Nirmala Banaji, Principal & Founding Architect, Banaji & Associates

Nirmala Banaji, Principal & Founding Architect, Banaji & Associates
Established in 1960, the firm gained international recognition in 1981 with the introduction of its design studio in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Today, the firm has a new-age vision ushered by Ar. Jamshed Banaji and Nirmala Banaji towards a global strategy incorporating the philosophy of care and integrity and the design principles of vision and creativity.

In the series of my passion for restoring and rebuilding old habitats, one such project which is close to my heart is a house built in Goa. A 6700 sq. ft. plot was purchased with an intent to enhance the old Portuguese charm by converting the dilapidated and poorly planned house into a luxury villa. The house was re-planned with a raised and increased plinth, a larger verandah, an additional bedroom, a caretaker room and a store room, and was extended further, reorganized and designed with a landscape intervention, swimming pool and a low compound wall.

One of the biggest illusions with the profession is the disconnect between academia and reality. Women are still way too invisible in the world of architecture. The real estate and construction industries are highly male-dominated. There is resistance on a daily basis from the contractors, clients, consultants, workers on site, the crafts people and the carpenters.

There’s always a different approach to design/architecture by women as compared to men; and this difference flows into the design process and influences decisions that are ultimately embodied in real spaces. But Architecture is an Art - It’s all about passion, talent and vision – be it a man or a woman.
For architects, restoration is a legacy which we leave for the next generation. Professionally, there is no greater feeling than seeing a project you worked on come into existence

Architect Banaji & Associates

My advice to would-be entrepreneurs in this field of work is that they must stick to a particular style of designing or construction or focus on sustainability and green architecture. The USP of your firm is a must. Know what the market wants, as providing services that are in demand will always lead to success. A key mantra is: keep the best possible proportion between project – person – time, which means: more projects with less number of people, in less time.

Architect Banaji & Associates
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