Nimish Patel, an Ahmedabad based architect who was more active in heritage structure preservation, passed away on Wednesday after prolonged illness. He was 70 years old and was heading Abhikram, a conservation and planning consultancy firm set up by him and his wife Parul Zaveri in 1979.
Very vocal proponent of sustainability, Nimish Patel had special love for Indian vernacular architecture and its methods and materials used. He is also remembered for amalgamating traditional motifs with contemporary designs in his work.
Patel after doing his initial architecture course at CEPT, moved on to MIT, Cambridge for post graduation studies with a specialisation in urban settlement design. On his return, he set up Abhikram, meaning initiation in Sanskrit, an Architecture, Interiors, Conservation and Planning consultancy firm in 1979. “Our observations on the state of architectural practice then, led us to initiate and explore, design directions and processes, that make the built environment functionally, psychologically, environmentally and spiritually, more contextual and more comfortable,” said the architect couple — Nimish and Parul —on their website.
“For the last 38 years, along with his partner Parul Zaveri, Nimish Patel has designed significant buildings that sensitively responded to the cultural and climatic contexts, emphasised user comfort, and optimised resources. Nimish and Parul have also significantly contributed to the field of conservation. CEPT University mourns his loss and gratefully recalls his contribution to the institution,” said CEPT in its condolence message.
In his career spanning more than four decades, Nimish Patel has done several landmark projects which clearly brought out his love for environment and sustainability. For example, for his own house, he used traditional concoction of gur, gugal & methi to achieve better binding & water proofing properties. Lime was used as mortar, coloured plaster & paint & screens in the garden. Earthern pots were used to provide the insulation on the terrace. Marbles, lime plaster & pieces of saucers lines the bathrooms.
His departure will be a great loss to Indian architecture and also for conservation and preservation of heritage structures. His last rites will be performed today.