Ranked amongst the Top 100 architecture firms in the world and amongst the Top 5 in Asia, CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA) wears the distinguished crown of being India’s leading multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering firm. After amassing numerous accolades and accomplishments over the 50 years of its existence, CPKA has now added another feather to its cap by winning the HUDCO Design Awards this year in the category of ‘New and Innovative Town Design Solutions/Eco Cities’ for their project of HRRL Township in Barmer, Rajasthan.
Awarded by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, these prestigious Design Awards are a recognition of the pioneering and innovative work done by professionals in the space of Urban Development, while complementing the objectives of sustainability and inclusivity as outlined by the Government of India. Conceptualised as a self-sufficient township with a host of sustainable features, the HRRL Township as designed by CPKA was a deserving winner amongst all the contenders who had aspired for it through a national competition.
Located in the interiors of the Thar Desert, the project is a joint venture company (HRRL) between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and the Government of Rajasthan. The site for the township meant for the employees of this major oil company is located adjacent to HRRL’s upcoming refinery. The form and layout of the township borrow from the idea of an oasis or Johad, which in arid desert environments is an isolated pocket of vegetation, typically surrounding a water body that acts as a protected habitat for flora and fauna including humans.
The meticulous planning by the architects is likely to ensure that the township, which is currently in the construction phase, will thrive as a regeneration model that will revive the parched region while using vernacular design solutions. Designed to be ‘smart’ and sustainable with a deep focus on water conservation and management, the HRRL Township will feature low-rise edifices with local Rajasthani architectural elements, dense natural vegetation, open and shared recreational areas, and a well spread out water body that will maintain the micro-climate within and around the site.