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Wide array of architectural work on display

G.V. Prasada Sarma
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For students of architecture it is a totally new experience, writes G.V. Prasada Sarma

For the first time, the city hosted architects from all over the country and neighbouring countries for selecting winners for prestigious awards. From 225 entries displayed at Hotel Novotel, the jury picked up winners in various categories for the 23{+r}{+d}Architect of the Year Awards (AYA) of JK Cements Ltd. It was an occasion for architects, structural engineers, builders and architecture students to come together.

The award is the brainchild of the company’s MD and CEO Y R Singhania who himself is a civil engineer from IIT, Kanpur.

The first AAY award was given in 1990. The scope of the awards has been increased over a period of time including several States away from Delhi and neighbouring countries as well.

“In the seventh year other countries were invited and in the eighth year’s awards Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles were involved,” Assistant Vice-President (Technical & Management Services), JK Cement, A.K. Chaturvedi, who was here in connection with the two-day programme told The Hindu .

It was also observed that the entries were mostly from metros and participation from smaller cities and backward States was not much, he said. To improve it and spread the reach, the idea of “Focus States” was introduced and every year two, three States were combined and the jury meeting was held in one of the cities. This year the jury met here last week with Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as focus States. Earlier, the jury met at Mangalore, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Jabalpur. The criteria to hold the meeting is that it should have 50 practising architects and at least one college of architecture.

“What we observed that even towns with two to three lakh population have architects now. While the buildings are getting constructed there has hardly been any documentation. Now with such competitions the documents are available and for any problem or reference one can always to go back to them,” says Administrator for AYA M.P. Rawal.

The 13 awards include “Great Master’s/Chairman award” and three State-level awards for focus States, including one for a young architect. All the entries are coded without revealing the identity of the participants. The display gave details of the nature of the project, design, execution, significance etc.

This year’s jury comprised A. Ravi Kapur, Patna; Prakash S Deshmukh, Pune; Namita Singh, Chandigarh; Yeshwant Ramamurthy, Secunderabad; Philip Robert John Fowler, Coimbatore; Rabi Narayan Mohanty, Bhubaneswar; Habib Khan, Nagpur; Vinesh Chintaram, Mauritius and Michele Marie Fonseka, Sri Lanka.

The jury declared the names of the winners on Tuesday. The prizes will be given away at an awards function later.

“Inspiring”

For students of architecture it is a totally new experience. “We used to display our own work at the annual architect show and see new building elements and materials. But the display of the work of architects from various parts of the country and abroad has given an idea of how they are looking at various aspects, including green architecture that is present dominantly,” says H. Harshitha, a third year B.Arch. student of Andhra University, describing the show as inspiring.At various places architects use different designs suitable to that climate. Besides, how windows are placed or spaces managed are given along with specifics and also what are the demands from people, she says.

Good opportunity

It was a good opportunity to observe from close quarters diverse styles and design solutions possible from close quarters, points out architect Y. Narasimha Rao, who was professional adviser to the Award Secretariat.

The display also helped architects of the city to compare quality of work with the others and to realise that their own work was not too far from that of national standard, he added.


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