An award-winning architecture practice based in New Delhi, Abaxial is in fact a multi-disciplinary design firm that practises contemporary architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. Its work addresses spatial dimension and design, but seeks to push the boundaries of design beyond the conventional. It views its work as an emotional response to the cultural, social and economic contexts within which a project is placed – a response that finds expression in design and architecture.
At its core, Abaxial is a process-driven firm relying heavily on research, observation, prototyping, building and storytelling to arrive at a design solution. Research into materials, construction techniques and cultural contexts of each project ensures that the spirit of innovation thrives within.
Since much of Abaxial’s work is located in the urban context, the firm is aware of its responsibility to the community apart from that to its clients. Concern for the ecology, encouraging and conservation is definitely a driving force at Abaxial, prompting it to evolve strategies that mimic natural processes – to maximise efficiency and optimise resource deployment.
Over the last decade, Abaxial’s output has been as diverse as it has been profuse, including the entire gamut of institutional, residential, commercial projects to competitions, consultancy, curation, exhibitions and furniture design to landscaping. It has even partnered with several academic organisations across Asia and Europe to produce work and research that will impact thought in the field of design.
Abaxial has delivered excellence consistently. This has equipped it with the experience and tools to execute complex projects requiring a reconciliation of conflict that arises between artistic intent and conditions on the ground.
Abaxial, too, thinks of itself as the invisible that holds the tangible together. In essence, the firm is a collective that establishes connections, both visible and invisible, through the abstract into tangible, from nothing into a whole. And it is design that is at the centre of it all. For Abaxial, design straddles the spheres of architecture, interiors, product and business strategy. Transformative ideas are elevated and find expression through design.
Inclusion and collaboration are also ideas that form a critical part of the firm’s DNA. Abaxial believes in a collective approach, bringing people together from other disciplines to explore new concepts from a human perspective. As a result, design at Abaxial is the outcome of conversations – between poetry and geometry, and much else. These conversations are led mostly by its people, within the studio and outside, all converging into the act of design of space, of an object, or of an idea.
Abaxial’s studio and office are a multidisciplinary environment, encouraging art, craft, culture, science and history to permeate and thrive. Besides a multifaceted group of teams, Abaxial's non-hierarchical encouraging extends itself to a wide pool of leading consultants in the building industry.
Suparna is a principal architect of Abaxial, and graduated with a Masters degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998.
She is an architect and conservationist who has worked on a number of architecture, conservation and interior projects in India and abroad. She has been involved in the adaptive reuse and renovation of heritage buildings and palaces, as well as urban conservation and renewal strategies. This coupled with her independent practise gives her strong insight into various aspects of project conceptualisation, design development and detail.
She has been a regular columnist with Business Standard and now writes for several design journals. She is also on the Editorial Board of Green Life magazine and the advisory for The Future Institute. She is on the visiting faculty of the School of Architecture in Delhi, and is currently working on projects in co-ordination with civic and regulatory bodies towards the establishment of an integrated framework for development and historic revitalisation. Suparna is an active member of INTACH. She has been a principal of Bhalla Ribeiro Bhalla since 1999.
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