Brinda Somaya

The Urban Legend


The eclectic duo of Brinda Somaya and Nandini Somaya Sampat form Somaya and Kalappa Consultants (SNK). The Mumbai-based firm that was established in 1978 in a mere garden shed has gone onto to win more than 70 awards. These designers are urban legends; breathing new life into projects nothing short of inspiring awe! Brinda’s core in urban conservation has led the firm into doing many projects of remarkable stature like that of the Bombay Yacht Club, The Rajabai Clock Tower and Library, St Thomas Cathedral and the Tata House among a host of other prestigious projects all over India. An expertise that uses vernacular methods of materiality, local craftsmanship along with evolving principles of sustainable design is what sustains the repute of this established practise. Putting together, impeccable cultural context and site research, the team produces some of the best works in limited budgets. Brinda Somaya completed her Bachelor of Architecture from Mumbai University and her M.A from Smith College in USA. Soon after, she started SNK in Mumbai. In 2014 she was awarded the Indian Institute of Architects – Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. She is also the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada.

While Restoring the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the heart of the project lay in preserving the monumentality and spirit of the original design. The team ensured that the project survives the climatic wear and tear over time. Along with the necessary conservatory measures, the practise went a step ahead to ensure the safety of the structure. The designers collaborated with a structural consultant to check for earthquake resistance and upgrade the building in tandem with fire safety among other prescribed features.
The Goa Institute of Management spread over 25 acre of land exudes an industrial look that redefines functionality. The space stimulates creativity and expression with an open view of the surroundings. The practice uses unique architectural technologies to reach the goals of passive design and active units at work. Laterite excavated from the site during construction was used in several areas as wall fillers, rubble soling, terrace waterproofing, cladding and exterior paving. An internal courtyard for natural heat dissipation, large overhangs for rain protection and cavity walls to reduce heat gain are some of the other unique designs that went into the making of this project.