Top 5 Indian Women Architects


Date: 10-June,2022Last Updated: 26-September,2022
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Hey guys,

Art and Architecture are evolving every day, and at the helm of the same are exceptional Indian women architects and their immense contributions.

In today's world, architecture is the measure of a civilization's or a country's development. Skyscrapers, both commercial and housing, have become the norm. India too is not too far from the frontlines. And these developments have been spearheaded by a stellar group of architects of the past and present.

Let's explore more about these amazing architects.

1) Brinda Somaya

Brinda Somaya is an Indian architect born on 28 June 1949. Brinda Somaya won the prestigious American Field Service International to study in California. She began her architectural practice in Mumbai. She has been married to Anand Somaya, a cardiac surgeon, for over 42 years.

Brinda Somaya traveled to many rural parts of India. She acquired the knowledge and inspiration for vernacular architecture like Nalanda International School in Vadodara, which reflected her the vernacular architecture by using the locale's available resources and techniques.

The designs of Brinda Somaya are called both traditional and sustainable. Brinda Somaya's work includes corporate, industrial, and institutional campuses extending to other public spaces. Some of these campuses include Nalanda International School, Vadodara; Tata Consultancy Services, Zensar Technologies; Pune.

She is currently the chairperson of the Board of Governors for the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, and built more than 200 projects and is known as one of the best women architects in India.

Awards and Honors Won by Brinda Somaya:

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage award for the restoration of St. Thomas' Cathedral in Mumbai in 2004.

She was awarded the Indian Institute of Architects-Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2014.

She was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from her Alma Mater at Smith College in 2012.

A temporary school was built so that the students could continue their education. Brinda Somaya worked closely with villagers and used available resources to save money.

Somaya reflected the tradition of Jaipur in her project by using the local brick produced by the local masons. She designed the projects to ensure peace and tranquility for students and for sustainability.

Other Projects of Brinda Somaya are:

Goa Institute of Management, Goa.

TCS House, Mumbai.

Nalanda International School, Vadodara.

2) Anupama Kundoo

Anupama Kundoo studied architecture at Sir J.J College of Architects, Bombay. In 1996 she was awarded the Vastu Shilpa Foundation Fellowship for her thesis on "Urban Eco-Community: Design and Analysis for Sustainability." In 2008 she received a doctoral degree from the Technical University of Berlin.

Anupama Kundoo herself was established as an architect in Auroville in 1990 as she designed and built with "energy and water-efficient infrastructure" adaptations.

Her basic design approach is to use "waste materials, unskilled labour, and local communities." One of her notable buildings built for her residence is titled the "Wall House."

This house is L-Shaped in the plan and has a courtyard in the middle; while it is modern in concept, it adopts traditional "vernacular" materials such as compressed earth, concrete, and steel, and the restroom is set in an open-to-sky design with smooth merging with interior and external spaces and landscaped giving it a modern and a regional appearance.

A full-sized replica of her Wall House was made by hand and exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

The other theme of her was "Liberty," which presents a reading place as a free library, a creation built with three types of trees fixed in the center of square space.

3) Revathi Kamath

Revathi Kamath was an Indian architect and pioneer of mud architecture in India. She was also credited with building the tallest stainless structure in India and is one of the top women architects in India. She was born in a Tamil Brahmin family. She spent some of her years in Bangalore and tribal areas along the Mahanadi river with her father.

Her early years left a deep impression on understanding of nature, people, and the rhythms of life. In 1977 is obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Architecture and completed her post-graduation program in Urban and Regional Planning.

In 1981 she opened a firm with "Revathi and Vasant Kamath" and later came to be known as "Kamath Design Studio-Architecture, Planning and Environment."

Revathi Kamath is known for her sensitive efforts in building the "Evolving Home" concept for redevelopment. She consulted 350 families to comprehend individual needs and to give them a first home on the ground.

She contributed to the exhibition – "Traditional Architecture in India" for the festival of India in Paris.

Some of her projects are:

Desert Resort in Mandawa, Delhi.

Akshay Pratishthan, Delhi.

Weaver's Housing Project, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh.

Awards and honors:

Revathi Kamath received the Award in World Women in Arts, Architecture, and Design.

She has been the recipient of the prestigious Aga Khan Award.

4) Sunita Kholi

Sunita Kholi is an Indian interior designer, architectural restorer, and furniture manufacturer. In 1992 she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. She was married to Ramesh Kholi in 1971, an equity investor.

Sunita Kholi grew up in Lucknow as her father was an Arya Samaji and migrated to Lucknow after the partition. She graduated in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.

After her marriage, she and her husband started frequenting Kabadi in their free time, looking for 19th-century English furniture and lamps in Lucknow, Rajasthan, and the hill resorts of Dehradun and Mussoorie.

She also worked on the restoration and conversation into a boutique hotel. In the 1990's she did the interior design of the British Council Building in New Delhi.

Sunita Kholi was the chairperson and Founder Trustee of the NGO Umang, which worked for street and slum children.

Awards:

In 1992 she was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India "for contribution to national life by excellence in the field of Interior Design and Architectural Restoration."

In the same year, she received the "Mahila Shirmani Award," recognizing women of achievement by Mother Teresa.

5) Shimul Javeri Kadri

Shimul Javeri Kadri is an Indian Architect in the city of Mumbai. She has a philosophy of building in harmony with nature by using natural elements, sunlight, natural materials, and cultural contexts.

Shimul Javeri Kadri project includes hotels, museums, office and industrial buildings, bungalows, and educational institutions.

Her design of Lotus Café in the same hotel won the Prix Versailles in the Restaurants category. The design and architecture of Nirvana Films office, Bangalore, won multiple awards including the World Architectural Festival Small Project of the Year Award 2012.

Shimul serves as a trustee for Akshara, a women's resource center in Mumbai for Save the Children India, and has also been actively steering education and women's projects.

So that was our list of the top 5 Indian Women Architects. Do share about the ones we missed!

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