Utssav Gupta: Virtuoso Architect Transforming Vision into Reality
Indian architecture has always sparked interest among architects, connoisseurs, and the beholder in general. Being magnanimous and intricate, the architecture of ancient to medieval India fascinated the visitors, rulers, and invaders of other countries. Indian architecture also starkly reflects the mark of each ruler, with each creation representing the era that it came into existence. The heritage buildings of India are testimony to the fact that Indian art and design spell quality and strength.
Indian architecture is a pleasant amalgamation of monuments and modern buildings. Post-independence and with the exit of the British, India saw a mix of both modern and traditional architecture to strike a balance between the needs of growing urbanisation and retaining the heritage.
With rapid urbanisation there was no stopping for the developments in architecture. To satiate the needs of a growing urban population, compact spaces and tall buildings came into existence. Before one could bat an eyelid, high rises became the focus of architects, be it commercial or residential projects. Suddenly, everyone wanted to live in ultra-modern homes and work in ultra-modern offices. Air-conditioned offices became the basic requirement in an all-enclosed office where ventilation meant AC and light meant electric lamps instead of the traditional windows, outlets, and natural lights. With globalization practically percolating every corner of the world, architecture was also naturally swept by it, and being world-class became the mantra of each architect. The changing trends in architecture were sheer reflections of a developing society. Infrastructure and landscapes also changed dramatically to accommodate the demands of urban town planning.
Even as Indian architecture began booming at an enviable tempo, realisation dawned upon some architects to have a harmonious balance of nature with state-of-the-art architecture at par with the global architecture and sustainability written as clear and loud as one could see and hear. Architecture today means not aping the West blindly but simply picking what will suit the Indian topography and climatic condition, most importantly, it is all about living close to nature. Technology is only incorporated where it is essential, particularly for security purposes. Technology is, however, used for the construction material and process.
These are the architects who chose to do things differently, aesthetically, sustainably, and yet established themselves on the global platform. They are the ones who are most sought after and are showing the way to the world.
Contemporary architecture is all about sustainability, aesthetics, and world-class architecture that includes minimalistic but multi-utility features. The attempt has always been the best use of available space where more room is created. Malls, shopping complexes, and most commercial establishments, however, are as per the global tastes. Today, even smart city projects of the government are focused on retaining natural elements while providing infrastructure and necessary amenities for comfortable living.
In our latest edition of CIOLOOK, The 7 Influential Leaders in Architecture, 2021, we featured architects who chose not to take the beaten path and proved that commercialisation does not necessarily mean compromising on creativity and nature.