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Published: Wednesday, December 05, 2007

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Karan Grover & Associates (KGA)

Profile of the Indian architecture firm Karan Grover & Associates (KGA).

Profile of Karan Grover & Associates (KGA)

Business Name
Karan Grover & Associates (KGA)
Location
India
Services
Architecture
Website
http://www.kga.co.in

Principal(s)

Karan Grover (born 1951)

  • AA Graduate Diploma, Architectural Association, London
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
  • Awarded the M.B. Dave Gold Medal for thesis - 'Pedestrian Precincts'
  • Selected as the only student from Asia to participate in a special graduate programme under the tutorship of John Turner from the USA, who conducted the Housing Programme at the Graduate School
  • Presented a secondary thesis on "Housing the Urban Poor in India" within the same time frame of the Graduate Programme
  • Selected by Husan Fathy, the legendary Egyptian architect, to apprentice in the Development Alternative Workshop, which ran concurrently with the Graduate Programme
  • Invited by the United Nations to present a keynote paper for the Habitat Summit in 1976
  • Attended Green-Build Expo, 2005 & 2007
  • Served as a panelist at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, in September, 2007

Philosophy

Karan Grover and Associates though a young architectural practice, has emerged into a multi-disciplinary organization with an in-house engineering team which is seen as an integral part of architectural design activity.

Some of the fundamental values that the architectural practice beliefs stem from the standpoint of creating a 'Contemporary' Indian architectural idioms and language drawing essences from Tradition and Culture in very fundamental planes.

The project of 'Traditionalism' is then explored as an attempt at re-instating and reinterpreting some of the fundamental forms that have shaped our architectures over centuries - yet dramatically opposing the ideas of cosmetic duplication of historical forms and elements. The work instead focuses on grasping or attempting to grasp some of the fundamental essentials.

With these values as a springboard, the practice attempts to conceive buildings and design projects that are very Contemporary, at times Futuristic in their physical and architectural expressions, technological and material innovations and use.

In the sense architectural and design activity is pursued as a 'Contextual' project - with the idea of creating 'Places of Identity' be it, Public or Commercial buildings, Cultural or Institutional projects, Housing, Corporate or Interior designing. It's in this direction that the firm firmly believes in.

The design work and projects are seen as opportunities to explore and orientate in this particular direction in architecture.

Grover's architecture reflects his concerns with the heritage and built landscape of India. He decided quite early in his professional life that India demanded something more than merely adopting the western norms of architecture. The long architectural history of this country and the development of its style to cater to climatic needs provided the framework for this search.

In the Institute of Plasma Research, Ahmedabad Grover has used the contained landscape, the courtyard, axis screens, jails and water, all elements which have had significance in the traditional Indian architectural context. This building was an accepted nomination for the Aga Khan Award. In the Institute of Quality for CII and ABB, Bangalore, traditional wind towers were used in place of air-conditioning. This was a first for non-air-conditioned projects of this scale. It won the IIA (Indian Institute of Architects) Snowcem Award for Excellence in Corporate Architecture. In 1997, Grover won all the five major awards in the country. These were for Excellence in Urban, Corporate, Industrial, Residential and Retail architecture. He was also identified as one of the 14 important Asian architects for the next millennium. His work was displayed at the 'ROOTS' exhibition in Tokyo.

'Green' architecture was the next logical direction for Grover. He became the first architect in the world to win the Platinum Award for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the US Building Council in 2002. The award was for the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre at Hyderabad, a collaborative project between US AID, Government of Andhra Pradesh and CII.

Karan Grover, the architect, is today working towards the need for practicing 'Green' architecture inspiring students and fellow architects. A need based on ecological and environmental concerns; a need which involves us all as inhabitants of this planet.

Background

  • Founded: 1985
  • Offices: 1
  • Design team: 7

Key projects

  • Goa Assembly Building at Porvorim, Goa, 1993-2002.
  • CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad, LEED Platinum rated building by US-GBC, 2002-2003
  • District Office Complex at Bagalkot for Government of Karnataka, 2003-2006
  • Synthesis Business Park, Rajarhat, Kolkata for Bengal Shrachi Housing Development, sought for LEED Platinum rating of US-GBC, execution stage, 2005-2008
  • Minestone Diamond Processing Unit at Navsari, sought for LEED Gold Rating, execution stage, 2005-2008
  • Garden of Peace at Dhauli, Bhubaneswar for Orissa Tourism Development Corporation, under execution
  • Institution for Mathematics and Application at Bhubaneswar, execution stage. 2006-2008
  • Fort Jadhavgadhi conservation cum hotel project at Pune for Orchid Hotels, execution stage
  • Interior of Ahmedabad Branch of ABN AMRO Bank, sought for LEED Platinum rating, 2006-2007
  • Institute of Quality for Confederation of Indian Industry, Bangalore using Passive Down-Draft Evaporative Cooling (PDEC) system, 2000-2001

Key publications

  • Indian Architect & Builder, June 1995. "Architect Karan Grover", his office and home
  • Design Digest, March 1996 - 'Place and space in Karan Grover's architecture
  • Inside Outside, July 1997- Project : A traditional Kerala home at Mumbai
  • Inside Outside, September 1997 - Five award winning projects of Karan Grover & Associates
  • The Fountainhead for Architects & Designers, March 1999. IIID National Convention at Baroda, organized by Mr. Karan Grover
  • Inside Outside, October 1998. Karan Grover's office and house
  • Indian Architect & Builder, April 1999. Competition entries of Karan Grover & Associates
  • Mans' World, July 2004 "The Best Young Architects"
  • Man's World, November 2004 "India's 50 most stylish men"
  • India Today, August 2004 "Rediscovering A Lost City" - Champaner Pavagadh
  • Gateway, September 2004 "Karan Grover Champ of Champaner"
  • India Today, October, 2004 - Project : CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad
  • Society Interiors, October, 2004 _ Project : : CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad
  • Construction World, September, 2005 and 2007
  • Verve, August 2007 " Buzz Makers"

Key awards

  • Accepted nomination for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhingar - 1993
  • Selected as one of the 14 architects in Asia for the "Roots" exhibition at the Fugita vente Museum at Tokyo for the General Electrical Plastics India project at Gurgaon - 1996
  • The IIA-Snowcem Award for "Excellence in Urban Architecture" for General Electrical Plastics India project at Gurgaon - 1997
  • The JIIA Award for "Excellence in Residential Architecture" House for Urvashi Devi of Baria at Baroda-1997
  • The JIIA Commendation Award for "Excellence in Industrial Architecture" for Castrol India Limited factory at Silvassa.-1997
  • The IIID-MK India Award for "Excellence in Commercial Interiors" for the Showroom of Sanghvi Exports Pvt. Ltd, at Mumbai-1997
  • The IIID-MK India Award for "Excellence in Corporate Interiors" for the Godrej Transelecktra Research & Development Centre at Vikhroli, Bombay-1997
  • KGA won an Architectural Award in the year 2002 for CII/ABB Institute of Quality in Bangalore awarded the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) - Snowcem Award for the outstanding Public Building of the year-2002
  • KGA won the prestigious PLATINUM Award in November, 2003 under Version 2 of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) from the US Green Building Council for the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad the first architects in the world to get this highest possible award for Sustainable Architecture-2003

Further reading

Disillusioned by a 10 year partnership practice based on a westernized architectural education Karan Grover started his own firm "Karan Grover and Associates" in 1985 headquartered in the city of Vadodara in Western India,

Throughout the firm's 20 year practice, KGA has conceptualized and executed numerous award winning projects, exploring a variety of 'GREEN' concepts. We have successfully synergized the state-of-the-art systems with traditional techniques of energy efficiency.

Our design process focuses on reinterpreting vernacular building elements & systems to fit into the contemporary scenario.

A highly acclaimed example of this is the G.E. Plastics building in Gurgaon, which has been featured in an International Exhibition (ROOTS at the Fugita vente Museum at Tokyo) as one of the best projects in Asia.

Our architecture for institutions also displays this concern. The Goa Assembly building is one of the few Assembly halls which benefits tremendously due to daylight. Similarly, the Institute of Plasma Research is designed using water as a cooling agent for the entire campus. The green courtyards interspersed with fountains make the micro-climate much cooler. This project was an accepted nomination for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1993.

Our industrial and corporate architecture has also consistently employed green features like recycling, daylight, passive cooling etc. The Castrol India Limited factory received the JIIA Commendation Award for "Excellence in Industrial Architecture"; Godrej Transelecktra Research & Development Centre at Vikhroli, Bombay won the IIID-MK India Award for "Excellence in Corporate Interiors in 1997.

In our efforts to achieve energy efficiency and reduce the ecological impacts of modern buildings, we have successfully evolved a system of passive-cooling, using wind towers. This has been successfully demonstrated and documented at the CII Institute of Quality in Bangalore. This project was also awarded the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) - Snowcem Award for the outstanding Public Building in the year 2002.

The combination of such traditional concepts and modern equipment has culminated in our recent project - CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre at Hyderabad, which was the first project outside USA to get a LEED-Platinum rating.

This project has numerous 'GREEN' features, which make it one of the most eco-friendly and energy efficient modern projects in the world. We have successfully demonstrated the use of day lighting, photo-voltaics, waste water recycling, re-use of building materials, use of recycled building materials, erosion control in landscape, green roofs, passive cooling integration with HVAC and a total building management system.

Our urban interventions and master plans for townships are based on a sustainable approach that gives back more to the earth than what is taken from it. This is done by employing mechanism like waste-recycling, organic farming, appropriate density development, use of renewable energy sources, mass-transit systems and active social participation.

With a formidable team of consultants, who are the best in their respective fields, KGA has successfully delivered in projects of various complexities, not only throughout India, but also overseas.

Between them, KGA & its consultants have been involved with 6 to 8 LEED Platinum Projects in India.

KGA is also currently in the design development stage of various 3 resorts in Oman, hotel projects and master planning of which are following stringent international standards of Green building design and Operation.

For all projects, a highly qualified and experienced set-up of local architects is put up, so as to ensure proper implementation of the and for efficient local-level handling of the projects.

Keeping in tune with the latest professional technical systems, software & communication media, KGA is very adept at collaborating and communicating with clients and consultants across the globe.

Among various lectures at academic and professional gatherings, Mr. Karan Grover was also the master-speaker at GreenBuild '05, Atlanta and recently has been felicitated as the best presenter at that conference. As the pioneer of the Green movement in India and with his extensive experience in Heritage Conservation, Mr. Grover has conducted various workshops and seminars for high-level government officials and bureaucrats in various capitals across the country.

Mr. Grover has been served as a panelist at Clinton Global Initiative, which runs by former American President Bill Clinton, in September, 2007

Through our extensive research, experimentation and innovative design approach, KGA has emerged as a pioneering design firm in Green Architecture. Our design consortium of the best consultants (in India and abroad) has the capability, the co-ordination and the motivation to pursue our goal of setting global benchmarks in green architecture.

KGA is at the forefront of the global movement to design and construct Green buildings and environments and setting a benchmark of unprecedented excellence in contemporary architecture.

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