“Every project is a reflection of our client’s personality”: Sonu Varghese on architecture and interior design

Designing homes is the most personal form of architecture. A home should reflect the personality and style of its inhabitants. This holds particularly true to Sonu Varghese, principal architect of Mirror Window. In an exclusive interview with Kolo, Sonu Varghese touches on the services provided by his architecture firm, their signature style and a rundown of their design process.

Kolo: Can you please talk a bit about yourself and introduce your firm?

Sonu Varghese: I am architect Sonu Varghese and I am the principal architect of the Architecture firm, Mirror Window. I studied B.Arch from SAP, GEC Thrissur and graduated in the year 2014. My team and I at Mirror Window have been working for the past 6 years. We have completed several residential projects which include planning, renovations, interior modulations and landscaping.

As the name of our firm stands, we believe that each project should be the reflection of our client’s identity and should be unique with transparency and connection with its surroundings.

Kolo: What are the services offered by your architecture firm?

Sonu Varghese: We do architectural services such as space planning, renovations and space modulations, landscaping and interior design. We have completed 20 residential projects and a few commercial projects. Along with the designing, we undertake the execution part as well, so that the projects come out as we have planned. We have a separate wing named “Turning Lane” which acts as a learning platform for budding architects. It was started with the aim that young architects can interact with us and can have hands-on experience with live projects.

Kolo: Do you have a signature style?

Sonu Varghese: We prefer to go with a tropical modern design if the site allows it. We always try to incorporate art and nature in our design. Both these can be achieved by adding paintings, sculptures or specially designed furniture and by introducing landscape and natural materials into the project. I don’t believe in limiting ourselves to a single style, as I said earlier, each project should be a reflection of the client’s identity and should have a character of its own.

Kolo: What is the design process like?

Sonu Varghese: Design starts with the site visit and initial client meeting. Understanding the client requirements and the site potential is the major part. Each site will have some limitations. Converting those limitations into potentials is where the design comes.

When we talk about new projects, there are several ways of doing them. We can either go with planning and then form development, or we can stick to a form and make the plan accordingly. We take it as a parallel process. First, a plan will be developed based on the client’s requirements and the basic form will be generated. In order to make the form interesting, we will rework the plan.

Kolo: What are some of the challenges you have faced during a project?

Sonu Varghese: Most of the challenges come from site conditions and client requirements. As we all know, the land for development is getting limited and most of the sites will be either small or with irregular shapes. We, at Mirror Window strongly believe that our structure should have a connection with the surroundings, and should be designed for that specific plot only. It shouldn’t be something that can be placed anywhere, irrespective of the context.

Another major challenge comes with the false belief people have regarding a project. Sometimes we are compelled to take the wrong decision in planning, in order to satisfy false beliefs. Architecture is science and you can’t mix it with personal beliefs.   

Kolo: How do you present your ideas and drawings?

Sonu Varghese: We always go with a minimalistic approach in the presentation so that people don’t get distracted from the core concept. When the design is finalized, we do the detailed three-dimensional model and show the client, so that he/she gets a clear idea of how the outcome will be. This includes detailed views of interior spaces and furniture. It makes the execution of the project much easier as the workers can understand each space and material used. Detailed drawings of the same will be provided along with the material specification.

Kolo: Can you talk a bit about a project that you were really proud of?

Sonu Varghese: All projects are close to our hearts as each project gives us a better opportunity to study and improve. One among them is Dolphin nose residence, done for Mr Ashin Basheer at Kodungallur. As we had the freedom to be creative, we could come out with an interesting form with good special qualities. The main highlight of the design was a cantilevered entertainment room which acts as a shade for the outdoor sit out space. The residence itself was placed in a tilted way so that it aligns with the compound wall and gives a wide view of the structure. 

Kolo: Can you share some pictures of your recent projects?

Kolo: Is there anything you would like to tell our community?

Sonu Varghese: It’s always good to see people having healthy conversations about Architecture. More discussions should happen regarding the development plans and design ideas. It helps in understanding the social needs and crafting a better space for society. Radical thought processes and open-minded thinking are necessary for the upliftment of our society.

I thank team kolo, for inviting me for the discussion and for your effort in creating a platform for discussing art and architecture.

Kolo: How can they contact you?

Sonu Varghese: Contact number: 9567806333

Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/mirrorwindow.in/?utm_medium=copy_link

Website: www.mirrorwindow.in, will be launching soon.