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Following a ‘fluid and evolving’ design approach

Benny Kuriakose

Benny Kuriakose, the Chennai-based architect believes there is only good architecture and bad architecture. He also advocates sustainable architecture. But his take on sustainability is different from the run-of-the-mills explanations that we hear normally…

Benny’s approach to a design is characterized by fluid and ever-changing reflections that follows the universal dynamics of the hermeneutical circle. It’s based on the interpretations and limitations of the context. His designs factor in his previous design experience, parameters, restrictions and most importantly, the client to generate an initial metaphorical projection of pre-understanding. “I try to design for the client and in such a way that there is constant dialogue between the architect and the client, each affecting the other in various ways, leading and influencing the final design of the building. This leads the design to progress and clarify as it is continually revised in the light of the constant and evolving interpretations of the parameters leading to final design that is unique and catered to the user,” explains Benny.

“The architecture I know is very complex and it has many dimensions social, cultural, technical, political etc. And judging a building whether it is green by giving marks is very superficial. I am not questioning green rating etc, but I want to tell that they do not capture the richness, or the complexity or the diversity of our architecture. My way of judging what is green is different,” Benny points out his view on the larger aspect of sustainability.

First floor verandah

Benny Kuriakose started his career in 1984 and received basic lessons in architecture under the tutelage of Laurie Baker. Benny’s approach to architecture can be seen in the range of his work: in individual houses, resorts and institutional projects, in the Dakshinachitra project in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in the rehabilitation of disaster affected sites at Nagapattinam, Bhuj or Latur and in the Heritage Project at Muziris in Kerala. He has offered his services as consultant to UNDP, various State Governments and other organizations.

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