As of 2019, he is the architect who designed the three tallest buildings in India- The 42 in Kolkata and the twin towers of The Imperial in Mumbai. He also designed the 23 Marina, which at that time of completion, was the tallest all-residential building in the world. As a crowning stroke, this man also has a Padma Bhushan award to his name.
Architect Hafeez Sorab Contractor, who drew as much criticism as awe due to his works and philosophies, is no doubt a big name in the architecture field today.
Born in Mumbai, Architecture contractors first started out in the field by designing residences. Soon, he made a big name for himself by building high-rise buildings and iconic stadiums which focused more on the structural aspect of architecture.
1. Advocate For Vertical Development
Recently, the world’s population officially hit 8 billion. It will come as no surprise one day when there will be no space for horizontal construction due to overpopulation.
Because of this, architect Contractor strongly believes that structures must be developed vertically to keep up with the rapidly growing population while taking up as little space as possible. This also makes construction sustainable by leaving more space for trees and green pockets. Vertical construction also reduces the need for transportation and by extension, the use of fuel.
But unfortunately, this idea is yet to take proper root in India, where people prefer more traditional ways of wide spread-out layouts. Further, with the current resources we have, the process of construction of tall structures might not be economically feasible for all.
2. Including Green Pockets
Buildings taking up less space horizontally leave more trees and gardens on site. Most of Hafeez’s projects include green spaces and gardens around buildings to give breathing space, even if the site is in the heart of a city. Features like artificial ponds, walkways, fountains, etc. are common features in his big projects.
Adding these elements also helps in regulating the water on the site. It can be put to use to passively cool the area or store rainwater runoff.
3. Satisfying Clients’ Needs
The contractor’s most important principle, which he follows in all his projects, is satisfying the client’s requirements. He emphasizes the fact that it is the clients themselves, who will use the space and not the architects and builders.
The architect himself designs most of the projects which the firm takes up after talking to the clients.
4. Adaptive Style
One of the most striking features of Contractor's buildings is that he has no fixed style. It mostly depends on the client's needs and requirements and the architect himself trying to explore new styles based on the building's context.
1. The 42, Kolkata
Located at the heart of the business zone of the city, the residential skyscraper has a total of 65 floors making it the tallest building in the country.
Type- Luxury residential building
Foundation- The building boasts a strong foundation of about 56 meters which not only makes it strong but also earthquake-resistant.
Green Features- THE 42 had a gold rating certificate from IGBI for having features like solar panels, STP, car charging facilities, and highly selective construction materials used.
Passive Strategies- The air is filtered and cooled before entering the building. Additionally, there are water reservoirs and sustainable provisions available on site.
Features- Triple-height lobby space, multi-floor car parking, floor-to-ceiling height windows, triple-height balconies, and 360 degrees view of the city around.
2. DLF Ericsson, Gurgaon
Ericsson, a leading brand in telecom internationally, wanted a building design for their office which reflected their brand values. The six-story office had a dynamic and flexible design.
Type- office building
Features- Open floor plans, flexible spaces, technologically advanced features, and mathematically calculated floor plans.
Fire safety- Internationally followed fire safety designs and protocols.
3. D Y Patil Sports Stadium, Mumbai
DY Patil Sports Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium at the D. Y. Patil campus at Nerul used for various sporting events and concerts. With a capacity of 55,000 spectators, it is the ninth-largest cricket ground in India.
Type- Sports ground which is also used for events and concerts
Support- There are no columns in the stadium. Instead, a cantilever roof and bucket seats are used. This provides an unobstructed view for spectators from all seats.
Roof- The roof is cantilevered and made of fabric imported from Germany.
Architect Hafeez Sorab Contractor is a man of many ideals and ideas. Although he has had many great goals, at its very base, satisfying the client's needs is what he prioritizes in his designs.