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Architecture BRIO is actively engaged in the creation of contextually appropriate solutions within an increasingly changing world. Set up in Mumbai in 2006, it is a design studio focusing primarily on the fields of Architecture and Interior Design. Over the years the studio has thrived with an energetic team of architects led by Shefali Balwani (C.E.P.T, India) and Robert Verrijt (TUDelft, the Netherlands).

Over the past decade Architecture BRIO has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards. The project House on a Stream won the award for the best residential design at the NDTV Home Design of the Year Awards 2013, the Trends Excellence Awards 2014, and the JKC Architecture of the Year Award 2015 and 2017. In 2014, they were awarded the "Best Practice in India" at the Trends Excellence Awards 2014. Casa Brio received the award for the Best Residential Interior at the NDTV Architecture & Design Awards of 2015. The studio was selected amongst the "AD50", the Architectural Digest India list of the most influential designers in India in 2014, 2016, 2017 and in 2018

The seed of Architecture BRIO was planted in Sri Lanka, where the founders in the early start of their life as architects, immersed themselves in the tremendous body of work by the late architect Geoffrey Bawa. While his work is often situated in the most breathtaking, but sensitive environmental settings, his interventions were bold and often extreme. Nevertheless his architecture contradictorily did not lead to a domination and submission of its surroundings. This duality explored within the context of a drastically changing world has become one of the main themes in the work of the practice.

Over ten years later, Architecture BRIO's work field spans a vast variety of cultures, climates and landscapes across the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. Each project is seen as a challenge and opportunity to uncover the unique characteristics of these specific conditions, investigating which intervention has a potential for positive change and impact in the way we deal with our natural and built world. Simultaneously the studio believes that architecture should remain a backdrop to life rather than taking centre stage.

The practice works with a thorough understanding of Architecture and its related fields. It seeks to develop design as its core strength and primary focus. An energetic team of between 15 to 20 architects works intensively with engineers, consultants, designers and the client, welcoming new insights that can lead to specific innovative solutions. It believes strongly in design as a process with an intensive dialogue. It uses models, both physical and virtual, as tools for communication between clients, engineers and architects. This encourages programmatic and engineering concepts to be fully integrated into the design right from the conception.

architectural models top view

Architecture BRIO works on a broad range of projects both in the public and private realm. It thrives in this wide variety and scales of its projects. Regardless of a projects scale, a common basis of the practice is its commitment to exemplary planning, design and execution. It approaches a design brief in an open and explorative manner before arriving at a common standpoint. This then acts as a clear concept, which guides the design process.

Conceptual Diagram

Architecture BRIO actively engages with research and seeks out collaborations with institutes and organisations. The principles lecture regularly in India and abroad and teach occasionally at the KRVIA school of Architecture, and the Balwant Sheth School of Architecture in Mumbai.

With billionBricks, an NGO committed to eradicate homelessness, they set up a dedicated studio called Bb-Studio. The innovation design studio consults with communities, NGOs and governments to provide scalable high-quality buildings and infrastructure solutions. 

As part of the Bandra Collective, the firm is involved with research and design of public space in the city. The group of architects, all living or working in Bandra share design resources and ideas that could benefit life in their neighbourhood.

project documentation Butterfly Reserve

Aesthetics, technological and environmentally friendly innovativeness are the corner stones of its guiding philosophy. Creating solutions for a context where architecture is continuously affected by scarcity is an inherent part of its design philosophy. Scarcity, whether it is in terms of the availability of materials and energy, building time, skilled labour, financial scarcity or restrictions due to remote locations of projects. Architecture BRIO's approach to tackling these constraints is to search for smart solutions. The solutions should not only solve but also resonate the complex problems out which they arise in the first place.

interdisciplinary integration of sustainable solutions

The practice believes that there is a need to promote rapid, widespread acceptance of sustainable solutions. The challenge is to generate fresh ideas that carry out self-sufficient systems on a large scale. The potentials of new building techniques, re-appropriating materials in an effective and durable way, and intelligent energy concepts should be uncovered and integrated in an innovative way in architecture. With energy reduction and sustainability as a starting point attempts to create innovative and exciting architecture. BRIO, much like the name, is about buildings that give energy both literally and metaphorically and therefore inspire and make people happy.

Robert Verrijt

Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Robert Verrijt received a Master of Science in Architecture at the TUDelft. Shortly after graduating he moved to Sri Lanka to study Geoffrey Bawa's architecture and and joined the office of Channa Daswatte. The office gave him the opportunity to work on various residential and hospitality projects in a wide variety of landscapes and contexts such as the Kurulu Bedda Boutique Resort. In 2006 he moved to Mumbai to set up Architecture BRIO with Shefali Balwani.

Shefali Balwani

Shefali Balwani is a practising architect and founder principal and director of Architecture BRIO. Born in Mumbai she studied at the renowned School of Architecture C.E.P.T. in Ahmedabad. After working with Rahul Mehrotra in Mumbai, she joined in 2004 the office of Channa Daswatte in Sri Lanka where she worked on some of the office's prestigious hospitality projects. In 2006 she established Architecture BRIO together with Robert Verrijt in her hometown Mumbai.