Designs by Vindhya Guduru and Baba Sashank are making heads turn as the duo believes in th power of architectural experimentation.
When Baba Sashank and Vindhya Guduru set up their design practice in 2014, they were sure they would pick up projects that help them present their ideas that otherwise do not sync with a predominantly “architectural line of thought.” And if their previous projects are anything to go by, in a space of three years, they have successfully managed to maintain their idiosyncratic philosophy.
The duo shot to fame when they designed Dock 45 — a nightclub that has been put together with corrugated metals sheets, which are otherwise used to make transport trucks in India. The brief given to them was to create a design for a club that would grab every pedestrian’s attention. “The owner knew he wanted to work with metal sheets,” states Vindhya excitedly as she explains one of her most talked-about projects. The material proved to be the biggest setback. “The real size containers have limitations in terms of size, and are too weak to hold a structure in place. So we had to create these containers locally to make sure that the structure was sturdy.”
Another project that Baba and Vindhya took up for the challenge is the Bon Bons Cafe and Patisserie, a dessert stop. Set in the midst of a hi-tech commercial park, Bon Bons is a small space (read 650 sq. feet) in colours of blue and yellow. “We design projects that are, sometimes, about 20,000 sq. feet. So to get to design a space with a little more than 600 sq. feet is quite something,” states Vindhya. Since it is an area with a lot of corporate offices, she wanted to ensure that the café was a treat for the eyes.
“I wanted Bon Bons to become a landmark of sorts. We had a ball working on this project,” beams Vindhya, who has graduated from Pratt Institute in New York. Even as these hospitality projects got them recognition, it is designing residential spaces that give the duo creative satisfaction. “Families are going to stay in this space for at least 40 to 50 years — generations are going to call that space their home. It is a thing of joy to design such an intimate space,” explains the interior designer.
With residential houses, the duo believes in bringing the “outside to the inside philosophy.” “We like to design our houses in such a way that each room has a visual connect to every other room. Also, we try keeping a small balcony garden or a courtyard, when space is a luxury. I like to keep my designs minimalist,” explains Vindhya.
This design philosophy comes from her inspiration, Tadao Ando, the Japanese self-taught architect who too kept his approach to architecture simple. However, it is Charles Correa’s Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat that got Vindhya interested in architecture. She recalls, “I was very young when I visited the ashram and I couldn’t stop marvelling at the building. I think I adopted his design principle in my works — structures need to be timeless.”