We caught up with one half of the talented duo behind Planet 3 Studios. Here are the excerpts
Kalhan and Santha Gour Mattoo lead the multidisciplinary practice, Planet 3 Studios in Mumbai, which focuses on maximising the positive impact of design on the environment, using appropriate technologies, materials and labour force. One of the most awarded practices in the country, their portfolio includes a diverse range of projects comprising institutional buildings, adaptive-reuse projects, housing complexes, schools, corporate offices, banks, malls, among others. We got Santha to share with us her ideas and inspirations.
When did you launch your practice?
In 1997, I started the practice in collaboration with Kalhan. We started with a small design-build project for the RPG group. It was a successful one as it complied with the client’s stringent budget, time and design parameters, and it was a fantastic learning experience for us.
Did you always want to be an architect?
It was not the only love, there were many other options I was toying with but it was definitely a very strong preference.
If not an architect, then what would you be?
What's a typical day at work like?
No single day is the same and nor does it go as planned. Sometimes I love the uncertainty, the surprises and the challenges that come up with this, however on days, it can be tiring. A typical day gets divided between wearing various hats - that of a designer, manager, motivator, accountant and business developer. Having said that, I must add that no day is boring.
What inspires you on an everyday basis?
Challenges, and they keep on coming!
If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?
I love my 8 hours of sleep, if only I could do with less!
Five things you can't live without?
My Sunday off, the television, an occasional glass of wine, iPad and my phone.
How do you unwind?
Organise things around the house, and watch television.
Do you have a design philosophy that reflects in all your projects?
The design philosophy is not to have one that is all encompassing. I believe that since every project is unique, it is unfair to envelope all projects in a common thought process.
Your favourite decor destination?
Dubai, Vienna and Beijing.
What is your resolution for the coming year?
I have never ever made New Year resolutions, and this year is no different.