Shikhara / Wallmakers; Pothencode, Trivandrum, Kerala, 2019. Image © Jino Sam
Most architects design projects in the comfort of their offices, sitting behind their desks, making decisions by looking at their flatscreens, never visiting a construction site, and managing everything remotely. This attitude may lead to a design of a sleek and even objectively beautiful building. But such a solution can’t be anywhere near a genuine response to what any given site may require. How do you even find out? Is it possible to build something new as if it were an extension of what is already there in the most innate, consequential, yet original form? The only way to find out is to start from the site itself, says Vinu Daniel, the founder of Wallmakers, an award-winning architectural practice in Trivandrum, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala.