Mr Anoop Bartaria
October 28, 2018
“It’s easy to be inspired by others, but difficult to be your own inspiration. Mr Anoop Bartaria, Founder Chairman and Principal Consultant, Sincere Architects, has left his architectural imprints all across India, with over 800 projects in his well rounded career. This go-getter of stainless repute confides in stainless steel for a better future for India. He believes that stainless steel is truly ageless. Stainless Post in conversation with the man who is building the infrastructure of tomorrow.”
What was your first encounter with Stainless Steel like? What inspired you to choose this metal?
Encounters with stainless steel start right from birth – we enter the world surrounded by this material in the hospital. In my architectural life, I have experimented with a lot of materials, but my first stainless steel experience was in 1992. I was working on a project for Autolite India Limited where I used stainless steel bars to hold my hanging equipment. My confidence in this material developed simply due to its resistance towards weathering and atmospheric conditions, which generally depletes other materials such as mild steel, copper, or brass. Soon, I realized that there are no st ructural deformi t ies inside the basic composition of the stainless steel. Slowly, it became one of the most desired materials for plumbing too. Culturally, in the last 20-25 years, the industry’s focus started revolving around hygiene, and stainless steel emerged as a metal synonymous with it. I have been working on a lot of hospital projects, where I believe stainless steel is irreplaceable. From the basic lines which supplied RO water, people have now realized the true potential of this metal; stainless steel is now the new norm for supplying clean water. I have been using metals like gunmetal, brass and bronze to a great extent, but because stainless steel has its own advantages, some of my sculptures will soon see the light of the day with this material.
Apart from structural stability, do you think it has any role in aesthetics?
Absolutely! Stainless steel is ageless; it looks as fresh as it looked 25 years back. Stainless steel offers a lot of finishes and gives an architect a lot of room to experiment with different textures. I have even built walls and panels out of stainless steel. I intend to further explore the use of stainless steel for cladding materials in buildings for elevation. It will be interesting for people to see an entire building made up of stainless steel.
A lot of people believe that stainless steel only complements other materials. Do you think that the metal has its own relevance?
It’s a creative world, and creativity knows no boundaries. As a designer, I feel that no material should be classified into a single usage. Even mud can become my main material in some projects. It solely depends on the theme of the project. The liveliness of any material depends on its change of applications, driven by research and innovation in the industry. Coming to stainless steel, I believe that the material has not been used to even 0.1% of its potential. There is still so much left to be explored.
Share an experience where you were challenged for using stainless steel.
I was designing a space frame, which is usually done with mild steel and is powder-coated for extra sturdiness. Since stainless steel has the distinct advantage of being structurally strong without requiring external support , we recommended using it to the client. Although the client disagreed to use it for the space frame, the small prototype was made in stainless steel. In a way, stainless steel forged the foundation of even a mild steel structure. The future depends upon the tooling capacity of stainless steel into sheets. If a research takes place on producing thin, yet durable stainless steel sheets, then i t could revolut ionize cladding material usage in buildings. Even camera tripods can come up in stainless steel. It all depends on how the material is used. It is a bread and butter material for product designers.
What has your relationship with Jindal Stainless been like?
My direct interaction is limited to policy and research. While I drive the vision for projects, execution is carried out through a lot of vendors who get in touch with Jindal Stainless. Currently, I am interacting with Jindal Stainless for modular kitchen sets as stainless steel is the perfect serving for household hygiene.
Let us talk about some of your prominent projects so far that include stainless steel.
I’ve done more than 800 projects so far, and stainless steel has been used in some way or the other in almost all my projectshospitals, hotels, and homes. Because of its multiple uses, it will be difficult for me to remember any project where I have not used stainless steel! Even in the World Trade Park in Jaipur, a lot of engineering site support system, which has been exposed for aesthetics, is made up entirely of stainless steel. I imagine doing an entire project soon where everything from doors to floors will have stainless steel. Perhaps, a small prototype house can be made entirely out of the metal to make architects aware of the material’s extensive usage.
What were your thoughts behind designing World Trade Park in Jaipur?
I did not want Jaipur to remain as a beautiful museum city; I saw a vision, for the city to be buzzing economically. So, it was in 2004, that I decided to go for an economic powerhouse project, which later brewed into WTP. The environment of this project is conducive to modernity, which contrasts the heritage charm of Jaipur.
As someone who has left his imprints all over the city, how do you feel about the stainless stature you have garnered?
There is only one motto which keeps driving me and that is to start my day, every day at zero. I try to prove myself every day. The smile and contention on my client’s face is the only award I look forward to.
What is your message to the young architect so four country?
India has been the mother of innovation and art. If you go back 4000 years of history, you will find a plethora of artful creations that were developed in the country. The most popular Versace border is actually a design you see in our temples from the 11th century. We have a historical experience of innovating with shapes and sizes. My faith in the young generation is huge because they have the capacity to guide the world. Architects have a big onus on them because our profession is noble. A bad workmanship can spoil a cityscape for centuries. My message to them is that they should use their skill – set s responsibly, just like they are furthering God’s work of creation.
Who have been the major influencers in your life?
It’s easy to be inspired by others,but difficult to be your own inspiration. I am still striving for that. I am inspired by labourers working, common men and any one following a passion. An act of tightening the screw of a camera could inspire me. Inspiration cannot be chained to a person or a personality; otherwise we all will be mere xerox copies of each other. Since I often paint, I love the work of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Do you see yourself building the country by entering into politics?
Not at the moment, but the future is unknown. I would certainly like to contribute to the development of India because I love my country and want to see it be the best in the world. One lifetime is too short to achieve this. I believe we should contribute our live towards public good. For now, I think architectural creation is the way to make my country proud.