Ashwin Ramesh   
Gita Simoes   Brinda Somaya

Ashwin Ramesh

Having schooled at The Cathedral and John Connon School, Ashwin went on to become a chartered accountant and law graduate from the University of Bombay.

He has been in the business of investments and real estate development for the past eight to ten years. Apart from Mumbai, Ashwin has business interests in Bangalore, Pune and Navi Mumbai.

His project Rustic Highlands is a landmark at Khandala where developing infrastructure such as roads, water and power supply and street lights over seventy acres of hilly terrain has resulted in an organised and well planned bungalow complex catering to individual and institutional needs.

He is an articulate writer having written over fifty articles on property and investment markets for publications such as The Khaleej Times - Dubai, South China Morning Post - Hong Kong, Vatan - India and The Property Times - Mumbai edition.

Ashwin was the President of the Cathedral and John Connon Alumni Association for the year 1997-1998 in which he launched several new projects and concepts. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Bombay.

Gita Simoes

Born in Karachi, Gita Simoes completed her school education from the Cathedral and John Connon School. After her Bachelors of Fine Arts she went on to specialise in Graphic Art at the Minneapolis School of Art and Design, USA, where she took ancillary courses in Painting, Printmaking, Calligraphy and Fashion Illustration.

She has been Art Director for several leading advertising agencies including Clarion Mcann, Mumbai-Delhi and Lintas, Mumbai, where she coordinated the new Lintas offices at Express Towers with architect, Kumar Bubbar around 1970.

She was Art Director of the Taj Magazine, and in the 1970's, she established the Graphic Design Studio of the Taj Group of Hotels, to coordinate the design activities of the entire chain. She has also been Art Director for Frank Simoes Advertising where she initiated and developed a program for training junior visualisers. From 1994 onwards, she has been freelancing for a range of clients that include Titan, Air-India and the Taj Group. Her work for Air India won her an award for 'best airline crockery'.

Gita is on the board of Shrujan, (an Organisation committed to the economic development of the women in Gujarat through embroidery) and VOICE - a voluntary Organisation for the education of street children.

Brinda Somaya

Brinda Somaya, architect and conservationist completed her Masters of Arts degree from Smith College, USA after graduating from Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai. Brinda Somaya believes that development and progress must proceed without straining the cultural and historical environment. Her philosophy: the architect's role is that of guardian- his is the conscience of the built and un-built environment.

This belief underlines her work at Somaya and Kalappa, the company she has headed for the last two decades. Her oeuvre, spanning corporate, industrial and institutional clients extends to public spaces which she has rebuilt and sometimes reinvented as pavements, parks, and plazas. These include the Colaba Woods, Ganeshpuri Temple, and a slew of pavements in South Mumbai.

But perhaps her most fulfilling involvement has been in Progressive Conservation - best exemplified in the restoration and renovation of her alma mater, the Cathedral and John Connon Schools, prime examples of Victorial Gothic architecture in the historic precinct of the Fort area, Mumbai An example of how the future can be embraced without erasing the past, this conservation effort embodies, in microcosm, what other historic areas of the city might do to renew themselves, and by extension, the city, through focused environment-conscious (and history-sensitive) architecture. She emphasises time and again that her involvement in conservation is neither self indulgent nor reverential, but an intelligent meshing of the old and new to develop an architectural form that serves the present.

Brinda Somaya has won heritage awards for her work on the Cathedral Schools and the NRK House-Parel, Mumbai. She is presently involved with the restoration of a 17th century church, the St. Thomas's Cathedral, in Horniman Circle, Mumbai amongst other heritage buildings. Her involvement in progressive conservation has led to her current memberships on the advisory committee chaired by the Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai for the conservation of heritage buildings; and the Executive Council, INTACT, (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).

A speaker on the lecture circuit, Brinda has delivered analytical and critical talks as well as presented papers in India and abroad on Conservation, women in architecture, the changing role of Indian architects and innumerable other subjects.

Mrs. Brinda Somaya is also a Member of the IAWA board of Advisors (International Archive of Women in Architecture), Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. If any women architects of South Asia can contribute to the archives please contact Mrs. Somaya at the Hecar Foundation through this website.

The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA), located in Newman Library at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, is a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries. The purpose of the IAWA is to document women’s involvement in architecture and design.

The IAWA collects, preserves, stores and makes accessible selected papers, materials and artifacts of women architects, landscape architects, designers, urban planners, architectural historians, patrons, teachers, photographers, writers, critics and others whose life and work relate to women in architecture and design. Books, biographical information and published materials supplement the collection and support its function as a clearinghouse and research center for information about women in architecture and design, past and present.







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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