Renowned ar­chi­tects whose legacy and works are un­matched

01 SATISH GU­JRAL 02 BRINDA SOMAYA 03 AL­FAZ MILAR

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SIONS: SHIVANGI ASTHANA

Their works not only are world fa­mous, but also give in­spi­ra­tion to many young, as­pir­ing minds. We are men­tion­ing the works of three ar­chi­tects, who have im­mensely con­trib­uted to the field of ar­chi­tec­ture

Cel­e­brat­ing the is­sue’s theme ‘In­dia In­spired’ pushed us to cel­e­brate de­signs and their cre­ators, who did not just mar­vel in his­tory, but con­tinue do so as time evolves. The beauty in their de­signs is im­mor­tal, the tal­ent they pos­sess is un­ques­tion­able and the ideas they put to ta­ble are time­less. Here are three nflu­en­tial ar­chi­tects from the era who are the game chang­ers and have left or leav­ing a trail of legacy be­hind them.

He is the fa­mous name in the new edi­tion of Sir Banis­ter Fletcher’s Global His­tory of Ar­chi­tec­ture nam­ing the ar­chi­tects cho­sen from the world, which was pub­lished by Royal In­sti­tute of Bri­tish Ar­chi­tects in May 2018. Gu­jral de­scribes his ar­chi­tec­tural jour­ney by men­tion­ing, “I had not en­tered ar­chi­tec­ture be­fore I was com­mis­sioned to de­sign Bel­gium Em­bassy, New Delhi. The com­mis­sion had been en­trusted to me fol­low­ing a com­pe­ti­tion that was held in Bel­gium. Af­ter win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion what guided me in de­sign­ing was my back­ground as a painter and sculp­tor. I had been work­ing in those medi­ums for more than forty years be­fore I at­tempted to de­sign ar­chi­tec­ture. They came handy with de­sign­ing the ar­chi­tec­ture forms.”

Ar­chi­tect Satish Gu­jral be­lieves that the need has been felt with in­creas­ing in­ten­sity, as built ar­chi­tec­ture. The medium from which other art forms are sup­posed to de­rive their life and strength con­tin­ues to lose its artis­tic au­ton­omy, and is be­ing re­duced to mere con­struc­tion in the name of ben­e­fit and ra­tio­nal­ity. It is this loss that has cre­ated a nos­tal­gic yearn­ing for a fu­sion of built ar­chi­tec­ture with the ar­chi­tec­ture of paint­ing and sculp­ture, which have not yet been drained to the same ex­tent by their ma­te­rial and util­i­tar­ian cul­ture.

Brinda talks beau­ti­fully on In­dian ar­chi­tec­ture by say­ing, “Work­ing in In­dia of­ten makes each pro­ject feel like a com­pletely new uni­verse. We have to be both “bare­foot ar­chi­tects” as well as “hi-tech pro­fes­sion­als.” Ev­ery pro­ject has a dis­tinc­tive client, par­cel of land, cli­mate, ge­og­ra­phy and so­cial con­text, but when you put all these pieces to­gether, they form a seam­less whole, much like In­dia with its many eth­nic­i­ties, lan­guages and so­ci­eties.”

Brinda be­lieves that con­ser­va­tion is an act of fine bal­ance. Cur­rently, she is restor­ing Louis I Kahn’s In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, Ahmedabad, where she finds her­self hav­ing to re­spond to a very pow­er­ful and au­thor­i­ta­tive mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture. If the process of reuse and con­ser­va­tion re­sponds to the spe­cific his­tory it deals with whole elo­quently and gen­uinely ac­count­ing for the fu­ture as­pi­ra­tions of the users of the con­served space, the ar­chi­tect’s work is done. Fur­ther she shares, “I be­lieve that de­vel­op­ment and progress must pro­ceed with­out strain­ing the cul­tural and his­toric en­vi­ron­ment. I firmly be­lieve that the ar­chi­tect’s role is that of a guardian - the con­science of the built and un-built en­vi­ron­ment.”

Prin­ci­pal Ar­chi­tect Al­faz Miller is at home at both ends of the ar­chi­tec­tural spec­trum from small projects, which are com­posed with care­ful artistry to a highly spe­cialised vo­cab­u­lary of in­te­rior de­sign. He is now work­ing ex­ten­sively on medium and large ar­chi­tec­tural projects for pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als, cor­po­rate and in­sti­tu­tions. He be­lieves that the qual­ity of in­door and out­door spa­ces has a pro­found im­pact on hu­man physic. Most of his de­signs have a time­less ap­peal, con­ser­va­tive in cost, and en­ergy ef­fi­cient. Also his aes­thetic have been moulded by the va­ri­ety of projects de­signed; from restora­tion, to sig­na­ture homes, ho­tels, and tech­nol­ogy sup­ported work spa­ces, his will to re­make the liv­ing space for hu­mans is again re­mark­able.

ABM’s role in cre­at­ing Jaya He GVK New Mu­seum at Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji In­ter­na­tional Air­port was en­gi­neer­ing the art wall, which was three kilo­me­tres long and con­sist­ing of 5,500 pieces of art and arte­facts. As shared by the ar­chi­tect, “The most dif­fi­cult as­pect of the pro­ject was read­ing Ra­jeev Sethi’s mind who is the doyen of In­dian arts and crafts and was the “Scenog­ra­pher” of the New Mu­seum. The cre­ative in­tent is con­ceived by him, re­alised as it were by nu­mer­ous artists and crafts­men from across the coun­try. Each of the themes is ex­plored and cre­atively in­ter­preted in the art in­stal­la­tions.”

3

Ambed­kar Sthal, Luc­know

De­sign Plan, Ambed­kar Sthal, Luc­know

UNESCO Build­ing, New Delhi

Mexx Farm, New Delhi

Ra­jabai Tower, Mum­bai

Kens­ing­ton Club, Ma­ha­rash­tra

St Thomas Cathe­dral, Mum­bai

St Thomas Cathe­dral, Mum­bai

Kumb­hal­garh

Kumb­hal­garh

Farm­house, Nashik

Jin­dal House, New Delhi

Por­tuguese House, Boisar

Jin­dal House, Rishikesh

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