Indian architect Hafeez Contractor was born in a Parsi family in Mumbai in 1950. He received his graduate diploma in architecture from the University of Mumbai in 1975. He did not stop here and did his further studies to receive a bachelor's degree from the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai, a master's degree in architecture, and a Tata scholarship at Columbia University in New York.
As a student pursuing his architecture degree, Hafeez Contractor started his architectural practice in 1968 as an intern at the firm of his uncle T. Khareghat. After working for some time, he was promoted to associate partner in the same firm in 1977. From 1977 to 1980, he was a visiting professor at the Mumbai Academy of Architecture.
In 1983, he established his architectural firm with just two employees. Today, his company employs 500 people and is one of the biggest in India. Although he has constructed many buildings throughout India, his residential constructions have contributed significantly to his success and reputation. The Imperial I and II, the tallest buildings, are among those for which he gets recognition. Besides that, he was the architect of the 23 Marina in Dubai, one of the world's tallest residential structures. Along with building large structures, Hafeez earned fame for his lavish designs for cricket stadiums, train stations, schools, hotels, hostels, and luxurious airport terminals with a modernist feel.
Hafeez expresses deep concern over the absence of vegetation in India and dislikes adopting Western methods and performing them unthinkingly because they do not consider the local climatic conditions and other requirements. He suggests building public parks and green spaces close to residential areas and other major cities to reduce the lack of greenery and other natural resources.
Contractor was hired in 1991 to expand the Infosys campus in Bangalore. Later, he created the first software development park for that company outside of Pune and its corporate education center close to Mysore. Hiranandani Gardens, a town in the Mumbai district of Powai, is his most well-known creation.
The Imperial, a twin-tower residential skyscraper, was designed by Contractor in 2005. Upon completion in 2010, Tower I, standing 254 meters tall, became the tallest residential building in India, a label it held until One Avighna Park (266 meters) overtook it in 2017. The 42 in Kolkata, also created by the Contractor and has an architectural peak of 260m, replaced that structure in return. In addition to the nearby Princess Tower and 432 Park Avenue in New York City, he also built the 23 Marina in Dubai, which briefly held the record for the tallest all-residential building in the world.
The domestic terminal of Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport and the DY Patil Stadium, which houses the football team Mumbai City FC and the cricket team Mumbai Indians, are among the other projects completed by the contractor. Additionally, he created the Turbhe railway station in Navi Mumbai and provided free services to 19 other railway stations in 2018. He designed the official Telangana Chief Minister's house, Pragathi Bhavan, which was finished in November 2016. He holds the responsibility for planning the Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy campus situated in Vishakhapatnam.
Teacher's Least Favourite Student
Hafeez Contractor had a difficult early life and had to overcome several obstacles. The fascinating section of his story is how little effort he put into his homework at home and how he was not a teacher's favorite. However, he excelled at sketching and drawing, which was a sign that he would become an architect in the future.
Love for Design and Architecture
Hafeez Contractor has always loved to sketch, draw, and design different parts of buildings and forts. This passion sparked his interest in architecture and design.
Received the Padma Bhushan- The Third-Highest Civilian Award
In 2016, the Indian government awarded Hafeez the Padma Bhushan for more than three decades of contributions to Indian architecture. One of the greatest honors offered to civilians by the Indian Government is the Padma Bhushan.
Awards and Recognition
For his outstanding contributions to architecture, Ar. Contractor has earned over 75 National and International Awards, including the following:
In the previous ten years, he has appeared on "India Today's Most Powerful Indians List" multiple times. He has also received numerous awards for India's best commercial, residential, hospitality, and educational projects.
Hafeez's Stunning Work Portfolio
With his enthusiasm for designing buildings that demonstrate both practical and beautiful aspects, Ar. Contractor has completely changed India's urban infrastructure. His collection of work is immensely outstanding and includes the renowned Main-42 in Kolkata, one of the world's highest residential buildings, and a few of the tallest buildings on the subcontinent, The Imperial Towers in Mumbai. In addition, he upgraded the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, one of the world's top cricket stadiums, and two of the busiest airports in the nation: New Delhi and Mumbai.
Aside from working on commercial building projects, Ar. Contractor has spent a lot of time exploring and thinking about how he may use ideas for public spaces and the redevelopment of slums to improve the urban environment of the nation.
AHC (Architect Hafeez Contractor) - Hafeez Contractor's Firm
One of the top architectural design consulting companies in the nation is AHC. The most interesting part of this business is how it expanded from a timid 3-person set-up in 1982 to a remarkable workforce of more than 550 employees. The crew includes:
AHC is renowned for its original design ideas and ambitious application. Each project is designed by Hafeez Contractor, who then assigns it to his staff.
Ar. Contractor has an ambition to build a home for every Indian and is passionately committed to social housing. Hafeez has been advocating for cities to rise upwards. He thinks sustainable compact cities are essential to maintaining a smooth balance between India's expanding population and its limited land resources.