The London Festival of Architecture is one of the world’s first celebrations of city-making and architecture. It is organized every year in June around the city of London. The London Festival of Architecture 2022 was held from 1st June to 30th June.
This year, CP Kukreja Architects(CPKA), which is a multi-disciplinary Indian Architecture and design practice, was invited to exhibit at the festival, becoming the first Indian firm to be a part of this celebration. The firm becomes the first to have received this privilege, creating an opportunity for them to put Indian architecture and design on the global map.
The theme of the exhibition was “Five Decades of India’s Built Environment”, and it was held at The Lalit, London. It puts on display the transformation of India’s Architectural Landscape through the lens of CP Kukreja Architects’ fifty-year-old practice.
Dikhsu Kukreja – the Managing Principal at CPKA and curator of the exhibition at the London Festival of Architecture, explains how such opportunities are a source of happiness for an architect knowing that contemporary Indian architecture is being received well globally. He believes as an architect and designer it is not just about creating buildings but how our buildings influence society.
The exhibition’s theme was to reflect on the past five decades of Indian architecture at The London Festival of Architecture 2022 and the firm explored their ten most significant projects which are critical to the past, present, and future. The projects were depicted through concept notes, sketches, drawings, and images. The exhibition included the modernist buildings of the 70s and the 80s, the experimental projects of the post-liberalization era, and the ongoing sustainable and cutting-edge projects of CPKA.
One area of emphasis in the exhibition was the demonstration of projects such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi built in 1972 and the Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida built in 2013. These projects caught attention as they were reflective of modern architecture being derived from the principles of traditional building wisdom and how it can create sustainable living environments.
The famous author and director of the Nehru center, London – the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in the UK, Mr. Amish Tripathi share his experience at the opening of the exhibition on 24th June of how projects showcased at the London Festival of Architecture by CPKA teach to use the local materials and traditions. He appreciated the traditional Indian architecture which is cost-effective, less energy-consuming, and environment-friendly, and also acknowledged the need for contextually rooted designs.
Western countries define Indian architecture as only forts and palaces but the exhibition at the London Festival of architecture is a leap toward breaking that myth and putting forward the perspective of a changing India. CPKA also presented upcoming projects like the East Delhi Hub in New Delhi which is designed in association with IDOM, Spain – India’s first transit-oriented development, and the India International Convention center in New Delhi which will host the G-20 Summit in 2023. These projects define the scales and opportunities that are coming up in India in the context of Urban development and showcase India as a promising and favorable investment destination.
The director of the London Festival of Architecture – Rosa Rogina, attended the opening of the exhibition and she expresses how fascinating it is to observe different cultures and how CPKA is practicing environmental sustainability since the early 70s.
Image Credits : C P Kukreja Architects