Award for eco-friendly Jaipur building

Architecture


A low-cost, environmentally sensitive building in Jaipur, Rajasthan, is among the winners of awards announced at the conclusion of the second World Architecture Festival, held in Barcelona, Spain, in the first week of November.

The Indian award winner is the Pearl Academy of Fashion, whose eco-friendly and energy-efficient campus is spread over more than three acres on the outskirts of Jaipur.

The materials used for the construction of the building – designed by the New Delhi-based firm Morphogenesis – are a mix of local stone, steel, glass and concrete, chosen in keeping with the climatic conditions of the region. The Pearl Academy of  Fashion was set up by Pearl Global Ltd., one of India’s largest export  houses.

Its objective is to train true professionals to serve, and eventually lead, India’s fashion and design industries. Besides the Jaipur branch, which was opened in 2005, the Academy has three other campuses in the country – in Delhi, Chennai and Ludhiana.   There are two overseas branches, in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and the United Arab Emirates.

The World Architecture Festival award for the Pearl Academy’s Jaipur campus was given in the ‘Learning’ category.  In all, awards were announced in 15 categories for buildings completed in the last year, including Culture, Housing, Holiday, Civic and Community, New and Old, Office, and Shopping. This year’s awards featured three new sections:  Interiors and Fit-out, Structural Design, and Future Projects, celebrating excellence in design for projects still on the drawing-board.

A total of 272 building projects from 67 countries, including India, were shortlisted for this year’s Festival awards.  They included a treetop restaurant in New Zealand, a space-age high school in Los Angeles (California),  a stunning culture complex in South Korea, and the Wimbledon Centre Court in London. The overall  theme was “Less Does More”, focusing on the challenges facing architects to produce more value for less cost.  The various  category winners in the ‘Building of the Year’ award were pitted against each other as a ‘super jury’ made the final decision on the ‘World Building of the Year’ award.  

This coveted award went to a South African architect, Peter Rich, for his Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, a building on the site of an ancient civilisation which also  highlights the fragility of the environment.   It is located at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers in southern Africa.

The jury decided that, in the final analysis,  the Mapungubwe Centre was clearly the most architecturally and psychologically  powerful project.  “It carries both weight and a message of complexity to the outside world,” said one of the jurors,  Suha Ozkan.

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