With an eye for detailing, a keen sense of functionality, and a motivated drive to achieve sustainability in all their projects, Gaurav Kharkar & Associates takes pride in being versatile architects, as opposed to signature ones.
Established in 2008 and based in Mumbai, the firm handles a wide range of architectural and interior design projects in the residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors. The firm has dealt with sites located in important centres such as Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, New Delhi and Dubai.
Gaurav Kharkar the principal architect graduated from Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Architecture in 2004. His wife, Vidhita Parekh Kharkar the principal designer graduated from Rachna Sansad’s Academy of Interior Designing in 2005.
The duo is passionate about their contemporary aesthetic, functionality and sensuality in using quality materials. Both their inspiration and the style that they employ are modern. “At the same time, we mould ourselves to the project’s demands and come up with a concept – an idea that makes the project significant in its place and for its purpose,” says Gaurav.
The firm focuses on simplicity, clarity, proportion and rhythm and client satisfaction is their biggest reward. “It is a challenge to understand the whims and the choices of every client and then create a space they can enjoy.” Each project is approached with individuality different from earlier projects. Their work has always been about experimentation in a radical way.
Kailash Parbat Restaurant, Ahmedabad
The owners of this restaurant chain put forth specific criteria in their brief. Firstly, this branch was to look very different from the company’s earlier ventures. Secondly, the budget had to be kept to a minimum without compromising on design and user comfort.
Being a multi-cuisine restaurant, the idea was to achieve global appeal with the interiors. The 2075 sq ft space is divided into a waiting area, chaat counter area, dining area and a space for private parties. Additionally, there is a 775 sq ft kitchen with a rear service entry.
The furniture layout has been done keeping flexible seating arrangements in mind. Simple, straight line circulation ensures plenty of movement space between the tables. The architects took a conscious decision to make the flooring and ceiling the focal elements of the design. The criss-cross patterned flooring tile starts from the waiting area and continues right through, maintaining continuity.
The ceiling showcases black and white vinyl photographs of Mumbai – landmark places, festivals, Bollywood stars, hawkers, rickshaws and taxis – to create a sense of connectivity with its roots. The pictures are fixed onto aluminium sections above which the ceiling and exposed AC ducts are painted a subdued black. A palette of white, cement grey and brown laminate delightfully contrasts the bright blue seating.
The chaat counter stands out as a unique wooden cube, exuding subtle hues of brown and grey. The private party hall is separated by a sliding glass door. The flooring tile, brick wall, wooden panelling, etc. continue into this area assuring a seamless blending of spaces. A combination of modern silver finished suspended lights and indirect pelmet lighting (all LED fixtures) creates a harmony of calming illumination.
Chetan Doshi Residence, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai
This swanky residence in one of Mumbai’s most posh areas is draped with luxury and grandeur. Boasting a sea facing view, the 2150 sq ft apartment has four bedrooms, a living and dining area, a kitchen and servants’ quarters. The architects were given complete freedom to explore varied materials such as exotic marbles, granites and veneers complemented with mirrors, back-painted glass and metals.
The design maintains a contemporary look with clean straight lines, smooth planes and simple, yet intricate detailing. The living and dining areas showcase wall panelling in white onyx, mirrors from Villeroy & Boch, and alluring veneers. The wooden ceiling and Artimide hanging light accompany the Natuzzi sofa and circular dining table.
A combination of mirrored shutters, black back-painted glass, assorted veneers and Italian marbles forms the palette for the bedrooms. Bed headboards in white PU, beige leather and brown stone/wood detailing complete the concept. The bathrooms have been kept minimal with grey Italian marble and white composite marble. Branded fittings and fixtures add to the opulence.
D. Thakkar Office, Mumbai
This 5000 sq ft office space belongs to an infrastructure company with a high-profile clientele. Budget not being an issue, the architects were given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.
The reception divides the office into two parts – staff area and executive area. The staff area is simple and functional, with a palette of veneer, PU and Marbonite flooring. Slanting wall panels catch the eye upon entering the executive area – a theme which continues into the Joint Managing Director’s cabin and the Executive Directors’ rooms – giving the design the ‘edge’ that the brief demanded.
The cabins are dominated by whites, veneers and greens. The conference room can hold 14 people and boasts of state-of-the-art technology. Three white bands of PU, three murals, and fancy leather-covered lights with silver leafing inside make the room interactive and cheerful.
Text By Priti Kalra
Photographs By Sebastian Zachariah (Kailash Parbat, Chetan Doshi’s Residence), Parag Sawant (D. Thakkar Office)