“Soul in the shell”, is a design philosophy that Abin Design Studio firmly believes and skilfully manifests in their projects. Founded in 2005 in Kolkata, under the leadership of Abin Chaudhuri, the firm has gained immense recognition worldwide.
Abin Chaudhuri’s approach to every project is experimentation with materials and technology, exploration of unfamiliar things, and a learning experience. He pursued architecture from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and a specialization in Industrial Design from Domus Academy, Milan. ADS believes in creating “responsible architecture” that responds to everchanging layers of socio-cultural, economic, and environmental characteristics. ADS design projects reflect a unique combination of traditional past & contemporary practices, artistic & utilitarian qualities. Its diverse portfolio includes projects of hospitality, educational, residential, urban installations, and many more that have been lauded over several magazines globally.
Below are 15 Iconic Projects by Abin Design Studio.
1. House of Sweeping Shadows, Bansberia | Abin Design Studio
The plot consisted of an incomplete and abandoned two-storey structure overlooking a pond, which got re-invented without demolition as a contemporary modern house. A curved self-supporting metal structure with minimal anchorage on the existing building creates a bold façade and a veranda for the upper floor. The idea behind the metal louvered façade that filters air, light, and creates beautiful shadows was adapted from the bamboo screens found in Bengali village verandas. The landscape features include a sunken sit-out, lounge, gym, and swimming pool.
The project draws its inspiration from nature – the sky and its vivid colours. The project’s unique identity is the curved façade with its dramatic play of colours and material that symbolizes the vibrancy of today’s youth. The chromatic glass façade comprises 2 layers of 5mm clear glass each with an intermediate PVB layer 1.2mm thick which acts as an insulator, reducing the heat build-up inside. The project also features an integrated water-body plaza, non-monotonous spaces despite its linear pattern, an STP, a triple-height reception area with sky-light, and well-designed interiors with a subtle colour palette.
3. Courtyard House, Bengaluru | Abin Design Studio
The house depicts a modern minimalist philosophy with a central courtyard and sky-lit passage that beautifully interweaves indoor and outdoor spaces together. The tinted glass, black aluminium window frames, red-colored handrail, modern furniture are offset against the high contrasting white concrete walls. The house with greens and a water body around it ensures a visual continuity of the external environment into its living spaces.
4. The Centrum Club, Lodha Palava City
Drawing inspiration from Maharashtra’s Wada houses that are arranged around courtyard/s, the swimming pool, and the deck is the central theme around which the clubhouse is arranged. The project uniquely juxtaposes open, semi-open, and covered spaces that blur the inside-outside boundaries. It experiments with weathered steel, dynamic volumes, and rough plaster exterior finishes that give a bold contemporary look to the club.
The project pays a tribute to Kazi Nazrul Islam, a revolutionary poet of Bengal by juxtaposing inward-looking built form that invokes feelings of justice, activism and displays the individuality of the poet. The feature wall consists of engraved stylized words of the poet. It also features an inviting entry plaza, courtyards, sculptural staircase, floating skywalks, and water bodies.
6. International Management Institute, Bhubaneswar | Abin Design Studio
The project highlight which is the curved façade of the academic block has stone sculptures embedded into it, is in a milieu of the famous Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves. This project exhibits a unique blend of historic and local influences with modern and contemporary design.
The spatial quality of the central stepped plaza encourages informal interaction. The central plaza built with locally available materials – laterite &khondalite, features a water court. This acts as a natural exhaust & improves the microclimate. The library block with an incline glass box invites natural daylight, large window overhangs cut the harsh sunlight & provides huge shadows, low VOC paints to improve indoor air quality and rain-water harvesting are the key sustainable measures implemented in the project.
7. Belani Group Office, Kolkata
A contemporary office for a builder and a developer comprises three major zones –public, semi-private, and private. The design philosophy for the customer lounge includes the “Tree of Wishes”. Located at the center against the backdrop of house-shaped profiles, it reflects their prospective customer’s aspiration of a home.
8. NarayantalaThakurdalan, Bansberia
An urban shrine located amidst the street’s hustle-bustle, the temple displays its contemporary language and the idea of the neighbourhood. To encourage congregation during festivals, the corner is column-free and porous. It experiments with modular pre-cast jaali units and the customized formwork is done by the locals.
9. Gallery House, Bansberia
The project draws its inspiration from Bengali terracotta temples. It features exposed brick masonry walls inlaid with ceramic blocks where the ground floor is a community hall and upper floors have a multipurpose room and sitting area.
10. Bamboo Installation, Kolkata
A tactical urban installation of over 1512 poles of bamboo of varying lengths and hues in a waveform design; the public installation had reflective vinyl stickers that would illuminate with passing vehicles that were done on the main road for a planned township.
11. The Newtown School, Kolkata | Abin Design Studio
The school’s façade is designed using familiar shapes and symbols as a bespoke stencil screen around the building to create a play of light and shadow.
12. Waterfront Clubhouse, Adisaptagram
A community club overlooking a waterbody is a symbol of culture and community recreation. Children and adults come together and engage in their favorite and culturally significant sport of Kolkata – football. Built on a narrow strip of land, it creates a responsible waterfront with viewing decks, gathering spaces creating dynamic spaces and forms.
Installation is based on the idea of childhood with a deconstructed arrangement of the boxes. At the entrance, an abstract overhead flight of birds depicts the freedom of thought and creativity in young children where the wings gradually disseminate into an array of boxes.
14. Bonochhaya Experience Centre, Shantiniketan
A luxury retreat that reflects the heritage of Shantiniketan and the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore; the public plaza and the experience center encourage the involvement of local activities, art, and craft, culture, and trade in the milieu of various public activities.
15. Pavilion of Canopies, Bansberia | Abin Design Studio
It reflects the abstraction of a religious festival for a tribal community that celebrates the relationship with the forest by creating a journey through a forest of canopies and finding divinity.