Nimish Patel & Parul Zaveri ,established Abhikram as a Planning, Architecture, Conservation and Interiors consultancy firm in 1979, on their return to India, with a view to explore a design direction and design process which make Built Environment, functionally, psychologically, environmentally and spiritually, more balanced, contextual and comfortable.
One of the directions of their practice is in designing the Built Environment using passive means for Human Comfort Systems. Torrent Research Centre, in Gandhinagar (winner of the JIIA-ANCHOR Awards 2000, and of the IAB Designing for Corporate Culture Award 2004) is an example of their attempts in this direction. This complex, occupied since 1996, still continues to be the largest passive cooled building in Asia, and has been recording very encouraging results. A recently conducted post occupancy survey of this building by the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and University of Technology Sydney, Australia established its user satisfaction as above average in twelve different criteria.
Presently, Nimish Patel chairs the Green Building Group of Gujarat, and, along with Parul Zaveri, is a member of the committee on drafting the building control guidelines for the heritage sensitive development of the settlements in Gujarat. They have also won several awards for their professional work. Amongst these are: the ‘ JIIA-Anchor 2000 AWARD’ for excellence in Public Architecture for “Torrent Research Centre”; the ‘UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 2000 Conservation Award for’ Chanwar Palkhiwalon-ki Haveli” and ‘JIIA-KITPLY Conservation Award 2001’ for R.C.Haveli (North Wing) at Ahmedabad, and, the ‘Spectrum A + D Commendation Award’ in Public Buildings category, for “Udaivilas, a crafts utilization oriented Oberoi luxury resort” at Udaipur, India.
Nimish Patel holds a Master of Architecture Degree in Advanced Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, with specialization in Urban Settlement Design in Developing Countries. He also has a Diploma in Architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad. He specializes in Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, Analyses, Evaluation and Design for Housing in Developing Countries, Conservation, Historic Renovations, Studies of Historic Settlements, Use of Traditional Materials and Technologies in contemporary context, and research in related areas. He has lectured widely, nationally and internationally. He has been a visiting faculty at CEPT for Architecture, Urban Design & Planning, and has taught at the Masters of Built Environmental Programme at UTS, Sydney, Australia. He has also officiated as Member Secretary, Committee on Future Directions, CEPT, Ahmedabad. He has also officiated as Member of the Jury for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Awards 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004 at Bangkok.
With a Diploma in Architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad in 1978, Parul Zaveri carried out a part of her studies in specific course works in planning, ceramics and offset printing at MIT, Cambridge (USA) in 1975-76. She then worked with architect visionary Paolo Soleri in Arizona, U.S.A. She specializes in the areas of Planning, Urban design, Architecture, Conservation, Interiors, Historic interiors & renovation and furniture products, structures & furniture from bamboo and cane, and use of traditional materials and technologies in Rajasthan and Gujarat. She is currently exploring organic and bio-dynamic sustainable agricultural practices at her farm. She has also been recipient of the ‘Fellowship of Chicago Cultural Centre’ in 1995, to pursue her interests in the Frank Lloyd Wright’s designed buildings in Chicago and the State of Illinois; and to give a series of lectures at various universities/organizations. During this process, she also interacted with various Architectural practices and Women Architects and Women Professionals/ Organizations.