#EDEarthHero Bijoy Jain: 5 things you didn’t know

MAR 18, 2016 | By Pragnya Rao
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT The Brick House in Ahmedabad is one of the celebrated architect’s creations. For this structure, the blocks were formed from the dirt dug for the foundation and organised around a generous open air courtyard; A snapshot of Saat Rasta in Mumbai where seven studios-cum-homes of varying sizes slip discreetly into a walled enclosure of an old warehouse; This Brick and Lime Home in Coastal Maharashtra where nine rooms are are unified with a plywood roof, covered in black lacquer like liquid traditionally used to seal wooden boats; A view of Bijoy’s home in Alibaug. Here, one section of the backyard is taken up by a pool surrounded by looming foliage. Photographs courtesy Francesca Molteni.

Sustainable has been the keyword of this past decade. Sure, the treehuggers stole the headlines; but what’s happened in the design world in response to it, has been heartening; with so many designers eschewing the digital and the deconstructed in favour of the real and the responsible. “The idea of care and consideration is what is sustainable,” claims Studio Mumbai’s Bijoy Jain – one of India’s finest architects and a headlining speaker at ID Symposium, India Design ID 2016 – as he settles in to talk to us.
1. Bijoy’s architecture practice is unique. On his return to India from US, he recognised that the methods of working here differed considerably from the rest of the world. And the way he wanted to work was “more direct…with people who actually build”.
2. He relies on his intuitions. According to him, the greatest potential of architecture is “in its ability to connect to our five senses, and go beyond that”. His celebrated structures have always been site sensitive, borrowing from local, natural materials and skills available to him.
3. But he is also a realistic at the same time as he doesn’t concern himself with the emotions or economics of the built structure. With a discerning reason led approach to design, Bijoy believes he has turned more pragmatic than poetic with time.
4. He strongly believes that all aspects of architecture and life are correlated. “After all at the end of the day, it is about engaging in a world of possibilities, keeping things elegant, upholding dignity, doing what we do; being human,” he adds.
5. His dream project would be designing a school for children and a space for the rehabilitation of animals.Website: www.studiomumbai.comAlso read: India Mahdavi: 5 things you didn’t know