8th August 2014
Sumant Moolgaokar Auditorium, Pune
He is an architectural photographs of the medieval city of Vijayanagara were included in the ‘Festival of India’ exhibition held throughout England and exhibited in Heidelberg and Brussels and in cities in the United States. He spent two years in Lugarno working for Mario Botta before returning to India in 1987. In addition to practice and teaching, he has written books on the history of Indian architecture, including Ahmedabad, with George Michell, and ‘The Water Architecture of Gujarat’, UME 2
Snehal Shah returned to India in 1986 after studying and working in Europe. It took a while to accept and absorb the transition. India didn’t lack much in comparison with London or Lugano, except ‘I realised that in India things are dealt with primarily on the basis of human relations. Also, any problem which arises out of the blue has to be solved empirically.’
He set up private practice in his home city, Ahmedabad, in Gujarat. At first he worked with just a table at a family property shared with his elder brother. Soon, he decided to establish his own office. His father – friend and guide – advised him to build his dream office rather than buy a box in a commercial development in the city.
Snehal Shah and his wife Sujata identified a building plot for an office near their home. ‘Proximity of office and house is a luxury, something I learnt from my experience in Europe’, he recalls. However, the new building did not eventuate immediately. His father died, and emotional upheaval was accompanied by financial crisis. Nearly two years later, with encouragement from his mother, Shah returned to the idea of building the office. It became a tribute to my father who was my inspiration.’