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Forbes India ‘The Bold Club: India’s Top 30 Architects’ Powered by Kohler includes the journeys of prominent and influential architects making an impact in the country and across the globe in their own unique way. This annual initiative is an effort to recognise and promote bold leadership and foster authenticity and passion to inspire innovation.

Designplus Associates Services Pvt Ltd (DPA)

Creating Order With Model Structures

Sonali Bhagwati knew CEPT University in Ahmedabad—an institute that she describes as “the most awe-inspiring”—was the place to be at to make her dream of becoming an architect a reality. It was also where Sohrab Dalal fell in love with the field after taking the architecture exam on a whim. It was probably fate that prevented him from pursuing a career in engineering.

The couple, who met at college to pursue a similar goal, had established a firm in 1991, which they merged in 2010 to form Designplus Associates Services Pvt Ltd (DPA)—an integrated design consultancy firm with offices in Haryana, Delhi and Gurugram.

DPA, whose turnover in the last couple of years has been approximately `20 crore per annum, has worked on over 300 projects, including Taj Vivanta in Bengaluru, Holiday Inn in Aero City, New Delhi, Thapar University in Patiala and Paras Quartier in Haryana.

“We believe in creating built environments which are meaningful, well-designed, well-detailed and well-integrated,” says Bhagwati.

The duo strives to use design to inspire end-users, whether it’s working on a family home or a university campus. “I think design plays a very strong role in motivating the user of that project,” says Dalal. The Nasscom headquarters in Noida, for instance, was designed to include public space for activities. “Good design is intelligence made visible and caring for our environment should be the foundation of all future developments,” says Dalal.

DPA’s ongoing works include two large mixed-use projects for an international developer in Noida and Gurugram.

Bhagwati feels cities need to be shaped in an organised manner to foster social interactions and encourage well-being. “I think we need to get out of our comfortable offices—‘our oasis’ —and  look at the chaos in our public realm, and try and do small pilot projects to improve our community and create order through good design,” says Bhagwati.

By Darielle Britto

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