Anil Bhaskaran: Striving to Align Cities with Nature

Anil Bhaskaran,Managing Director

Anil Bhaskaran

Managing Director

The rapid development of the new-age technologies and their consequent integration with the various facets of the construction industry, have had a major impact on the professions of architecture and urban planning in India. The fast pace of urbanization in the last few decades has fueled the growth and expansion of the country’s infrastructure. This, in turn, has further increased the demand for architectural and urban planning services, catering to the construction industry. The services such as planning and engineering are of critical importance in the successful execution of any project. Architectural and urban planning firms guide their clients through the whole gamut of design and construction, offering various forms of consultation and assistance. The construction industry has been rapidly changing and so have been its requirements and expectations.

In this fast changing scenario, Anil Bhaskaran, the Bangalore based architect and urban planner, is someone who has been advocating a cautious approach. ‘The phenomenon of climate change has forced the world to re evaluate its priorities. The world in general and construction industry in particular, have been racing ahead at break neck speed. It is time for both to carry out the much needed introspection and course correction’, he states candidly.

Bhaskaran obtained the Bachelor of Architecture degree with the first rank and distinction from the University of Kerala. Soon after the graduation, he began working
with the architectural firm 'Stein, Doshi and Bhalla' in New Delhi. Subsequently, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota, USA and secured the Master of Architecture degree, with a specialization in Urban Planning. After completing the Master's Programme, he worked with 'Skidmore, Owings & Merrill,' a Chicago based architectural firm. Presently, he is the Managing Director, Chief Architect and Urban Planner at IDEA (Initiative for Design Excellence in Architecture) Centre Architects Pvt. Ltd., the Bangalore based Company he founded. Under his leadership, Idea Centre has completed over a hundred projects in India, during the last two decades.

Reflecting upon his vast experience with the profession, he says, ‘Since urban planning deals with large scale built environment, its impacton our society and environment is big. An urban planner must both be aware and sensitive about this.

Explaining certain important planning concepts that determine how cities are formed and they function, he says, ‘A city can be compared to the body of a living organism say, a human body. Like a group of cells come together to form the human body, a group of people come together to form a city. A city, once is born, should grow to its limit, cease to grow and eventually perish. Infinite growth is neither desirable nor sustainable. Such unlimited growth will put tremendous stress on a city’s infra structure, leading to its malfunctioning and eventual collapse. This phenomenon is akin to the condition of a human body growing fatter day by day a condition that leads to the clogging of its supply lines, which in turn leads to its final destruction.’

As an architect and urban planner known for practicing what he brands as ‘Responsible Architecture’, he says, ‘We need to look for ways to make our cities and buildings nature centered. Our aim must be to create cities that are designed and built around the concept of wellness and happiness’.

Elaborating on the design philosophy that he follows in his projects, he says, ‘A city must have well defined and designed public spaces and features that create unique, holistic experiences for the citizens. The cities that are revered world over, are not necessarily the most modern or technologically the most advanced ones. Such admiration is usually an outcome of the awesome living and user experience they provide!

It is this principle that formed the basis for his designs for Soul Space, a two hundred acre ecofriendly project, proposed to be built on the outskirts of Bangalore and Gurusaranalayam, a community based project that is coming up near Chennai.

Bhaskaran is a winner of many awards, including the prestigious ‘Inspiring Leaders Award-2021 in Architecture and Urban Planning,’ conferred on him by the Economic Times. He was also chosen as one of the ‘Visionary Leaders 2021’, by the India Today Magazine.