07 June 2020

Interaction - Ar. Prashant Deshmukh, Founder & MD, Prashant Deshmukh & Associates

Beauty of minimalism lies in the structure and lightness of materials

PDA is a company whose repertoire goes across the spectrum, but has specialized in industrial projects. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, AR. PRASHANT DESHMUKH, FOUNDER & MD, PRASHANT DESHMUKH & ASSOCIATES, discusses his design philosophy and touches upon sustainability, and how to maintain the continuum between tradition and modernity.



What is your design philosophy? Is it minimalist or maximalist?

Design philosophy is a wide concept to define. On individual basis my philosophy for design counts an efficient building design with passive solar, orientation and shading, reducing unnaturally stimulated energies usage that can contribute largely to the eco-friendly architecture as a design guideline. Other than that minimalistic design has been highly influenced by many designers and architects. I am absolutely a minimalist; a good design for me is elements that convey message of simplicity. I believe the beauty of minimalism lies in the structure and the way the lightness of the materials are handled. According to my perspective a basic geometric forms, sometimes non cosmetic elements, simple materials and the repetitions of structures shows a satisfactory sense of order.




Which is your favourite architectural style?

As an architect, we owe it to ourselves to have a strong design philosophy; the art we create is used in day to day life by people it was created for. It is about design that lasts, where function meets art in a structure. Architectural style for me varies from client to client and the project intent; it’s all about client what he needs and to provide the best possible results out of it.




To what extent has modern construction materials and technology like CAD, BIM, etc. widened the scope of architectural freedom in design.

The range of building materials have widened with the help of technology from natural materials which can be conveniently shaped in form of tiles and cladding panels of different size and shape as per design. Engineered materials out of natural timber, stones etc. have widened the varieties and increased the properties in terms of appearance, life and sustainability. Designers can now do experiment on basis of P.E.B., pre stressed, precast, and post tensioned technologies and study stimulations, the behavior of structures they want to construct.Technologies like CAD & BIM have helped architects to pen down their design ideas and visualization into technical and constructional details, and thus offering lot of freedom in playing with geometric forms and shapes etc. It also clarifies all the possible difficulties before the execution of work. It shows all the integration problem that we can avoid and save on time and errors that could create inconvenience on site.




With regards to usage of green and energy efficient buildings materials, to what extent are they used in your projects. Could you also share with us names of such products you use?

Sustainability is the key word in today’s developing world. Every aspect of design is affected by sustainability and to cope up with rising demand for resources. It has been since ages that the use of pre-engineered buildings has been started in developed countries. Taking care of all aesthetic details desired by architect and local conditions of site the design can be efficiently executed.

PDA is committed to provide 'Sustainable Architectural Services.' We strongly believe and recommend the innovative techniques and strategies in Architecture to achieve the goals while approaching towards 'Sustainable Development.' Our Architectural designs emphasise the use of 'energy efficient - solar passive techniques' as per climate specific requirements. Sensitive Use of sustainable materials and techniques in coordination with its 'social aspects, environmental impact and economic feasibility' is our prime focus, without compromising the essence of aesthetics and architectural values. In sustainable practices we provide application of renewable energy in the buildings, low ecological and energy footprint building design and certification for the same from respective experts.We are 'Imaging the Sustainable Imaginations.’



How will you fuse tradition and modernity in your designs?

As an architect it is necessary to understand that each city in India has different culture as far as population is concerned, we need to develop area more of modern in terms of architecture, new materials, but at the same time blending with the tradition and importantly spaces adjusting to the situation. One of my project is of a similar of type in U.S designed for retirement community for Indian families, the concept was to match their modernity but still being traditional. Notably, the trends we follow today have some historical foundation, but have been subjected to several layers of re-interpretation, manipulation and re-definitions. Combination of past and present is a big challenge, it’s not only about contemporary style or art they focus on but it’s the Individualistic approach under the culture & economics, lifestyle of each city or place and accordingly designs the strategies of development.




Importance of sustainability and green footprint in architectural designs. Especially in the context of landscaping.

Sustainable concept has become the general interest of numerous designers. Green building practices has benefit to the home owners, users, communities and environment. Climate change is happening globally and thus we all architects should sensitively think of building technology and materials to be used to achieve more sustainable built environments. Reduced operational cost, artificial resource consumption, improved health, reduction in carbon foot-print is the benefits of such a sensitive approach. Maximise healthy environment – avoid impacts of toxic emission from materials in indoor environment. A commonly known elements like Green vertical facades, Green Roofs, skylights, courtyards that helps in keeping the internal atmosphere well ventilated and well-lit. Likewise there are many more methods such as Solar/ wind/ harvested rain water that help in less consumption of artificial energies and help to keep the building sustainable.




Is it possible to design a smart, sustainable, home at affordable price?

Resource efficient building practices wherein the impact of the buildings on the environment is reduced along with reduction in operating costs is the rising demand of architectural creativity. The firm strongly believes and recommends innovative techniques and strategies in architecture to achieve sustainable development. There is no question that sustainable housing is ideal for the environment. We as a firm more over focus on sensitive use of sustainable materials and techniques in co-ordination with its social aspects, environmental impact and economic feasibility without compromising the essence of aesthetic and architectural values. Few simple root lines such as

  • Providing sandwich glass panels reduces heat penetration in the building by 40 per cent.
  • Taking advantage of solar panels to reduce the cost of heating water by 35 per cent. More over roof top solar panel to supply electricity to certain common areas of each building.
  • Materials reducing carbon emission and the integrated design which offers reuse and recycle of all the energy components shall therefore be the focus of design.




Define the architectural opportunity in India’s Smart City Mission.

Architecture is not only about buildings, but the art we live in, from individual houses, apartments to the broader urban context. As the range of global challenges grows and intensifies, the role of proper architecture, planning, and design becomes need of an hour. At the same time convenience and betterment of public at large cannot be neglected. Rehabilitation of slum area should be a prime focus as eradication of slum will make the city smarter. Focus should be on providing quality life to residents by coming up with development. To make the city ‘smart’ and if the country wants to meet challenges at the global level, then proper planning and development is must. We cannot just start doing things in a haphazard manner.



Please provide details of a major structure designed by you either ongoing or executed.

Project name: Renata Precision Pvt. Ltd. at Karandi

Project type: Industrial

Renata is an ongoing project in Karandi near Shirur which is on the outskirts of Pune district. Currently it is coming up with its second phase. The company manufactures plastic moulding spare parts for automobile companies. Giving a good atmosphere for a work place was a priority. And since the site had lush green surrounding, large glass panels were provided. It was necessary to build a good inviting architecture hence, instead of ACP or other prefabricated cladding, stone or engineered stone was used against glass on the facade.




Ranker from JJ College of Architecture (Mumbai University)
B.O.S Chairman - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University
Awarded : –
ICI Birla Super Award 2014 - Outstanding Concrete Structure for Industrial Project
WMI Konecranes India Ltd.
AESA Beharay Rathi Award 2013 - Industrial Category for Ecorea & Kuroda Electric India Pvt. Ltd. MIDC, Ranjangaon.
Well Built Structure Award 2010 - Industrial Category For Kaeser Compressor (I) Ltd.
AESA Silver Award 2008 - Kirloskar, Ahmednagar.
ASEA Jury's Recommendation Award 2008 - Allied Services for John Deere Equipment Pvt. Ltd.
Best Teacher Award 2007 - Indian Institute of Architects.
Corporate Office Building Rewarded Through Design-competition (State Level) For Ahmednagar Shahar Sahakari Bank At Ahmadnagar.
Switch Gear Training Center For Larson And Toubro At M.I.D.C., Bhosari, Pune Rated As One Of The Best Training Center In The Country.
Member, Board of Studies and Faculty of Engineering, University of Pune
Examiner of B. Arch. Of Architectural Design and Professional Practice.
Guest Faculty Member & Jury of the National Railway Exhibition (1995-96), Indian Railway Institute of Civil Engineers. (IRICEN), and in architecture colleges under Pune University.
Represented Indian Institute of Architects, at the Asian Architects’ Meet (ARCASIA) held in Beijing & Shanghai (China).
Member Executive Council of the Maharashtra Chapter of IIA, of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Pune Center.
Member of Governing Council of the D.Y. Patil College of Architecture, Akrudi, Pune.



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