Here’s to the mavericks changing the way we look at space through innovation, conservation and cutting-edge design:
Abha Narain Lambah, Conservation Architect– On a mission to protect India’s legacy, one building at a time, Lambah, a Mumbai-based conservation architect has spent over two decades restoring heritage landmarks across the country. Having taken on the mantle to restore Mumbai’s iconic Royal Opera House and the Nehru Museum in Delhi, she has been restoring landmark monuments and buildings across the globe as well. “These buildings give the setting a sense of identity and individuality,” says the proud owner of eight UNESCO Asia Pacific Awards for Heritage Conservation, “Now all buildings look the same. It’s so important to zealously guard the individual markers left of a city- they’re what lend character.” The process involves mapping the building, surveying every corner, generating models and archival research. “There is an inertia towards these monuments, and a lack of funding and awareness, but they’re too important to just give up on and accept defeat,” she says, having braved the restoration of the 15th century Maitreyi temple in Ladakh in 20 degrees Celsius, with no electricity, water and zilch communication with her daughter. As an architect working hard to honor the nationalists who forged an identity for the landscape in the country, Lambah’s work to keep this identity unscathed in the face of cookie-cutter architecture is a laudable aim, especially when the past is a powerful force in the Herculean feat of shaping the future.
Vincent Callebaut, Archbiotect– If there ever existed a man who could turn the world into a Utopia where man coexisted in harmony with nature, it’d have to be Vincent Callebaut. The creator of Lilypad, a zero-emission, self-sufficient amphibian city that can accommodate 50000 people and Dragonfly, a vertical urban farm with 28 agricultural fields and offices, labs, houses interspersed between orchards and fields, Callebaut is on a mission to transform cities into ecosystems where man dwells in harmony with the natural environment. Some of his most notable achievements include Aequorea, a series of self-sufficient underwater ecovillages and Tao Zhu Yin Yuan residential towers in Taipei, Taiwan. His work is, as TIME magazine recognizes, ‘eco-utopian’ and his projects as he himself avers, “take place in the cities of tomorrow- metabolic, creative, fertile. The facades become epidermis; they are intelligent, regenerative and organic. The roofs are the new soil, and the garden isn’t attached to the building, it is the building. The architecture is cultivable, edible and all waste is recycled, inventing a new, circular economy.” If that isn’t tapping into the potential for a sustainable future, what is?
Do you know of more innovative ‘creators’ bridging the gap between art, architecture and sustainability?