Architecture competition "SKYHIVE Skyscraper Challenge" 1st prize winner

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the 1st prize of our “SKYHIVE Skyscraper Challenge” competition - Suraksha Acharya from India!

Suraksha Acharya from India

Midori Architects is an award-winning firm, established in 2015 under the leadership of Suraksha Acharya, a cognitive member of the sustainable architecture field in India, championing the need to build better and more environment friendly structures. We are a five member team of new-age designers, planners, thinkers and consultants from Chennai, and we create everlasting structures through innovative form, modern flow and versatile function.

Suraksha Acharya - Principal Architect, MArch (UK,), BArch (Hons), LEED®AP(BD+C), GRIHA, GMM. I have been fascinated with buildings ever since I started playing with my brother’s Lego sets as a child. This spark eventually turned into a lifelong passion that would shape my career. My path started out in trying to balance my flair for engineering and passion for the arts. This led me to explore my creative side and I secured a place at the under graduate Architectural program in the reputed School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai. An area of international research which caught my attention in my final year of undergrad school was the frontier field of sustainability and the much-discussed ‘green revolution’. From then on, there was no turning back, my passion for all things sustainable, drove me to practice at T. R Hamzah & Yeang Sdn, Bhd in Kuala Lumpur. During this time, I was involved with the design phase of several large scale mixed-use, residential & commercial tower projects in Asia that were driven by sustainable concerns. In 2009, I chose to return to academics and pursued my Master’s in Sustainable Environmental Design at the Architectural Association, London, UK.

Post-Graduation, my focus shifted to broadening my knowledge in Green building certification and worked as a green analyst with Design Partner Architects Singapore  & with Environmental Design Solutions Pvt Ltd  India. I am a LEED® Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design & Construction, a certified GRIHA Evaluator & Trainer, and one of the few design professionals from Chennai to achieve a Green Mark Manager (GMM) designation from the BCA Academy Singapore.

Starting Midori Architects was a natural step in my journey. As an innovator, I wanted to approach design challenges with a fresh, unique, modern sustainable perspective that crafts spaces for life well lived.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Natural plus modern.

True to its meaning, at ‘MIDORI’ we believe there lies an element of inspiration for all projects, large or small, through the Green approach. We employ the best talent with whom, through open discussions, we foster sustainable ideas and develop smart design using new-age techniques and tools.

We are a ‘process driven’ firm with an uncompromising sustainable approach towards every venture we have taken up thus far. With the past and present standing, we strive towards delivering quality urban spaces and offering our clients integrated, efficient and progressive solutions toward the future of our projects. Using advanced materials, software and simulation techniques, we try to simplify environmental complexities so that our clients can become part of the design transpiration and the larger sustainable solution.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Buildings are a living part of our world , they expand our senses of who, where and why giving us occasions to make human contact. Architects do have a social responsibility that extends beyond practice i.e. sustainable design. Architecture can significantly impact the built environment and with every project we have the enormous opportunity to eliminate GHG’s by minimising building energy consumption. Zero Carbon Architecture through environmental design is THE ONLY future. There is nothing that drives me more than to conceive a future that builds smarter, better and greener - connecting communities to the natural.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Competitions help spur our creativity and encourage lateral thinking. This is our second international vision competition that we have participated in and find that they give us a unique opportunity to be creative and free with our vision. Also we find ideas valuable in the sense that it help us as a community discuss and debate over various issues. Developing a brief for a competition is a complex task and the overall process can be very demanding both financially and creatively. If we were purely concerned with the business of architecture then very few of us would be in the profession.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

As a start up firm we don’t get the opportunity to design a skyscraper everyday, and open architecture competitions help us raise the standard of the team and push us to discover what might be possible in a utopian world. Usually, the “real world” can be quelling, due to client meetings, budget constraints, codes to follow and deadlines. The liberties that come along with such competitions are not only refreshing, but also extremely gratifying as you are truly designing for yourself. 

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