• TADstories with Devendra, Parth and Vishal Chitte | De’caves by Chitte Architects

    De’caves by Chitte Architects is an architectural firm based in Vadodara, Gujarat. Specializing in architecture as well as interiors by Ar. Devendra, his son Ar. Parth and Vishal Chitte.

    De’caves by Chitte Architects is a modern workplace led by Ar. Devendra, Ar. Parth, and Ar. Vishal Chitte in the bustling city of Vadodara. Their works explore varied expressions in terms of interiors and architecture along with a subtle sense of modernity. In this conversation with The Architect’s Diary, the Chitte men narrates their ideology in design and their journey through various projects.

    team of De'caves by Chitte architects

    Who are the Chitte Architects? What is the story behind De’caves?

    Dwelling along the caves and living upon sand, stone, and wood was the root form of architecture. Trading back to our roots and to follow the footsteps of our art and history is our main purpose and that is where we derived the name from (Design Caves). De’Caves by Chitte Architects is in service for over 35 years, evolving an approach to grasp the true nature of architecture, bringing transparency in the spaces and to nature. It is a multidimensional architectural firm with design engagement at various levels.

    house design by De'caves by Chitte architects

    Our works vary from small Interior design projects to large scale Master Planning with sites located around Pan India. Here all of us strive to raise the bar, seeking to push the envelope in small ways. We engage with environmental concerns and human aspirations through our Design & Research Works. And we persistently endeavor, seeking more professionalism, more client satisfaction, strict scheduling/ meeting of deadlines. Our associate consultants are equally motivated, inspiring us to continuously better ourselves. In addition, De’Caves has the essence of past and sight of future. And we are here to serve with a solace living experience.

    Our relationship with our projects is a lifetime journey.

    The first project of an architect is an interesting peek into the architectural journey. What was it, and how did you tackle the challenges of setting up your firm?

    Prioritizing the clients’ need and comfort to deliver best design solutions is our thumb rule since the beginning. And we believe in working with a broad palette of themes instead of sticking to a particular “Design Language.”

    The encounter of handling the first project is quite similar to the experience of driving a car for the very first time; till then, you just have been on the passenger seat evidencing the journey. The designer’s mindset at that point in time is very curious yet nervous. Right from convincing the client for the produced design proposals till getting the project execution along with tackling the challenges coming up at each stage.

    It does take a toll on the way of thinking, although, this is where one should trust their thought process and the design ethics. Always being open to fruitful changes and flexibility according to the site conditions with a “Practical” work approach, always leads you to the best outcomes.

    Interiors by De'caves by Chitte architects

    What or who is the biggest influence on your design style?

    Primarily, we refrain from binding our design typology to a specific style or era. The goal for each design project is to make it like a “habitable sculpture” in such a way that it appears to be live and stands out of the stereotypes, breaking the prevailing “Trends.”

    Nature is the biggest inspirational source for us. Where biomimetic themes and curvilinear forms have always been our go to concepts which further gets refined, considering the climate, client, structural requirements, material challenges, and site scopes in order to achieve best outcomes. Our prime focus is technicality and practicality as we use each element according to the need of the space just like the proportions of the spices in a particular cuisine.

    In the past few years, especially after Covid, there has been a rapid change in residential design trends. What is one trend change that you encourage seeing in the field?

    One noticeable change after those difficult times is that people are now aware about their perspective towards the quality of life as well as the standard of living. They know their needs and requirements in a more clear manner according to our observations. And focus is being laid more on their own needs rather than just going with the flow. This has resulted into a self refining thought process from a designer’s point of view as well.

    A few planning level considerations leading to maximum intake of natural light and air and increasing the connection with natural elements has been one of the core thoughts since then. In contrast, the other deliberations have always been necessary but not sufficient. Also, achieving human comfort through spaces that affect mind positively are aspired through use of various materials and technologies. Enhancing one’s standard of living with physical, mental and social well being.

    De'caves by Chitte Architects

    Your project, Floating Boxes, is quite different compared to your other projects. What kind of challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

    Each project brings its own set of opportunities and challenges. Unlike the past projects, this one offered us a comparatively huge piece of land, covered with trees on the site. Clearly, the location of trees and the strong urge to retain them in order to justify the natural form of the site was the biggest challenge for us from the initial stage. Utilizing this aspect, we did look forward to using them as an organic screening wall helping us to provide a glass façade on the south facing side which is not a major practice to avoid the scorching sun.

    This resulted in having panoramic views of the front lawn from all the major indoor areas and establishing the connection of indoor and outdoor spaces without that side getting heated up due to sunlight. This was one of the major factors for the linear volumetric distribution of the structure and keeping it confined only till a single floor to effectively utilize the horizontal expanse as per the design requirement.

    What is your strategy to transform a given space into a masterpiece in terms of budget constraints?

    Focusing on the client’s needs and their use of the space helps all the time to find a way out of the bottleneck situations. This approach by De’caves by Chitte Architects of task oriented designing takes care of the functionality along with balancing the aesthetics of any given space.

    Analyzing the user’s mind, understanding their lifestyle and condition, developing a vision that best suits their likings, exploring different materials wisely leads to many options of visually pleasing yet appropriately functional spaces without raising the financial bar too high in terms of project expenditure through effective utilization of various materials, concepts, color combinations, etc.

    If you had the opportunity to redesign a famous building, what would it be, and how would you do it?

    Here, at De’caves by Chitte Architects, we always believe in the power of logic and rational thinking. If there’s any building that is famous, we would be quite interested in investing the time and energy to research about its background, reasons behind it being famous, its purpose, whether it really needs a change or manipulation. This allows one to understand the design values and offers a respectful gesture to the knowledge and experience of the one who designed it in the first place.

    We have always had a very sensitive corner for the heritage buildings as they are not just precious gifts by the former generations but also a symbol of our identity. Looking at the current condition of many such buildings, awakens a strong urge amongst ourselves to work for their restoration to help them regain their glory. Secondly, we desire to work for the urban spaces belonging to the governing authorities. Dedicatedly not only to the citizens but also the ones that help the buildings shape the identity of the space along with retaining the natural ecosystem while being self sustainable.

    Bedroom design by De'caves by Chitte architects

    Starting your own firm poses several challenges. What advice would you give to the upcoming architects and interior designers to avoid the apparent hurdles?

    Maintaining balance between every aspect right from the facts associated with the project conditions till the crucial and challenging design decisions is vitally crucial. One’s mind is very likely to get flooded with various thoughts at an initial stage. Though, this is when all morals and ethics play a key role in shaping up the prestige as a designer. Focusing on your strongest points, polishing your flairs to achieve the best outcomes is what should be done. With keeping yourself updated in the material advancements and resources on a daily basis that justifies being a designer.

    Being strong and knowledgeable regarding knowing about the functional value and services will always put you ahead of others. Prioritizing time and developing the skill to effectively manage it, keeping the flow, never lets the rhythm obstruct. It also will help you keep moving ahead always.

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