An architect by profession and artist at heart: Shib Roy

By Indranil Halder

Shib Roy loves sketching cityscapes with pen and ink. He is also an architect who creates amazing interiors for his clients too. Standing at the Sydney Opera House(a UNESCO world heritage listed building, that will open soon to the public after a $300 million dollar renovation), I looked at his sketch of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the Indian city of Mumbai on my iphone and it took my breath away.

Who is Shib Roy?

Architect, designer, and founder of Archimist (Which will be soon renamed DecorIN). Archimist has completed over 70 projects so far in different cities in India. Shib started the journey as a graduate of the Department of Architecture, Indian Institute of Technology( IIT), Kharagpur, and then studied at the London School of Economics and Social Sciences. Now he is based in Kolkata and Bangalore.

Shib’s world of exclusive interiors:

In Kolkata, Shib Roy had already finished interiors, some of them with vintage or minimalistic touches, both look exquisitely stunning. Even the photos of the bathroom that he designed for a private hospital in Kolkata reminded me of newly opened Sydney’s most exquisite Art Deco and luxurious hotel, Kimpton Margot Sydney. With my eye for detail and work experience with Australian luxury real estate giant The Crown Group Holdings, I am fascinated with his style of interior decoration in the subcontinent. Shib was born in the Indian state of Orisha. His father hailed from an orthodox Bengali family in Shantiniketan, the place famous for the Vishwa Bharati University founded by the celebrated Nobel laureate poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore, in the state of West Bengal. The family has a staunch consociate with Bengali culture. Left Orisha at the age of ten with his father Amaresh Roy in pursuit of learning the Bengali culture. Admitted to a reputed Bengali medium school, the initial educational journey was excruciatingly difficult, struggling both in speaking and writing the Bengali language. Shib remained silent but observant. During his school years, he remembers Kolkata’s celebration of 300 years. Fascinated and fell in love with the vintage photos of Kolkata(displayed in various exhibitions and magazines)

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That was the start.

He started sketching cities, especially during the time when he was sure that he will take Architecture as his career. Popular works of renowned artists such as Rathin Mitra and Samir Biswas became his inspirations. The beauty of a city and its buildings became his all-time favourite. Passion became a profession. Dreamed to be an architect. Shib got admission to the Department of Architecture, IIT Kharagpur. Recently, he also presented his Varanasi city sketches at the Bharat Tirtha event, organised by the Indian Knowledge System at IIT Kharagpur, championed by his professor and mentor Dr. Joy Sen. During his time at IIT Kharagpur, he learned that every building has a soul but somehow he was not able to connect deeply with the contemporary buildings in India. Something was missing. After completing his graduation, worked as an architect for three years. Learning was great but not fulfillment. The repetitive building patterns, lack of imagination, and the mass-scale construction across India diverted him to the subject of Planning. Got admission for an MSc in City Design at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom. Influenced by the beauty of the City of London and its maintenance of the architectural heritage, gained his respect.

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In the meantime, he was able to exhibit his sketches of Kolkata with its British legacy heritage buildings at the London School of Economics. It was a defining moment in his life. The event was significant. For a while, he worked in the cities of London, Liverpool, and Salisbury in the United Kingdom(UK). Then he left the UK and returned to India.

To fulfill his creative and entrepreneurial carvings simultaneously. Worked for a USA-based architectural company for a year before starting his own venture: Archimist. Found a way to connect to the buildings around him. He quickly found that his artistic creativity has more scope to apply to the interiors. Switched to Interior Design from Architecture. Shib knew that he can use his own sketches and artworks to decorate homes. He inclines to the Indian ethnic style of the interiors and Scandinavian minimalist style. Along with exquisite art, sculptures and wall graffitis, he keeps decorating interiors. Shib’s non-customised and low-cost interiors are a paradise of curtains, light fittings, rugs, art collections, artifacts, and many more.

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Believes strongly, that a home should be the identity of a persona, the interior should reveal, for example, the books one loves, places one visited, and the music he or she is fond of. While the design respects the basic grammar of the interior, some of his interior decoration also includes his pen and ink sketches for modern but opulent aesthetics. Whether it be a commissioned work that let him sketch the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai or St Patrick’s Higher Secondary School, Asansol or Writers Building, Kolkata, or converting the home of Rastraguru Surendranath Banerjee into a museum to portray his life(tentative design is done) or modern design for a client in Bangaluru, Shib has done it all. His sketches also found their rightful place in the interior, which he created for the prestigious Fort William suite. Today, with an incredible pipeline of projects across India, Shib is not only raising capital for his projects but also dreams of an interior and lifestyle youtube channel where enthusiasts will understand the basic philosophy of design.

He can be contacted at shib@decorin.in