A November Noon Checklist: Inspiring Architects Who Shaped Modern-Day India

One artful building at a time

At November Noon, we believe there’s more to architecture than what meets the eye. It’s an artful blend of scents, memories, touch, and imagination. From BV Doshi to Brinda Somaya, here are the visionaries of Indian architecture who’ve mastered the art of matter, space, and light.

BV DOSHI

A protégé of Le Corbusier, the pioneer of modern architecture, and a former associate of Louis Kahn, BV Doshi’s seminal work is guided by a simple question: How does a particular space make you feel? In other words, Doshi goes beyond brick and mortar and creates a sensorial and metaphysical experience with light, volume, climate, and spatiality. He founded his studio Vastu-Shilpa in 1955 in Ahemdabad. At November Noon, we’re inspired by his extensive understanding of vernacular craftsmanship—a practice we mirror through our designs. Interestingly, our first campaign was shot at the iconic IIM Ahmedabad campus designed by Doshi.

BIJOY JAIN

Bijoy Jain was first recognised on the global map with his installation titled ‘Work-Place’ at Venice Architecture Biennale, which put his aptitude for local craft and process-intensive designs in focus. Ever since then, his expansive body of work has created a new architectural language that brings together the most essential elements of human survival: air, water, and light. His creations are a balancing act between materials, spaces, and ideas, and perhaps this is the reason why he is able to add movement into immobile structures. Jain’s home-cum-work called Studio Mumbai—a November Noon favourite (case in point our latest campaign shot in collaboration with Priyanka Shah)—is adulated around the world for his earth-bound sensibilities

ACHYUT KANVINDE

Known as the pioneer of Modern Indian Architecture, Achyut Kanvinde was inspired by Brutalism, which is characterised by monolithic geometry, and functionality. Known for creating buildings like IIT Kanpur, Dudhsagar Dairy Complex, Gujarat, and Iskcon Temple in New Delhi, Kavvinde’s work significantly contributed towards creating India’s post-independence architectural identity. His sunlit structures, for instance, gave utmost importance to fluidity, balance, proportion, and vernacular crafts—a philosophy deeply embedded into November Noon’s DNA.

ABHA NARAIN LAMBAH

From Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad and Golconda Fort, Charminar to Mumbai’s Royal Opera House and the Bikaner House in New Delhi, Indian conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah has refurbished some of the most historic Indian buildings for two and a half decades—a genre that has long been dominated by men. Much like how we treat time-honoured techniques to weave the finest fabrics in Benares at November Noon, Narain treats each piece of history with the utmost sensitivity and adds life back to the structures that have long been neglected.

DIANA KELLOGG

New York-based Diana Kellogg architectural practice fuses sustainability, scale, community, and interconnectivity. Her latest project Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, a contemporary Indian structure is a school for girls from kindergarten to class 10 in Jaisalmer. The sand-dunes that surround it create a structure that seamlessly blends with the landscape. However, more than being a modern-day marvel, this oval-shaped oasis in the Thar Desert tackles the issue of lack of girls’ education in Rajasthan. Her commitment to creating education institutes for girls can also be seen in her work in Nepal’s Limi Valley. Kellogg’s architectural ideas often attach femininity to strength and substance—values we uphold with everything we do at November Noon.

CHITRA VISHWANATH

Fusing ecology and architecture, Chitra Vishwanath’s firm BIOME Environment Solutions Private Limited has worked on more than 500 projects over three decades. Her projects span across constructing buildings of all sizes, water harvesting, and sanitation structures while giving utmost importance to the ecology of the site and eco-friendly materials, much like the sun warm silk we produce for November Noon. We admire how she has been long served as an advocate of mud architecture. What’s more? Vishwanath built her own mud home in Bengaluru to illustrate this point.

BRINDA SOMAYA

The architect behind Louis Kahn Buildings of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A), the rehabilitation of an earthquake-torn village, and the restoration of an 18th-century Cathedral, Brinda Somaya has been integrating her practice with conservation and social equity for over four decades. Her focus on sustainability and tradition speaks to a deeply cherished philosophy at November Noon: To make thoughtfully crafted clothing that has minimal impact on the earth.

ROOSHAD SHROFF

From creating some of most the striking retail spaces in India to building beautiful retreat homes in Alibaug, architect, and designer Rooshad Shroff is best known for adding the appeal of handmade to his projects. Shroff’s extensive research with centuries-old techniques has led to the resurgence of dying craft forms. His unique, modern-day creations are a result of his collaborations with artisans from Jaipur for marble carving, to Mumbai and Lucknow for embroidery—and echo our sentiments towards everything handmade.