Wonders of India : Architects Travelling to Different Cities

Delhi NCR Region : As far as architecture and interior designing is concerned in India, it is largely limited to the big cities and it was largely governed by the economic forces of India moving earlier from viz. Kolkata to Mumbai and subsequently the growth of Delhi when it became the capital of India.

If taken a look at the architectural language, a lot of historical buildings built during the Colonial period were located in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi until about the late 90s. Most of the large number of works was limited to these metros.

Following this growth was seen in cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore which came up in the early 90s and this threw up a lot of new opportunities for architects and interior designers across the country. It was observed that architects from Chennai are getting new projects in Bangalore and architects from Mumbai getting projects in Pune.

Slowly as time progressed, each of these cities including the earlier big cities and the new growth centres also began to develop. If we look at these cities viz. Delhi which was 25 years back just Delhi, basically a large city but there was no Gurgaon, no Noida or Ghaziabad. Whereas today Delhi which is also NCR – National Capital Region, probably a city which is 100 Kilometres by 100 Kilometres in dimension and has places like Gurgaon and NOIDA which are a part of other states. All this makes it a huge metropolis of 18 million people.

For any architect or interior designer a place like Gurgaon itself is sufficient to keep him busy and it is not only about one architect but a place like Gurgaon could probably have 100 or 150 architects making enough money to survive and even become rich. This is true about any other city in the country. The commercial district of Mumbai earlier was Nariman Point in the early 90s and then the city started growing out of Nariman Point. The business houses started moving to Bandra Kurla Complex – BKC, some corporates to Andheri, some to Navi Mumbai; another new development area being central Mumbai along Lower Parel.

As the city expanded northwards, people also started living in other parts of the city like architects in Mumbai and this opened up new opportunities for young architects and interior designers. Earlier design work was limited to places like in South Mumbai from Nariman Point to Bandra. But today in a city like Mumbai, where we find architects practising and coming from Navi Mumbai, Thane, Borivali and everywhere else.

Let us take a look at a smaller phenomenon: Pune till around the mid 90s was a retirement home for most people. From a small town, it has suddenly become a big metropolis. The population expansion has been exponential and today it is home to several multinationals companies setting up their offshore offices in places like the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park and new areas like Kharadi. But because of a lot of back office operations coming up in Pune, real estate costs have also escalated. It is no longer a place where one could get cheap real estate.

The areas around the IT Parks have also mushroomed and lot of developments have also come – up. Along with the new residential developments, other ancillary services such as shopping, banking and eating joints have sprung up in neighbourhoods.

So in places like the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park which is in the outskirts of Pune along the Pune-Bangalore highway, several up-market retail outlets and 5 Star Hotels have come up. This location was like a small village 10 years back. All this means a lot of work for architects, as far as Pune is concerned and architects from both Pune and from Mumbai are getting opportunities to work on projects in the city.

A similar phenomenon, on a much larger scale has occured in Bangalore as well. Bangalore which was another retirement home for people, was largely a manufacturing hub till about the mid 90s: a lot of manufacturing used to be carried out here. Work for the architects and interior designers was limited to construction of factories and government offices. Then suddenly Bangalore became an IT Hub for the rest of the world. This meant a lot of IT back-office operations opened up in areas like Whitefield. Whitefield has now become a mini town in itself, with probably a population of close to 1 Million, such that it needs to have its own life support services like residential communities, malls, cinemas. All this has given a lot of opportunities for architects and interior designers to show their skills.

The city of Bangalore has grown so much that the city administration has had to construct a ring road around the city so that from the ring road one can remain connected to different parts of the city without having to enter the main city in an attempt at keeping it decongested. Almost all plots of land along the ring road were taken up very quickly. However, organisations started construction of their offices so quickly and it became so congested that the city administration decided to build a second loop of a ring road, now called outer ring road. The outer ring road is also now beginning to see the mushrooming of residential complexes and IT offices – bringing along with it an opportunity for architects and interior designers.

The entire city of Bangalore, earlier never took more than a half hour commute to go from one part of the city to another till about fifteen years ago. But, today travelling from one part to another part of the city could probably take two hours or even more. A visit to the airport from the city centre is a tour in itself.

A similar story is being noticed in Kolkata. Kolkata was the capital of India during the British period. For a long time till the 90s, Kolkata saw a kind of stagnant period mainly because of the communist rule, although it had a lot of flights to the new growth centres like Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. However, the government finally opened up new areas of development like Rajarhat and Salt Lake City. Proximity to the airport, availability to cheap land and well spread out network of roads with a very good infrastructure, saw a lot of new companies coming to Kolkata. These are largely IT back-offices. Besides this a few management consulting companies have also opened their offices in Kolkata in the 90s. This led the city to grow exponentially in terms of the geographic spread of the city.

So Kolkata today is not limited to Park Street or Tollygunge: Kolkata has expanded onto places like Rajarhat or Salt Lake. Earlier the growth of the city was limited along the metroline which was developed – Kolkata having developed India’s first underground railway. However, today we find the city spreading in another direction and the metro is actually following the direction of the growth of the city. All this again means new growth opportunities for architects and interior designers in Kolkata.

January 27, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Home Business


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