Indian Architects Bearing Flag of Eco-living High

by Team Conscious Carma

Recently we have seen an increase in the number of “Green buildings” in India. The Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan in New Delhi is one example of Sustainable architecture in today’s world.

Presently, most architects use sustainability as a concept for their designs. This practice, however, dates back to the ancient times, when our ancestors made sure that the resources available in great abundance were used efficiently without any wastage. They used materials indigenous to their location to keep their habitats cool or warm depending on their climatic zone. The people of early civilizations surely had no idea they were onto something when they built their cities as green as possible; they were just going with the flow, simply prodded and inspired by necessity. They lived in harmony with nature. Their cities were built modestly occupying a limited area and never extending beyond what is necessary, adjusting to the land’s geography and orientation to the sun, making the most out of all its features, offerings, and limitations. In contrast, nature has to be the one to accommodate all the special demands of modern cities. Our ancestors used low tech yet non-destructive ways. And now we need the architects who elegantly merge our technological know-how with the practical wisdom of early civilizations.

With ‘sustainability’ a war cry against environmental degradation, we feature Architects at
the Forefront of India’s Sustainable Design Wave…

A Mumbai based globe-trotting architect doing projects at various places, from Japan to Europe, from Kerala to Uttarakhand and the founder of Studio Mumbai, Bijoy Jain studied in the United States, worked in London and then returned to Mumbai to create his own architectural practice in 2005. What sets Bijoy Jain apart is a brilliant combination of tradition and modernity. Local resources and Indian craftsmanship form the basis for highly contemporary architectural designs. Bijoy Jain’s architecture is quite thoughtful and uncompromising to the last detail and shows a deep concern for the relationship between man and nature.

Even his installations have gained worldwide recognition in many biennales and museums, but Bijoy takes a
collaborative approach to designing within the limitations of an environment, emphasizing local materials, techniques, builders– and the continuous flux. Incorporating the local materials, local artisans and local techniques are the hallmarks of his projects, they reflect and are inspired by the environment within which they are situated. Palmyra House, for example, was constructed with traditional building methods and all materials are locally sourced, from the foundations stone and sand to the joinery made from an Indian hardwood called ain wood and the ever-present palmyra louvres filtering the light and allowing rich air circulation. His work is inherently sustainable, but should be seen as part of his intrinsic artistic sensibility rather than a conscious, trending choice towards “going green.” He has a love for the craftsmanship of the monks who carved the AjantaEllora caves and how it inspires his philosophy of creation and destruction. The studio is currently working on projects in Jaipur, Nice, Zürich and Florence.

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