Chitra Vishwanath

Chitra Vishwanath

Practice: Biome Environmental Solutions Private Limited
Established: 2008
City: Bangalore
Country: India
www.biome-solutions.com
chitra@biome-solutions.com

Born in Banares, India to a sculptor father and a talented housewife mother, I was directed towards architecture as a professional choice by them. After studying Civil Engineering in Nigeria and Architecture at School of Architecture CEPT India, I started my practice in 1990 in Bangalore as Chitra Vishwanath Architects (http://www.inika.com/chitra) working exclusively on ecological and economical design solutions.
In 2008 we integrated with Rainwaterclub (http://www.rainwaterclub.org) to become a broader-based organisation working on both architecture and sustainable water designs. The decision was also affected by the many colleagues who joined us, taking the mantle of ecological design forward. Now the whole team are shareholders in the enterprise. In the past twenty years Biome has executed nearly 500 projects, from the big to the very small.

Biome Environmental Solutions Private Limited

Unit 1 (manager's bungalow)
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O'land Estates

This project is located in the hilly regions of South India.The project is a resort with each unit built as a bungalow rather than repetitive rooms. Each bungalow responds differently to its context in terms of site and brief. Externally, the first unit has the feel of a colonial bungalow. The second unit is for budget guests, so is compact. The third unit nestles between the trees and rocks of the land and has a dramatic roofline.

Unit 1 (manager's bungalow)
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How does diversity of people reveal itself at work? No architectural project can be achieved without co-operation or teamwork by diverse people, be they client, contractors or architects. Within each of these broad categories are a range of people who take the project's agenda forward. This diversity adds to the variety and interest of the project. So with clients dictating their requirements, budget and site, and builder's capacity steering the construction details, the design evolves in an integrated manner.
Who are your role models who inspire you? I can think of human models as maps or books from which I get my location and also see where to go, but it is daily life and its ebbs and flows which determine my actions. And life is a wonderful teacher while human interactions provide the fun element which spices up and bring enormous creativity and diversity in work. Without the challenges I would be lost in this field of creativity.
How have your clients and projects benefited from your involvement? My intention has always been towards integration of ecology in the building and living process. With my involvement I try my best to bring in these issues in a complete manner to the project. In this way we see to it that during construction as well as after it the building sits lightly on the earth.