Interview with Architect Senthil Kumar, Tamil Nadu
What inspired you to pick architecture of all professions?
I got both Medicine (MBBS) and Engineering (BE) in merit but didn’t get Architecture in the first list. Those days B.Arch was offered only in two Govt colleges in TN, SAP, Anna university (25 seats) and REC–Trichy (15 seats). Architecture was in great demand. I Joined Architecture in Anna university in the Second list. Till date no one believes me when I tell them that I left MBBS and Joined Architecture. Now I proudly tell them, I left Medicine 30 years back to become today, The Chairman of the Indian Institute of Architects, Tamilnadu. My Uncles daughter Usharaj, a beautiful and talented dancer joined Architecture and she was my inspiration to join B.Arch.
You work on a wide range of projects which must be bringing unique challenges everytime. Which has been your most challenging project to date? Please elaborate a bit on the challenges and how you overcame them.
The IAS, IPS Block that we designed at Tindivanam for the Vanniar educational trust was the most challenging one. The client was the then Union minister for Health and Family welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss. It was very difficult to satisfy him with our Concepts. Then he took us to NIMHANS, Bangalore, the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabed, and showed the buildings which inspired him. After that exposure, we worked day and night and presented the concept which he liked a lot and approved with slight modifications. That building won the ACOY (Architectural creation of the Year Award 2007), IIA –TN Chapter
Your favorite project and why?
Favorite project is the recently completed Hotel project “Hotel Emerald Dove“ at Yelagiri Hills, TN with 32 rooms, Restaurant and Conference halls. It was completed at a shoe string budget with Labour contract and in a record time of 9 months including the interiors. It has become a landmark in Yelagiri now. Customers are giving good feedback about the building and the facilities. That was the first project in which we handled Architecture, Interiors and Landscape.