Having a strong reputation for design across a broad range of sectors, ABM Architects is a novel Architecture & Interior Design Firm. The dynamic duo of Alfaz Miller – Co-founder and Aahana Miller – Associate Architect are relentlessly driving the Firm to reach the zenith. Under their aegis, the Firm is committed to deliver architecture that is functional, versatile, and enduring. Let’s walk through this exclusive interview to get more insights about ABM’s prominent services and uniqueness.
IS: Kindly brief us about your firm.
ABM Architects is a Mumbai based Architecture & Interior Design Firm. Alfaz Miller co-founded the Firm in 1972, and is the Principal Architect. The firm has evolved with changing times and has a young work force, guided by experienced professionals in the core team.
ABM’s wide experience spans major institutional and corporate projects, private buildings, offices, airports, hotels, health, residential spaces, heritage and conservation work.
ABM’s design excellence has been acclaimed by the many awards and citations it has received. Client satisfaction has always been the firm’s principle objective – its success measured by the fact that 80% of ABMs projects originate from loyal clients.
The firm evaluates wide-ranging ideas from the client, the project team and the consultants. This is made possible by ABM’s highly-efficient infrastructure within its own six-storeyed office building in the heart of the city, which houses multiple teams working collaboratively on several projects.
The skilled and collaborative workforce of 50 in-house architects, designers, 3D visualizers and engineers, is well-supported by competent structural and service consultants. ABM’s in-house MEPF team (Mechanical, Engineering, Plumbing and Firefighting) work closely with the architects and interior designers to deliver comprehensive services to each project.
The office also houses fine artist Brinda Miller’s studio, as well the Miller family’s vast personal collection of art. Brinda Miller advises clients on the purchase and commissioning of sculptures, artworks and installations from a vast selection of artists.
IS: Brief us about the Founder/CEO, and what was the source of inspiration for your firm to be in the Architectural Solutions Provider segment.
Architecture, to Alfaz Miller, has always represented a satisfying amalgamation of his various interests: he loved to sketch; was interested in science and math.
Alfaz Miller established ABM Architects soon after achieving his Bachelor of Architecture from JJ School of Art in 1972. The firm has grown from a 70-square-foot one-man office to a 7,000-square-foot building at the center of Mumbai. Miller’s proficient design skills, grounded ethics, and sharp business acumen, continue to define his self-sufficient firm – which possesses all capabilities required for transforming ideas on paper, into brick-and-mortar realities.
As Alfaz enters his elegant and eclectic workplace in Studio Millernium, Mumbai, it hums with high-octane energy, perfectly in keeping with his approach to every project. One of the firm’s many specialties is residential architecture, and his office mirrors this expertise, with its division into intimate seating and work areas – all designed for an open exchange of ideas, and Alfaz’s collection of art.
Under Miller’s guidance, ABM Architects has successfully delivered several projects across all scales and buildings typologies: banks, office buildings, airport lounges, residential complexes and villas, each responding to the unique programmatic constraints and the client’s exact needs.
From small projects which are composed with careful artistry to a highly specialized vocabulary of interior design to medium and large architectural projects for individuals, corporations, and institutions; Alfaz is comfortable working on both ends of the design spectrum.
As principal architect of an award-winning firm, Alfaz Miller himself is the recipient of several accolades and awards. He is driven by the constant desire to leave a mark on the architectural skyline; and his achievements are a constant reminder that design is still his true calling.
Aahana recently completed her Master of Architecture at The University of Pennsylvania (PennDesign) with a Minor in Historic Preservation.
This complemented her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from The Rhode Island School of Design, which focused on adaptive re-use.
At PennDesign she was the Director for Penn Student Design, liaising with graphic designers to produce creative materials for various marketing projects. She was also the Chair of PennDesign’s Women in Architecture group, an organization that aims to increase the incidence and visibility of women in the architectural profession.
She strives to incorporate a unique amalgam of her Indian roots as well as her contemporary education into her design style, aiming to synergize an eastern cultural ethos with modern living.
Currently, she works as an Architect with her father Alfaz Miller at ABM Architects in Mumbai, designing a wide range of commercial, residential, retail and institutional projects.
IS: What are the different products and services provided by your firm, setting you apart from your competitors?
The firm enjoys a reputation for architecture and design solutions that are varied, comprehensive, and most importantly, client-focused. Every ABM creation aims to integrate a timeless aesthetic with functional design, an objective that has been at the core of the firm’s culture since its inception.
We understand that every job is unique in size, budget and constraints, and thus requires an individual approach. This knowledge is embedded in the firm’s creative ability and technical expertise, from the concept to the construction stages of each project.
We provide the following services:
- Interior Design
- Adaptive Reuse
- Graphic Design
IS: What are the key attributes that helped your firm overcome the challenges that it faced during its establishment?
Alfaz Miller’s success story was triggered by the restoration of the interior architecture of ANZ Grindlay’s Fort office in Mumbai (1989), overcoming the challenges posed by a design intervention in a functional workspace. The project cemented ABM Architects’ reputation for creating solution-driven design programs, and prioritizing quality of work, timelessness. Above everything, the project laid a foundation for a long-lasting client relationship, which ABM prides itself on maintaining.
IS: With the massive advancements in the Architectural industry, what are the opportunities and challenges evolving with it?
With the advent of new technologies, architects have had to adapt and rethink how to approach and design a project. Firms must adapt to the rapidly progressing milieu.
IS: Share with us your firm’s contribution to its sector in the industry and how it is helping its clients in their business growth.
Our firms work with loyal clients, and ensure that we deliver to them the best possible design allowing their business to thrive.
IS: How do you motivate creativity and innovation in the workspace while maintaining a healthy work environment?
Our firm has consciously chosen to remain a boutique design firm undertaking selected projects at a time. This helps the firm stay focused on the work at hand, paying attention to detail and be accessible to the client at all times.
IS: Brief us about the current scenario of Architectural industry and your firm’s future plans.
There is a lot of competition in the Architectural industry and so it is important to stay on top of current design trends and evolving technologies. While we do not have plans to expand, we hope to still be one of India’s top Architecture and Design firms