‘Fire audit of Government owned heritage buildings should be done at a priority’ says Ar. Abha Narain Lambah, Conservation Architect & Historic Building Consultant, Abha Narain Lambah Associates, Mumbai in an exclusive interview with sawdust
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Apart from the knowledge of architecture, what are the other qualities a conservation architect should have?
A lot of perseverance and patience
Why there is less number of conservation architects in the country? Is it because it requires lot of hard-work or it is less lucrative? Or because it is less glamorous?
Conservation is still a nascent profession in India with very limited funds available. Therefore, it is not easy to sustain entire architectural practices on conservation alone
What’s it that drew you to conservation architecture – fascination for architecture, love for buildings, liking for history…?
All of the above
Do you think more and more private sector companies with deep pockets should be made to involve in conservation work?
Yes; and also, more involvement of the corporate sector through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
There are also many privately owned heritage buildings which need urgent attention. What kind of policy endeavour you suggest to conserve such structures?
Both CSR Funding/NGO Funding/Startups and Entrepreneurship as well as government policies incentivizing heritage
What lessons we should learn from recent Scindia House fire? What steps you suggest to avoid repetition of such incidents in heritage structures?
Fire audit of Government-owned heritage buildings should be done at a priority
Which are the three heritage buildings you love the most in Mumbai?
Opera House, Victoria Terminus and Crawford Market
Do you think women architects don’t get the kind of recognition in the profession the way their male counterparts do?
I have never felt that I need to be treated differently