Looking beyond architectural clichés

Looking beyond architectural clichés

By PRADUMAN SODHA | | 9 January, 2016
Architect Akshat Bhatt, who’s Make in India pavilion at the Hannover mess, Germany  was called the best ever in the 65 year history of the mess, is now getting ready for the Make in India week coming February in Mumbai. When he is not representing the Indian design talent overseas he returns to his firm called Architecture Discipline to build structures like the hotel Mana Ranakpur in Udaipur and the Discovery Center in Bangalore.
Though the architect was tight lipped about his next Make in India project, he opened up about architecture and the way Indians understand it. The concept of good manners in architecture can be a little strange for the unaware, which most of our developing nation is and hence it suffers habitation in ill-constructed buildings.  “We have almost stopped building with brick and cement and now steel and glass are the new in thing, so we have built a lot of glass boxes and we are trapping all the heat in them. Glass is a very innovative material and a great advantage, but should be used in synergy with the environment. This is what good-mannered architecture means,” says Bhatt. “Traditionally most cultures are sustainable, we had our own ways to deal with the heat or cold and it was reflected in the architectures of different regions of our county. Now that there is such a pollutions scare in Delhi there should be a stronger effort to built and develop in harmony with the resources,” says Bhatt.      
Architecture, for most people is the design of a concrete structure, but when probed into it can be and is much more profound. “To talk about our studio, it was a small space but by adding sliding partitions and a glass side with have played with light and its can now seem varied and changed depending on the angel  one looks at it from,” explains Bhatt, about how large spaces are not pre-requisite for creating interesting architectural spaces. Talking about the first Make in India project he handled he says that though he is proud to have done it. “Make in India was something I had been contemplating at my personal level when we started reading about it in the papers. And when we heard about the pavilions we immediately filled out the tender. Though there were no hurdles in our path after we had the tender, it was the change in the demand from the senior authority that altered frequently and the brief giving to us would change slightly, other than that making the pavilion was a proud thing for me and my firm. We had 45-50 days to complete the task and it was a rush that is encouraging. We worked with a German and an English contractor along with a large Indian team, and it was just great to have a multi-lingual entourage of people,” said Bhatt.   
 

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