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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.

Kembhavi Architecture Foundation

As children, Indrajit and Nita Kembhavi had a fascination for art and design. Belonging to a family of architects, creativity was in Indrajit’s blood, whereas Nita spent much of her childhood painting. Combining their talents and expressing their love for design through architecture seemed like a natural transition for the husband-wife duo. “They say architecture is the mother of all arts,” says Nita, who along with Indrajit, is a partner at Kembhavi Architecture Foundation, a firm started by his parents Nalini and Sharad Kembhavi in Hubli in 1972.

Blending their artistic sensibilities with their passion for contextually relevant green design has helped them envision prominent projects. The KH Patil Institute Of Naturopathy And Yogic Sciences in Gadag was created with locally sourced materials, including different types of stones, and the police headquarters in Gulbarga is a gold-rated LEED certified building without air-conditioning.

The firm strives to create carbon-neutral structures and produce alternative sources of electricity. “We take care of the historical surroundings of the area, the culture of the people, the economics of the building and the functionality,” says Indrajit. “And, of course, it’s our responsibility to make the world green because architecture is involved in the building industry, which is a highly polluting industry if it is handled the way it is today.”

Fine-tuning designs to suit these sensibilities has been the secret to their success, believes Indrajit. The duo has been running the firm’s Bengaluru office for the past 13 years and has worked on diverse projects primarily in South India, and overseas in the US, East Africa and Oman. Currently, the firm is handling around 140 projects of varying scales. The ability to manage the two spectrums can be complex, admits Indrajit, but training people and communicating with clients have helped them simplify the process. Most recently, the firm bagged the Asia-Pacific Property Award for luxury tower Landmark Vertica in Chennai.

As new software, artificial intelligence and other technologies enter the market, Indrajit believes it is important to understand their use. He believes the future of architecture is going to alter dramatically and require “a lot of design-based solutions from architects”. “While we use modern technology, we do not want to lose the roots of the area that we are designing,” he says.

By Darielle Britto

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