Sustainable architecture is set to be a mainstay of the future of urban planning and India is one of the pioneering nations in this regard. India has placed itself at the center of the global endeavour for more environmentally conscious urban planning while upgrading itself to smart cities. While this is yet to become the trend it should be, here are 10 expert architects pioneering the fight against buildings that adversely impact our natural world.
Teloloapan Chitra Vishwanath | Biome Environmental Solutions – Bangalore
Chitra Vishwanath, an expert in sustainable building, focuses on architecture responding to the climate. Under Chitra, Biome optimises their use of natural resources, thereby reducing waste. They specifically employ renewable materials such as timber and mud while eliminating chemical-based products in their building processes. Therefore, they use energy-efficient techniques such as rainwater harvesting and solar power, that consequently minimise environmental impact and protect the surrounding ecosystem and local biodiversity.
Trupti Doshi | Auroma Group – Pondicherry
(Source: Trupti Doshi)
Trupti Doshi’s company focuses on building eco-friendly residential and office spaces. Founded in 2013, Auroma brought in local craftsmen, used rainwater harvesting, and employed waste composting in its homes. This venture was in the aftermath of Doshi working on the Sharanam Rural Development Centre in Pondicherry. During her time working on the centre, they built structures made from unfired earth. Therefore, the same soil standing under the building also made the building. It was such innovation that she brought with her to Auroma, pioneering sustainable architecture in India.
Rahul Mehrotra | RMA Architects – Mumbai
(Source: Architectural Digest)
An expert urban planner and hardcore conservationist, Rahul Mehrotra has the sensitivity required to reduce the environmental impact of his architectural ventures. As the founder of RMA Architects, his understanding of aesthetics enabled him to carefully and meticulously plan his projects so that he builds eco-friendly, beautiful homes. Mehrotra brings with him a material platter of local basalt stone, Mangalore tiles or copper to realise his organic, environmentally-friendly visions with a humanist perspective. This way, he becomes a mainstay of India’s top sustainable architects.
Gopal Shankar | Habitat Technology Group – Thiruvananthapuram
(Source: Habitat Technology Group)
For the last 3 decades, Gopal Shankar has led the cause of sustainable architecture. Currently running India’s largest non-profit – Habitat Technology Group – he is committed to creating sustainable building solutions through cost-efficient, eco-friendly, and community-centric architecture. A Padma Shri awardee, he overcame several challenges in his youth and has now constructed over 100,000 green buildings in over 5 countries. With Laurie Baker’s influence, Shankar focuses on locally available materials in all his structures. E.g. in Kerala, he uses bamboo and limestone in his structures. These cost-efficient materials are effective at mitigating disasters while requiring less energy compared to steel or cement.
Delia Narayan | Didi Contractor – Himachal Pradesh
(Source: Architectural Digest)
Delia Narayan who goes by her professional name, Didi Contractor, has received the Nari Shakti Puruskar as recognition for her contributions to architecture. Contractor’s work is marked by eco-sensitivity and the use of local materials and techniques in her building processes. She is best known for her mud and clay buildings which respond to the ecological crises the world faces today.
Biju and Sindhu Bhaskar | Thannal – Tiruvannamalai
(Source: The Better India)
Biju and Sindhu Bhaskar founded Thannal Hand Sculpted Homes to creating eco-friendly designs using everyday materials. They base their structures on indigenous knowledge systems since they consider houses to be material extensions of the way people live in them. Therefore, they use materials without altering them, therefore minimizing environmental impact and leading to a harmonious living within nature.
Yatin Pandya | Footprints E.A.R.T.H. – Ahmedabad
Under the expertise of Yatin Pandya, a leading ecological architect, this company made reusing waste in construction mainstream. Repurposing waste is a cost-effective, eco-friendly method to build, which is what Pandya pioneered by recycling discarded plastic bottles as bricks and vegetable crates as doors. Such innovation also reduced any material waste otherwise caused by construction.
Benny Kuriakose | Chennai
(Source: Benny Kuriakose)
One of India’s leading sustainable architects in the last 3 decades, Kuriakose has designed a wide range of structures from residential spaces to resorts. He sources his materials locally and ensures minimal environmental impact by using materials such as earthen, stone and timber. Meanwhile, he encourages incorporating natural light, ventilation and greenery in his designs.
Dean D’Cruz | Mozaic – Goa
(Source: Goa Streets)
Dean D’Cruz switched to sustainable building practices in 2012, focusing on environment-friendly, cost-effective architecture. He works to conserve Goa’s heritage structures while reviving local building traditions. A staunch believer in equitable design, he includes every stakeholder during the building process.
Dharmesh Jadeja | Dustudio – Auroville
(Source: Dustudio | Facebook)
Dharmesh Jadeja creates a fusion of traditional and contemporary traditions, producing environmentally sustainable, economically viable and energy-efficient designs. Using locally available materials, he furthers traditional crafts by creating opportunities for local artisans and training them in contemporary practices so they can refine their art.