The People’s Architect: Ar. Pradeep Sachdeva; IFJ pays tribute to a friend and well-wisher
Ar. Pradeep Sachdeva, one of the foremost design practitioners in architecture for public spaces, breathed his last at the age of 62 on Sunday 31 May 2020.
An alumnus of IIT Roorkee, he began his practice in the 80s in Pune with Ar. Christopher Benninger. During this period, he was largely influenced by the works of Laurie Baker and Geoffrey Bawa.
Widely touted as the ‘peoples’ architect,’ Ar. Sachdeva took great efforts in understanding the intricacies urban designs, public spaces, heritage architecture and believed his design should benefit even a common man walking on the street.
His love for heritage architecture inspired him to move a 300 old wooden house ‘Meda’, admeasuring 2000 sq. ft. from Kerala to his farm in South Delhi. His interior designs of heritage resorts like Taj Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior, Samode Palace Jaipur are well-known and appreciated worldwide.
Some of his illustrious works include, Dilli Haat, Garden of Five Senses and Emporia Plaza, Azad Hind Gram, Delhi University Plaza, plaza, streets at Bhikaji Cama Place and Botanical Garden in Noida. Besides, he was involved in on-going projects like making Chandni Chowk pedestrian friendly and Jama Masjid precinct redevelopment.
Apart from these NCR based projects; he was also involved in development of Assi Ghat in Benaras, refurbishment of Marine Drive in Mumbai, Willingdon Island Redevelopment, Cochin and Eco-Park in Kolkata.
A close friend of Index tradefairs and IFJ, he often visited the Index shows in Delhi with a keen eye to learn about latest products and designs. He also loved to share several new ideas. He disliked stereotypes and refused be labelled. In a conversation with IFJ, he once said, ‘’All this jargon of green and sustainability has been a marketing tool. Several architects in India, including myself have been engaged in such practice even before the term came into vogue.” Similarly, discussing designing a public space he once said, “Every individual moving in a public space to be designed has to feel that he or she owns that space and must feel comfortable to be there.”
Ar. Pradeep Sachdeva has left behind a rich and inspirational legacy for the younger generation of architects, everywhere.