Ar Revathi Kamath is one of the few names in the Indian architecture scenario who not only pioneered the Mud architecture with actually giving it a brand name but also credited with building country’s ‘Tallest Stainless Steel Structure’, the JSPL Gateway in Chattisgarh having the height of 33m. The notable architect has left for heavenly abode on 21st July, 2020. Surfaces Reporter (SR) pays a heartfelt tribute to the architect.
Life full of architecture
In many interviews, Ar Revathi Kamath said that she had always wanted to be an architect. Nature had a profound effect on her due to spending her early childhood years in Bengaluru and tribal areas along the banks of Mahanadi where her civil engineer father was busy building the famous Hira Kund Dam.
After completing her Bachelors in Architecture in 1977 and later a Post Graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 1981 from the School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi, Revathi worked with different architecture organizations before setting up her own practice ‘Revathi and Vasant Kamath’ with Vasant Kamath in 1981 which later turned into ‘Kamath Designed Studio’. The studio has a lot of sustainable projects under her credit including The Anandgram Project for Rehabilitation of slum dwellers near Shadipur Depot, Delhi, The Lakshmansagar Resort, Kohima Cathedral, Akshay Pratishthan school etc.
Despite being a champion of sustainable architecture through her use of Mud and other materials commonly associated with impoverished communities in luxury projects, Kamath used to critisize LEED ratings claiming that India already has many sustainable building techniques that are long existed outside the ambit of the recognized standards. Her own house was a true embodiment of her ideology. Sitting atop a land that was once a quarry, the Kamath House was designed and built “embodying the ecological principles of interdependence, recycling, democracy, partnership, flexibility, diversity and as a consequence of all those – sustainability” in her words.
Nominated thrice for the prestigious Aga Khan Award, she has also won the World Women in Arts, Architecture, and Design Sustainability Award by WADe Asia in 2018.
Quite recently, Ar Revathi Kamath has also given an exclusive message to the readers of Surfaces Reporter on the occasion of The World Environment Day, i.e., June 5th, 2020.