The Innovation Lineup!
Real Estate

The Innovation Lineup!

TilesNexion tiles are among the most innovative tiling options in India today, according to Tanya Sabharwal, Founding Partner & Lead Architect, TAG Atelier. “Nexion Surfaces stands out as an exclusive manufacturer in Italy and India of top-tier sintered stone slabs within India...

TilesNexion tiles are among the most innovative tiling options in India today, according to Tanya Sabharwal, Founding Partner & Lead Architect, TAG Atelier. “Nexion Surfaces stands out as an exclusive manufacturer in Italy and India of top-tier sintered stone slabs within India’s highest-grade ceramic market. Unlike local approaches, Nexion’s approach is global; their products are exclusively designed in Italy by the same creators behind luxurious items of leading Italian companies. They offer an extensive selection of sizes, surfaces and technical features to suit any space. The tile designs are notably distinctive and highly dependable and adaptable for various levels of foot traffic. So, they are suitable for both residential and commercial spaces, including public areas, functioning effectively on floors and walls.”“Tiles that offer a visual 3D effect stand apart from other tiles available in the market,” adds Pushyamitra Londhe, Senior Associate Architect, Architect Hafeez Contractor. “In this category, Emil Ceramica’s tiles with art printed on the tile and Graniti Fiandre’s metallic tiles (Luce series) as displayed at Luxe Surfaces come to mind. These tiles have amazing aesthetics and are also of superior quality.”“In Europe, porcelain tiles have replaced aluminium and wood as an outdoor cladding material,” says Rajesh Shukla, Principal Architect, Quintessence. “They can last hundreds of years even though they come at a higher cost. They are strong and they don’t fade. They are available in all colours and textures.”Natural stone“I value Italian marble (Botticino Classico) for its delicate shade, which makes it ideal for every setting,” says Lindsay Bernard Rodrigues, CEO & Co-Founder, The Bennet and Bernard Company. “It has an extremely fine grain and a few uncommon pale and golden veins. We used it for the floors of Grosvenor House, Assagao.”Raj green sandstone is resistant to acids, alkalis and salinity and to thermal variance and therefore suits buildings near the seashore. He adds. “It is durable and beautiful amd we used it for a staircase tread.” Indian Bianco Antico granite is sprinkled with rich browns, soft greys, warm tans and pale pinks, He says. “Its rich, intricate veined patterns are ideal for regal accent walls, backsplashes and countertops. We used it for a bathroom vanity top.”Doors & windows“Façade designs must adopt advanced glazing technologies and smart materials to enhance energy-efficiency, allow optimal daylight control and improve insulation,” says Vishal Sharma, Founder Partner & Principal Architect, Confluence. “At Confluence, we have been consciously including eco-friendly energy-efficient systems such as smart glass or double-glazed units (like Saint Gobain) in façades for optimised daylight. This elevates the luxury quotient and enables a reduced ecological footprint.”“Pella’s Insynctive Technology allows homeowners to control their windows and doors remotely,” says Uttamaditya, Life & Space Designer and CEO, U&I Interiors. “Sensors providing real-time updates add convenience and security. Integrating smart technology in traditional elements enhances energy-efficiency and safety.”Paints and surface finishes“In paints and surface finishes, Colortale with decorative finishes across surfaces gives a designer the opportunity to explore,” says Juhi Santani, Principal Architect, Retale Design Solutions. “Colortale can deliver a wide range of colours, textures, materials and patterns. Also, Topciment micro-cement offers some interesting finishes. Its decorative coatings and exclusive finishes suit both vertical and horizontal surfaces.”Walls and partitionsIn the post-COVID era, Pranav Kareer, Project Architect, Edifice Design Consultants, identifies VKS concept rigid vinyl sheets as an innovative solution for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.“Incorporating anti-microbial surfaces in high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, countertops, etc, helps reduce the spread of infection, especially in healthcare settings and areas prone to moisture,” he says. “Easy-to-clean materials with smooth surfaces, minimal seams and non-porous properties are preferred. In that, rigid vinyl wall sheets (antibacterial wall vinyl sheets) in an array of rich colours stand out for being wear-resisting, fire retardant, mould-proof, moisture-proof, anti-bacterial, lightweight, portable, thermally insulating, sound-absorbing, low maintenance, easy to fabricate, durable, versatile and cost-effective.”FlexStone has developed a cost-effective and efficient solution to achieve the natural look of an accent stone wall, shares Architect Devansh Daisaria, Partner, Daisaria Associates. “By using fibre resin instead of heavy glass-reinforced concrete, FlexStone departs from traditional materials, providing improved flexibility, a wide palette of shades and gradients, lighter weight and potentially reduced costs. The product successfully captures the desired aesthetic without compromising on quality or authenticity, marking a notable advancement and compelling alternative to traditional materials. We recently used it to create an 8-m-tall backdrop in a double-height lobby.”“Anodised aluminium links from Kriska Decor are a standout solution for space dividers, wall coverings, ceiling fixtures, foyer installations and lighting shades,” says Londhe. “They come in a variety of colours and are very flexible, lending themselves to many creative applications. They stand out from textured solutions to partition spaces.”CeilingsAcoustic ceiling panels reduce reverberation and background noise, providing great psychophysical benefits for users, explains Sumeet Dhir, Principal Architect, SDA Architects & Planners. “From the perspective of architects, as the acoustic ceiling is often the largest continuous surface in a space, the choice of panels can majorly influence the look and feel. Ecophon acoustic panels from Saint Gobain come in different types of surfaces and colours to suit most indoor environments.”SanitarywareDigital showers are innovative for allowing users to regulate the shower's temperature, water flow and pressure via a digital display, and maintaining preferred settings for a consistently tailored showering experience, according to Dhir. “This is a convenient addition from brands such as Kohler and Grohe that also conserves water, making it a green choice.”Uttamaditya cites Kohler’s Veil wall-hung intelligent toilet as innovative for seamlessly integrating cutting-edge technology with a sleek design ascribing it to modern aesthetics. FixturesIKEA’s Symfonisk picture frame speaker that seamlessly integrates audio technology into aesthetic home décor stands out, says Uttamaditya. “Symfonisk doubles up as wall art, thus exemplifying the personalisation of an indoor space with visual and auditory elements.”FurnitureArchitect Indrajit Kembhavi, Kembhavi Architects names openable and floor-to-ceiling WPF board wardrobes from Modulo as an innovative solution in the furniture space. “The full height wardrobe offers a seamless blend of functionality and sophistication and contribute to a sense of continuity and visual harmony in a room. Their uninterrupted vertical lines create an illusion of height. This strategy is beneficial in rooms with low ceilings where traditional wardrobes might visually shrink the space. WPF [wood, metal, and straighteners, premium engineered wood fusion] board can reach a height of 3,000 mm unlike conventional modular wardrobes and offers a door thickness of 30 mm,” adds Kembhavi. “WPF board ensures that the doors maintain form without bending and provide a durable solution. Modulo’s full-height wardrobes in polyurethane finish are stylish.”Landscapes“Sustainability has become a buzzword of late but we, as landscape architects, design with the idea of a life of 50-100 years,” says Shukla. “In that context, natural stone (such as granite) is among our best materials and insofar as innovation is concerned, the best thing to have happened is the ability to process stone to give it different finishes and edges: leather, antique, river-washed, etc.”“Self-watering planters are a useful innovation for indoor spaces,” he adds. “These store excess water and make it available to the plant.”HVACIn the HVAC space, Santani points out that Blue Star has some fresh applications of energy-saving variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems lined up for the residential segment. “We’ve been successfully deploying VRF systems for their energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness for commercial projects for a long time,” she says. “Now, we look forward to accessing the efficiency of VRF technology for compact as well as large residential projects, without the need for ducting.”Daikin One+ Smart Thermostat brings a holistic approach to comprehensive home climate control, according to Uttamaditya. “Not only does it regulate heating and cooling, but it also monitors air quality and humidity. Its interface is user-friendly and it packages energy-efficient features.”KitchensSamsung’s Family Hub refrigerator redefines kitchen appliances with its built-in touchscreen, smart home integration and ability to manage groceries. He adds, “Family Hub transforms the kitchen into a connected hub, facilitating communication, entertainment and organisation.”Safety & securityGreater control and awareness is vital for better home safety and security. Uttamaditya cites Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro 2 as a standout product for providing high-resolution video, 3D motion detection and improved privacy settings. - CHARU BAHRI

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