Developing integrated design, which is valuable, cost effective and luxurious
In an exclusive interview, Monica Malhotra Kandhari, MD, MBD Group, shares more about her design company, use of indigenous and locally inspired products in design, sustainable design trends and more.
MBD DesignNBuild is a luxury design-and-build service provider, serving discerning clients across the globe. Their design and development portfolio covers architecture, interiors, fit-outs and turnkey solutions for residential, office, retail, commercial, hospitality and mixed-use developments. “Our services include feasibility study, cost consultancy, project management, architecture and interior design solutions and 360-degree turnkey solutions. We undertake complicated design-and-build projects while perfectly blending form with function. Our work is distinguished for its crafted affluence, sustainability ethos and optimal resource use,” stated Kandhari. From building design to interior décor ideas and concepts, they craft products and environments down to the finest detail; handcrafted furniture, rich fabrics, luxury lighting and accessories or famous artworks.
Indigenous art for design
They believe in developing integrated design, which is truly valuable, cost effective and affordably luxurious. Use of indigenous and locally inspired products is their USP, which connects them with local culture. Dynamism in design and speed for innovation is their vision. Their recent project includes – a chain of Pastry Shops – “The Chocolate Box” in Ludhiana, refurbishment of hotel guestrooms of Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida that defines uber luxury emulating the fashion and impeccable interiors. Wherein astonishingly ornate design of TCB at the MBD Neopolis mall atrium on the ground floor is a visual delight for the eyes with a friendly vibe. “We are currently working on the design concept for an affordable hotel chain which includes guestroom, lobby and restaurant. We are planning to convert offline design working environment to online design working environment. We are also conducting research and development of materials which are environment friendly and resist viruses and microbes to introduce in our design; like the surface paints that have been developed by manufacturers which resist viruses for some days. We are working on development of GREEN Building design that can cater to the need of an era which is more sensitive towards health and hygiene post pandemic or during pandemic.” She added.
Developing green buildings
Covid-19 has compelled all of us to take stringent steps towards our environment. Due to the lockdown situation all across the world, nature has repaired itself and shown us that together we can save the environment and our natural resources. Developing green buildings is the only solution to overcome this problem, and developing green buildings in design, construction and operation is the key. Kandhari said, “Factors such as site selection, reuse of water, use of recycle material, asbestos-free material, reuse of topsoil, managing construction waste, use of local materials, pollutant emission and noise emission during construction activities, ventilation effectiveness, use of light colours, etc. The current crisis has demonstrated that sustainable design is our necessity, and Covid-19 has taught us a lesson. It made us realise that our health and well-being are direct results of our immediate environment. Our design approach has to be organic in nature and minimalistic in structure; we have to develop a spatial relationship between interior and exterior of the building so as to connect with greenery, wind and water.
We encourage any construction development with timber to reduce the carbon footprint, incorporate green roofs with vegetable garden in the building which is irrigated with recycled-waste-treated water, use of huge glass windows to have maximum lighting and incorporating cross ventilation space design to enhance air circulation.” Development of a sustainable design will see greater return in the social and economic sense because the cost of not doing so will be more than any monetary or opportunity cost.
Restoration and redesign
Khandari went on to say that, “There is a huge demand across the world with regard to restoration and redesigning of hotels for post pandemic or during pandemic era. Main focus of designing will be on reducing interaction with staff, guests and surfaces. Technology plays a key role in achieving this; thus, we encourage contactless check-in, built-in thermal scanners and non-touch panels in elevators. Advance software driven by artificial intelligence and Internet of things can bring everything under one roof and give the experience of high touch hospitality. Use of high-performance ventilation systems; replacing soft surfaces with hard; curtains with colour-changing glass; minimising use of carpet on floors and using more tiles or stone to achieve hygiene and less maintenance are steps which are being implemented. Installation of smart window shades activated by sun-tracking technology and lighting systems that use sensory detection to adjust brightness are also being undertaken. Important structural change will be made in all the hotels like Introduction of “paternoster” -- a kind of lift from the first half of the twentieth century, which consists of a continuous chain of open compartments for one or two people rather than a closed lift for numerous people. If viruses continue, this will be the only option. If it is temporary, we can avoid implementing this option.”
Current business opportunities
Elaborating on the same she said, “There are various countries with stable economies, and they have the capability of spending in real estate. Due to India-China relationship there is a demand shift which has taken place from China to India. The export market has been booming with regard to demand of various products and services. Also, it is the best time for investors to invest in real estate due to liquidity crunch in the market. Property buyers can easily avail this opportunity. We as a design-and-build company can offer our services with regard to its feasibility study and future design concept to prove a project as a best buy for an investor. Rise in online grocery and material retail has further given rise to warehouse storage sheds. There is ample opportunity in the market for design and space-planning work.”
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