Every year, the winners are selected through a survey, from a list of 70-80 architects and builders each, of which 20 architects and 20 builders are shortlisted. For the past nine years, the CWAB Awards has had a theme, ranging from Green and Youth, to Inno-Vision among many others. Being a landmark occasion, ´A Decade of Excellence´ was the theme for CWAB 2015. Organised by ASAPP Media and hosted at Mumbai´s Four Seasons Hotel on August 21, 2015, the 10th CWAB saw over 250 stalwarts of the industry come together to celebrate. Appropriately enough, CWAB marked its 10-year journey by felicitating all past winners from across the country.
Make no mistake; this was an event like no other. Our stars sashayed down the red carpet in their dashing black-and-red attire - the dress code for the winners - beaming with pride. The evening commenced with the Indian tradition of lighting the lamp. Participating in this auspicious ceremony were Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect, Guallart Architect and Chief Architect of Barcelona City Council; Sylvain Biard, Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of France; Sabri Ergen, Consul General, Consulate General of Turkey; Camille Richardson, Commercial Counsel, Consulate General of the United States; Saut Siringoringo, Consul General, Consulate General of Indonesia; Kishor Mundargi, Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada; and Pratap Padode, Founder & Director, Smart Cities Council India.
Welcoming the winners, jury and audience, Falguni Padode, Group Managing Editor, ASAPP Media Information Group, expressed her gratitude and pride in hosting the award for the 10th year. Our efforts are on to make a difference, to be the harbingers of change,¨ she said. Next up was a surprise treat for the audience. Up on stage, ´performing´ together for the first time, was a dynamic duo: Mumbai´s favourite builder Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, and renowned architect Sanjay Puri, both winners these past nine years. Their act, brimming with wit, satire and humour, had the audience in splits, whether it was Puri taking a dig at Mumbai´s DP rules or Hiranandani conferring upon Puri the title of the industry´s Shah Rukh Khan. Things were off to a rocking start.
Around 45 winners were felicitated with the 10th CWAB Award of Excellence trophy. Making it even more special was the ramp walk! Our winners, already red carpet-savvy, glided down the ramp after receiving their trophies, holding their prize aloft. Some were shy and some offered a conservative namaste, while others were more flamboyant, twirling their scarf or striking a pose that would put many a seasoned model to shame. They were show-stoppers - and they knew it!
Another highlight of the event was the keynote address by Architect Vicente Guallart, the man behind the design of Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world (Read speech on page 76). As he focused on retrofitting existing cities, Guallart said, ¨We need to learn about good and bad things - about how new technologies are coming to cities and how to use them.¨ Citing the example of Barcelona, he spoke about how the realisation came to transform the city into an urban economy. ¨You should be sure that investments are made at the right place, right time. We need to transform the city into a people-oriented one. It´s not about putting gadgets in buildings, but changing the model of a city. And, we are working on how future cities will be.¨ Guallart emphasised upon the need to use new materials and technologies to make better cities. On a concluding note, he expressed his views on India, saying, ¨I am impressed by this country and look forward to see how we can work together.¨
Finally, in his closing remarks (Read speech on 78), Pratap Padode rightly pointed out that a lot has transpired in the past 10 years. Citing the example of Barcelona, he said that India should laud its existing islands of excellence and build cities that give excellent returns on investment. ¨India is aching to be rebuilt!¨ he exclaimed. Towards the end of the event, all the winners from the building and architecture fraternity came together for a group photograph before proceeding for cocktails and dinner, where the bonhomie and camaraderie were palpable. It was indeed a good, good night.