Abha Narain Lambah
Childhood fascinations with history and space pointed Abha Narain Lambah to her calling as a conservation architect. The alumnus of Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) has come a long way since her first independent project: preparing urban signage and street furniture guidelines for Dadabhai Naoroji (DN) Road in Fort, Mumbai. Among the many milestones that her 1998-born practice Abha Narain Lambah Associates has achieved, its founder, an ardent admirer of Joseph Allen Stein and Charles Correa, counts restorations of Elphinstone College, a pioneering case of public private partnership, and Ladakh’s 15th-century Maitreya Temple — declared among the World’s Most Endangered Sites, management plan for Ajanta and the revival of Mumbai’s derelict (and iconic) Opera House as significant. The list is telling, and it exemplifies Lambah’s firm belief that heritage is not the exclusive domain of the ancient and monumental; even relatively new edifices belonging to the 19th and 20th centuries, for instance, may make worthy subjects of preservation activities. The architect, who finds simple people and travel inspiring, is guided by contextual design — which means, while she may champion the cause of keeping our built heritage safe, she does it by keeping sustainability in mind.