Prem Nath's journey from rags to riches

Published: Apr 29, 2019 07:52:02 AM IST
Updated: Apr 29, 2019 02:32:02 PM IST

Prem Nath's journey from rags to riches
Ar Prem Nath
Prem Nath & Associates
Years of experience: 50+ years

In an article in one of the leading publications, Ar Prem Nath was quoted as, ‘Rag to Riches stories to cinema fiction. Prem Nath is one story in this profession’. The story captured his life as a construction worker’s child, who aspired and excelled to become one of the India’s top leading Architect-Designer, having done celebrity homes and achieving prominence and epitome of luxury. An award-winning architect, he translates your aspiration into living, breathing reality.

A trail blazer in the field, –he was reportedly called the ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ of Indian Architecture Fraternity. Ar. Prem Nath has excelled in wide array of projects viz. residential and commercial complexes, IT/sez parks, integrated townships, hotels-resorts, malls-multiplex, and high-end residential. He has qualified from Sir J J College of Architecture in top honors in Design. He is also a chartered engineer, certified value and real estate appraisers and an advisor for real-estate investments, FDI. He established his firm in 1967. Prem Nath & Associates (PNA) is a ‘Complete Design Organization’, and has offices in Mumbai, New-Delhi, and Ahmadabad. It is well-known for its high-end residential designs, high-rise towers, designer homes & residential townships.

Mr Nath was once described by news channel CNBC-Awaaz as an architect who ‘transforms an empty canvas into pulsating life. He translates your aspiration into living, breathing reality. A seminal architect and a trail blazer in the field’. He looks up to the great Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who started his carrier as a draftsman and went on to become America’s top Architect—his ideas and vision were much ahead of time; similarly Architect Helmut Jacoby inspired him through his sketches and illustrations—he was a master illustrator and Mr Nath drew inspiration from him for his work vision.

• “Best Hospitality Design Excellence Award” by Construction Source India, in October 2010
• “Achievers Award” in Indian Architectural Design Festival, in September 2011
• “Life Time Achievement Award” by Construction Architecture Update in 2013;
• Hospitality Award by IDE Honararium 2014;
• “Most Promising Brand” award in Architecture & Real Estate at World Brand Summit, Dubai 2015
• “Design Legend” award by Society Interiors, Mumbai 2015
• HUDCO Design Award 2015 for for Green Architecture – HMEL Township
• Awarded the "Most Trusted Brand of Asia - Most Admired Architect of India" at the Indo-UAE Global Investment Summit, Dubai 2016
• Bestowed with "LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT" Award by Society Interiors, Mumbai 2017
• Awarded "Lifetime Achievement Award" by Icon of Spaces 2017, Singapore
• Icon of the Year 2017 for outstanding contribution to Architecture by Brands Academy
• Awarded ''Lifetime Achievement Award 2017'' by WB honors.
• Recipient of "Lifetime Achievement Award: Architecture" by GROHE Huran Report 2017
• Bestowed with "DNA Sir J.J. Architecture Award 2018" by Sir J.J. College of Architecture.

Charting the path
According to Mr Nath, “Architecture is one of the best professions one can practice—it is perhaps the only profession that enables one to be involved in every aspect of human life. One has to understand how a particular family lives, to design their home, one has to do in-depth on how a specialist doctor works to design a hospital, one has to study mythology and religious scriptures to design a religious structure, thus you see, this is one profession, which ensures that one thinks ahead of time, since an architect designs What will last for another 50 to 70 years or more? After graduating from college with Top Honors in Design, I got the opportunity to work on celebrity homes and thus I started my own practice… what better encouragement would one get than this?”

He has been in the executive committee for 25 years & has served twice as IIID President; he has seen the membership ascend from 15 to 1,500+ members; through the IIID platform, various International Organizations like ASID, IFI, etc. were introduced to India, 1st ever Interior Design Exhibition was organized, 1st Convention was done, 1st Award function for Interior Designing, 1st chapter was opened; It may interest you that, Prem Nath is one of the few people in India Who have ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) certificate to practice in the USA – which is highly looked upon; he has his name in the Who’s Who of Interior designing, too. He was also featured in the top 100 Interior Designers around the Globe. That’s when Interior Designing was born as a profession in India. Not just top class Interiors, Prem Nath has to his credit, many critically acclaimed Projects. He was fortunate enough to create a lot many Iconic Architecture—many ‘firsts’ in India—Prem Nath has conceived the first ever Revolving Restaurant in the country for Ambassador Hotel in Mumbai; India’s 1st Health Spa & Body Rejuvenation Center, at Golden Palm Resorts, Bangalore; First Multiplex-Mall in the country i.e. Fame Adlabs at Citi mall, Andheri Mumbai; Countries’ 1st fast-track I.T. Building was designed, executed and handed over in just 8 months period from the date of 1st client meeting to handover; designed for Morgan Stanley of USA at Mindspace, Mumbai; India’s 1st Award winning Day School with No Homework – Vasant Valley School, New Delhi; 1st Gold graded & HUDCO Award winner Township for HMEL at Punjab; India’s 1st Platinum Rated School campus – Cygnus World School at Vadodara and is currently working on many ‘Smart’ projects including a Smart Tower at GIFT City (India’s 1st Smart City), at Gujarat.

At the turn of the millennium, this architect, then having more than 30 years of practice, foresaw the future and realized that it was time to ‘change gears’ – he was conscious of the fact that, “Architecture was never a vocation it was always a profession", in this contemporary age, the scope of architecture is vast. When he Started practicing architecture, the scenario was quite different from what was the current scenario, the profession was limited, the Scale was very diminutive, resources were inadequate, at that time ‘pen & ink’ was the architecture. The new millennium was all about ‘fast track’, the building ownership came into existence, the country was now benefiting with many foreign exposures, there were IT building being built and so were a lot of data centers and ITE related developments—Prem Nath foresaw that the world of ICT was about to explode and India would be its forerunner; the evolution, during the last decade, there also has been a glut of designers, manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, international clients, causing the shift more towards commercialization. Prem Nath was also one of the first Architects having invested in computers and CAD/CAM working in the early 90s.

Identifying opportunities
For him, the market identified him as an opportunity. He was lucky to work for Dharmendra at the very initial stage of his career. Since then he has designed many celebrity homes including Rani Mukherjee, Hema Malini, Modi’s of U K Modi Group, Ambani’s, and so on.

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