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Architecture and beyond civil engineering

“Our constant research and ability to remain abreast with latest innovations, materials and techniques keeps us on alert mode all the while,” says Architect Anand Upalekar
An architect’s presence in the scheme of things is added as a brand that presumes many attributes such as ambience, quality of work and spaces and resulting life style. Anand Upalekar is one such architect who always has a kind of signature statement. In an exclusive interview with ACE Update, he talks about architect and how it is shaping design and structures in India.
India and architectureArchitecture profession did not make its presence felt for a long time in independent India. Architecture was equated to a makeup man on the civil engineering back drop restricting his contribution to cosmetic treatment of structures. Even today “municipal buildings” do not like to place a plaque bearing architect or structural designer’s name; instead they love to put a stone tablet with only politician’s names.
During British India, architect’s name would be associated with projects with pride: Architect Lutyens (Capitol Block on Raisinha Hill-New Delhi) or Stevens (Bori Bunder Station).Recently, the Indian developers have been giving credit where it is due and using architect’s name as a value-addition feature. They have realised that an architect’s name is synonymous with his set pattern of values in design and quality of spaces and helps them get better popularity.
An architect’s presence in the scheme of things is added as a brand that presumes many attributes such as ambience, quality of work and spaces and resulting life style — a kind of signature statement.
Adding value to the professionArchitect Anand Upalekar is in his 43rd year of his professional presence and has established a niche in specialised design areas such as sports architecture, high-tech architecture, transportation architecture and public buildings. Planning for repeat clients is a way of acknowledging and celebrating its contribution.
Secondly, he emphasises in using various project-related tools like  software and other skills which assure strict project monitoring. Decision and implementations, thereof, are very closely achieved because of such technocratic approach.
Thirdly, his constant research and ability to remain abreast with latest innovations, materials and techniques: keeps him on alert mode all the while. This directly helps the clients as they don’t have to spend on R&D but get the latest know-how and techniques.
X-FactorsThe X-Factor could be termed as a set of attributes, especially attached to an architect’s work. It can be termed as the “people-specific-vernacular” that brings about the exclusivity of that architect.
In the profession at large, an architect plays a huge role in shaping the project, and his navigation or steering skills of the project can determine the success or failure of a creation.
Achievements in 2014Architect Upalekar’s firm designs public buildings. A few school buildings have been trendsetters and one particular school — Rajiv Gandhi School of E-learning — has been in the Prime Minister’s award list.
He has a specific achievement in adventure sports architecture. His design of a skateboard park has been a first of its kind in the country. His involvement in structures related to public parking, bus depots and bus terminals has been innovative and widely useful to traffic improvement in Pune.
Expectations from 2015Amongst its high-tech projects on the anvil are a butterfly park (a Mahila Empowerment Co-operative Project where Pupae is collected from Jungles and sold in international market at $3 million per year) and a planetarium (with 90-spectator capacity) have been very satisfactorily on his drawing board.
Having proved his metal for past 41 years of professional heat treatment cauldron, he would like to continue follow his approach of working style, including hardcore data mining to the hilt, full-fledged study and analysis of old and new working techniques, up-to-date knowledge of proven materials and its due recommendations in his design scheme to benefit his clients.

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