Hafeez Contractor, AIIAGD Arch, MS Arch & UD (USA), Doctor of Architecture Honoris Causa, is an avid advocate of vertical growths of cities. Born in Mumbai in the year 1950, Ar Hafeez believes, “Architecture should be honest and must respond to the spirit of the time characterized by distinct ideas, disparate missions, contrasting convictions, and divergent preferences.” With a passion to create structures that typify utilitarian and aesthetic qualities, the architect of the decade has shaped urban India’s landscape. His provocative, unpredictable and revolutionary ideas have been illustrated through a wide range of architectural projects—not only just in India but on a global scale.
The architect started his career under his uncle, T. Khareghat in 1968 as an internee while studying to get his architecture degree.
Hafeez Contractor completed his architectural studies from the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai and graduated from Columbia University, New York, in 1976-77. After completion of his architecture studies, in 1977, he became the associate partner at his uncle’s firm. From 1977 to 1980, he also served as a visiting faculty member at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. Soon after, in 1982, Hafeez Contractor set up his own architecture firm.
The Firm, “Architect Hafeez Contractor” had a humble start with three people and today, it has a team strength of over 550 people including 24 Associates, 60+ Senior Architects, 90+ Architects, 5 Senior Project Managers / Coordinators, 20+ Interior Designers, 10+ Site Engineers, 10 3D Visualizers & Photoshop Artists, 190+ Draughtsmen, 40+ Support / Technical staff and Student Interns. Decorating the Indian metropolitan skyline, the firm of Hafeez Contractor has had over 2500 clients. It is working in 100 cities of 5 countries covering 7.2 billion square feet of ongoing projects.
In the year 2005, Hafeez contractor designed the twin-tower residential skyscraper, The Imperial. Having a distinctive height of 254 metre, the Tower I became the tallest residential buildings in India till the uprise of One Avighna Park (166 metre) in 2017. However, Ar Contractor again gained the position of designing the highest building of India with The 42 in Kolkata, which is nothing less than 260 metres.
He has also designed 23 Marina in Dubai, which was briefly the world's tallest all-residential building, and is currently the third. In addition to the skyscrapers, he is also known for his exuberant cricket stadium designs, railways stations, educational institutes, hotels, hostel blocks and majestic airport terminals with modernistic approach.
Hafeez Contractor has twice been included in India Today’s Most Powerful Indians List in the last decade and has won innumerable awards for best residential, commercial, educational and hospitality projects across India.
Among many prestigious awards, Ar Contractor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in January 2016 by the Government of India.
He is also the winner of over 75 National and International Awards for excellence in contributions to architecture including CWAB Architect of the Year (2006 to 2013), A+D Hall of Fame for the Decade Award.
Ar Contractor has a huge range of clientele including large real estate developers, public sector undertakings, large corporations, and institutions as well as health care entrepreneurs. However, Ar Contractor has gained a distinctive repute having been worked on solutions for the issue of slums afflicting Mumbai, along with officials of the urban development department and senior authorities, by introducing a Slum Rehabilitation Scheme. Named as the ‘Slumdog Millionaire Architect’ in the New York Time Magazine, Ar Contractor is commencing his journey to build the 21st century India with rehabilitation housing complexes.
Ar Contractor has invested himself in researching and conceptualizing ways to positively impact the urban environment with proposals for public spaces and slum redevelopment. ‘The Western Waterfront Development,’ a scheme attempting to rejuvenate the urban environment with large, open, green spaces in Mumbai and streamlining the city’s transport needs, is a brainchild of the architect.
He is currently empanelled and working with the housing boards of several Indian states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others.