The CROSSROADS- Young Architects Festival, 2022 hosted by the Indian Institute of Architects, Calicut Centre under the aegis of IIA, Kerala Chapter, was a great three days of enjoying the warmth and local hospitality while basking in the architectural bliss. A report by SURFACES REPORTER (SR).
The event was formally inaugurated on the dais by lighting the lamp of enlightenment by distinguished personalities who came together on behalf of the fraternity. We had the following dignitaries invited on dais for the ceremony.
The Chief Guest of the event was Ar. C. R. Raju, President, IIA, National, Ar.Vilas Avachat, Vice President, IIA, National, Ar. Leena Kumar, Joint Honourary Secretary, IIA, National , Ar.Sathish Mane, Joint Honourary Secretary, IIA, National Ar. Divya Kush, Immediate Past , President, IIA, National, Ar. L.Gopakumar, Chairperson, IIA, Kerala Chapter, Ar. Lalichan Zacharias, Past Chairperson, IIA, Kerala Chapter, Ar.Jabeen Zacharias, Past Chairperson, IIA, Kerala Chapter, Ar.Vivek P. P., Chairperson, IIA, Calicut Centre, Ar.Noufal C. Hashim, Convenor- YAF 2022 and Ar.Mohammed Afnan, Joint Honourary Secretary, IIA, Calicut Centre.
NATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION- RE-WEAVE KOZHIKODE: REIMAGINING THE COMTRUST PRECINCT
The national design competition culminated with some amazing presentations by the nine finalists showcasing sensitive, responsive, comprehensive and all-encompassing design interventions which shall help re-weave the Comtrust Precinct and carefully revive the heritage structure.
Jury for the National Design Competition: Reweave Kozhikode- Reimagining Comtrust and precicnts, visiting the site and the dilapidated buildings. From left, Ar.Soumitro Ghosh, Ar.Peter Rich, Prof. K. T. Ravindran, Ar.Prasoon, Co-convenor, Competitions, Crossroads- YAF 2022, Ar.Afifa Nuzhath, Co-convenor, Competitions, Crossroads- YAF 2022.
Re-weave Kozhikode is a national design competition that aims to enable the stake holders of Comtrust weaving factory, to understand the possibilities of the dilapidated factories and its surrounding areas as a project with greater civic significance. Reweave Kozhikode is an attempt to ensure that our collective heritage, our past, our identity is given its due, and the opportunities that the site behold do not go wasted. Our industrial heritage is as valuable as our cultural heritage.” Narrated Ar.Aabid Raheem, Principal Architect, ar.de and Convenor, Competitions, YAF 2022.
Eminent Jury for the Awards
The eminent jury comprised of prominent personalities as Ar. Peter Rich, Prof .K. T. Ravindran and Ar.Soumitro Gosh. The jury contemplated the competition process and the project, its potential and their different perspectives on the ideal approach for the design.
In the discussion with the jury, Ar.Peter Rich, principal architect, Peter Rich Architects, South Africa, commented “The level of commitment of the entries, to how holistically looking at what was a complex problem, they didn’t just treat it as heritage, they dealt with it more holistically in a bigger context, so that it becomes something that more enabling and gives pleasure of use.”
“The challenge is the idea of history and how does one negotiate between invoking of an earlier history and still become part of a new narrative where it opens itself up” said Ar.Soumitro Ghosh, principal architect, Mathew and Ghosh Architects explained.
Reweave Kozhikode finalists presentation being remarked upon by public dignitaries. Also promising to have inclusive discussions on the same. From left is seated honourable District Collector, Shri. Narasimhaguri T. L. Reddy, Dr.M. K. Muneer, MLA and Shri.Pradeep Kumar A., Ex-MLA, along with moderator Ar.Vinod Cyriac.
Prof. K. T. Ravindran, Urban designer, gave his thoughts on what he was looking for in the entries, the architecture as a found object, the urban connect, and how an icon of the industrial heritage of Kerala, have been recognised and the large number of historical artefacts shall be archived. He agreed “Many of the entries had met these parameters.” Jury discussion was moderated by Ar. Aabid Raheem.
Distinguished guests who were present there and discussed how to approach the project n the most sustainable way included, Honourable District Collector, Shri.Narasimhaguri T. L. Reddy, Dr.M. K. Muneer, MLA and Shri. Pradeep Kumar A., Ex-MLA. This session was moderated by Ar. Vinod Cyriac, Principal Architect, Space ART.
A curated photo exhibition with Comtrust building photographs taken by architect photographer Syam Sreesylam, was also held at the Kerala Lalithakala Academy which lasted a whole week before the event, where entry to public was also open, so that the people of Calicut have a context of what the project is. This exhibition continued at the venue during the event.
The winners of this competition are as follows: Commendation for 1 Lakh: Studio 4_B16 x mofussillab, Karnataka; Runner up for 3 Lakhs: Urban Precinct, Karnataka; Winner for 5 Lakhs: APC Associates, Trichy
HONOURING AR N.M. SALIM
Ar. N.M.Salim is someone who made being an ‘architect’ familiar with the people of Calicut and he was righty honoured so during the event. A short video of his 50 years of architectural journey was also played on stage.
Ar.N. M. Salim being honoured with the Ponnada, by Ar.C.R.Raju, President, IIA National, in context to celebrating his 50 glorious years of architectural practice.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS EVENTS
The event host multiple official programmes of the Indian Institute of Architects, including the official commencement of the event. Ar. L.Gopakumar, Chairperson, IIA, Kerala Chapter, gave the welcome address. Ar. C.R.Raju, President, IIA, National gave the Presidential address. The IIA Young Architect Awards were distributed. This was given by choosing a young architect from each Chapter of the IIA, and recognise them for their overall contributions to the fraternity. The IIA mobile application was unveiled and introduced. Day 01 concluded with Ar. Noufal C. Hashim, principal architect, two i architects and Convenor, Crossroads- YAF 2022, briefing the delegates on the proceedings of the event.
COLLOQUIUM AND MORE/ SEC
The two programme packed days always began by serene morning ragas live by talented artists. This opened SABHA (main stage) for several thought provoking intense session’s one after the other. In the open address, Ar. Vivek P. P. says “While Colloquium becomes a back-and-forth conversation between the moderator and esteemed panellists who have created their niches in the field of architecture, More/Sec provides an opportunity for the panellists to express their expertise on each topic visually, in an attempt, to cover more over a fixed time of 7mts, and to echo the theme for YAF 2022 Crossroads, ARCHITECTURE FOR EVERYONE.”
The Colloquium 02: Shikshan. On the dias from left, moderator, Ar.Soumini Raja; Ar.Neelkanth Chaaya; Ar.Rupali Gupte; Ar.Habeeb Khan, President, Council of Architecture; and finally Ar.Shruthie Shah.
Lokasamgraha addressed the YAF theme, and the discourse revolved around the idea of how to bring architectural conversation to the common man, by bringing awareness to the common man vs architects step down to empathise with society and communicate in their language.
While sessions like Katha: “Art can speak, not just words”, and Vistara: “God is in the details, to enhance the experience is divine”, addressed the nuances of the design process and its impact on the user or inhabitant of the space; sessions like Shikshan: “Architecture, knowledge of form or a form of knowledge”, and Paristhiti: “The world is changing, are we?” addressed wide spectrum inquiries into architectural education and environmental responsiveness.
Cultural interludes during the event. This is Kolkali, a native art form of Malabar area in Kerala.
Disha: “There are 360 degrees, why think linear”, displayed spectacles such as those of Wallmakers, Bhoomiputra, Pink studio and Kanan Modi Associates; and Sanskriti: “Art, history and heritage as tools for holistic development” conversed about challenges of integrating the same with mainstream architectural or urban development. Kala-Neeti, Vikalp and Niyam discoursed the much ambitious levels architectural practice in India aspire to achieve.
Having Ar. Peter Rich and Ar Pallinda Kannangara on stage together expecting to have a discourse on “When east meets west”, unexpectedly, in a pleasant way, turned out to be either of them marvelling at each other’s works and professional journeys. Ar Pallinda unveiled the book: The Architecture of Peter Rich, Conversations with Africa.
YAF AWARDS 2022
The Young Architects Festival Awards 2022 was reformatted this time to commend young practices and not just projects. The format required the firms to submit multiple projects in diverse 8 categories and around 100 entries showcasing almost 450 projects were deliberated and shortlisted to 40 entries. Each category had eminent jury panels and they all had intensive dialogs to be able to wane down the entries but to winners and several commendations were inevitable.
Cultural interludes during the event. This is Kolkali, a native art form of Malabar area in Kerala.
Following are the award winners:
Category: Best Young Practice: SPACE FOR LIVING
Winner: A for Architecture
Commendations: 3dor concepts, A line studio, Avinash Ankalge, Cochin creative collective
Category: Best Young Practice: SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ARCHITECTURE
Winners: Compartment S4, Mad(e) in Mumbai
Commendation: Myspace architects
Category: Best Young Practice: SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE
Winner: Avinash Ankalge
Commendations: Mitti, Bhoomija creations
Category: Best Young Practice: SPACES FOR COLLECTIVITY AND COLLABORATION
Winner: Art on architecture
Category: Best Young Practice: ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING
Winner: A line studio
Category: Best young Practice: IDEAS FOR FUTURE
Winners: Sthaan, Cochin creative collective
Category: Best Young Practice: ARCHIETCTURAL REPRESENTATION/ VISUALISATION
Winners: Sthaan, Cochin creative collective
Category: Best Young Practice: SPACES FOR WORKING
Winner: Flying seeds
Commendations: Shreyas Patil architects, Workshop Inc.
THE WORKSHOPS SERIES
This series proved a delight to the participants. They transpired to be very inspiring, educational, and insightful. Each of them was curated with much thought by the array of distinguished mentors. CHINTA was all a 48-hour hard work for one of the city’s strategic locations including the erstwhile Municipal Office building, the street connecting it to the beach, new corporation office premise and a vacant land in between, all on 1.5 acres of land extent.
In the exploratory workshop, the mentors, Ar.Shimul Zaveri Kadri, Ar. Bijoy Ramachandran, Ar.Biju Kuriakose and Ar.Pallinda Kannangara had an enthralling two days with the young minds who were much positively receptive and inquisitive of the mentoring they had and were elated at the opportunity.
BHAVANA and the school children turned out to be a learning experience for the mentors in return. This workshop yet again addressed the design possibility of another public space in the city: the Lion’s Club children’s park. Working with the primary stakeholders and engaging with their untapped sources of creativity, proved to be an exercise where the child became the father of man, responded the workshop mentors, Ar.Madhav Raman, Ar.Niranjan S. Warrier, Ar.Vishnu and Ar.Aromal. Unbelievable responses creating AI games, place making, bird watching, storytelling and much more were the results of this engagement.
NIRMANA by Masons Ink studio, AKARA by Er.Manjunath and SAMSARA by Akon Mitra on “oritechture” were experiential in being hands-on with materials, its many properties and applications.
LIPI gave a wonderful insight into Architectural journalism and writing, while the mentors Tanya Khanna and Suneet Langar from Epistle Communications, also looked into branding and its cues.
THE FORUM AND RAPID FIRE
The Forum addressed current challenges in the industry that heeded an eager audience. “A new perspective to architectural journalism”, “Walk for Arcause”- in conversation with Ar. Geetha Balakrishnan and “En-gendering architecture” was discoursed before a much enthusiastic gathering. The rapid fires with starchitects were a fun and engaging session with direct access from audience to the guest architect on the hotseat.
A session in the Forum: Architectural Journalism. On the dias from left; moderator Ar.Lalichan Zacharias; Ms.Mrudul Pathak; Ms.Vertica Dvivedi; Ar.Mukul Goyal and Ar.C.R.Raju, President, IIA, National.
This was a curated series of outdoor activities early in the morning. The public project tours took the guests to many places including, the Freedom Square- a public stage and sculpture narrating history, Samudra- a convention space for the fisherman community, Government Higher Secondary School at Karaparamba and Udayam- a home for transition for the destitute of the city. The Heritage walk curated by Captain (Retd) Ramesh Babu and Sketching trail with Ar.Peter Rich and Ar.Jayakrishnan were much appreciated.
CREA: THE NATIONAL STUDENTS INSTALLATION COMPETITION
The installation was curated to consider the context to make an inspiring multisensory contribution, while maximizing the possibility of public engagement and interaction. It should also respond to the culture and history of the place.
Students groups displayed much innovation and originality in the installations they put up. Seeting was the premise of Urban Angadi, the flea market which was open to public as well. The interactive nature of some of those installations were a moment of marvel for the public, especially children.
URBAN ANGADI, THE BACKUP PLAN, WCMT, AVIAL, DJ RICHARD AND MORE
The Pancharimelam, Thayambakam, Kolkali and the flash mob by gen-Z were indulging experiences. The on-stage performances by Mamangam India were mesmerising interludes to the grand finale of the event, the awards night. Urban Angadi, the flea market showcasing 40 small and medium businesses from the locals, 9 live bands and engaging performances along with cultural savouries for the watering mouths were the sweet cherry on the top.
In his welcome address to the valedictory function, National Convenor, YAF 2022 and principal architect, DAC Global, quoted a great author, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer as saying, “Onnum onnum immini balya onnu- which translates to saying one plus one is a big one. I would like to emphasise on this, that this is through the union on all of us present here, that this event has been made successful.”
Ar.Sham Salim, Co-convenor, YAF 2022, joint honourary secretary, IIA, Calicut Centre and principal architect, Aslamsham architects, remembered that “We wanted to make it a festival in its full essence, which had something for everyone! Be it architecture, art, culture, cuisine, or just the relations you build.”