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Forbes India ‘The Bold Club: India’s Top 30 Architects’ Powered by Kohler includes the journeys of prominent and influential architects making an impact in the country and across the globe in their own unique way. This annual initiative is an effort to recognise and promote bold leadership and foster authenticity and passion to inspire innovation.

CR Narayana Rao (Consultants) Pvt Ltd

Integrated Solutions For The Future

When he was just 10, CN Raghavendran was fascinated by the goings-on at his father’s architectural firm. He recalls listening to chats between his father and draftspersons, and being awestruck at how lines on paper would be the basis of representing a house or school that would eventually take shape.

“I became curious how a series of pencil lines on tracing paper represent someone’s ideas and how these drawings will be used for real construction,” says Raghavendran. “It was mysterious… I could not quite understand this transformation and the curiosity turned into a desire to understand how.”

That desire to learn more led him to complete his bachelor’s in architecture from IIT-Kharagpur and master’s from the University of California, Berkeley. Later, he joined his father’s firm, CR Narayana Rao (Consultants) Pvt Ltd (CRN), which was established in 1968.

Today he is CRN’s managing director and was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2011.

CRN delivers integrated design solutions to a wide spectrum of project typologies across India and overseas in Maldives, Mauritius, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Guyana.

“A pre-Independence firm, CRN’s journey bears a close historic parallel to the journey that our country has witnessed in the path of growth of the economy and the social transformation,” says Raghavendran.

The firm’s annual turnover is between `50 crore and `60 crore. Some of the projects in its diverse portfolio include campuses for multinational corporations (MNCs) like Amazon in Hyderabad and Ascendas IT Park in Chennai, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, Central University in Puducherry, the Vanivilas Hospital in Bengaluru, low-cost and affordable social housing, and several projects for MNCs and top Indian automotive component manufacturers across the country.

Raghavendran believes it won’t be long before buildings will become ‘regenerative’ with high components of renewable energy. Going forward, he feels “all stakeholders in the chain of designing and building, more so architects, have an increasing and urgent obligation to be climate-sensitive”.

By Darielle Britto

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