Birla White Yuvaratna Awards: Young gems create green workplaces for the future
We are all born talented what we do with our talent that matters”. This quote summarizes the ethos of the Birla White Yuvaratna Awards that has recognized budding talent among architects in India over the past decade.
The 10th edition of the Birla White Yuvaratna Awards was held recently at Hotel Palladium, Mumbai. The event was inaugurated by Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Director, UltraTech Cement Ltd, in the presence of eminent architects and construction professionals from across India. The Birla White Yuvaratna Awards recognize and reward aspiring students of architecture for showcasing excellence in creatively designing spaces and structures based on a predefined theme.
A musical beginning
The Awards began on a musical note this year with Mrs. Rajashree Birlareleasing a unique audio-visual rendition of our ‘National Anthem’ recreated especially for Birla White. Composed by renowned musician Paras Nath, the rendition showcases four musical instruments: the flute, the sitar, the saxophone and the violin.
The national anthem was followed by a live performance by Paras Nath and his band with a fusion of Indian and classical instruments accompanying the rendition of ‘Jai Ho’, with the audience too getting involved in the musical ensemble with well-timed and punctuated claps at the right notes.
Work environments going green
This year, participants were invited to design a NextGen Sustainable Corporate Office complex for a conglomerate, thereby providing a suitable work environment. The challenge was to have all 10 companies of the conglomerate work together in harmony and synergy on a 12 acre campus with an FSI of 1.00. The competition witnessed more than 1000 participants, with 445 designs received from over 60 colleges, and the quality of entries was commendable.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Rahul Mohnot, Unit Head –; Birla White, spoke on how sustainability has evolved as a core focus area for Birla White over the years. “The 10th Yuvaratna Awards coincides with completion of 25 years for Birla White. We have been a market leader across segments, and our R&D efforts are focused towards meeting the varied needs of the construction segment. Our products are synonymous with aesthetics, environment friendliness, and an overall sense of spreading happiness. This year’s theme truly reflects the changing preference of our society that is increasingly leaning towards the concept of Green Buildings. Birla White products are eco-friendly and developed after a lot of research and innovative efforts. They provide architects with an opportunity to experiment with design while building sustainability in their work,” said Mr. Mohnot.
“I believe, the workplace defines the character of the organisation, its texture, its intellectual depth, its aesthetic appeal, its connect with nature, and much more. Designing a corporate office that is holistic, sustainable and, in a manner of speaking, an invocation of space, offers unlimited potential for the imagination of students with a creative bent of mind,” said Mrs. Birla.
After going through all the blueprints, Mrs. Birla added: “The architectural plans conceptualized by the students reflect creativity, innovativeness and pragmatism of the finest order. Overall, all the designs have an admirably integrated approach and look like great places to work in. The Birla White Yuvaratna contest seems to be stimulating the intellect, and stoking innovation among students.”
Blending creativity with sustainability
The panel of jury members for the Awards comprised leading architects including Dr. Ravindra Deshmukh, Ar. Rajeev Thakker, Ar. Eranna Yekbote and Ar. Niraj Doshi. A unique initiative this year was to introduce an online platform for participants to upload their drawings. The judges too evaluated the entries online, resulting in huge savings in terms of cost, time and paper, making the entire process sustainable.
Students were expected to provide sustainable and efficient work environments within the given parameters. Along with work spaces, students were also asked to provide facilities including leisure and health zones, board rooms, auditoriums, guest houses, refreshment areas, etc. The most important parameter was to ensure that the work space meets the definition of a Zero Energy Building.
|1st||Saikat Roy||Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra||Jharkhand|
|2nd||Darshan Rajendra||Adhiyamaan College of Engineering||Tamil Nadu|
|3rd||Upasana Paul||Department of Architectural Engineering, Jadavpur University||West Bengal|
|4th||Chandra Veer Singh Kushwaha||Sunderdeep College of Architecture||Uttar Pradesh|
|4th||Rasul A. K. R||T K M college of Engineering||Kerala|
|4th||Rasul A. K. R||T K M college of Engineering||Kerala|
|Commendation Certificate||Prabhakaran .R||Adhiyamaan College of Engineering||Tamil Nadu|
Ar. Niraj Doshi summarized the theme of the Awards and spoke on how use of renewable energy and the concept of Net Zero Energy buildings are the future of construction in India. He emphasized on how the use of natural elements like water and sunlight in architectural designs can create stunning structures that are also sustainable.
The Yuvaratna booklet encapsulating the winning designs was released by Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Mr. O. P. Puranmalka and Mr. Rahul Mohnot.
The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Mr. Anurag Angrish, Head –; Marketing, Birla White.
The future is green
Birla White believes there is an immediate need to improve work environments in urban cities through sustainable initiatives, while rendering a healthier lifestyle to citizens. The Yuvaratna Awards aim to find solutions to such issues through creative ideas and solutions from talented architects. Future editions of Yuvaratna would continue its quest in recognizing the best talent among the architects of tomorrow with an eye on creativity, aesthetics and sustainability.