Asheshh Saheba, RA, is a Principal for Steinberg Architects in San Francisco. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Science in Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Saheba began his practice in architecture in Italy at Renzo Piano Building Workshop and has practice on two other continents since. Preferring to work with products that have depth, back story and integrity, his work on walls and ceilings typically involves metals, wood and solid surface materials. For him, the ability for these materials to be manipulated, and make articulated surfaces, lend to their potential.
Recently, BE sat down to talk to Asheshh about his career.
Building Envelope: How many years do you have in the profession?
Saheba: 19 years.
Building Envelope: What is your work history in this field?
Saheba: I’ve practiced architecture on three continents—starting in Italy at RPBW. I’ve worked at firms of varied scales and on a multitude of project types.
Building Envelope: Where did you go to school?
Saheba: I received a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Science in Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In graduate school, I focused on building facades and investigated the concept of variable volume architecture. The approach was to look at how internal and external parameters would affect the configuration of the enclosure.
Building Envelope: Do you approach architecture from an artistic or functional starting point? Are the two concepts exclusive?
Saheba: My approach is based on what makes sense for the problem given. The two concepts are not exclusive. I strive to discover the opportunity before outlining a process to solve it.
Building Envelope: If any, who are your role models?
Saheba: I have experiences and moments that I have gone through with collaborators that have informed the journey.
Building Envelope: What projects, other than your own work, do you find inspiring?
Saheba: Projects that were developed and executed at the offices of James Sterling and Louis Kahn.
Building Envelope: How many buildings have you designed?
Saheba: Enough to be well versed in the practice of architecture.
Building Envelope: If you had to choose one to represent your work, what project would you choose?
Saheba: My parent’s house, the unbuilt version.
Building Envelope: What are your guiding principles when designing a structure?
Saheba: Discover the elegant solution that is the thread that holds the concept together. Then work very hard to get it realized.
Building Envelope: If you could have any building to redesign—anywhere in the world—which would you like to address?
Saheba: The residential building at Astor Place in NYC. It is an opportunity lost for such a prominent location.
Building Envelope: What types of products interest you?
Saheba: Materials that have depth, back story and integrity.
Building Envelope: What types of products in the wall and ceiling industry really interest you?
Saheba: Metals, wood and solid surface materials. The ability for these materials to be manipulated, and make articulated surfaces, lend to their potential.