“Urbanization & Vertical living has become future of building. We can’t afford sacrifice on agricultural land, we need to use limited land. This was foreseen by Honourable Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru & Le Corbusier way ahead of time. Today, we see massive growth in rapid, high technology & high speed building”, says Ar. Prem Nath, Prem Nath & Associates
Tell us about yourself.
I completed my schooling in Delhi, and started working with an engineering firm where I used to take blueprints for draughtsmen. There I developed my interest in the field of architecture and enrolled myself in a graduate diploma program at Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. After completing my diploma with highest honors from Sir J. J. College of Architecture in 1965, I started my career as an interior designer. Additionally, I am a Chartered Engineer, a Certified Valuer and Real Estate Appraiser.
In my career spanning 50 long years, I have received many awards such as “Most Promising Brand” in Architecture and Real Estate at World Brand Summit, Dubai, “Life Time Achievement Award”, “India’s Top Ten Architect” award, “HUDCO Design Award for Green Architecture for HMEL Township” and many more.
Any instances of disappointment where you were expecting award but didn’t get one?
I was never disappointed because I never expected. I was always nominated by the organisation in regards of my successful work / projects.
What is your take on the current Traditional/Vernacular architecture, in urban context?
Vernacular Architecture today has become fad, we talk about it but practically can’t practice it. They can’t become a lifestyle . The have become academic .The Vernacular architecture is predominant & seen in rural area of India, small town, street of slums with massive population.
Urbanization & Vertical living has become future of building. We can’t afford sacrifice on agricultural land, we need to use limited land. This was foreseen by Honourable Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru & Le Corbusier way ahead of time. Today, we see massive growth in rapid, high technology & high speed building.
Sustainability = environmental concerns = aesthetics or is it vice versa?
Sustainability and environmental concerns are primary requirement. Sustainability is a part of the project; it is now the skill of the architect to make the project aesthetically pleasing keeping in mind the environmental concerns.
Once you develop a project based on certain concept (after considering client’s briefing), how do you ensure originality throughout the life of the project?
The originality of the concept will be maintained throughout
- unless & until there is a drastic change to the concept.
- Unless somebody re-does/ change the planed elevations, concepts entirely.
What are all the aspects you a pay attention while deciding on the design?
The primary aspects is the space, neighbourhood, regulation & environment. It is not necessary to totally replicate the buildings of the neighbourhood , we can always slightly blend with the concept flowing in the neighbourhood. Its is as per the clients choice & the architects design to make the project as in line to the neighbourhood or Different
Is there any one concept that you wanted to work; but couldn’t?
Clients are not experts; that is why they approach an architect, to help them create/design a particular project. Also, there are times the clients say many things, but it is the architects job to advice/guide the client as per their affordability .
According to you what traits make an architect successful in his profession?
Whether architect or any other profession – they need to be ambitious, satisfied & comfortable with their profession; they need to give in their best to be successful in their respectful profession. It is the hard work that pays off.
Making houses available to those who don’t have and that too at affordable prices is the greatest challenge before the country today. How an architect and his profession can help the nation in achieving the objective of ‘Housing for all’?
It is the job of the state / Government to provide houses for all & it is the architects job to design & build as per the clients requirement. Architects are trained to design & visualize, I have done all kind of projects it be a five star or 2 star, budgeted / affordable housing & being successful in it. Clients come to us with their requirement & affordability & we take care of the rest.
“Why cant low be beautiful” is the slogan we follow.
“Why can’t low be beautiful” is the slogan – Explanation
Beauty & Budget are skills of an architect who design budgeted homes & hotels that are constructed on low cost but do not compromise on good looks & aesthetics. Similar to boutique, where we find clothes of different range the lower cost once are equally beautiful but materials would differ .
Budget home is the need of the society in large number for millions of homes- The budgeted homes need to be steady, strong & also good to look. This is possible. The shade of colour does not cost more, playing with simple colour shades can give the housing a vibrant look. The paint need not be expensive. We can even play with low cost materials like brick & rocks to create an artistic perspective, or for instance use country wood in a innovative way.
Lights also play a very important role , the placing of the lights , can totally add up to the aesthetics of the budgeted home . There is a lot to add, it is totally on the creativity skills of the architect .
Who are the two persons who influenced you the most as an architect in your professional career? And how they influenced you?
Frank Lloyd Wright is a true inspiration to me. He started up as a draftsman, Throughout his long and prolific career, Frank Lloyd Wright brought modern architecture to the forefront. He was ahead of time & his visionary creations were strongly influenced by the natural world, and he emphasized craftsmanship while embracing technology’s ability to make design accessible to all.
Ar. Helmet Jacobi was also a great inspiration, as I followed his work during the 60’s , it helped me to create great design presentation.
In your opinion, what should be the core of’ Green Construction’?
The core of ‘Green Construction’ is environment friendly / Oriented projects. The projects made with using materials which are eco friendly. For instance – fast growing species like Pine trees tend to be more sustainable than slow-growing trees like Oak.
Similarly, Fly ash Brick are made of waste materials which come from the combustion of coal in thermal power plants,the manufacturing method saves energy, reduces mercury pollution as compared to normal clay bricks.
You have been also teaching the profession in some colleges and universities. Do you find any difference in teaching in India, in advanced countries? Do you suggest any improvement in our teaching method?
Teaching in advance country is a routine. In India, it is real profession, Teachers in India devote more time in teachings & educating. Indians are also passionate about teaching. They re-educate themselves to educate their students. In abroad countries, there is a great demand for Indian Teachers.
Do you think our traditional techniques like Vastu Shastra too should be part of the curriculum?
Its not shastra. Vastu is vidiya equivalent to architecture. Architect should use Vastu design to manage proper ventilation & lights, its not superstition.
I would request my readers to refer to my website – for the article on Vastu Preceptions.
What according to you are the top 5 projects that you designed from the day you started your career.
Having completed 50 years of this glorious practice, I was fortunate enough to create a lot many “Firsts” in India – The first ever Revolving Restaurant in the country for Ambassador Hotel in Mumbai; India’s 1st Health Spa & Body Rejuvenation Centre was designed by the firm for M/s. World Resorts Ltd, at Golden Palm Resorts, Bangalore; First Multiplex-Mall in the country i.e. Fame Adlabs at Citimall, Andheri Mumbai; Countries’ 1st fast-track I.T. for Morgan Stanley at Mindspace, Mumbai, 1st Gold graded & HUDCO Award winner Township for HP-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) at Punjab; India’s 1st Platinum Rated School campus – Cygnus World School at Vadodara; 1st themed entertainment Hotel-Resort at Delhi–NCR – The Royal Resort. Nextech Technology Park, Delhi-NCR, A fully integrated global technology IT Park project has, 1st ever ‘In-Implementation’ IT-SEZ Park developed as an Intelligent Techno-township, with the fully developed construction of more than 5 million Sft. spread over 25 acres of land.The Zeon Tower at Bhakti Park , Illuminated Tower High Rise Residential Phase 2 Complex with added exterior landscaped elements and multilevel podium parking.
What advice you want to give to the young architects of India?
Architecture is one of the best professions one can practice, which also enables us to be involved in every aspects of Human Life. Architects can attain name fame & also contentment, but architect do not become billionaire. If that suits then do pursue with passion & patience.