Kohelika Kohli believes that the job of an architect / interior designer cannot be simply based on one’s credentials. An equally important role is played by one’s experiences and exposures to people, places and cultures.
At seventeen, she went to Millfield School in Somerset, England to do her A-levels. Here she was appointed Head of School. Prior to this, in India she had been a National Equestrian Champion, at the sub-junior level, for five consecutive years. After Millfield, she received her formal education as an architect from ‘Pratt Institute of Design’ in New York and graduated in May 2004. She interned for the summer of her second year in England, working for Sir Norman Foster. She worked on three projects: the competition for the interiors of the roof-top restaurant of the Swiss Re Headquarters, City of London, England; the early stages of the Hearst Tower in mid-town Manhattan, New York, USA; and, most importantly, the ‘Foster Extension’ of I.M. Pei’s East Wing in the Boston Fine Arts Museum’, Massachusetts, USA.
At Pratt she was a Resident Advisor for two years, until she went to do “a study abroad programme” in Rome in 2003. She travelled extensively through-out Italy, primarily and notably studying the works of Palladio and Michelangelo and the works of one of her favourite designers, Carlo Scarpa. On her return to New York, alongside architectural school, she began to work for a very renowned architectural and design firm, ‘Oliver Cope Architects’. They specialize in high-end town houses in New York and the Hamptons. She worked with them initially as an intern, specializing in making models. Within a year, she was individually conceptualizing and executing architectural and interior work. After graduation, she went on a road trip across America, to look at and study great urban design.
After graduation, she returned to India and in October 2004, started her own architectural firm, ‘Kohelika Kohli Architects’. Since 1999, she has been a Director in her mother’s company, ‘Sunita Kohli Interior Designs Pvt. Ltd.’ and is now the Managing Director. This is a research-based interior design and architectural restoration company that specializes in the design of public buildings and hotels and the restoration of heritage properties.