Saying NO to Trump!

  • April 21, 2016
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The travails of selling real estate came home to us forcefully in the last few months.

We are  rather happily engaged with designing and monitoring the construction of an office building in Baroda that we  in the office called “ The Alchemists Abode” the name referring to the clients metallurgical business interests.

The building is  now formally called “ Ark”, in reference to a space where ideas will be safe and nurtured, and the idea of life will live.

Parts of the project have been inspired by Paul Klees, 1929  painting “Uncomposed Objects in Space” ( above)

09-view-from-basement-courtyardThe atrium inspired by Klee.

The building uses the premise of using the idea of a tense chaos and suspended imbalance and yet denoting  a stillness, as an allegorical reference to life today, and reflects it  as an ode to Klee in the atrium.

The office spaces bathed in soft light are calmer.

Then one day of course  Walter,  the  much loved artist from Ahmedabad, took over the building, and used it as his autobiographical sketchbook, with concrete, boulders, and wire mesh as his graphite. So suddenly the building became his canvas .








Series of sketches done by Walter; some as casting on the facade, some as stencils on the floor some  as  variations in the gabion walls and some as designs for stair railings.

This is and continues to be an exciting, enthralling and invigorating mental space.

And then came the call to do an e-brochure; so that the floors that the client would not occupy could be leased out.

We were stumped.

How could a building that claimed that is was part ode to Klee, part an example of fine craft and inventive thinking, a space of excellent construction, and finally literally  Walter’s vellum, have a real estate brochure that was ordinary! (Delusional we are ofcourse!)




Construction pictures of the basement and others of Walters art  being woven as part of the construction process. ( Pictures by Shilpa Gavane; also see her pictures in the ARK website)

It seemed like blasphemy !

We turned to a young enthusiastic illustrator and designer; Sharvari Shah to see what she could come up with. ( You can reach her on and see her presence in the website “Peoples ” page)

Even as we spelt out the brief we knew we were being unfair to the young illustrator. We said it had to be extremely artistic ( ofcourse!), invoking curiosity, signifying  a certain sophistication of thought; and at the same time addressing and speaking to a possible buyer who should see this as a space that he would be  drawn  to inhabit.

And we also said that we would not succumb to using the imagery that real estate often is forced to use to denote sophistication, or an evolved space. This was our chance to say no to Trump; even if his country has to suffer him in the foreseeable future.

No stock images,  no aspirational photos, no slick 3-ds , no Trump!


Original illustrations by Sharvari for the e.brochure- above images for the central stairs and the parking basement.

Sharvari slogged, panicked, complained, laughed, and slogged again; but the one thing she did not do, was to succumb to the kind of slick graphics that we see all around us; young professional , her first attempt at something like this, and this is what she came up with.

(And in all this she was supported by the ever calm Raj  Shukla who we believe is a bit of an maverick;

Do see it. Do tell us what you think about it. We seem to be happy with it.

For website click on;


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Recent Comments

  • I loved the idea of website and I am so happy that it turned out beautiful. Well done Sharvari & Raj.

    Interesting title and a very well written blog sir.

  • Sir, the piece in your blog is very well written with a funny analogy – Trump and what not to do. The website is very interesting and one can see clearly “say no to Trump” in it. The illustrations are very much out of the box and unlike a real estate brochure – it has lived up to the spirit of the space it is offering. Very apparent that you have mentored well (slave driver!!!). Congratulations to the entire team and to Atul for trusting you on the entire journey of making of Ark.

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