Acceptance speech for BAI Kottayam award, December 2021

Acceptance speech for BAI Kottayam award, December 2021

Respected chief guest, members on the dais, friends
I am honoured by the recognition from this august gathering of my architectural works spanning 43 years.

As I speak now, new technologies in building construction and new materials are being discovered every day.

My 4 year old grandson, Liam, has an imaginary friend called Buildy. Buildy is 6 years old and can build the whole world in 6 days!

Perhaps it is a prophetic forecast of things to come! We have building using 3D printing – this was inconceivable 40 years ago!

It’s a sobering thought that our actions directly impact the environment. At Suvarnarekha Design Consultants we have one factor that we strive to keep constant in our designs. This is respect for nature and the environment.

Designing to maximise profits should be balanced by our collective commitment to safe guarding our earth for our grandchildren. The designs that we do are created to minimize the carbon footprint on the planet.

We do this by

  • Starting with the site – studying the layout of the land to minimize change to existing topography and landscape.
  • Maximise natural air flow and optimizing natural sunlight. We have used glass in commercial buildings, but made sure to reduce heat by slanting the glass outwards to minimize direct sunlight.
  • We have avoided air conditioning by inducing and drawing natural air through horizontal aluminium louvers on the sunshade and circulating throughout the building with turbo fans in the stair well.

We create pits in the ground and plant trees to reduce the outward flow of rain water in hilly areas while collecting the excess flow at the bottom of the slope.

Our designs are interlinked with nature so that living inside is like being part of the outside. In our landscapes we try to maximize the use of native plant species and keep exotic ones to the minimum.

For our interiors we try to use recycled materials.

Our interest in reuse and recycling is perhaps why we excel in the challenges of renovation and reuse projects.

I have been fortunate to grow up in an environment where we could live in harmony with nature with all its delightful dimensions and take it for granted. My designs reflect this. We design buildings that are contextual in its relationship to the surrounding.

I believe that the building we design is not to be seen individually, but as part of the neighbourhood and should be designed to respect its scale, taking into account the impact it would have on the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is part of the town/city and also part of the nation.

Doing our bit, like drops of water, making up the ocean, we can together build individually green buildings that would create green neighbourhoods, towns, cities and the nation and leave a better world for children, like my grandson Liam.

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