Four architects define how architecture has transformed over the years in our country. By Team Viva
Architecture is more than just throwing together raw materials such as concrete, glass, and wood. The concept of architecture has changed over the years, and today, architecture is a way for the designer to play around with various elements while honing their art and practice. Architecture is a complex discipline that is an amalgamation of design, art, math and science to arrive at a balanced compendium of form and function. The monuments of India are some of the world's most stunning works of architecture. From the Red Fort to Hampi, everything that our forefathers and ancestors built has been a source of great pride. But due to pollution, natural weathering, and poor civic sense, the monuments have been facing a preservation crisis. However, with the help of architects, and the way they are devising new plans to preserve the monuments, there is an excellent chance that these pieces of our collective history will be standing tall for future generations. Architects have been employing stratification techniques, logistic recognition, and using reconstruction methods to preserve the monuments in all their glory.
Manish Dikshit: The founding partner of Aum Architects believes that architecture is a way to look at human history as a whole. It reflects the change in needs and thinking patterns of a community, which becomes even more critical when one is looking to contextualise their existence. The power of good architecture must not be underestimated as it helps in connecting people while protecting the environment. Since the awareness and need for sustainable architecture have been expressed by experts, architects have been working tirelessly to help fit extremely utilitarian buildings while expressing the need to have carbon-neutral structures. We, as architects, are constantly looking to upgrade systems and functions, so it is fulfilling for us to deliver highly concise designs.
Sumit Dhawan: The founder and principal architect at Cityspace '82 Architects is of the view that architecture is synonymous with endurance and longevity. He explains that buildings and structures made by man must be long-lasting while being able to withstand the rapidly changing human times. A building needs to be both functional and have perfectly-balanced aesthetics. It also needs to be expectant of the human changes that will inevitably come as time passes. Architecture is also becoming more community-based. So, long gone are the days wherein architects would create lofty structures that would inevitably intimidate folks. Simple and highly utilitarian buildings are the new vogue. We cater to a myriad of community-based activities that serve to increase its value.
Anil Badan: The founder & architect at Studio B Architects, states that architecture is all about being accessible. From simple structural incorporations like ramps and banisters that would help the elderly or the disabled to buildings designed with the help of logic and common sense, we firmly believe in having architecture made for the public and its people. So, in a way, architecture is all about improving the lives of people. Architecture also deals with the simplest forms of human equations, wherein it has the capacity to change lives, enrich human experiences and create a context for human existence to move forward. With the advent of new materials or finding new methods of using old, reliable materials, the art of architecture has changed by leaps and bounds.
Anurag Pashine: The principal architect from Salankar Pashine & Associates, recommends that design has the potential to change the way we work. Explaining his view with an example — an office with a scorching and sweltering area with poor ventilation and lack of windows will impact the productivity of employees as they will not be able to focus on their work. With the help of new technology and new materials being discovered every day, this office conundrum can easily be solved with proper glass facades that allow ventilation and an HVAC system that will eventually help air circulation. Taking one element out of the equation and working on it so that it is better can lead to changing human lives for the better. While architects aim to create user-friendly buildings, aesthetics also play an essential role in attracting people to the facets, so it is more like a delicate game of Jenga that needs to balance various elements.
At the same time, it is also essential to recognise the fact that architecture and human lives are constantly in touch with each other. While recognising that architecture is used to shape and help propel human lives, human interactions also aid in shaping architecture. Reflecting the changing needs and wants of the communities, architecture ultimately helps in the proliferation of urbanisation of various rural areas as well.