A LOOK AT INDIA’S BUILT ENVIRONMENT OVER FIVE DECADES

As a newly impartial nation, India needed to be re-shaped and re-built to suit the trendy world. Just a few getting into gamers took the lead to make sure profitable outcomes over a fruitful journey. Delhi-based C.P. Kukreja Architects is one in every of these. In his new e-book ‘5 A long time of India’s Constructed Atmosphere’, Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal of CP Kukreja Architects has recorded these developments for posterity. He joins Sunday Guardian for an unique chat on the event. Excerpts from an edited interview:
Q. Please inform us about your e-book. Who conceptualised it and when?
A. I’m a passionate architect, city planner, environmentalist, and the Managing Principal at CP Kukreja architects (CPKA), headquartered in New Delhi. We even have places of work within the US, Vietnam, and Japan. I did my Bachelors in Structure from the College of Planning and Structure, New Delhi, adopted by a fellowship from the Frank Lloyd Wright College of Structure within the US and a Grasp’s in Structure and City Design from Harvard College. I’ve labored internationally within the US and France, earlier than coming again to India and becoming a member of CPKA in 1997.
At CPKA, we design constructed environments throughout scales and typologies, from residential and retail to hospitality and institutional tasks. Our work is rooted in contextuality and pushed by a sustainable strategy strengthened by way of progressive applied sciences.
Because the title suggests, the e-book captures the final 5 many years of India’s constructed atmosphere. The textual content navigates the evolution of Indian structure over the past fifty years by way of the lens of our fifty-year-old multidisciplinary apply at CPKA. It’s a showcase of our landmark architectural tasks which have formed India’s architectural panorama from the post-independence period to the post-liberalised society to the current.
The e-book is the brainchild of Arunima Kukreja – a passionate author, inside designer, and philanthropist – and me. Approaching CPKA’s golden anniversary, we went by way of our archives, our agency’s huge repository of tasks which have contributed considerably to our rising nation. We felt that scripting this e-book could be a good way to deliver collectively all that tough work to be recognized and cherished by all. Our e-book could be ordered on-line by way of Amazon.

Dikshu Kukreja and Arunima Kukreja current their e-book to the Vice President.

Q. How has it been obtained to this point?
A. We’re honored and humbled to have obtained wonderful critiques for the e-book.
It has been offered to eminent dignitaries worldwide, who’ve beneficial the version with enthusiasm, together with Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President and V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State from the Ministry of Exterior Affairs, in addition to Dr Shashi Tharoor, famend writer and politician. The e-book has additionally gathered phrases of reward from eminent individuals inside the structure group, together with Mr Daniel Hart, President of the American Institute of Architects and Mr Sherif Anis, Govt Director, AIA Center East Chapter.
Arunima and I have been additionally invited to current the e-book on the Jaipur Literature Pageant, the place it was unveiled by His Excellency Ambassador of Norway, Mr Hans Jacob Frydenlund.
Q. What was the method of compiling this e-book?
A. As CPKA approached 50 years within the trade, we began going by way of our archives. Put collectively, it was fairly astonishing to see the magnitude of the work carried out by our agency over the past 5 many years. On the similar time, we have been additionally intrigued by the numerous transformations which have taken place in India’s architectural vocabulary and constructing panorama throughout this era. Thus, we determined to doc our agency’s work and share it with the world, portraying the profound adjustments which have taken place within the city atmosphere in cities throughout India by way of the lens of our fifty-year-old structure apply. Led by Arunima Kukreja, the e-book is the results of a rigorous effort over two years within the midst of the pandemic.

Jawaharlal Nehru College.

Q. Please share three of essentially the most hanging reminiscences on this 50-year interval.
A. My first hanging reminiscence is when my father, Mr CP Kukreja, as a younger man in his early 30s, went on to win the design competitors for the Jawaharlal Nehru College in 1969. The JNU campus was thought of a trendsetter with its complete and contextual grasp planning and multidisciplinary strategy in the direction of structure.
One other one in every of my fond reminiscences is once I joined CPKA in 1997. At this stage, there was a confluence of concepts between mine and Mr Kukreja’s. Whereas the 2 of us had divergent personalities and opinions, we shared an identical philosophy in the direction of work and life. Each of us sought to make individuals’s lives higher and have a profound impression on society’s expectations of what structure ought to stand for, by constructing together with nature fairly than at the price of it.
The third reminiscence is when our agency was chosen among the many prime 100 architectural practices on the planet and I used to be chosen by the Union of Worldwide Architects in Paris, amongst the highest 100 architects globally in 2021. I used to be additionally comfortable and humbled when our design for The India Pavilion on the Dubai Expo was lauded world-over and was chosen among the many prime three pavilion designs globally. It grew to become a big game-changer in bringing modern Indian structure onto the worldwide map.
Q. How else are you commemorating this 50-year milestone?
A. We’re very thrilled about half a century within the trade. We’re commemorating this big day in some ways, beginning with the launch of our e-book, 5 A long time of India’s Constructed Atmosphere. We’ve additionally collaborated with the Nationwide Affiliation of College students of Structure (NASA) and instituted a design competitors and scholarship for college students of structure by way of the CP Kukreja Basis for Design. Furthermore, we’re additionally going world wide exhibiting our work at CPKA over the past 5 many years. The exhibition was held in Dubai and Seoul in 2021, and it is usually going to be part of the upcoming London Pageant of Structure in June. We additionally organized in-house celebrations with our beloved workforce at CPKA.
Q. What are you engaged on subsequent?
A. We’re engaged on many vital tasks that hold the ambiance in our workplace optimistic and charged with pleasure. Our workforce has simply accomplished the grasp planning of Ayodhya metropolis, and we’re trying ahead to its implementation. The continuing East Delhi Hub, which might be India’s first and largest transit-oriented improvement venture, is one other one in every of our endeavors. It will likely be residence to Delhi’s tallest constructing. Plenty of different tasks are additionally within the works.
Moreover this, we’re additionally engaged on some thrilling worldwide tasks in nations corresponding to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Kenya. Additional, to take conversations round city points to the mainstream, I’m engaged on an upcoming present, ‘A Story of Two Cities’ quickly to be aired on WION. Within the present, I’ll converse with world leaders from main metros world wide on vital world and native points in city design and planning, and potential options.

Noor Anand Chawla pens life-style articles for varied publications and her weblog www.nooranandchawla.com. She could be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.