Our International Creative Space special draws to an end with Director and Co-Founder of design practice, align.
align is a London-based interior architecture and design agency, specialising in workplace design, but active across a variety of sectors, including commercial interiors, hospitality and residential. Gurvinder Khurana, who you may remember from our Spark44 Case Study Film earlier in the month, is a passionate and highly-creative designer and she tell us about an inspirational space that has got her creativity going recently.
So Gurvinder, What is your International Creative Space?
My family is Indian and India has therefore always been a part of my life. Whenever I visit, I make a point of seeing something new; I love to travel and feed my creativity whilst learning a little more about my heritage each time I go.After a 12-year gap I visited India again with my family in December of last year and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur was one of my new experiences. It is truly one of the most magical aspects of the Pink City and the Royal Palace complex.
Built by the King in 1799, it is only one room deep and effectively more of a screen than a palace. It allowed the women of the royal house to look out at the city and watch its festivals without ever being seen. It was also designed to be their playground….to play hide and seek in. I love its playfulness and sense of fun.The building is intricate in its detailing and, with the world evolving as it is with technology, a great reminder of just how many artisans would have carefully carved every window façade panel, column and internal screen by hand. For me, it really is a work of art.But I think I fell in love with the Hawa Mahal above all for its play of light and shadow. Even with hordes of tourists around, it’s as delicate in its feeling as the window lattice screens that filter the light through. I love the way the sunlight permeates the space and bounces off some of the coloured glass in the walls, creating rainbows on the pale sandstone floor. You can imagine love stories and dancing through the long corridors of a time gone by and it makes me sigh and smile at the same time.Anything that can generate so many feelings in you as you pass through, is not only magical but truly inspiring!