• World Environment Day: 12 Indian Architects You Need to Know

    World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5th June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

    With architecture that empowers a generation and sustains a planet, here are 12 Indian architects you need to know this World Environment Day. Their projects, spanning from energy-efficient buildings to large scale projects, highlight the importance of sustainable design. It fosters a harmonious relationship between humans and nature. By prioritizing sustainable materials, renewable energy sources, and resource-efficient construction methods, these architects are inspiring future generations of designers. On World Environment Day, let’s look into the best architects contributing towards this larger cause

    1. Chitra Vishwanath | Biome Environment Solutions

    Chitra Vishwanath is the principal architect and founder of Bangalore-based Biome Solutions. The firm’s primary areas of interest are ecology, architecture, and water. With Vishwanath’s commitment to spreading sustainable living practices far and wide, has led to the company’s involvement in numerous nonprofit projects to benefit the natural environment and underserved populations.

    Buddhi School, Bengaluru

    The design of Buddhi School is centred around and exploring raw earth and sustainable strategies. The design camouflages with the soil almost as if it melts into the ground. The west-facing window with loveres and screens utilises the natural elements without any active ventilation while also prioritising indoor comfort.

    2. Ashok B Lall | Ashok B Lall Architects

    Ashok B Lall is Principal of Ashok B Lall Architects in New Delhi, India. Established in the year 1980, the firm has been known for its commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Their projects have an innovative approach, incorporating energy efficiency and material resource efficiency in the techniques of construction.

    IRRAD, Gurgaon

    The Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD) obtained a LEED Platinum rating post-construction. The combination of passive strategies, material choice, and water harvests checks every box of sustainable design and has significantly minimized the ecological footprint to a large extent.

    3. Christopher Benninger | CCBA Designs

    Prof. Christopher Benninger is an internationally known distinguished architect, planner, teacher and an institution builder. He has designed campuses and buildings for over twenty universities including IIT Hyderabad; IIM Calcutta; CEPT University and so on that focus on sustainability and human scale. His work also has had an immense impact on affordable housing.

    Suzlon One Earth, Pune

    Suzlon One Earth is more than just a LEED Platinum and GRIHA 5-star-certified building. The design breaks free from the typical “glass box” design of offices. A zero-energy building at this scale is truly a challenging feat. It calls for designing buildings in India with sensitivity to climate that are both energy efficient and draw on vernacular solutions.

    4. Eugene Pandala | CSBNE

    Eugene Pandala is an Architect, Urban Designer and Heritage Conservator. His passion for Natural Heritage conservation, transposed him to explore deeper into Affordable sustainable development and Architecture. His buildings establish a relationship with nature, they are not ostentatious, they are climate-friendly.

    Bodhi, Kerala

    Bodhi is one of Eugene Pandala’s first projects that sets a benchmark for environmentally conscious and responsive expressionism. This ferro-cement house rises like a mushroom amidst the jungle, blurring the boundaries between the built and unbuilt.

    5. Prasanna Morey | PMA Madhushala

    In 2010, Prasanna Morey founded Madhushala which suffused with this inherited stance of impermanence into open-ended practice. Studio Madhushala, below the surface of our senses, free from influence and effort, is a world of absolute beauty. Initiated by Prasanna Morey, PMA Madhushala is a collective of hearts, minds and hands brought together by a shared love of Architecture.

    Gadi House, Pune

    The ‘Gadi House’ is a testament to sustainable residential design. The material and aesthetic characteristics of stone and brick are considered with the traditional understandings while designing the fortress. The abode contains wind towers for natural cooling and internal courtyards plantation for a healthy living.

    6. Sonali Rastogi & Manit Rastogi | Morphogenesis

    Sonali and Manit Rastogi started Morphogenesis in 1996 with a vision of defining sustainable architecture for contemporary India. Their approach towards creativity is inspired by the evolutionary processes in nature and our belief in sustainability shapes all our projects.

    Surat Diamond Bourse, Surat

    The Surat Diamond Bourse, an expansive office complex spanning 7.1 million square feet has an IGBC Platinum rating. The self shaded and well ventilated Lakha red granite and Gwalior white sandstone blocks, enable natural cooling and ventilation. The building flares out at both ends to funnel in prevailing winds through the Venturi effect.

    7. Karan Grover | Karan Grover and Associates

    Karan Grover and Associates though a young architectural practice, has emerged into a multi-disciplinary organisation with the best associate consulting teams for all the services, which is an integral part of the architectural design process. In 2004, Grover became the first architect in the world to win the USGBC “Platinum” Award for the greenest building in the world.

    Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre

    This business centre is a LEED Platinum certified building with its thoughtful planning and material choices. The design uses fly-ash-based bricks, glass, aluminum, and ceramic tiles – all recycled. The interiors use organic materials like bagasse and low VOC paints, sealants & carpets.

    8. Robert Verrijt and Shefali Balwani | Architecture BRIO

    Robert Verrijt Shefali Balwani and founded Architecture BRIO in 2006. The firm engages actively in the creation of contextually appropriate, sustainable design solutions within an increasingly changing world. The work of the studio addresses new ways of understanding the often contradictory interrelations between the city, architecture, landscape, and the world of interiors.

    Mumbai Artist Retreat

    Reimagined as a ‘tropical sanctuary,’ this artist’s workshop features two pyramid-shaped roofs adorned with skylights. Crafted from natural bamboo, the exterior spaces exude an organic charm, seamlessly integrating with the surrounding environment.

    9. Sanjay Mohe| Mindspace

    Mindspace, formed in October 2004, is an architectural firm with extensive experience in handling residences, institutions, research labs and corporate offices. Founded by Sanjay Mohe, Vasuki Prakash and Suryanarayanan, the projects done by Mindspace have resulted in several national and international awards and consistent features in architectural journals.

    Titan Integrity Campus, Bangalore

    The design of Titan Integrity Campus shatters the stereotypes of an office building. Incorporating Biophilic elements into the built space, the office embraces natural environment. The cascading green terraces around the central lake, enable a healthy workplace.

    10. Sanjay Prakash | Shift

    Sanjay Prakash is an architect with a commitment to energy-conscious architecture and eco-friendly design. His area of practice and research over the last 40 years includes passive and low energy architecture and planning, autonomous energy and water systems, bamboo and earth construction, community-based design of common property and so on.

    Mirambika Institute

    Uniting the entire design scheme with a single thought of using natural materials, this institute is an ode to sustainability. The entire institute has been designed with seamless indoor-outdoor connect. The built space peeps through the green veil and invites sunlight and ventilation throughout.

    11. Shipra Singhania | Sketch Design Studio

    Shipra Singhania founded Sketch Design Studio, a dynamic and innovative design firm based in Rajasthan. The studio is driven by a passion for design as a language, reflecting the client’s personality and the designer’s creative vision. Whether it’s a cosy countryside retreat or an urban eco-friendly dwelling, Sketch Design Studio brings together the best of sustainable design principles and architectural craftsmanship.

    Stone House

    With a classic fusion of rustic charm with eco-friendly finishes, Stone House integrates outdoor and indoor spaces. Sustainable choices such as toxin-free and organic paints, clay finish walls and the use of earthen pots as filler slabs, embrace this house in a natural and healthy living.

    12. Made In Earth Collective

    Made In Earth approaches design as a dialogue between natural materials. The firm is the brainchild of Shruthi Ramakrishna, Jeremie Gaudin, Agnimitra Bachi, and Ajinkya Unhale. With a taste for experimentation and innovation, the firm focuses on modern expressions that are both elemental and eco-friendly. Along with a common realisation through their experiences, the founders came to a conclusion, it all comes down to people.

    Rana House

    Rana House is an ode to nature and functionality with its user-friendly design program and material choices. the bamboo curtain wall envelops this vibrant house and creates a dramatic play of shades and shadows between spaces.

    As we reflect on World Environment Day 2024, it’s inspiring to see how the field of architecture is evolving to embrace sustainability. The work of these 12 Indian architects stands as a testament to the innovative and impactful approaches being taken to create a greener, more sustainable future. Each of these visionaries not only designs with the environment in mind but also champions the integration of eco-friendly practices into the core of architectural processes.

    On this World Environment Day, let us draw inspiration from their commitment and creativity. As we move forward, it’s crucial for all of us—architects, designers, policymakers, and citizens alike—to prioritize sustainability in our endeavors. Together, we can build a future where architectural beauty and environmental stewardship go hand in hand, ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come.

    Let’s celebrate these pioneers of sustainable design and commit ourselves to supporting and implementing green practices in every aspect of our lives. Here’s to a sustainable future, where architecture not only meets the needs of today but also preserves the planet for tomorrow. Happy World Environment Day!

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