Rahul Mehrotra

Lecture organised by UPIAV in collaboration with Archizoom

Thursday 4th October 2012, 6:30pm
Auditorium SG


The lecture will be about the work of RMA architects in a context that I describe as “ a messy, dynamic, democratic condition where many centuries, multiple aspirations, intersect, collide and coexist. Landscapes where global flows don’t erase and remake landscapes but are forced to occupy local fissures creating fascinating hybrid conditions and startling adjacencies.”

Naturally this throws up interesting challenges for designers about how this highly pluralistic landscape can be made to work and more importantly stretches the boundaries of the profession to perhaps make an architects engagement with the built environment incredibly elastic. In fact, this drive towards converging the divergent disciplines that influence our built environment has been central preoccupation of RMA architects where they see no divisions between the disciplines of urban design, planning, landscape, historic preservation and architecture, research and advocacy – we believe that they are all intrinsic to the process of an architect’s meaningful engagement with cities and the landscape in general.

The lecture will present RMA’s engagement with the city of Bombay/Mumbai – the place that has served as a laboratory for the practice as well as looks at urban interventions, historic preservation and contemporary building projects in India. The projects range from contemporary houses and recycling projects in Mumbai to historic preservation as well as new corporate buildings and institutional projects across India. The range of projects covers new emergent global programs as well as localized concerns and engagements.

Rahul Mehrotra is a practising architect and educator. He works in Mumbai and teaches at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he is Professor of Urban Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design. His built works include the LMW Corporate Office in Coimbatore, the Hewlett Packard Campus in Bangalore, a Rural Campus for the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Tulzapur, an extension to the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai and the restoration of the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad. Professor Mehrotra is currently working on a hospice in Chennai, a corporate office building in Hyderabad, a social housing project for elephants and mahouts in Amber and a laboratory building in Basel. Professor Mehrotra has written extensively on Architecture and Urbanism in India and his most recent book is Architecture in India since 1990. As Trustee of the Urban Design Research Institute, and Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research (both based in Mumbai), Professor Mehrotra continues to be engaged as an activist in the civic and urban affairs of the city. He serves on the boards of the London School of Economics Cities, and the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, and is a member of the Global Jury of the 3rd Holcim Awards Competition (2012).