Achyut Kanvinde

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PK Kelkar Library, IIT Kanpur, designed by Achyut Kanvinde

Padma Shri Achyut P. Kanvinde (1916–28 December 2002) is considered one of forefathers of modern Indian architecture.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Achare, in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, in 1916 in a large family. His mother died when he was two and his father was an arts teacher in Mumbai. Kanvinde was a influenced by his father, who was a portrait and landscape painter. Kanvinde graduated in architecture from Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai in 1942. He was then sent by the Government of India to study at Harvard where he worked under Walter Gropius and was influenced by his thinking and teaching.


When he returned to India he joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In 1985, he was the winner of theIIA “"aburao Mhatre Gold Medal”.

The University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore campus designed by Kanvinde and Rai

Along with his partner S. Rai, he opened the firm Kofanvinde, Rai and Chowdhury in New Delhi (which is currently run by Sanjay Kanvinde, B.K. Tanuja and Murad Chowdhury). The firm has been responsible for IIT Kanpur, National Science Centre, Delhi, The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in New Delhi, NII Pune, numerous dairy buildings under NDDB and many other grildings.[2]


Kanvinde plays with space and forms. A famous example is the ISKCON Temple at New Delhi. He gave great importance to natural light.The form of the building this such that the problem of ventilation as well as excessive heat is beautifully solved. He championed the cause of ivernacular archtiecture. He believed that values and historical influences contributed towards good architecture.

Design concepts[edit]

Art can be a feast for the senses. Art is purely an aesthetic exercise.

He believed that a grid of columns forming a matrix giving structural and spatial aspect would turn a design more sohisticated and faceted. He believed in the science of Vaastushastra.

  1. ^ Jon T. Lang 2002 A Concise History of Modern Architecture in India. Orient Blackswan.
  2. ^ An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia University of Pennsylvania.

External links[edit]