What exactly do clients want and expect from their architects to make their dream spaces a reality? Let us hear it from the clients as they describe Vatsal Shah Architects.
One Mrs Nidhi and Mr Hardik Sompura said, “We are absolutely delighted with our new house. From the beginning, Vatsal Shah–the Architect and Interior Designer–had listened carefully to what we wanted, steered us away from our madder ideas, and ensured through his project management that we had great spaces throughout the house finished ahead of schedule. Years of experience are evident in every suggestion and every detail. He knows what will work best, how to get it done, and went the extra mile to ensure all the details were thoroughly and superbly executed.”
Mr Amol Bhagwati, MD of Inspiron Engineering Pvt Ltd, said, “Vatsal Shah has been our architect for the last two decades. He has tastefully designed many office spaces for us with innovative designs, cost focus, and experimentation in style. We are very happy to associate with him.”
And the third one, Amit Asnikar of Renovate Winding Works from Ahmedabad, said, “The architecture and interior design of my new bungalow have been successfully carried out by Ar Vatsal Shah. We are extremely happy with his dedication, whole-hearted involvement, and keen attention to detail during the entire course of building this project. Vatsal has given us ample time to understand our requirements and likings. The bungalow is spacious, with good natural light and ventilation. Thanks to Vatsal in the making of my dream house.”
Vatsal Shah Architects is a young, dynamic, creative firm founded by Architect Vatsal Shah in 2001, in Ahmedabad, India, after nearly four years of experience in some of the best architectural practices in India.
A Xavierite and Alumni of CEPT (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology), Ahmedabad, Vatsal has received two gold medals, one from CEPT and another from Gujarat Institute of Civil Engineers & Architects, as best graduating student. He has also studied at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) for a year. Vatsal pursues writing poems and short stories, travelling, photography, and meaningful theatre when not designing.
He is joined by Ms. Sapana Shah, an Interior Designer (IITC, Ahmedabad). Sapana was studying law when she decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an interior designer. Her tireless efforts to learn and master the craft have paid off, and she brings a fresh perspective and innate charm to each project.
This nearly two-decade-old practice specializes in interior design projects and architectural work. They have designed numerous individual bungalows, weekend villas, apartments, private and corporate offices, hospitals, banks, community halls, schools, banquets, and hotels, among other things.
The firm has made a name for itself among other Architectural/Interior design firms in Ahmedabad. In addition, they have designed projects in Banswara, Jaipur, Daltonganj (Jharkhand), Mumbai, and London (UK).
Vatsal and Sapana enjoy volunteering as well. They have served as President and First Lady of the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad Metro for 2021-22–the largest Rotary Club in Ahmedabad, with more than 150 members.
They spoke candidly in an interview with CIOLOOK INDIA, the highlights of which are given herein.
What was your inspiration behind venturing as a creative architectural firm?
Interior design allows architects more creative freedom than building design because they are not constrained by technicalities such as structural design or building stability. Furthermore, interior design projects take less time to complete and provide the satisfaction of completion much sooner than an architectural project that takes longer.
We get to create unique designs every time because our firm considers the client’s tastes and preferences rather than imposing the ‘in thing’ or our choices/biases on them. That makes interior design appealing to us.
What are the USPs that make you stand out?
We believe in out-of-the-ordinary designs that are not repetitive or copied from catalogues. Our designs aren’t about what’s ‘in’ and what’s not, or about the latest fashion, but rather about our clients, their dreams, aspirations, what they love, and what creates a meaningful environment for them while meeting their needs. We also believe in completing projects on time and within budget for our clients.
What challenges do you have to overcome to ensure your firm remains successful?
The first challenge was assembling a team of dependable labor agencies and vendors through trial and error. So, we had the right setup to carry out projects without difficulty.
Today’s challenges include competition from many unqualified people working as designers in this field. Also, the client brings with them when they come to get a project designed an overload of information and misinformation obtained from the internet.
We overcome them through creativity, innovation, practicality, compassion, patience, transparency, and honesty.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how technology is transforming your sector and what future advancements we can expect.
A plethora of new materials is now available. There are numerous options to choose from, whether it is flooring, veneer, or tapestry. The internet makes it simple to find new materials. Communication for your projects located anywhere in the world is also much easier now. Your website is now a video call away.
What would be your advice to the aspirants willing to venture into your field?
Take the good experience at an established practice before starting on their own. And to hone their craft before they jump into practice.
How do you envision scaling VSA’s scope and offerings in the future?
We have begun accepting full-scale architectural work in addition to the interior design work we have been doing. We recently designed an industrial project and would like to expand into that field, which has many opportunities for designers. We are also interested in landscaping (hard landscaping) and heritage building conservation.