AD100: Akshat Bhatt features on the list of Most Influential Designers in India for the Fourth Time

Architectural Digest, India


Alfaz and Aahana Miller | Mumbai

Sourcing Haunts: “On my last trip to Goa, someone recommended visiting Sotohaus, a furniture and lighting store near Candolim; it is now one of my favourites,” says Miller.

Favourite Space: Charles and Ray Eames’s studio in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Los Angeles, designed by the pair, and seen in the documentary Eames: The Architect and the Painter.


Abraham John and Alan Abraham | Mumbai

Recent Projects: An outdoor restaurant in New York; a chalet in Switzerland; residences in Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Raipur, Goa, and Himachal Pradesh.

Sourcing Haunts: Italy; flea markets in Sri Lanka and Bali.

Coming Up: A complete redesign of the Bandstand promenade in Mumbai, including the public garden in front of Mannat, Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan’s house



Recent Project: Mirror and metal harmonize with native Indian woodwork and hand-embroidered textiles in the firm’s design for a luxury ‘sky villa’, set on the 76th floor of Lodha Ciel in Mumbai.

Sourcing Haunts: London, Brighton, New York City and flea markets and antique fairs in Istanbul and Paris.


New Delhi

Ongoing Projects: The restoration of a palace and fort in Uttar Pradesh, which will be converted into a heritage hotel; a boutique hotel in Manali for Paro by Good Earth.

Craft Initiatives: “We collaborated with Abid Saghir from Jaipur to create objets de vertu with semi-precious stones and marble.”

Favourite Room: Nancy Lancaster’s “buttah-yellah” drawing room—as the tastemaker referred to it—in London.


Ashwin Alva | New Delhi

Project in Focus: A structure of timber and steel was designed to merge the interiors with the outdoors at this home (below) for a family of four in New Delhi. Wood textures, specifically on the underside of the roof—as well as birch-ply panelling and brushed white-oak glazing—offer a warm, earthy undertone to the interiors.

Recent Projects: Premium luxury interiors in the Camellias, Gurugram; a small commercial building in the Leh bazaar, designed in “steel, timber, sun-dried mud blocks with Markalak plaster, and woven-willow-stem trellises”.


Madhav Raman, Vaibhav and Shruti Dimri | New Delhi

Project in Focus: Built on a rectangular parcel of land, Chromatic House (below) is a composition of tapering, prismatic voids and volumes with red cast-concrete walls and pitched skylights that create an interplay of light and texture.

Coming Up: A wellness institute in Haridwar; a heritage boutique hotel in Jaipur; farmhouses in Delhi and Gurugram.


Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt | Mumbai

Project in Focus: Perched on the Alibag coast, The Other Side Studio (below)is a future-proof structure built to be easily dismantled and moved should sea levels rise to submerge the land around it.

Favourite Room: Geoffrey Bawa’s garden room overlooking the lake at Lunuganga, an architectural space with chequerboard flooring that’s half concrete, half grass.



Project in Focus: Conceived from the ideology that the wall is more than a spatial marker, The Wall Code (pictured) is a project that sees a variety of functional elements like lights, planters and storage units, custom-fitted into every partition.

Recent Projects: Shahid and Mira Kapoor’s villa in Beas, Punjab; a villa in Bengaluru.


Akshat Bhatt | New Delhi

Project in Focus: The headquarters (below) of the Rug Republic in Okhla, New Delhi, is enveloped in a metal shell, designed to serve as protection against pollution and uninspiring views, while steel jalis allow for an inflow of natural light.

Favourite Room: The Adam Room—the original dining room of architect Robert Adam, designed in 1763—located on the 11th floor of the Lloyd’s building.



Project in Focus: This house (below) in Udaipur is a composite of indoor and outdoor spaces infused with natural light, which washes over the white marble flooring, American oak-clad walls, and a carefully curated collection of artworks.

Favourite Room: Jean-Michel Frank’s Smoking Room, circa 1938. “It is the embodiment of subtlety and minimalism—ahead of its time.”


Melissa Smith and Sachin Bandukwala | Ahmedabad

Recent Projects: Private residences; Ekantar, a centre for architecture, design and craft by the Takshila Educational Society; several urban projects—all in Gujarat.

Sustainability in Action: “We try to source as locally as possible, and we consider the materials we use and the details to join them in a way that allows them to weather and decay appropriately,” says Bandukwala.


Samuel and Erica Barclay, Saleem Bhatri | Mumbai

Craft Initiatives: Casegoods’ FOLD collection of jute dhurries, handwoven by artisans from Bhadohi and then dyed and finished by local craftsmen at the Pulugurtha weavers’ society.

Favourite Room: The Chapel at the Brion cemetery by Carlo Scarpa.

Ongoing Projects: Re-imagining and restoring a once-abandoned house in a forest in Alibag.


Ahsan Ansari | Mumbai

Project in Focus: Ansari’s design for Inaya Living’s flagship project in Assagao, Goa, takes inspiration from the architectural heritage of South Asia, Europe and North Africa. Corten-steel doors and a terracotta façade decorate the entrance to Macassar House (below), one of the three sensitively designed villas, which pays homage to the charm of Tangier and Marrakech.

Antique Trail: Phillips Antiques, Chiki Doshi, Taherally’s, The Great Eastern Home, the Oshiwara furniture market—in Mumbai; Jew Town in Kochi.

Favourite Room: Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light in Osaka, Japan.


Cyrus Patell, Eliza Higgins | Bengaluru

Sustainability in Action: “For a residence in Bengaluru, we are using materials from a demolished structure to make blocks for the new construction—thinking about construction debris as a resource and not waste,” says Higgins.

Craft Initiatives: Micro-mosaic for a feature wall in a bar, created in collaboration with Frozen Music; hand-cast mud-concrete blocks made using debris from a demolished building.



Project in Focus: “The interiors of this residence (below) were inspired by the historic art deco architecture of Mumbai,” says Lynch of the project, where old world motifs harmonize with contemporary pieces, like framed wallpaper panels from de Gournay that serve as an artistic backdrop to brass-accented furniture.

Collaborations: With Ishrat Sahgal of Mishcat Co for bespoke rugs.


Puru Das and Brian DeMuro | Gurugram

Recent Projects: Das and DeMuro launched a new, bigger showroom at 900 Broadway in New York; following the launch of Uncommon Threads and Corbu collections of furniture, work is underway for several more collections slated to be launched later this year.

Favourite Room: Jean-Michel Frank’s Nelson Rockefeller living room at 810 Fifth Avenue, New York.



Recent Projects: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s home, a residence for director Amar Kaushik—both in Mumbai.

Craft Initiatives: Shell windows created in collaboration with traditional craftsmen from Goa; bespoke antique marble panels by karigars from Jaipur; hand-painted artworks by pichhwai artists from Nathdwara, Rajasthan.


Taera Chowna | Mumbai

Sustainability Icon: “I’m very inspired by Umberto Pasti, who filled his iconic garden in Tangier with plants rescued from local construction sites, and with the help of local villagers, created a garden that doubles as a living museum.”

Sourcing Haunts: Bespoke handcrafted planters from Anduze in Provence and Tuscany in Italy, a region famous for terracotta.



Project in Focus: An ancestral property on a tea plantation in the Nilgiris was converted into a contemporary luxury villa (below) by architect Sonia Gehlot, while Nanji styled the space with whimsical chandeliers and vintage finds from a local antique market.

Coming Up: A public art project with Aditya Thackeray; private residences in Alibag; a project to redesign a children’s park in Mumbai.




Recent Projects: Large-scale residential projects in Noida and Kolkata; and private residences for Siddharth Malhotra and Manish Malhotra—both in Mumbai.

Sourcing Haunts: Roberto Cavalli; Bentley Designs; Ralph Lauren Home; custom lighting fixtures from Timothy Oulton.


Iqrup Dhamija | Gurugram

Project in Focus: In this residence (featured image) in New Delhi, the architecture by Abhimanyu Dalal offers expansive views of the green surroundings, which Dhamija complements with rich wood panelling, soft-toned upholstery and delicate flourishes of classical and modern art.

Sourcing Haunts: Brown Rigg and Robert Kime for antiques; Arte and de Gournay for wallpapers; Pierre Frey and Mulberry for fabrics.


New Delhi

Project in Focus: A textured graphite staircase (below) stands in bold sculptural contrast to the soft ivory tones of the wall panelling and warm oak—an example of how Sultan balances texture and tone to create eye-catching tableaus throughout the house.

Collaborations: With Orvi for stone textures and inlays; with Peter D’Ascoli for custom fabrics; with HummingHaus for bespoke jute rugs.