When a 90 year-old company gets a Year 2020 makeover!
A fine example of an Indian studio KCL Design & Architecture specifying flooring from an American company for a Ger.. September 2020
Photo: For representational purpose
For many in the architecture and design community, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused them to reevaluate their life’s work, and it might mean that architects have to design for a world that will never be quite the same. Core architecture is practiced on the ground, at the building site and it is essential for the architect to witness ongoing construction at every step. With project delivery deadlines already stretched, an immediate need arises to find alternatives that can aid in damage control. The lockdown rightly imposed by the governments have affected the timeline of on-going and future projects. In addition to contract provisions relating to scheduling, timing and completion of work, other contractual covenants may be implicated in disputes between owners and contractors as a result of COVID-19.
Before trying to explain the impact of Coronavirus in the architecture and construction industry, Ar Manish Dikshit, Founding Partner & Design Principal, Aum Architects, throws light on the bigger picture. “Three important points which needs to be attended globally are the health, economy and civil unrest. If these are taken care of, globally, it will prevent any downfall of businesses. We, as architectural professionals, should ensure we participate in ensuring the above and play our part to make our future better and just not expecting our governments to do miracles. The lockdown is currently affecting our income, which will soon start pinching our functionality. We as an ethical organisation, planned to take a salary cut across the board. This will ensure no one is left to fend for themselves. Our team has gracefully accepted our solution too. Along with our design studio, we have reached out to our contraction consultants to check if they need any sort of assistance during this time and monitor it on a regular basis.”
Leading architectural firm Designers Group is of the opinion that this pandemic comes with implications for the world economy. Principal Architect and Designer, Ar Khozema Chitalwala, feels that “In today's time with technology, collaborative and creative work can be done sitting at various locations. But we need to physically inspect sites under construction and on-ground interaction is essential for an architect. To see his designs transform to reality, from a piece of paper to a 3D structure is every architect’s dream.”
“When everything around you is at a standstill, there is absolutely no scope for new architectural projects”, says Ar Abhigyan Neogi, Principal Architect and Founder, Chromed Design Studio. A lot of architects are using this time to future proof their designs and investing their time to prepare after the lockdown is over. Thirty per cent of the architects are working and using this time to be well equipped when all this ends, but for the rest 70 per cent, work has come to an abrupt halt since there is absolutely no monetary transaction. As the ongoing construction sites are shut, it will at least take two months to resume services, especially for the labour class which has gone back to their hometown. After the lockdown is over, it will take another 30 days to neutralise the whole premise for people to come back and resume work”.
Ar Love Choudhary, Founding Principal, AND Studio, is also bearing the brunt of this pandemic just like his contemporaries. “Projects which are in the design stage are getting major hits as many clients who had started the project are shelving due to the market predictions of crashing. As a consequence, this will affect their business to the point that the projects are being considered luxury spending which can delay the projects which have moved to tender stages. The projects which are in construction are shut as per government guidelines. These projects will be delayed in delivery, which affects everyone – from clients to architects.”