With great sadness, we pay our tribute to the late Ar. Pradeep Sachdeva, the Principal Architect and the founder of Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates, New Delhi who passed away on 31st May 2020 at the age of 62.
Ar. Pradeep Sachdeva has expertise in the development of public spaces, riverfront developments, and urban renewal of heritage precincts and hotels. He is the pioneer of the planning of public spaces and street designs. His works aimed for improved walkability, street vendors, non-motorized vehicles, and the disabled along with the functioning of the well-connected transportation corridors.
He was an alumnus of IIT-Roorkee. He started his career by working with architect Christopher Benninger in 1980 in Pune. His early influences and inspirations in his works came from the architects Laurie Baker and Geoffrey Bawa. In 1990, he founded the Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA), New Delhi. He has designed projects across India as well as in the US, UK, China, and Germany.
Best known for his works of Dilli Haat at INA market, Garden of Five Senses in Said ul Ajaib, his streetscape work during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and Emporia Complex Plaza, other famous projects include, headquarters of Delhi Development Authority (INA Market), development of the Godavari riverfront as well as streets in the city of Nanded, Azad Hind Gram in Tikri Kalan, Delhi University Plaza, Plaza and Streets at Bhikaji Cama Place, The bamboo dome for the India pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, and Botanic Garden in Noida. He has also designed path-breaking projects for the hospitality industry including the hotels for Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels, and independent operators through the design studio PSDA.
Recently, he was working on some crucial projects of Delhi government namely: Chandni Chowk’s pedestrianization and beautification, Jama Masjid precinct redevelopment, and streetscaping of Ring Road (Moolchand to Ashram chowk), and Vikas Marg.
Dilli Haat at INA has won the PATA Tourism Award in 1995. The award was given to this project also due to making it accessible by providing a ramp for the physically-challenged , making him one of the rarest architects to do this.
It has also won the National Award for Promotion of Barrier Free Environment, 2005 due to becoming one of the complete barrier-free public spaces in the country.
Besides the designing of public spaces and the urban renewal projects, he was passionate about promoting the use of bamboo for construction. In 2010, he was in the team that designed the India Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo which is one of the largest bamboo domes to be built in the world. He also had a side-hustle for creating beautifully hand-crafted furniture. These masterpieces are on display at his welcoming PDSA showroom and workplace at Ayanagar in Delhi.
Let’s look and reminisce some of his projects:
1. Dilli Haat, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi
Client: Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation
Date: 1992 – 1994
Area: 2.4 Hectares (6 Acres).
Dilli Haat is a food & crafts bazaar designed to be a public space where various regional crafts and food of India are showcased.
It is built over a stormwater drain and is now acting as a leisure space in the urban fabric. Dilli Haat is thus a place of celebration and one can experience and enjoy the rich multicultural identity of India.
2. The Garden of Five Senses, Said-ul-Azaib, New Delhi
Client: Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation
Year: 1995 – 2003
Area: 8.1 Hectares (20 Acres).
In the heart of busy Delhi city, it is a place for people to unwind and relax. This is the space where visitors of every age-group relate and enjoy.
The garden is subdivided into various categories such as intense activity zones, food courts and shops, contemplative zones – like the fragrant gardens, color gardens, and the Lily Pool. It also makes an ecology with over 200 species of plants. Over 25 artists’ works here make it one of the India’s largest commissions of public art.
3. Jama Masjid Precinct Redevelopment, Delhi
Client: Municipal Corporation of Delhi
Area: 28.3Hectares (70 Acres)
Jama Masjid – the Friday Mosque – is the religious heart of the old city Shahjahanabad. The redevelopment for the area between the Jama Masjid and Red Fort aims at reviving the public realm in this heritage precinct.
Some of the major key interventions are:
- Restructuring land use
- Restructuring the streets to accommodate the needs of all users – motor vehicles, non-motorised vehicles and pedestrians
- Parking facilities
- Urban infrastructure services
- Conservation of built heritage
- Directional signage
- Landscaping of streets and open spaces
4. Rato Monastery, Mungud
Date: 1995 onwards
Client: Rato Drastang
It is a Tibetan Government monastery consisting of a small temple, kitchen and monks room that was established in Karnataka.
The proposed plan comprises a larger plan to construct a bigger block for monks, a kitchen and dining block, administrative building and a temple. The project involves locally available materials with simple building techniques, low cost sustainable technologies, etc.
5. Godavari Riverfront Development at Nanded, Maharashtra
Client: Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation
Nanded is the religious centre for the Sikhs. The important guiding factors for this project are the religious and social life in Nanded.
The Master Plan consists of regeneration of the river, integration of the North River bank with the existing urban fabric while the South Bank is proposed as an eco-park.
A gem in the community, he might have said farewell to this world but his works and legacy will always guide us like the North star.
His work became a footprint for public projects. He believed that the context and in-depth research are key parameters in the development of any project which includes the appropriate technologies and environmentally sustainable practices. His work aimed at balancing the traditions with the contemporary to create experiential spaces.
In one of his informal chat with the ZingyHomes team, when asked for a message to the young architectural students out there who are looking forward to a career in architecture, he answered gently:
“For students, it is very important to know what they are getting into. Architecture is a very complex sort of discipline to enter; you need to be a master of everything you do. Most of them might have followed the extremely easy way of practicing architecture but my way has been tougher with years of extremely hard work.”