Architect Nimish Patel dies at 70

Architect Nimish Patel

Ahmedabad-based architect, Nimish Patel, known for designing heritage preservation structures, passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, after prolonged illness. He was 70. Patel graduated from MIT, Cambridge, with a specialisation in urban settlement design. After returning to India, Patel and his wife, Parul Zaveri, set up a conservation and planning consultancy firm, Abhikram, in 1979.

Speaking with The Indian Express earlier, Patel had said that his own home in Paldi area of Ahmedabad incorporated the essence of their architectural ideology. The house, he had said, was built using a traditional mix of gur, gugal (resin of gugal tree) and methi for binding and waterproofing. The house was plastered with lime on the walls inside.

The website for Abhikram lists their house ‘Mangalam’ in their works and says, “We wanted to maximise the use of traditional materials, methods, technology and craftsmen in the execution and achieve human comfort levels in all spaces with minimum use of electrical & mechanical energies”.

The couple, to their credit, had buildings like the Torrent Research Centre in Gandhinagar which is said to be India’s largest passive cooled building that uses no air conditioning. The Oberoi Udai Vilas Palace on Lake Pichhola was one of their best known projects in Udaipur besides the recreation of the Shambhu Nivas and Shiv Nivas palaces.

In Gujarat, they had designed the Gujarat Vidyapith sabha khand which has a unique system to blow cool air into the room from cooling wells supplied through tunnels, and the Dhirubhai Ambani memorial house at Chorwad, in Junagadh. Their latest project was a seven-metre high, six feet thick wall of serrated bricks built in the Natrani amphitheatre at Darpana Academy, which re-opened recently.

Patel was a member of the Whole School Development Plan by the MHRD. His last rites were performed at the VS hospital crematorium on Thursday, December 13, 2018.


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