Rahul Mehrotra: Working in Mumbai

Rahul Mehrota of international practice RMA Architects discusses the firm's work in India.

November 20, 2015
7:00 p.m.

RMA Architects | Three Court House, Alibag, India. Credit: Rajesh Vora

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Rahul Mehrotra of RMA Architects will present his research projects and firm’s work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with Michael Kimmelman.

Mehrotra is an architect, urban planner, and academic. His firm, founded in 1990 and reformed as RMA Architects in 2010, has offices in Boston and Mumbai working across a wide spectrum of scales and project types, from single-family residences to large-scale buildings, to the conservation of historic structures and urban designs. Its clients include governmental and non-governmental agencies, corporate and private clients, and institutions. The firm also takes on architectural and urban projects as an advocacy group in the city of Mumbai. Paralleling this work is the firm’s not-for-profit division, RMA Research, which undertakes research projects related to architecture and urbanism in India.

With an emphasis on local engagement, RMA Architects “endeavors to develop and evolve culturally specific design solutions for each unique context by working with varied constituencies, and through a multiplicity of experiences and modes of engagement with practice.” This focus includes working “actively with local craftspeople to develop and refine construction details and methods of building that are relevant, sustainable, and founded on local knowledge.”

The firm’s work includes the Hewlett-Packard Software Campus, Bangaluru; KMC Corporate Campus Office, Hyderabad; Hathigaon, a social housing project for 100 elephants and their caretakers in Jaipur; the restoration of the Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad; the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Rural Campus, Tuljapur; the Visitor Centre for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai; and houses throughout India.

Professor of Urban Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Mehrotra also serves on the steering committee of the South Asia Initiative at Harvard and curates their series on urbanization. He recently led a university wide research project with Professor Diana Eck, documented in the publication The Kumbh Mela – Mapping the Ephemeral Mega City. Mehrotra’s earlier publications include Architecture in India since 1990Bombay to Mumbai—Changing PerspectivesBombay—The Cities Within, co- authored with Sharada Dwivedi; and Conservation After Legislation—Issues for Mumbai, co-edited with Abha Narain Lambah.

Moderated by Michael Kimmelman. Kimmelman is the architecture critic for the New York Times and 2014 winner of the Brendan Gill Prize and author of The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa.

This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



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