Where have the gentlemen gone? Text for KV Forum Memorial Lecture ; 11th August 2017. Young students, my fellow architects, my many friends  and peers. Good Evening. This, is the first memorial lecture that I am giving. I am, both, grateful, but also extremely intimidated. I do not ,say this lightly. It is not that I have not spoken at large forums- I have; but usually I have known what to say, and my talks have been prepared well in time. But this time, I have been so taken up by the occasion that I must confess that I have spent days thinking about it, even weeks, without writing a word and finally have done so just a couple of  days back, only because I had to and the gates were closing.…
In- Laws Home/Shilpa does a Julius I do not  know too many other photographers who shot like that; but Julius Shulman did. He passed away at the amazing age of 99, in 2009. But in the years that he worked he made famous the work of Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen,  in works built between 1945-1966. He shot with an incredible sense of space, a sharp eye and most importantly peppered his pictures with real people using the spaces.During the Second World War  it seems that the offices of Arts & Architecture  in the US, were home to endless discussions about  new ideas in residential design and they launched what was called the "Case Study House Programme'. Ralph Rapson, John…
  The travails of selling real estate came home to us forcefully in the last few months. We are  rather happily engaged with designing and monitoring the construction of an office building in Baroda that we  in the office called “ The Alchemists Abode” the name referring to the clients metallurgical business interests. The building is  now formally called “ Ark”, in reference to a space where ideas will be safe and nurtured, and the idea of life will live. Parts of the project have been inspired by Paul Klees, 1929  painting “Uncomposed Objects in Space” ( above) The atrium inspired by Klee. The building uses the premise of using the idea of a tense chaos and suspended imbalance and yet denoting  a stillness, as an allegorical reference to life…
For too long when it comes to say office spaces, or housing projects , the motivation behind installing a landscape is often the ticking of boxes; Children’s play space- yes; Gathering green; yes; Amphitheater ; yes, Jogging track; yes. Then it  really does not matter how that is expressed, or subsequently even used. Office spaces have it tougher. There usually is very little space. A drive way; maybe a small podium; and the programme often nonexistent. This leads to many a good piece of architecture, ending up with a rather messy and indifferent landscape as a handmaiden. In Upper Worli , the landscape for rather handsome building by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (PCF), was suffering an inglorious fate. It was a combination of reasons; an indifferent design effort, coupled…
Shiny at Indian Express reviewed the office book, and did an interview. Do see the article.. The green mile Be it an exaggerated dinosaur bridge in an apartment block, a brick cone that opens itself to the skies in Drum House or undulating brick walls in Devi Art Foundation. Their self-published book, Forest for the Trees; Trees for the Forest, documents projects by the firm. Written by Shiny Varghese | New Delhi | Updated: July 2, 2015 12:17 pm Prabhakar B Bhagwat turned a basalt quarry in Timba, Gujarat, into a self-sustaining forest. His father Bhalchandra V Bhagwat developed the Empress Botanical Gardens, Pune, as its Superintendent. His son, Aniket Bhagwat carries forward the legacy, plating up landscapes with fractals and contrasting geometries. With projects spread across the country, Aniket’s…
In 1993; a few years after I had just started work, with some landscape experience and really no architectural experience, a client who I had done a residential landscape asked me to visit a land he had near town. It was barren. Completely. But had two majestic mango trees on it; the rest of the large land sun scorched and bare.  He wanted to build on it a place to sit; that's all- and did not want to spend much money. I remember seeing the trees, and deciding that I had to build somehow engaging them. The branches were low , and so I finally sunk the ground around it, and built at a diagonal, between the two trees, so as to not disturb the branches. And since the ground…
The idea of identity in emerging urbanity is a difficult one. With clone like relentless growth , the new urbanity of India has no soul, no character, and no sense of personality. Arguably , to deal with both, the idea of this scale and pace in any other way seems difficult. Either we should build slowly, or we should build less- or perhaps there is another way- one that has not been developed till now. Till we find a better way to build, how does one find the expression of the human spirit, build an idea of identity, and more simply bring a smile to  people's faces, in the new supplanted urbanity, they call homes. The studio was recently confronted with a small space, measuring 3700 sq.mts, in the middle on 500 middle income housing flats.…
The other day a student who I do not know wrote me a mail, which is reproduced below. Upon reading it and reflecting upon it, I decided that I needed to write a well thought out response- which I did, and then marked it to a few friends, and the response was immediate and all of the mails in complete agreement with my line of thought; ( my mails to them often are ignored and they only talk about it when we perhaps meet many weeks later -if at all). I wondered why this happened; and  concluded that this was a topic many had thought about , and were uneasy about; but had not gathered their thoughts and this mail allowed them to. Since it was concerned with work in…
The schedule for the 4th International Cultural Landscapes Symposium is finalized. December 14th-15th. Ahmedabad. W: www.inculs4.in E:inculs4@gmail.com Be a good idea to clear your calenders and come; promises to be good thinking fare.
A group of Academicians in town are working hard to put together this conference; and from all accounts it promises to a great fare with Indian and International speakers who will share their thoughts. The idea of Cultural Landscapes,its understanding, mapping and management is without doubt a very important aspect of our environment and over and above the traditional meanings, new meanings are being explored each day. Over time this will be an important area that will define the profession and its meanings. The conference is on 14th and 15th of December 2013- do block the dates and do come. Please find details . 4TH INCULS Fourth IFLA-APR International Cultural Landscapes Symposium (INCULS) Ahmedabad, India                                                                   14th-15th December 2013 Introduction About INCULS The International Symposium on Cultural and Historical Landscapes (INCULS) is…
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