Five Brilliant Indian Architects You Would Love to Know About

1. Laurie Baker 1917 – 2007
Laurie Baker was an Indian architect, born in Britain. He is known for his environment-friendly architecture that employed simple yet striking design, natural lighting, ventilation and solar energy. He encouraged indigenous vernacular architecture using locally available materials and building techniques. He promoted organic architecture and green architecture emphasizing energy conservation and cost efficiency in his projects.

Early Life
Lawrence Wilfred Laurie Baker was born on 2nd March 1917 in Birmingham, England. His father, Charles Frederick Baker, was an accountant and his mother was Millie Baker. He attended King Edwards Grammar School. He enrolled at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham and completed his graduation in 1937.

Career & Projects
British-born architect Laurie Baker went to China as an anaesthetist to deal with casualties of the war between Japan and China. He migrated to India in the year 1945 and lived in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He worked with the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) which advocated low-cost dwellings. He emphasized minimizing the negative impact of building materials and practices. He advocated the ideas of rainwater harvesting, re-usage of grey water and usage of energy-efficient eco-friendly materials.

Laurie Baker worked in many hospitals, chapels and schools. Laurie Baker's buildings include Loyola Chapel & Auditorium, Trivandrum; The Indian Coffee House, Trivandrum; Pallikoodam School, Kottayam; Chengalchoola Slums, Trivandrum and others.

Laurie Baker won the Padma Shri award. Laurie Baker died on 1st April 2007 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.

2. Anant Raje 1929 – 2009
Anant Raje was one of the influential architects of India. He was also an intellectual and an educationist.

Early Life
Anant Damodar Raje was born on 26th September 1929, in the ancient city of Nasik, Maharashtra, India. He received his architecture education from Sir J J College of Architecture, which is an old and famed school of architecture in Mumbai, India. He completed his studies in 1954. 

Career & Projects
Anant Raje worked with an American architect Louis Kahn in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. During his time in America, the Indian architect, Anant, taught architecture to the students at the University of Pennsylvania.

He opened his architecture studio in India in the year 1969 when he returned from America. He was referred to as ‘Louis Kahn of India’ due to the inspiration he took from the American architect Louis Kahn. He integrated the vernacular architecture and traditional means of passive cooling into new modern buildings with bold elements. 

As a teacher, Anant taught at the architecture school of CEPT University, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad, India for more than thirty years of his life. The Indian architect also taught the subject of architecture at the University of New Mexico, US. He had been serving as a visiting professor in various universities across Europe and the United States of America. Anant Raje designed many buildings during his professional career.

Some of the impressive buildings he designed in India include: Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi; Centre for Executive Management, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; MAFCO Wholesale Market, Mumbai; VPPPM, Offices for State Testing Board; Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal; National Academy of Administration, Ghaziabad; Commissioner’s Offices and Walmi Subcentre, Morena, Madhya Pradesh; Training Institute for Galbabhai Farmers for NDDB (National Dairy Development Board), Banaskantha, Gujrat; MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications), Ahmedabad; INTEC Polymer Factory & Laboratories; Museum of Mines & Minerals, Nagpur; Bhopal Gas Memorial; Bhopal Development Authority Headquarters; Mohanlal Someshwar School, Ahmedabad and Ravi J Mathhai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI)

Indian architect Anant Raje passed away on 27th June 2009 at the age of 79 years.

3. Bijoy Jain 1965
Bijoy Jain is an Indian architect. He served as a visiting professor at Yale University, Connecticut, US, in the architecture department. He is the founder of his architectural design studio, Studio Mumbai.

Early Life
Bijoy Jain was born in 1965 in Mumbai. Bijoy Jain completed his Master of Architecture in 1990 from Washington University in St. Louis, America.

Career & Projects
Bijoy Jain began working with Richard Meier in London and Los Angeles from 1989 to 1995. In 1995, upon his return to India, he established his design studio, Studio Mumbai. He executed remarkable projects across the world.

Bijoy Jain won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.

4. Eugene Pandala 1954
Eugene Pandala is an Indian architect renowned for his philosophy of sustainability and ecology.

Early Life
Eugene Pandala was born on 19th March 1954 in Kollam, India. He studied architecture at the College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He completed his post-graduation in architecture from the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), Delhi where he met Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy.

Career & Projects
Eugene Pandala is well recognized for his projects incorporating environmental sustainability. His notable projects are mud residence Bodhi; Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad, North Kerala; The Raviz Ashtamudi or The Raviz Kollam Hotel, Kollam; Revathy Kalamandir film production firm, Trivandrum; Owiyum studio and home, Marayur; Tomb of Pazasi Raja; Sarai, Madhya Pradesh and others.

Eugene Pandala won the Laurie Baker Award from Lalith Kala Academy in 2011. He was the winner of the Architect of the Year award in 1999 for his project Bodhi in Mud from JK Foundations.

5. Gerard da Cunha
Gerard da Cunha is an Indian architect with his design studio, Architecture Autonomous, in Goa. He is a promotor of sustainable architecture, employing regionally available green building materials and indigenous eco-friendly building techniques.

Early Life
Gerard da Cunha was born on 10th February 1955 in Godhra, in the Indian state of Gujarat. He attended St. Mary’s School, Mazagon in Maharashtra. Gerard da Cunha studied architecture at the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) in Delhi, India. While studying at the institute, he temporarily paused his studies and went on to work with architect Laurie Baker in Kerala. He worked for him for a year and resumed to complete his studies at the School of Planning & Architecture.

Career & Projects
Gerard da Cunha established his architectural studio, Architecture Autonomous, in Goa, India. He designed several houses, educational institutes, resorts and others throughout the country. His most recognized projects are Nrityagram (Natural Architecture) traditional school, Bengaluru, Karnataka; township for JSW Steel Group, Toranagallu, Karnataka; Taj Kuteeram Resort, Bengaluru; Library at Kannada University; Goa Central Library, Panaji; Shiksha Niketan school, Goa; Nisha’s Play School, Goa; museum ‘Houses of Goa’ and others. He utilized natural building materials for his projects.

From 1998 to 1999, Gerard da Cunha was the winner of the National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning & Design from the Ministry of Urban Development for the JSW Steel Group township project. He won the Commendation Award in 1990 for the Nrityagram project located in Bengaluru, the Indian state of Karnataka.

Significant Indian Studios

WARP Architects
WARP Architects is an architectural firm based in Chennai and Coimbatore.

Sikka Associates & Architects
Sikka Associates & Architects is an architectural design practice based in India.

VK Architects
VK: architecture or VK Architects is a full-service architecture and engineering firm located in Pune, India.

Morphogenesis is an architectural design practice based in India. It was established in 1996 by Sonali Rastogi and Manit Rastogi.

FootPrints E.A.R.T.H
FootPrints E.A.R.T.H is an architectural firm founded by Yatin Pandya. Yatin Pandya is an incredible Indian architect, researcher, academic and author.

Space Race Architects
Space Race Architects is an architectural design company based in Jalandhar, India.