JK Cement stands as a pioneer in felicitating outstanding contributions of architects


By Mr. Raghavpat Singhania, Special Executive, J.K. Cement Ltd

  1. JK Cement’s objective of hosting the 28 year-old legacy of AYA awards?

Ans:JK Cement stands as a pioneer in felicitating outstanding contributions of architects. The 26 year old legacy of the Architects of the Year Awards (AYA), was instituted to inspire the professionals in architectural field to strive towards further raising the bar in architecture standards of the country. The aim of the esteemed award property, which is the brainchild of Mr. Yadupati Singhania- CMD of JK Cement Ltd, is to help pave the way for a better tomorrow in design. The company’s continuous commitment towards awarding architects for over two and half decades has made AYA amongst the most recognition in the architectural industry.

  1. How does AYA provide a unique platform for architects across generations? 


  1. What are the type of categories in AYA 2019 and are there any new categories introduced this year?

Ans:We have various categories for awarding architects who are doing commendable work in various sectors. Our key award categories include ‘Great Master’s Award’, ‘Green Architecture Award’, ‘Indian Architecture Awards’, ‘Foreign Countries Architecture Awards’, ‘Architect Student of the Year Awards’ and ‘Young Architect’s Award’. Also, we have always been introducing new award categories from time to time. For instance, we had introduced ‘Student of the Year’ category four years back to inspire and encourage budding architects. However, there was no new category as such this year.

  1. What is the significance of AYA 2019 in the Architecture industry and overall infrastructure sector? 

Ans:AYA 2019 is a well-known, flagship event by one of the largest cement manufacturers in India, JK Cement Ltd. This prestigious awards strive to garner significant amount of visibility to architecture as an important industry for nation-building, especially at a time when infrastructure development has taken center stage. Today, AYA provides a very important platform to the architect community of participating countries to share and put their ideas together & learn from each other.AYA encourages young architects to reach greater heights in a bid to improve the standards of architecture and innovate through design.

  1. What are new countries that you have received nominations from this year?

Ans:The response from foreign countries is quite slow but progressive as they have started participating in larger numbers since past few years. This year, the jury received over 250 nominations from India as well as its neighbouring nations including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kenya, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania & Uganda.15 phenomenal nominations were received from across 10 countries for the Great Master’s Award apart from India. Most of the time, our criteria for adding new countries is that their architecture and infrastructure should be more or less at a same level as that of India.

  1. Who will be the jury for the awards? What will be the winner selection aspect? 

Ans:The jury for AYA 2019 consisted of esteemed architects such as Ar. Prof. Uday Gadkari, Ar. Christopher Charles Benninger, Ar. Chandrashekhar Kanetkar, Ar. K.R. Jaisim,Ar. Shirish Beri,Ar. Debatosh Sahu, Ar. Dr. Lalbiakmawia Ngente, Ar. Bijoy Ramachandran including many others. Leading architects from various countries were there on the jury panel such as Ar. Jalal Ahmed from Bangladesh, Ar. Ms. Anju Malla Pradhan from Nepal and Ar. Kaisi Kalambo from Tanzania.

The principal defining factors consists of various multi-faceted architectural aspects like sustainability of the structure, conservation of resources, ventilation, and an optimum utilization of the space, aesthetics, relevance and utility in contemporary times. Also, the architectural structures must embrace the newer technologies to stand the demands of the ongoing trends of the contemporary times. Entries that stand out in one or more of the above parameters stand a great chance of taking home the trophy. However, further to these aspects, it is totally up to discretion of the jury members to make an overall decision and declare the winner.

  1. What will be the revolving category this year?

Ans:Every year, we give away one special category, which revolves every year, to address to some of the utmost important issue. This year’s revolving category is ‘Literary Architecture’. We are giving ‘Award for Literary Architecture’ for the first time. The aim is to recognise and honour the emerging notable work in the field of writing on architecture. It was necessary to create this category as architectural writing is a niche talent which has rarely been acknowledged and appreciated. It is required to give this domain of architecture its due amount of recognition.

  1. How has the journey been from taking the AYA property from India to across the globe now? 

Ans:The prestigious award category will soon complete 3 decades of recognizing distinguished work in the field of architecture. JK Architect of the Year Awards has become one of the most celebrated awards amongst the architectural fraternity as they have become even more relevant in the last few years when infrastructure has taken a centre stage. Our journey so far traces a glorious history of awarding the architectural excellence and contribute to our vision to build a better place for our future generations.

  1. How does JK Cement plan to take AYA to the next level in the coming years?

Ans: The aim is to make JK Architect of the Year Awards, the largest platform to recognize and celebrate outstanding contribution of architects in India and across the globe. In the coming years, our aim is to reach out to more countries and touch as many lives as possible ultimately making it more inclusive and diverse. By including more panel discussions, experienced jury committee, diverse and impact-driven award categories, we want to create a revolution in thefield of architecture.