Abuilder may pour the foundation and raise the roof, but only a seasoned architect can make your new house a home. Here it is important to understand the difference between a home designer and a professional architect. While a home designer is able to adjust a plan home for you and make design and furniture suggestions, he does not have the training to create complex or unique designs. Therefore, if you are building a new custom home or doing a major renovation, you will need to hire an architect. There are many aspects of an architect’s job. It’s not just the finished project’s aesthetics - you also need to consider how it will be constructed, what materials are to be used, and how the new space will be used. In building and renovating your new home, your architect will handle your floor plan design, decide product specifications for elements in your home, assist with zoning issues, and help choose elements that will impact the design. Making decisions about design prior to construction saves time and money. It goes without saying that good architectural design will make all the difference.
Architecture is a profession that enjoys tremendous respect. Architects create the overall aesthetic and look of home structures. However, it is generally believed that when an architect has been in practice for a long time, there is a danger of his work becoming stereotypical, no longer holding the element of innovation and surprise.
Not so in this case: Anjum Pervez has been in practice for 25 years and is one of the most sought after architects in the country. While his broad repertoire includes public buildings, entertainment centres, hospitals, banks and offices, he is known for his design of high-end private residences.
With this in mind, we recently visited two houses designed by Anjum Pervez, to experience the approach he adopts in resolving not just design and planning problems but the individual whims and dreams of his clients. Both residences have a similar programme: Six bedrooms, a swimming pool and pretty much the same accommodation and covered area, but here the similarities end!
For the sake of brevity we will call them House A and House B. House A has a rustic, low level, pitched roof structure with textured surfaces and earthly colours. Whereas House B has a modern, contemporary structure with white and grey finishes, shiny tiled floors and highly polished wood and glass balustrades.
However, the differences are not in just the finishes and details, the entire concept, the entire feel of the places are totally different. House A has intimate courtyards accessed through wrought iron gates and picture windows looking into the landscaped side gardens, while House B has vast indoor foyers, introverted views and skylight lit atrium.
Even the way you approach and enter the houses is different, whereas the entry to House A is through a narrow, stone paved walkway, House B has a grand elevated platform sided by a massive planter.
Then there are clearly marked differences in interiors too. House A has chunky wooden balconies and rafters in comparison to House B which has straight, louvered terrace railings. One finds small, intimate powder room in House A and a futuristic, mirrored powder room in House B.
After you have looked at the two houses it is quite hard to believe that it was the same person that came up with two such diverse solutions to an almost similar program of requirements and demands.
When you mention all this to Anjum he smiles thoughtfully “You see, I am a dream merchant, my clients come to me for the interpretation of a dream they have, an idea, a wish list. My job is to assist them in achieving that dream in a way that is educated, functionally workable and technically sound. I do not see it as my place to instruct them on what sort of life they should live and what sort of aesthetic preferences they should have”.
“So what does your house look like?” I ask.
“It’s not been built yet,” He says.
“Okay, what will it look like?”
“You will find out,” he smiles again.