Merge Studio is a young and vibrant full service architectural design firm based in New York. With a focus on the environment, the studio is diligent on producing environmentally sensitive and responsive designs which is evident in all of our projects. The studio was founded in 2010 by Varun Kohli. Our team approaches every project through analytical understanding and careful design resolutions. With a strong research background, the transfer of such thorough analytical design approach comes natural. The studio's work ranges not only in typologies including education, commercial, residential and master-plans but also geographically including within the US, Australia and India. Our work has also been published in various design publications.
Varun Kohli AIA, LEED AP
Varun is an architect, designer and an environmentalist with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He has worked on a variety of local and global projects mostly based out of New York city.
In 2010 Varun founded Merge Studio, a studio fundamentally grounded on principles of environmentally responsive design. Merge studio has executed design projects globally incorporating a multitude of typologies including commercial, retail, multi-residential, master-planning and hospitality based projects spread out in US, India, Australia and the Caribbean. With over 20 years of experience with New York based architectural firms including Beyer Blinder Belle, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and HOK, Varun has led award winning projects of varying scales around the globe.
Varun holds a graduate degree in Sustainable Environmental Design (with commendation) from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and a Bachelor of Architecture from the City College of New York. He has lectured at Harvard GSD (Graduate School of Design) where he taught a course on ‘environmentally responsive building skins’. In the past he has been a guest lecturer as well as jury and roundtable participant at City College of New York, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He has presented papers at international conferences including AIA Conference on Architecture, Passive & Low Energy Architecture Conference (PLEA), Passive and Low Energy Cooling Conference (PALENC), Indian Green Building Congress and others.
In 2010 Varun was awarded a ‘Professional Achievement Award’ by the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects based in New York. He sits on numerous committees and boards including AIA New York Committee on the Environment and the advisory board for Architect & Interiors.
Merge Studio is about ‘merging’ of ideas and thoughts, sciences and arts, technology and design. It is our belief that only through teamwork and collaboration at various levels, that innovative design solutions can be sought. We believe there are no perfect solutions. Instead, our studio aims to achieve a perfect balance of a host of project goals and ambitions including; programmatic requirements, economic efficiency, aesthetic desire, human comfort, environmental harmony and energy and resource consciousness amongst others.
Project Execution and Success
Understanding the clients vision, needs and constraints are most important to us at the outset of a project to accomplish a successful completion. With a good handle on the clients expectations, our group can work not only to achieve these goals but also push beyond and advise the clients on added value propositions. Our process always begins with identification and a thorough understanding of constraints and opportunities through a rigorous analysis of the project’s physical and non-physical context. Opportunities can provide advantage points, but constraints can create innovative solutions. They are both equally important.
Environmentally Responsive Design
Environmentally responsive design and energy and resource conservation remain core to every project. At Merge Studio, architectural design with passive sustainable strategies is synonymous to ‘good design practices’ and is an essential component to our design process. Using advanced tools for analysis and simulation, the architecture strives to achieve maximum human comfort internally whilst minimizing its impact on the external environment. Taking a harmonious approach with nature creates an easier path toward energy and resource conservation.
PERFORMATIVE DESIGN INTEGRATION
'Good Design Practices = High Performance Design'
Environmentally responsive design and energy and resource conservation remain core to every project. At MERGE, architectural design with passive sustainable strategies is synonymous to ‘good design practices’ and is an essential component to our design process. Using advanced tools for analysis and simulation, the architecture strives to achieve maximum human comfort internally whilst minimizing its impact on the external environment. Taking a harmonious approach with nature creates an easier path toward energy and resource conservation.
Some of the studies that are inherent to our architectural design process include climate analysis, building energy loads analysis, solar studies, daylighting studies and material research. Such studies create an intelligent design process and generate design responses that enhance energy performance of the building. With our in-depth knowledge of the subject, we work collaboratively with other team experts and consultants to push the limits of higher performance.
Regardless of the project ambition in achieving LEED accreditation, all projects designed in our studio, at the very minimum will adhere to the principles of passive design and be conscious of resource materials. At the very best, designs we strive to achieve net-zero energy design.
Our group’s expertise allows us to cover a wide range of services dealing with the built environment and human occupation. Following are the services provided by our studio;
- Project Program Definition & Assistance
- Zoning Studies & Analysis
- Project Feasibility Studies
Design & Planning Services
- Full Architectural Design Services (From Concept thru Construction Documentation Phase)
- Design Review (QA/ QC)
- Interior Design & Space Planning
- Facade Design & Detailing
- Construction Administration
- Urban Design and Master-Planning
Sustainable/ High-Performance Design & Management Consulting
- LEED Facilitation & Feasibility Study
- Sun-path Analysis for Optimized Massing
- Lighting Simulation & Daylighting Analysis
- Building Simulation for Energy Analysis
- Wind Flow Analysis thru Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
- Water Efficiency Analysis & Fixture Selection
- Thermal Comfort Analysis & Design
- Material Selection
- MBE certification with New York City Small Business Services (NYC SBS)
- MBE certification with New York State (Empire State Development)