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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.

Studio HBA

Refining The Idea of Luxury

Developing a deep understanding of hospitality and high-end luxury design informed with an acute sensitivity to local context is an ongoing process for Studio HBA, a division of global hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA).

The firm, which has 23 offices in major cities across the globe, including in Mumbai and Delhi, established its presence in India in 2010. Its diverse portfolio includes hotels such as the Radisson Blu in Mumbai, resorts, clubhouses, spas, offices, marketing suites, retail and private residences.

Studio HBA’s mission is to explore and refine the idea of luxury through a rigorous design process. “Working with local materials and craftsmanship is evocative of this approach,” says Abhishek Mathur, director at Studio HBA. “We have demonstrated through our projects that the idea of luxury transcends the conventional use of expensive materials.”

Converting an erstwhile dilapidated hotel in Kochi into the Port Muziris—the first Tribute Portfolio hotel by Marriott in Asia—is a reflection of its objective. “We imagined a fictional narrative to develop the property through the eyes of someone who was born and brought up in Kochi, with the myriad cultural influences that the city offers,” says Mathur. Some of its ongoing projects include the Radisson Blu in Nashik, Hyatt Place in Vadodara, Novotel Mumbai and Hyatt Centric in Bengaluru.

While translating good design into good business can be challenging, the firm continuously renews and reinvents itself to stay relevant. “We have invested in technology to be able to monitor profitability of our projects and to ensure the financial viability of any project,” says Mathur.

He believes the future is full of possibilities and the present is a good time to reassess the impact of architectural projects and their relationship with communities. “It will be interesting to see how individual projects can contribute to the larger well-being of the context around them,” he says.

By Darielle Britto

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