Last week Indian architecture lost two iconic figures – in Goa architect Sarto Almeida passed away at the age of 95 while in Delhi Pradeep Sachdeva died at the age of 62. While former was one of the earliest proponents of green architecture (without telling it in so many words), other was known for his architecture for public spaces—street designing, riverfront developments, and other urban renewal projects.
Though started his career in Ahmedabad, Architect Sarto Almeida shifted to Goa in early 1960s and became an indivisible part of Goa’s architecture for the next five decades. Initially, Le Corbusier’s influences were visible in his work but later on developed his own imprint which was simple for plain eyes but left indelible impact on mind. Apart from designing numerous public and private buildings, including institutions, places of worship and homes, Sarto also actively involved in conservation and urban planning strategies for Goa and was instrumental in shaping futures for many young architects across the country.
Pradeep Sachdeva, on the other hand, was much younger than Sarto but has designed and redeveloped several iconic buildings across the country. He is known as the creator of Dilli Haat at INA market, Garden of Five Senses in Said ul Ajaib, and Emporia Plaza at Baba Khadak Singh Marg. He received accolades for preserving a 300-year-old house named ‘Meda’, which he bought from a friend 2010. Other famous buildings designed by him are headquarters of Delhi Development Authority (INA Market), Azad Hind Gram in Tikri Kalan, Delhi University Plaza, Plaza and Streets at Bhikaji Cama Place, and Botanic Garden in Noida. Apart from the development of Assi Ghat in Benaras, refurbishment of Marine Drive (Mumbai), Willingdon Island Redevelopment (Cochin) and Eco-Park in Kolkata, Pradeep also worked on interiors of heritage resorts such as Taj Usha Kiran Palace (Gwalior), Samode Palace and Samode Haveli in Jaipur.