. Prashant reveals, “Our philosophy is linked to what Philippe Daverio once said, ‘We’re all victims of the architect. Architecture is the only art that you can’t help but feel. You can avoid paintings, you can avoid music, and you can even avoid history. But good luck getting away from architecture.”
Weaving the Fabric of Sustainable Environments
“An architect not only designs spaces but creates experiences that mould us, the cities we build and the urban fabric of our surroundings. We believe that buildings are living organisms and should be dealt with accordingly. We have always known that architecture is the mother of all arts. And being architects, we feel responsible to uphold our responsibilities,” expresses Pratishtha.
Telling more about firm MSAP’s offerings that make it stand out in the crowd, Prashant says, “We believe that if a professional truly dedicate themselves to their work and is passionate about it, new avenues arise on their own. With the knowledge we have acquired over the years, we intend to use the strategy to recycle and reuse materials in architectural practice.”
In today’s day and age, while governments are still negotiating the creation of international standards for acceptable emission levels, businesses are being urged to reduce waste, and individuals are encouraged to make small-scale efforts by recycling and reusing things to lessen their own carbon footprint. Pratishtha conveys, “We strongly believe that architectural practices must come up with creative solutions to the complicated environmental issues of today.” MSAP intends to do so with a distinct architectural signature, and its projects are a testament to the same.
All its residential, institutional or even commercial projects stand out with their roots in sustainability. “Sustainability for us is not a new term or technology. It doesn’t have to be expensive products but rather be rooted in our history and practical use of climatology. This inherent critical thinking has made our projects speak volumes of their character and integrity,” feels Pratishtha.
Aesthetic Amalgamation of Heritage
MSAP also has a distinct skill set abundantly evident by its wing that deals with all projects in the exclusive Lutyens’ Zone in Delhi. With MSAPs’ expertise in the interior collation and aesthetic amalgamation with the city building and development controls, both Prashant and Pratishtha, as consultants, have worked on specific parameters for several projects in Central Delhi. Various government agencies like the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council), HCC (Heritage Conservation Committee) and DUAC (Delhi Urban Art Commission) are presented with proposals for any work in this sacred zone for sanctions which are highly sensitive owing to the nature and vicinity of the subject matter.
MSAP has successfully firmed their feet in this authorisation exercise that these conservation zones call for. The company intends to repossess all avenues that require architectural expertise. The firm’s latest offering in this specialized assistance is securing the necessary authorisation to install the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the Canopy Behind India Gate. MSAP worked with the NBCC for the same, and Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the same on 8th September 2022. “It was truly an honour for us to be a part of the project that will be embedded in history,’ says Prashant.
Learning by Turning Over the Pandemic Page
According to Prashant and Pratishtha, the pandemic was a teacher to all businesses, and as architects, they were no different. With site work coming to a halt, they shifted their abilities to use that time to create a more effective actionable business strategy and the capabilities they need to support that strategy. Their employees were directed to work from home and all their work, like the rest of the world, shifted to online meeting platforms.
However, architecture practices mainly depend on networking, interaction, coordination and site work. Prashant shares that as they are still recovering from the pandemic, their complete work model is now based on the project’s needs. Clear categorization of offline and online work has allowed them to maximize resource utilization. Going forward, MSAP intends to replicate these options for its clients with an even more efficient online database.
An Unafraid Wisdom
Prashant and Pratishtha’s advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Architectural Designing Solution space is humbly full of sheer daring. Pratishtha says, “Although we feel that there is still so much out there for us to learn, the one advice we will give the designer starting out is don’t be scared.”
Don’t be scared to ask, don’t be scared to question, don’t be scared to innovate and don’t be scared to speak out your mind. You will make mistakes, but you will learn. Architecture is all about experience and observations.
While Prashant suggests, “For anybody who is starting out or questioning themselves, I will only say this; people may make fun of you or your ideas but remember that those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” So don’t be scared. Give it your best shot, and this community will accept you with open arms for you and your ideas.
An Exponential Drive of Organic Growth
Envisioning scaling MSAP’s operations and offerings in the future, Pratishtha says they feel that the growth is organic. “With the ethos that we firmly believe in, we have seen our firm grow every year. Our relationship with our clients and consultants has allowed us to create teams for all and any work that comes our way,” she puts.
At the same time, Prashant concludes, “With state-of-the-art resources available at the click of a button, along with intuitive work, up and above is the only way to go for us.”