Somaya and Kalappa Consultants (SNK) has received the Award of Distinction at the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation for its restoration and conservation work on the Vikram Sarabhai Library at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, India. The award ceremony was conducted at the 20th UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 20/20 Forum held in George Town in Penang, Malaysia. The Vikram Sarabhai Library conservation work was part of the 16 projects which were selected by a jury from among 57 entries from 14 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking about this win Brinda Somaya, Principal Architect of SNK said, “We are extremely honoured to have won this prestigious award for our work on the Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIM, Ahmedabad. The award is a recognition of team effort from different groups of people, who collaborated for this restoration project.
The library received the highest honour at the ceremony among all other Indian projects which were awarded, making it the first 20thcentury modern heritage building in India to win the award of distinctionThe UNESCO distinction is extremely important to create awareness about India’s 20th century modern heritage and for the future conservation of all such buildings in the country.”
Nandini SomayaSampat, Director of SNK, further said, “SNK has been at the forefront of restoration and conservation work in India, having undertaken several important projects including the monumental Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIM, Ahmedabad. With each restoration project we hope to create awareness of the importance of preserving the country’s architecture. The challenge with such an iconic structure was to ensure that we work in line with the original architect’s vision for the building and at the same time upgrade its functionality and equip it to deal with modern-day requirements.”
The Vikram Sarabhai Library was part of the conservation project to preserve, restore and upgrade the built fabric of the iconic 20th Century Modern Heritage structures of the IIMcampus in Ahmedabad, India designed by the renowned American Architect Louis Isadore Kahn in the 1960s. After undertaking a detailed analysis of the condition of all the buildings it was concluded that the library from the main complex required immediate attention. Hence, this building was taken up in the first phase of the Main Complex in July 2016 and completed in December 2018.