Canadian Wood’s webinar on ‘Architecture with wood in India’ presents industry stalwarts and the country’s best woodwork projects

Canadian Wood
FII-India, popularly known as Canadian Wood has been promoting building with wood in India using wood legally sourced from the sustainably managed forests of B.C., Canada. In case of structural applications of wood, it works with architects, developers, contractors, and hospitality professionals and extends technical support by suggesting appropriate species and grades most suitable to the type of construction chosen or preferred, i.e. T&G (Tongue & Groove), WFC (Wood Frame Construction), posts-and-beams or even hybrid in tandem with local stone/bricks. It also conducts educational seminars and training workshops that help create awareness about its wood species, specific applications, and appropriate methods of use.

Canadian Wood introduced webinars on topics of interest to the wood working industry at large. Its third webinar titled ‘Architecture with wood in India’ conducted on July 24, 2020, was a part of the continuing series and a first-of-its-kind virtual panel discussion, presented by Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) and sponsored by Artius Interior Products Pvt. Ltd.

The webinar began with a welcome by Nadira Hamid, CEO, ICBC and opening remarks by Hon. Andrew Smith, Minister (Commercial), High Commission of Canada. This was followed by an introduction of the event curator & moderator Prof. Gurdev Singh by Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, FII India. Prof. Gurdev Singh is an industry icon and the Ex-Dean of the School of Environmental Design and Architecture, Navrachana University. With over 40 years of invaluable experience in the field of architecture and awards at national and international levels to his credit, his portfolio includes Teaching, Design (Architecture, Interior and Urban), Project Management and Construction Coordination, Quality Control and Site Management, as well as experience on projects as an Owner/Builder.

As the webinar progressed, sections began to unfold itself in the form of extensive, informative presentations by eminent Indian architects namely Ar. N Mahesh from Iyer & Mahesh, Ar. Gurpreet Singh from Aakar Design Consultants and Ar. Kamal Malik from Malik Architecture. Each glorified through their unique pieces of work the various features, strengths, and possibilities in the world of architecture with wood.

Ar. N Mahesh is known for his decades of experience in reviving traditional timber architecture in India using ‘Green’ reforested timber. He presented pieces of work that drew inspiration from heritage architecture in Kerala and merged it with the technological prowess of changing times. His presentation showcased rich examples of wooden buildings and captivating visuals of projects spanning across premium hotels and resorts like the Ananta spa & resort - Rajasthan, the Lalit resort & spa, Bekal – Kerala and the Zuri Kumarakom resort & spa - Kerala to name a few. He also showcased his prized possession called the ‘Bell Museum’ located in Trivandrum. The building’s interiors featured successful use of Canadian manufactured Tongue and Groove panelling made with western hemlock, one of the five Canadian wood species available across India.

This was followed with a presentation by Ar. Gurpreet Singh who unveiled some exemplary work. His projects included well-recognized and awarded ventures like the Royal Academy of Bhutan and large scale in-making projects like the Dining hall for the World School of Environment in Coorg. He also showcased Aakar Villa; a luxury private villa displayed at 1970 sq. ft. in Himachal Pradesh. The villa exhibited how Canadian Wood specie Douglas-fir was optimally used to build posts-and-beams, multiple doors and windows that created a beautiful open space in oneness with nature.

The final presentation was made by Ar. Kamal Malik. His slides were iconic in their representation of his love for nature and the inspiration drawn from it. He defined architecture as a synthesis of ‘Ecology’ and ‘Spirit’. ‘Ecology’ implying a seamless, cohesive, and integrated approach to design and ‘Spirit’ implying balance, understanding and tranquility. His pieces of work included a luxury resort in Morgiri in Lonavala and in Alibaug where he elaborated upon how nature united with the applied contemporary architectural elements.

The three presentations were followed by a panel discussion, curated by Prof. Gurdev Singh. The event concluded with a Q&A session of the panelists with the well-informed audience. The queries raised by the audience to the panelists clearly indicated the rising positive sentiment and trend towards the use of wood in structural applications – we see an emerging trend of country homes, farm houses and resorts especially in hills and coastal areas being designed with wood (from sustainably managed forests) as the most ecofriendly building material.

Canadian Wood’s webinar on ‘Architecture with wood in India’

Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, FII India said, “Canadian Wood is delighted to have the three stalwarts of architecture together as panelists on this platform along with Prof. Gurdev as the curator and moderator. It has been an enriching experience for us to listen and see them share their experience and expertise with the audience on the topic of “Architecture with Wood in India”. It has been encouraging and inspiring for us have had such a team of panelists on the Canadian Wood webinar.”

Canadian Wood’s webinar on ‘Architecture with wood in India’

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