For architect Bimal Patel (58), whose firm — HCP Design, Planning & Management — has bagged the Lutyen’s Delhi redevelopment project, this is not his first brush with a public building and designing its central vista. A Padma Shri awardee, Patel had designed the new office space, Swarnim Sankul, in Gujarat for Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister then, and his cabinet in 2011.
Swarnim Sankul was designed around the legislative building in Gandhinagar, with blocks on the north and south side so as to form an integral part of the central vista of the legislative assembly.
Patel agreed that the Parliament’s central vista bears similarities with the Gujarat legislative assembly’s central vista, but is not without its challenges. “Another task is to provide a great public space that people can enjoy, and create a new building for the Parliament. While the design has to create something that everyone finds to be adequate, the challenge is also to finish the project in time,” he said, referring to the 2022 target.
Patel is currently handling the Kashi Vishwanath Temple project, expected to be ready by 2021. Another project that he is closely working on is the Mumbai Port Trust development, aimed at revamping the eastern seafront of the city.
He started his architectural career in the mid-80s with his father Hasmukh Patel. HCP was roped in by the Gujarat government in 1992 to design the High Court. With Patel’s close involvement in the project, it was completed in two years.
Patel made his mark with urban development projects such as the Kankaria Lake Waterfront (2006) and the Sabarmati Riverfront (2002). He also designed the new IIM-A campus in 2001, as an extension of the old campus designed by world-renowned architect Louis Kahn.
Patel is also president of CEPT University, where he has reimagined pedagogy and ways of teaching architecture in an institute that is over 50 years old.
Bengaluru-based architect and urban designer Naresh Narasimhan of Venkataramanan Associates, one of Patel’s contemporaries, said: “Bimal is a bright mind, and sensitive to culture and history; this project will be his crowning glory.”
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