All that glitters is gold - and red and black! With these resplendent colours, the stage was set for the 13th CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect and Builder (CWAB) Awards, held at Hotel Four Seasons in Mumbai on September 11.
The evening celebrated the theme, DiverCity, and was graced by Guest of Honour Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, Sustainable Habitat Division, TERI; Special Guest Edgard Kagan, US Consul General in Mumbai; and eminent guests, including Tang Guocai, Consul General of the People's Republic of China; Sunil Khanna, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Estonia in India; and Alex Pen of the Taipei World Trade Centre Liaison Office in Mumbai; among others.
Supported by Silver Partner: Tata Projects; Associate Partner: Turner; Supporting Partner: Fundermax India; and Other Partners: Otis Elevators and Walter P Moore; the event, as always, was a fitting showcase of excellence, with some new additions. Dubbed the Oscars of the architecture and building industry, this year the awards recognised and awarded Top Architects; Top Builders; Regional Winners - a Top Architect, Top Builder and Top Interior Designer, each, in the North, South, East and West regions; and Noteworthy Projects from across India, chosen through a transparent selection process. What's more, the grand evening also showcased the Wall of Fame with the winners'photographs and autographs.
How we do it!
'The world's greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focussed on their goals and been consistent in their efforts.' These words by author Dr Rooplen Prasad embody the spirit of the CWAB awards, which were initiated 13 years ago to recognise and award excellence in process and execution.
Back in 2006, when these awards were instituted, there were no such parameters for judging excellence. 'The intention was to recognise and salute excellence, to inspire and to motivate,' said Falguni Padode, Group Managing Editor & Co-Founder, ASAPP Info Global Group, in her welcome address. 'To date, CWAB is the only such award where architects and builders are awarded on one platform.'
Year-on-year, the awards have followed a painstaking process of recognising excellence. With this year's theme, DiverCity, the aim was to recognise and award firms that have a pan-India presence with projects executed and delivered across the residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, institutional and township segments; and whose body of work spans a minimum of three or more of the above-mentioned segments.
'This year, we opened the awards to nominations for the first time. In all, across categories, we received over 850 nominations! These nominations were shortlisted and put to an elite jury, whose connect with the industry and stalwarts helped arrive at the final selection,' said Falguni Padode.
While every year, the CWAB awards have focused on awarding India's Top Architects (turn to page 70) and Top Builders (turn to page 72), and this year we added yet another dimension: Recognising Regional Players (turn to page 76). The Regional awards, which represent the four regions of the country, look to recognise and felicitate local players who are striving for excellence.
A single Regional winner has been selected from each category, Architect, Builder and Interior Designer, across the four regions, except in the East region, where the jury chose to refrain from casting a winner in the Interior Category.
Words of wisdom
Nothing is permanent but change. 'We are living in an age of 'disruption'... and technology is leading this disruption. Disruption is caused by factors that challenge the normal. But what about the construction industry?' questioned Pratap Padode, Editor-in-Chief, CW and President, FIRST Construction Council. 'Despite the averseness to technology, disruption has not eluded the construction industry entirely.' he added.
(For more, turn to page 78.) This was followed by Special Guest Edgard Kagan, US Consul General in Mumbai, who noted the extraordinary impact of all the work that people building infrastructure have had, and the impact infrastructure continues to have on construction in India. (For more, turn to page 77.)
For his part, Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, Sustainable Habitat Division, TERI, who presented the awards, said, 'The key is not to aspire but to demand. The onus lies with us architects and engineers, building professionals and practitioners and material suppliers to educate the people on the benefits of going green and sustainable.' (Read more on page 76.)
Apart from the winners, the event witnessed an august audience with over 250 guests, including the who's who of the building and support industries. In a display of Tlan, the winners walked the stage in celebration of their victory. While Shekhar P Patki, Principal Architect, PG Patki Architects, dubbed the awards the Oscars of the construction world, Prem Chandavarkar, Managing Partner, CnT Architects, shared that it was an honour to receive an award not just from the architect peer community but from the construction industry as a whole. And in the words of Sharukh Mistry, Principal Architect, Mistry Architects, 'Power to CONSTRUCTION WORLD for the rigour of 13 years of working on these awards. Power to you!'
Expressing his honour to receive this award along with several luminaries, Ravi Sarangan, Founder, Edifice Consultants, said, 'It has been quite some time that we have been winning this. But every time we win it, it's a big feather in our cap. And it goes to the effort put in by so many 'Edificians'- people who have been part of this wonderful journey called edifice.'
Further, Manit Rastogi, Founder Partner, Morphogenesis, said, 'We have been here for 13 years now, and we hope to be here for at least another 30! We don't ever give up being an architect...and that's what defines us.' Thanking CWAB, he added, 'It is phenomenal what you have done with this award; there are many out there, but this is truly an institution.'
Moving on to the winning builders, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, said, 'One of the most important things is that people have builders'awards and architecture awards, but they don't appreciate the partnership that the architect and the builder have - an incestuous relationship, which is more than marriage. I must congratulate CW for understanding that relationship.'
Elaborating on the theme DiverCity, Sangeeta Prasad, CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, said, 'Diversity in various forms...that's what we do. We build cities and we build homes. Thank you on behalf of the Mahindra Lifespaces team.
It inspires us to sell genuinely, build responsibly, and deliver on time.' And receiving the award with pride and gratitude, Karan Virwani, Director, Embassy Group, and Chief WeWork Executive Officer, WeWork India, said, 'I receive this on behalf of the entire company that has worked hard over the decades to keep putting up projects of quality. We have a lot of big things coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned.'
These were just some of the highlights of the 13th CWAB Awards. But, as they say, pictures often speak louder than words. Read on for more on our winners and jury - and enjoy the glimpses of a memorable, glamorous evening.