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