Hafeez Contractor

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Hafeez Contractor
Born 1950 (age 63–64)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater University of Mumbai, Columbia University
Practice Zoroastrianism

Hafeez Contractor (born 1950) is an Indian architect.[1] He is a member of the Bombay Heritage Committee and New Delhi Lutyens Bungalow Zone Review Committee.

Early life[edit]

Hafeez Contractor was born in Bombay in a Parsi family. He earned his graduate diploma in architecture from the University of Mumbai in 1975 and completed his graduation and MS in Architecture from Columbia University, New York City on a Tata scholarship.[2] He studied at the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai and then went on to pursue a post graduation degree from Columbia University in New York.

Career[edit]

Hafeez Contractor started working in 1968 as an apprentice with his uncle T. Khareghat even while working toward his architecture degree. In 1977, he became the associate partner in the firm. Between 1977 and 1980, he was a visiting faculty member at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai.

Architect Hafeez Contractor[edit]

He started his firm, Architect Hafeez Contractor, in 1983 with two people. One of his first success stories was the Vastu building at Worli Seaface. He then bagged projects in Pune for Karia Builders and a lot of residential buildings. He has also designed The Imperial I and II, the tallest buildings in India.[3]

His projects are spread across India.

His work is controversial from the perspective of social impact and originality. His design approach is often thought of as uninspiring by architecture academics.[4] Despite being one of India's most successful commercial architects, he publicly stated that Western standards for "green" buildings are a joke arguing that the problems present in India require unique solutions.[5] His own unique solutions for India are however blatant replicas of Western landmarks, such as I. M. Pei's glass pyramid at the Louvre or the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. His works are often condemned by the end users and inhabitants as being glitzy and dysfunctional for the unique conditions of the Indian sub-continent.[6]

Cityscaping is not the term conservationists use to describe Hafeez’s work. They oppose a large number of his ideas as harmful, if not disastrous, to the city. One of them hinted that he laughed evilly as he planned to remove a century-old staircase for renovations on a heritage structure.[7] His proposal to reclaim 500 m on either side of Mumbai for a continuous strip of parkland, a ring road, and a line of skyscrapers facing the sea was derided.

The Slumdog Millionaire Architect[edit]

In an interview with the New York Times[8] he was profiled for his influence on modern Architecture in India and as Bollywood's Starchitect. According to the article, "Stylistically, Contractor’s buildings have no signature, save a penchant for glitz." In the interview, Hafeez Contractor said, “I always say . . . that you definitely like a woman with lipstick, rouge, eyelashes. So if you make your building more beautiful with some appliqués, there’s nothing wrong.” Instead of a style, what most unifies Contractor’s projects is that they actually get built. Architecture has long been described as the most political of the Arts, and the key to Contractor’s success is as much his mastery of the policy levers of the world’s largest democracy as his talents as a designer. Combining the skills of an architect with those of a political operative, Contractor has had the ability to read new regulations and immediately find exploitable loopholes and work behind the scenes to shape legislation that serves his business. He is known to cultivate friends in high places, and he has learned to time his public statements judiciously. Most crucially, he has mastered the art of rhetoric, of phrasing his private interests in terms of the public interest.

Projects[edit]

Aparna Industrial Promotion Council building Fatuha Patna

  • National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai
  • The Lalit-Ahmedabad

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TNN, Dec 18, 2010, 09.53pm IST (2010-12-18). "Architect for conserving rare heritage monuments - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  2. ^ "Building dreams". Indian Express. 1998-12-30. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  3. ^ "From 50 floors to 80 plus, Mumbai grows taller". IBN Live. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  4. ^ http://urbanarchitecture.in/2009/11/the-enigma-of-hafeez-contractor.html
  5. ^ "Green buildings are a joke: Hafeez Contractor". The Times Of India. 2011-09-14. 
  6. ^ Daniel Brooks (June 19, 2014). "The Slumdog Millionaire Architect". New York Times. In an interview with the New York Times[8] he was profiled for his influence on modern Architecture in India and as Bollywood's Starchitect.
  7. ^ Rahul Bhatia (November 7, 2009). "Deconstructing Hafeez Contractor: Is architect Hafeez Contractor a superhero or just an overrated marketing success?". Open the Magazine. 
  8. ^ Daniel Brooks (June 19, 2014). "The Slumdog Millionaire Architect". New York Times. 
  9. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/hafeez-contractor-plans-dubai-like-new-patna-on-ganges/1/186155.html
  10. ^ [1]

External links[edit]