Architecture BRIO is actively engaged in the creation of contextually appropriate solutions within an increasingly changing world. Set up in Mumbai in April 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. The studio was selected amongst the "AD50", the Architectural Digest India list of the most influential designers in India in 2014 and again in 2016. 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 practice works with a thorough understanding of Architecture and its related fields. It seeks to develop design as its core strength and primary focus. Its uniqueness lies in the diverse backgrounds and cultures that its principals are rooted in. Combining exposure and knowledge in European forte of innovation and detailing with the richness of Asian tradition and culture it has developed a design philosophy that goes beyond the norm.
An energetic team of in-house 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.
Architecture BRIO currently has a broad range of projects both in the public and private realm. It thrives at the idea of this wide variety and scales of its projects and is not defined by a particular genre. 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.
Architecture BRIO finds it important to stay connected to the field of academics and interacts with students through teaching and juries. The practice participates in various workshops both in India and Internationally. These include interactions with other architects, artists and a wide variety of design professionals. Architecture BRIO is strongly influenced by these related fields and emphasises on design and its representation methodology. The documentation and visualization of a project is therefore as significant as the final finished product.
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.
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.
Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Robert Verrijt's passion is traveling. Much of his summer holidays were spent exploring Mediterranean villages and cities. After being awarded 2nd place at the Dutch Archiprix for his masters thesis in Architecture at the TUDelft he moved to Sri Lanka where he joined the office of Channa Daswatte, one of Geoffrey Bawa's protégés. His work here included renovations, houses, high end condominiums, boutique resorts and hotels. In Mumbai he has taught part time at the KRVIA school of Architecture, and the Balwant Sheth School of Architecture.
Born in Mumbai, India, Shefali Balwani studied at the renowned School of Architecture C.E.P.T in Ahmedabad. After completing here thesis on the Architecture of contemporary mosques she moved back to Mumbai to work with Rahul Mehrotra. In 2004 she joined the office of Channa Daswatte in Sri Lanka where she was responsible for a variety of projects such as the part refurbishment of Geoffrey Bawa's Lighthouse Hotel.