Glass, stone, mild- steel, wood and then the exposed concrete punctuated by bricks, straight lines and curves as well a sculpture celebrating Corbusier; voids in the floor plate and one even with a light pole! ‘ This architect is crazy’ were my first thoughts on entering studio Archohm. Despite losing my brand new 24mm TSE lens on my very first shoot ( I watched it fall 2 floors to the cobble stones in the atrium of Archohm’s studio in Noida), several projects later, I still hold firm to my initial assessment; yet the only difference is that now I see the method in the madness. However, ‘ crazy and mad’ would not quite do justice in describing one of the most prolific young architects in the country ( I’ve heard anything under 40 is young in this profession!).
As an architecture photographer, aesthetics do excite me but I love shooting architecture because there is so much more to it than the pretty colors on a lit- up façade! It is this very thinking that has made documenting Archohm’s portfolio such a pleasure.
I have been a resident of Lucknow during the years of sand stone parks and therefore I have a special
appreciation for the efforts of this practice, in changing the narrative from just being a standout iconic to that of a purposeful yet functional one. Rulers and leaders have been building public monuments here since time immemorial. How advisors, artisans and craftsmen translated these ideas depended as it does today – on the investment made in helping the patrons see the value of good design.
So what’s so special about the public spaces that Archohm has designed? Well in Lucknow, all you need to do is look around ( quite literally). From the redevelopment of the old city – Hussainabad, to the brand new smart city called Chak Gangeria, Awadh Shilpgram – a craft
haat – thrice the size of its Delhi counterparts, the Sanskriti school – a brick and concrete feat and the Cancer Institute, the largest one in North India. However, when one looks at the developments inside the city, one cannot help but notice the Ambedkar Park in Gomti Nagar, that stands out to remind citizens of the rise of particular political party but fails miserably in serving the residents usable public space. In sharp contrast, right across the road a green response to the same – the largest building of Lucknow called the JPN International Centre, featuring a museum, sports block, and convention centre and hospitality services. However, in all of this, there lies so much more than mere beauty!
I am inspired when architects experiment with their work as it makes shooting so much more interesting. Sourabh
Old city of Lucknow
Sanskriti School Lucknow
Cancer Institute Lucknow
Chak Gangeria city