On Being The People’s
Architect

Padma Shree G Shankar

    FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF HABITAT TECHNOLOGY GROUP

    A master mason and people’s architect, G Shankar has been relentlessly engaged in bringing about social development through architecture. In recognition to the distinguished services in the field of Science and Engineering, Govt. of India in 2011 awarded G Shankar with Padma Shree - the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. In 1987 he founded Habitat Technology Group, which became the largest NGO in the shelter sector in south Asia. Being an advocate of cost effective, eco-friendly and sustainable building technologies, he has been heading several mass building projects including townships planned and built following calamities and redevelopment of slums. Houses have been built in Latur, Bhopal, Gujarat and Orissa after natural disasters. Major projects were also undertaken in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Palestine and Haiti.

    With an architecture degree from College of Engineering Trivandrum (1982 batch), M.S. from Birmingham School of Architecture, UK, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism, G Shankar with his concept of green architecture has brought about a much-required qualitative change to the shelter sector in India.

Inspired by the life and work of eminent architect Laurie Baker, G Shankar has always given priority to the housing needs of the common man, the marginalized, the fisher folk, the slum dwellers and tribals, which has earned him the title of 'People's Architect'.

Since 1987, he has also been the UN Consultant for disaster mitigation (Srilanka & Maldives). He is also the chairman of the national committee constituted by the Government of India to formulate guidelines on disaster resistant building technologies. He has won many laurels; and is also a member of a number of national level bodies, both official and non-governmental.

Padmashree award Ceremony

    PRESENT POSITION / POSITIONS HELD

  • International Director, Architects Sans Frontiers (Paris, France)
  • President, South Asian Coalition of Community Architects.
  • Consultant to various international organizations like Cordaid (Netherlands), Architecture and Development (France), BGS, Germany
  • Consultant to the Governments of Orissa and Uttar Pradesh for School Buildings
  • Consultant to various National NGO’s in the shelter sector
  • Core Group Member, International Study Team on Traditional Idioms of Architecture, World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • National Award for slum rehabilitation works instituted by the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation Govt.of.India in 2004.
  • Padma Shri Award in recognition of distinguished service in the field of Science and Engineering, Govt. of. India in 2011.
  • National Award for best eco-city design- HUDCO-2014
  • First Laurie Baker Award constituted by Govt.of Kerala for outstanding contribution to low cost housing technologies.
  • Best Tsunami initiative in India – UNDP (India)
  • Person of the Year Award by India Vision News Channel for the year 2005 in recognition of the contributions that records remarkable and qualitative change in the life of individuals and conducting of society.
  • 1st Laurie Baker Award Designer Magazine for the Best Architect in Kerala
  • Best Cost Effective House of Kerala ,Indian Institute of Architects, Kerala
  • Sthapatheeyam Award for life time achievement in sustainable architecture/Designer Magazine, Kerala
  • Parpidam Award for Architectural Excellence – Malayala Manorama -2006
  • National Award for best Eco – city Design by Govt. of India -2015
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