Kamat & Rozario Architecture is re-defining the Bengaluru landscape through a careful assortment of uncluttered and contemporary architecture and interior projects.
Since its establishment in 2007, Kamat & Rozario Architecture has been building up an enviable portfolio in architectural design, branding, interior design and furniture. The firm stridently stays away from any labelling based on style, preferring to be identified as a team that focuses on creating unique projects. “Context, climate and clients’ needs” are all that matters to the team.
The firm is led by Smruti Kamat and Lester Rozario, who inspire constant re-imagination of the fundamentals of design. The result is the creation of remarkable projects, like the three mentioned here.
White Canvas and 22 Feet
This project is an interesting take on the general concept of spaces itself. Here, ‘rooms’ have been imagined to be monolithic, independent coves that are cut off from the surroundings. They have distinct personalities and flaunt a quirky fashion sense. They also become totems of rebellion, standing unfazed bang in the middle of a more conventionally functional room.
Designed by Kamat & Rozario Architecture for White Canvas, an independent advertising agency based in Bengaluru, the idea was admittedly inspired by Absolut Vodka’s ‘Absolut Blank’ campaign. This cue led the team to think of the meeting and ideating spaces they were building as blank canvasses instead of enclosures between walls. So, they became “containers” here, with unique artistic walls in each.
“Each container has its own personality depending upon its user and program,” states the team. Wooden block boards and slag from the carpentry work, were employed to form one unfinished sweep of a surface in these containers. The tone of this project is edgy and impetuous, which is a palpable risk to take in an office scheme.
This house from an older generation of design thinking had to be given a new identity. But the challenge here was to make all contemporary thinking Vastu-compliant as well. The design team decided to work around the stumbling blocks through a smart tweaking instead of complete submission. The house has, as a result, gone from drab, to the sprightly other end of the spectrum.
A renovation project distinguishes itself if it changes the demeanour of a structure completely, and Kamat & Rozario Architecture can claim full bragging rights here. The previous home, almost 30 years old, had seemed like a cloistered hunk with little breathing space; now it has opened up on the sides, letting in natural light, and quite some vitality.
Older segments, like the projection atop the driveway, have now found functionality, in this case, the conversion to a study. Older materials have been swapped with concrete and brick, leading up to a fascinating juxtaposition.
“All existing doors and windows were reused and the new windows, although different in language, attempt to echo certain aspects of the old windows,” the team re-assures. And therein lays the design team’s success in this project.
Esko Lounge and Restaurant
This project is an effort in effective nostalgia management. The earlier eatery at this location was called ‘Clay Pot’. So the designers decided to pay homage to the name by creating two sweeping slivers in the roof, and fitting within them superbly distinctive clay pots.
The pots are silhouetted against the white light that streams down, making it rather hard for guests to resist the temptation to keep looking up.
The re-structuring also involved the mixing of some old building material with new. But again, it is the roof that is the design fulcrum here. Its arms reach out and connect the restaurant and the lounge sections, thereby uniting the closed with the open.
Light comes in from the north, so there is enough glass available to take full advantage of it. All along, Esko basks in the perfect parity of “inside-outside”.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Shanavas Photography, Lester Rozario and Vikram Ponappa