There is no single bigger adversity facing humankind than the environmental challenges of global warming, biodiversity loss, and waste. We are standing at a crossroads and architecture is not the answer in isolation, but it is a part of the solution. Studio SAAR has the ambition to create sustainable solutions for society and propelled by a strong interest in cross-cultural sharing of ideas, methodologies and technologies.
We work to some simple principles to realise these aspirations:
Embedding social value
In projects big and small, an environmentally and socially-centred design process delivers architecture embedded with meaningful social value – for people, communities and the environment beyond
Studio Saar believes that spaces should empower the people experiencing them – lifting spirits, inspiring and building confidence. For us, the qualitative metrics of wellbeing are as important as the quantitative measurements of architectural success.
We bring a distinctive and valuable multicultural perspective to architecture. Through researching new materials, innovative environmental solutions or new approaches to urbanism the practice learns from the cultural stories of both the UK and India.
Studio Saar’s architecture is rooted in an understanding of the importance of people, culture and place. Wherever in the world, our approach interprets vernacular traditions through a contemporary lens to deliver innovative, relevant and beautiful design solutions.
A dual-national perspective on sustainability
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the world’s environmental challenges, and we believe that technology doesn’t always have the answer. From design that ‘nudges’ users towards greater awareness of energy and water usage to research into the lifecycles of materials and buildings, the practice’s approach on sustainability is underpinned by systems thinking.
The art of making
The iterative evolution of the design process – from sketchbook to modelmaking and from carpentry studio to construction site – is key to our approach. The act of making runs as a thread throughout our design development, expanded through in-depth dialogue with artisans and craftspeople. Ultimately it is communicated in the practice’s buildings as a joyful expression of tectonics and shared endeavour.
Thresholds and in-between space
No building is an island and our thinking extends beyond the building envelope to the sequences of transitionary threshold spaces that introduce architecture to context. Within buildings, too, in-between spaces are of particular importance to us, creating areas of connection, chance encounters and transitions that are crucial to the way people feel and experience space and community.
Ananya met Jonny at Bath in 2003, forming the friendship that Studio Saar is founded on. Ananya went on to work on private projects in the United Kingdom and India, specifically for Secure Meters, including two IGBC platinum rated green buildings. Ananya created the first list of heritage buildings in Udaipur for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and worked at Sangath with Pritzker Prize winning architect Dr BV Doshi and Rajeev Khatpalia. He works at Secure Meters as a part of the leadership team and the design lead at Studio Saar. He is a keen photographer and furniture designer/maker.
Jonny began his career studying alongside Ananya in 2003 at the University of Bath, UK. Almost twenty years later Studio Saar has been established to continue their shared vision in crafting uplifting places and spaces. Jonny gained his professional qualifications at London Metropolitan University studying under Professor Maurice Mitchel and Professor Robert Mull, which embedded a strong interest in social value architecture. Jonny has previously worked for two Stirling Prize winning practices, FeildenCleggBradley Studios and AllfordHallMonaghanMorris before setting up practice independently. Jonny is an ARB RIBA registered architect in the UK.