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June 28, Bangalore
Ph.D (h.c) and MA. B.ARCH from J. J. School of Architecture, 1971
Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, 1975 to date
Brinda Somaya is an architect and urban conservationist. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Architecture from Mumbai University and her Master of Arts from Smith College in Northampton, MA, USA, she started her firm Somaya and Kalappa Consultants in 1978 in Mumbai, India. In May 2012 she was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, Smith College. In 2014 she was awarded the Indian Institute of Architects – BaburaoMhatre Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. In 2015 she was honoured as Distinguished Professor by the Indian Education Society's College of Architecture (IES), Mumbai.
Over three decades she has merged architecture, conservation and social equity in projects ranging from institutional campuses and rehabilitation of an earthquake-torn village to the restoration of an 18th century Cathedral, showing that progress and history need not be at odds. Her philosophy: 'the Architect's role is that of guardian – his is the conscience of the built and un-built environment.'
This belief underlines her work that spans large corporate, industrial and institutional campuses and extends to public spaces, which she has rebuilt and sometimes reinvented as pavements, parks and plazas. Master-planning and building design of multiple corporate and educational campuses has become one of her many areas of expertise. Some of these award-winning campuses include Tata Consultancy Services, Banyan Park, Mumbai; Nalanda International School, Vadodara; and Zensar Technologies, Pune.
Over the years, she has won numerous international and national awards. In 2013 she was chosen as one of the 100 GLOBAL PUBLIC·INTEREST·DESIGN persons working at the intersection of design and service globally.
Recipient of the Indian Institute of Architects
Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal - For Lifetime Achievement
The Wienerberger Golden Architect Award
for Lifetime Achievement from the Architecture + Design & Spectrum Foundation Architecture Awards
UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards
for Culture Heritage Conservation Award of Merit for St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai
UIA – (International Union Of Architects)
Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Alleviation of Poverty - Honorable Mention - Rehabilitation For Bhadli Village, Bhuj
Leaf Awards Winner
The Leading European Architects Forum for Nalanda International School, Baroda
“I have always been very optimistic and there are great young architects in our country today and I am sure they will take India on to the world map of architecture. I just hope that everybody keeps their feet on the ground.”
Top 5 projects
Zensar Technologies Limited, Pune (2009)
Nalanda International School, Vadodara (2010)
TCS House for Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai (2007)
Rajabai Clock Tower and Mumbai University Library, Mumbai (2015)
Goa Institute of Management, Goa (2011)
Message to upcoming architects
"Young architects are doing good work and I have full faith that they will protect our environment and our heritage and yet contemporarize design and take it forward into our new tech-savvy world. As an Architect you need to understand people's needs and anticipate changes. One needs to focus on the aspirations of young people and the changes happening in technology and their lives.
I have always been very optimistic and there are great young architects in our country today and I am sure they will take India on to the world map of architecture; I have no doubt about it. I just hope that everybody keeps their feet on the ground. We should also remember that half of our population needs are very severe and being an architect cannot be just for the rich and famous and our responsibility should also be to build in the rural areas and in smaller towns and for people who are less privileged"