REDesign One Studio, winner of the Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the Best Luxury Architect Studio category, was founded by architect and current Managing Director Dan Ameresekere upon his return to Sri Lanka. He brings his qualifications from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, both Ivy League universities, as well as award-winning design inspiration from experiences in the US and Singapore to lead his team. With a reputation as one of the premier architectural practices in the country, the Design One Studio team consists of multi-talented specialists who work together to design and implement a variety of projects across the country. We spoke to Dan about how his international experiences have inspired him and the company’s style and ethos.
Luxury Lifestyle Awards: What would you like to bring to the world of interior design and architecture in Sri Lanka?
Dan Amerekere:We hope to bring new, fresh ideas… thinking bold, innovative and unconventional. Sri Lanka has a long history of grand buildings and, in and more recently, a tropical modern architectural tradition. It is time to respect our past and our traditions, but also to think forward to create a new identity with our design and architecture. We should not just focus on our glorious past and not settle for the various design movements of the present, but look to a future together full of hope to dream and create magic and awe. Our challenge is to translate this wonder from within into an architectural language, into spaces and built forms.
What have you integrated into your company that you have learned from your extensive international experience?
We strive for excellence, whether it’s a large, blended project or a pro bono charity, we do our best to find a solution that we’re proud of. With our open office policy and bottom-up, participatory leadership style, employees are valued, recognized and nurtured. Since not only the employees are important, but also their workplace, great importance was attached to the design of the workplace so that the Design One studio environment promotes creativity. Through all of this, a serving heart is instilled in the corporate culture, in which we see all our work as a means to achieve our customers’ dreams, improve human life and bring dignity to everything we do.
What makes your company’s offering so exceptional?
A culture of questioning – we must question everything. Nothing is taken for granted. There has to be a reason for everything. Developing such a mindset is so important to create new things. We need to broaden our own perspectives, and this open approach needs to go hand-in-hand with a fresh, bold approach to design. As designers, we create something out of nothing. The first stroke of a pencil on paper, the first line of a drawing on the computer is the beginning of a new journey of discovery. This process of innovation and invention needs to be embraced and developed to create a strong design culture. Then this design process is translated into a unique and bespoke building form with personalized service,
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Every project has a story to tell. It is often inspired by the location, the client, or the program. This story must be told through space and architectural language. She finds herself from the first sketch to the final details. Often nature finds its way into some of our projects to tell this story. Our organic forms, found in many of our projects, have their origins in nature. For example, I remember designing four different projects side by side on Sentosa Island in Singapore. However, each of these projects was very different from each other because each had a different starting point and wanted to tell its own story. One was inspired by the waves of the sea
What kind of projects have you tackled since the company was founded?
We have designed a variety of projects of different scales – from bespoke designer homes to entire city planning… from a simple bus shelter to complex transportation hubs… from a rooftop lounge to mixed-use high-rise projects. Every project offers a unique opportunity to create something beautiful and new, regardless of size or scale. We welcome every design process to find a unique solution for each project.
What challenges do you face in the design and construction process?
If new forms are planned, they must also be built and constructed. Finding good contractors who are passionate about details is a challenge. There are skilled craftsmen who do not understand the traditional architectural drawings. We must learn to communicate in a language they understand so that our ideas can reach their full potential. For example, we have worked with some specialized manufacturing companies to produce custom made lights and unique brass products like custom made brass doors, unique made brass door handles and other accessories for luxury projects. This was possible when we partnered and worked with manufacturers to develop new, unique designs and details.
How important are environmental aspects in the development of your designs?
The environment is always important and we have taken a sustainable approach to design from the start. Passive solar energy strategies, the placement and orientation of the building form on the site, the way natural light and cross ventilation are brought into the project are factors we consider in all our work. The use of technologies to save energy and manage the systems inside buildings allows us to build smart buildings that are not only elegant in design but also efficient and minimize the waste of resources.
How important is excellent customer service to your business?
The customer is king is an old adage, but it’s true! We respect our customers and strive to provide the best personal service. Listening to them, understanding their needs and providing them with a solution that meets their needs is at the core of our business. As a boutique practice, personalized attention is assured within a corporate structure where company systems and policies have created a culture where our clients come first… Repeat clients and referrals are a testament to satisfied clients.
How do you attract the people you need to meet your own and your customers’ expectations?
We try to hire the best. Straight from the school of design. Many of them are top of their class and have won design awards at school. We take them on early so we can play a big part in mentoring and developing the best designers they can be. In addition, we teach them how to lead, take responsibility and be part of a team. The creative work environment and participative management style encourage her to thrive in the studio. We have an international internship program with the University of Colombo, where aspiring designers from Europe and Asia intern with us.
How big is the demand for bespoke design in Sri Lanka right now?
There is a section of the Sri Lankan population that is interested in bespoke designs. You’re looking for something fresh and bold. They are looking for designers who think outside the box. This is where we come in with our innovation and style, offering a personal service.
What trends do you currently see?
Big budgets with lavish spending have been replaced by careful thinking that focuses on the core needs of current projects. We need to think globally but design locally, with materials available on the local market. The pandemic has taught us to focus on what is available around us and to use these limited resources in creative ways, even in the face of difficulties in transportation and trade.
What are your trend forecasts for the future in Sri Lanka and around the world?
Looking beyond the pandemic to the development potential, we see a big push in developing projects in Asia, with a mid and long-term post-pandemic boom. The Port City Island project, a landfill in front of Colombo’s financial district, has started marketing its land. This would be a turning point for Sri Lanka, returning the country to its former glory as the pearl of the Indian Ocean and the hub for all trade in that part of the world.
What developments do you see for your company in the future?
Having personally been involved in the transformation of Singapore’s Sentosa Island from a deserted island into one of the most desirable residential addresses in the world, it is our aim to transfer that experience to Colombo’s first island project, Port City. Also in Port City, the recently raised site is to be developed as a unique waterfront address for the luxury market, global offices and as a gateway to Asia. We have held initial discussions with several Japanese, Chinese and Sri Lankan investors interested in developing land on this new island.
Do you have plans to expand internationally?
Having lived in the United States, Singapore and now back in Sri Lanka, we are familiar with international realities and markets. We are currently working on a twin tower project in Shenzhen, China. We hope and strive to meet design needs around the world. We have design partnerships in Singapore, Milan and Doha and hope to venture into new markets like the Middle East and Maldives together.
How has the global pandemic affected your business?
While the initial shock has worn off, we have adapted and introduced a sustainable form of remote work. She has also encouraged us to explore new markets and new ways of working together. The inner contemplation has helped us to reorient ourselves, to focus on our strengths and to look forward to the exciting new possibilities that the future offers.
What are your goals for the short and long term future of Design One Studio?
To be the best architectural office in Sri Lanka providing design services to international clients around the world where world class design goes hand in hand with outstanding customer service. We want to realize projects that are beautiful and magical, but also functional and environmentally responsible and of which everyone involved can be proud.
For more information please visit http://designone.lk/
Luxury Lifestyle Awards is a global awards show that recognizes, celebrates and promotes the very best in luxury goods and services around the world. The company’s goal is to connect people with the best of luxury. LLA has rated more than 10,000 different goods and services in 400 categories from 60 countries and analyzed the results to bring you a TOP list of the best of the best in the world. World-renowned brands such as Chanel, Dom Perignon and Ferrari were proudly named winners. Victory brings the company status and recognition, worldwide publicity and access to a whole new clientele.
For more information please visit: https://luxurylifestyleawards.com/
Original Source: PRESTIGE MAGAZIN