Vinay Parelkar talks about architectural trends in India
Parelkar, a Bachelor of Architecture, from Sir J. J. College
of Architecture, University of Bombay (1974), is a practicing architect,
valuer and interior designer, having been in the field for the past
26 years. Parelkar comes from a family of architects and is a partner
of M/s. Parelkar & Dallas, one of the oldest firms of architects
in Mumbai, which was established in the year 1943 by Parelkar's
grandfather, Late Shri. Shankarrao H. Parelkar.
Parelkar is a well known name in the architectural fraternity He
has designed many prestigious projects of in Mumbai and is an active
member of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), presently
holding the chair of Vice President. His wife, Neelam Parelkar,
also an architect, is a chairperson of the Brihanmumbai Centre of
IIA. Here is Vinay Parelkar, on Mumbaibest, speaking about his achievements,
architecture in today's world and The Indian Institute of Architects.
Tell us about the Indian Institute of Architects ; its growth
and work procedure.
IIA is the only professional national organisation of architects
with a membership of over 12,000 architects all over India. The
83 year old institute is affiliated to different international organisations,
which include The International Union Of Architects ( UIA), The
Architects Regional Council Of Asia (ARCASIA), Commonwealth Association
of Architects (CAA), and the South Asian Association of Architects
(SAARCH). IIA renders its services to architects all over India
and to society at large, through its various Chapters, Centers,
and Sub - Centers.
Today, we have around 16 chapters and 35 centers/Sub - Centers
spread all over India. The Institute has various boards and committees
such as its Professional Service Board, the Board of Architecture
Education, the Board of Examination, Publication Board etc. It also
conducts examinations for eligible candidates through its Board
of Examination. The Institute organises seminars, workshops, lectures
on various subjects / themes linked to the architectural profession
and practice. The IIA also assists local bodies and government in
formulating various policies and guidelines for urban and rural
development. Public lectures are sometimes arranged on commemorative
days such as IIA Foundation Day, World Environment Day, World Habitat
Day, World Day of Architecture etc.
The institute has taken a bold stride forward in this age of information
and technology. It has launched its website,
We believe that the website will give global coverage to the activities
of our Institute, and also present the architectural scenario and
the building industry in India. Our web site is also hyper linked
with web sites of other international Architectural Organisations,
such as UIA, ARCASIA, CAA.
Do you have any plans for the middle class and low income groups
of people ?
Today, all housing plans and developments are meant only for
the rich upper class. The middle class and the lower middle class,
cannot even dream of such residences because of the high prices.
We are trying our best to reach out to those at the grass root level,
so as to uplift the present standards of the building industry,
in terms of technology, quality and durability. On many occasions,
we invite architects specialised in this field from various parts
of India and abroad as speakers to speak at seminars / conferences.
There is new technology available in the west in the field of building
construction, which will enable the builder or the architect and
perhaps the government and semi - government bodies to construct
low cost affordable, durable housing for the poor.
In fact, due to globalisation, many architects, builders / contractors
from abroad are already here, for the promotion of their construction
technology and skills. But for that, first of all we have to educate
our masses, about the developments. And we are spreading these messages
through our workshops and seminars. In November, 2000, we had hosted
the International Conference on the theme " Housing for the poor
" in Mumbai, under the auspices of three International organisations
of Architects. The sub-themes at the conference included planning
and designing, innovative technology, and implementation and finance.
What, do you think, was the reason for the sudden drop in real
estate prices ?
The market generally operates in a vicious circle. Earlier the
profits of the share markets was invested in the real estate, and
the builders had enough money to construct massive structure even
without advance payments from the buyers. Scams and slump in the
stock market automatically affected the real estate. Today the builders
with advance payments also are not in a position to construct the
desired houses. Many builders ran away with money, which in a way
caused distrust in the minds of consumers. Today no one is ready
to spare their money without final work and documents.
What do you have to say about the new trends in Indian architecture
India is now the confluence of the east and the west. We have
absorbed and assimilated influences from the west and the Far East.
Even though we accept the post-modern, we still love our traditional
architecture. Today, we can see the blending of the ancient style
of Indian architecture in the building elements of post-modern and
On the other hand, Indian architecture is influencing the way architects
work in the west too. Trends indicates that Indian architecture
will be a source of considerable influence and will have significant
impact on trends in global architecture. We have vast resources
from our past to inspire us. We have the qualities of creativity,
innovation, adaptibility and ingenuity in abundant. There is a growing
feeling that the world has turned into a global village, where each
culture is influenced by the other.
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