About CnT Architects
CnT Architects (earlier known as Chandavarkar & Thacker Architects Pvt Ltd.) traces its roots back to being Bangalore’s first architectural firm with its practice founded by the late Mr. Narayan Chandavarkar in 1947. It was reorganised under Chandavarkar & Thacker Architects Pvt. Ltd. in 1963 by Mrs. Tara Chandavarkar and the late Mr. Pesi Thacker. The firm is currently run by Prem Chandavarkar and Mehul Patel. Through its various generations, CnT has retained a value system that focuses on high-quality design, ethical practice and a working philosophy based on courtesy consideration and collaboration.
A Critical Practice: Architecture is not merely a problem solving exercise that resolves functional issues. While functional needs must be met, architecture should transcend function. We seek to construct a practice that uses architecture as a means of reflecting on life. Given the inherent human impulse to always aspire towards higher levels of reality, we seek to develop through our architecture propositions about how to live.
The Aesthetics of Absorption: There is a tendency to judge the aesthetics of architecture from how it strikes the eye. But what does one do once the novelty of the initial view wears off. The actual use of architecture typically involves a daily routine of inhabitation where after some time the conscious spectacle of viewing the building recedes to the background. The rituals of daily use build up memories that are absorbed by the building and affect the perception of the architectural aesthetic. The test of a good building is not to be judged as much from the impression of the initial view, and should be judged more by whether one can inhabit it for some years and look back on those years with affection.
We seek to go beyond an aesthetic of expression and strive for an aesthetic of absorption. Our goal is to construct spatial orders that facilitate a culture of inhabitation.
A Negotiated Practice: If architecture is to be cultural, we must realise that “culture” is not a concept that can be defined, for it does not exist purely in the past. Culture is most alive when it is active in the present. The elusiveness of definition means that a part of culture is always open, and a hallmark of a healthy culture is in the level of collaborative rigour with which this openness is continuously confronted and negotiated. Therefore, we deliberately avoid bringing a predetermined language of expression to any project. We avoid a practice that is dominated by iconic individuals. We look at the site, client, project team, consultants and other collaborators as sources of renewal, and examine each project with fresh eyes. Our goal is to utilise this collaborative approach to focus on the value that can design can capture for each specific project.
Building a Site: Buildings do not exist in isolation and are always embedded into contexts, and our designs must work towards building that larger context. The first context one must confront is that of nature. We seek to always maximise the relationship between architecture and landscape, and remain acutely aware of the nature of the sites in which we locate our work. We try to design in a way that responds to climate, wind, topography, vegetation, and the physical and cultural features that surround the site.
“Every human being has an intrinsic spirit that is
intuitively drawn toward value and beauty.
We seek connection to this spirit by bringing
our passion for architecture into a collaboration with
all whom we work with in order
to co-create projects that
enrich life through architecture.
For this, we envision our practice
as one that does not
revolve around personalities,
but is a reflective place –
a place to which the door is always open.”
– Prem Chandavarkar – Managing Partner