Kerala architect wins top national award

S Gopakumar turns into the primary Malayali to win the Indian Institute of Architects’ Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal for 2020

‘Eat homegrown vegetables this Onam’, a marketing campaign began by the Better Kochi Response Group(BKRG), is reaping good harvest, says S Gopakumar, architect and founding father of the city-based NGO. Last month, the senior architect was awarded the distinguished Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal for 2020 by the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) for his excellent contribution to Indian structure. He obtained the award on July 12, becoming a member of others similar to BV Doshi, Achyuth Kanvinde, Charles Correa, Joseph Allen Stein and Laurie Baker from the fraternity.

One of his key initiatives concerned organising momentary lodging for Gujarat earthquake victims.

An achieved artist, he received the Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 1970.

Edited excerpts from an interview

On successful this award?

This award is the very best an architect can get. The earlier winners are all nice males, so I’m positively elated and humbled to be talked about together with them. The award is given for the general high quality in structure, social involvement and of upholding and propagating structure as a career. I’m additionally excited that I’m the primary Malayali to obtain this award.

S Gopakumar  

What made you arrange Better Kochi Response Group?

I moved to Kochi in 1976 from Thiruvananthapuram. Since then the town has been my domicile and I’ve been watching it develop. I began BKRG in 2010. It got here from a necessity for a physique to coordinate between the wants of residents and the federal government. The committee consists of 25 eminent individuals from totally different fields.

BKRG is chargeable for initiatives similar to Vyttila Mobility Hub, public bathrooms in several places, promotion of residence vegetable gardens, amongst many others.

Hall of fame

  • Some of the landmark buildings and initiatives he has designed are the HDFC constructing Kochi, the Kerala History Museum, Kochi, the KSRTC bus station Thiruvananthapuram, the Taj Residency in Kozhikode, and the housing initiatives for a lot of distinguished builders. He has additionally achieved a variety of socially related initiatives for the federal government, such because the Gandhi Park in Thiruvananthapuram, the Shanthi Kavadam crematorium in Thiruvananthapuram, and the Durbar Hall Ground in Kochi to call a couple of.

One of your campaigns has been on creating consciousness on the illegality of hartals and the necessity to finish it.

It was a giant drawback in Kerala. We labored initially quietly on this, speaking with political leaders, commerce unions and customary folks. We satisfied them that this was not the appropriate approach to protest and it was not good for Kerala. In 2019 there was just one hartal within the State. That is a really defining change.

What is the newest initiative of BKRG?

W are actually into selling agriculture. It began with encouraging folks to have terrace and roof gardens. Now we’re enabling residence gardens and cultivating greens. It has turn into extremely popular.

Will there be a brand new thought of design put up pandemic?

It has opened the eyes of many as to what course structure and planning ought to take. We must adapt a minimalistic and financial method in increase our cities. Tourism has been badly hit by the pandemic, however it can bounce again. For Kerala to proceed to be one of many most secure locations to journey to, we should plan and design good roads and clear and open spacious areas. By finish of the pandemic, we should have good infrastructure in transportation, sewage system and waste administration. The entire idea of luxurious has modified. I’d pitch for easy and eco-friendly housing and to finish the extremely luxurious designs as it’s utilized by solely 10 % of the folks.

You are an artist as nicely. Tell us one thing about your engagement with artwork.

I began portray from a really younger age. But later, because of skilled stress, I deviated a bit. But I did make a come again with my solo exhibition of work within the Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi in 2014.. I’ve shifted from oil to acrylic, which is simple to work with the accessible time.

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