The dramatic transformation being witnessed in urban India has given rise to a new breed of architects, who are catering to the needs of the new buyers and users
WORDS: TEAM URBAN VAASTU
HOME architecture in India is evolving dramatically, as architects, designers, home buyers and even developers are adapting the new trends that are transforming the segment.
Technological development, environmental factors and the reality of modern urbanisation have had their impact on architecture as a whole. As Prof Jason Pomeroy, the Singapore-based award-winning architect, academic and TV personality, told an Indian newspaper recently sustainable design seeks to minimise waste and redundancy in the design of spaces, structure and water and energy requirements.
“The traditional vernacular architecture of India is replete with techniques that we can borrow and apply today,” he told The Statesman newspaper recently. “Not only can these techniques, when applied today, reduce energy use, they can help reduce pollution and waste. So, the basics are there in terms of local vernacular architectural techniques. But the next phase is in persuading developers, policy-makers and citizens that sustainable architecture will not only help combat climate change, but will result in more pleasant, liveable cities.”
Apurva Bose Dutta, an architect and writer, in a recent piece on ‘The Changing Culture of Architecture in Modern India’ in Archinect, points out that India’s growing economy and population has led to enormous housing needs, driving the extent of architectural work and creating massive opportunities in the country.
“It is also one of the reasons why the number of foreign architectural firms working in India has increased. In the aftermath of cities burdened by the lack of infrastructure, the opportunity to design and make a difference in India has become immense. This has also led to the increasing number of Indian architects, who, after receiving their architectural education overseas, have returned to India to practice and be a part of the shift the country is going through,” she writes.
Many architects also fear that pressure on space, especially in large cities, is forcing builders to get maximum returns on their investments; designs and other aesthetic matters are given a back-seat in the process.
But Chirag Jain, a leading architect from Mumbai, addressing a seminar – Recent Trends in Architecture – at Chandigarh recently said architecture must be rooted in its context and engage with construction technology, the local culture and climate and also consider the needs and socio-economic priorities of the people.
India’s urban architecture is expected to see dramatic changes over the coming years, especially with the government focusing on its Smart Cities Mission.
The bold new initiative of the government aims to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life by enabling local area development and harnessing technology to develop ‘smart’ outcomes.
Under the plan, area-based development will transform existing areas, including slums, into better planned ones, to ensure improved liveability. New areas will be developed around cities to accommodate rising population.
Of course, smart cities would have core infrastructure elements including:
» Adequate water supply
» Assured electricity
» Sanitation, including solid waste management
» Efficient urban mobility and public transport
» Affordable housing, especially for the poor
» Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
» Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
» Sustainable environment
» Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
» Health and education
The surge in development of smart cities is expected to boost the need of services from urban architects, many of who are expected to come out with unique designs to match the vibrant architecture of the new cities.