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An interview with renowned environmental architect

Ar. Chitra Vishwanath.

Architects In the ever-evolving world of architecture, where innovation and sustainability are at the forefront, Chitra Vishwanath’s firm Biome Environmental Solutions stands out as a visionary Indian architectural office. Based out of Bengaluru, Biome’s profound commitment to ecological principles and a passion for integrating architecture harmoniously with nature, has made it a driving force in the field. Since 1991, Chitra Vishwanath has been at the helm of her own architectural firm, collaborating with fellow architects on numerous transformative projects. As the Principal Architect and Managing Director of BIOME Environment Solutions, she has handled over 500 projects, ranging from diverse building designs all incorporating innovative water and sanitation designs, while keeping a keen focus on the ecological well-being of the respective sites. Central to the firm’s architectural philosophy is the thoughtful incorporation of earth as a fundamental building material. 

What initially inspired you to pursue eco-friendly design, and how has this inspiration guided your journey in the field of architecture? 

From the very first project we got opportunities to do ecologically sensitive projects, because of the city and the time. These, the city and the time, are very important markers for us.

In 1991, India changed from a socialist to a capitalistic economy. Mr. Narsimha Rao and Mr. Manmohan Singh changed the whole face of India. And at this very time, we were in Bangalore, and this city was in the thick of this change. It embraced it wholeheartedly through the IT revolution. Earlier to the It industries setting base here Bangalore was a manufacturing and educational hub, while also a favorite retiree’s destination. It comprised of highly aware middle-class populace.

The demand for a new narrative in architecture also came from the people, our clients. It began initially to be economical by applying the concepts of Laurie Baker like using rat trap bond walling technique...

Before terming and working on ecological architecture we worked more on economizing on costs.

Text : Aishwarya Khurana

Images : Procured from the architect

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