Rahul Mehrotra at PennDesign
Co-sponsor: Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), University of Pennsylvania
Rahul Mehrotra is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design. He is a practicing architect, urban designer, and educator. His firm, RMA Architects, was founded in 1990 in Mumbai and has designed and executed projects for clients that include government and non-governmental agencies, corporate as well as private individuals and institutions. RMA Architects has also initiated several unsolicited projects driven by the firm's commitment to advocacy in the city of Mumbai. The firm recently finished a campus for Magic Bus (a NGO that works with poor children), the restoration of the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, and (with the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative) a conservation master plan for the Taj Mahal. The firm is currently working on a social housing project for 100 elephants and their caretakers in Jaipur as well as a corporate office in Hyderabad and several single family houses in different parts of India.
Mehrotra has written and lectured extensively on issues to do with architecture, conservation, and urban planning in Mumbai and India. His writings include coauthoring Bombay-The Cities Within, which covers the city's urban history from the 1600s to the present; Banganga-Sacred Tank; Public Places Bombay; Anchoring a City Line, a history of the city's commuter railway; and Bombay to Mumbai-Changing Perspectives. He has also coauthored Conserving an Image Center-The Fort Precinct in Bombay. Based on this study and its recommendations, the historic Fort area in Mumbai was declared a conservation precinct in 1995-the first such designation in India. His other publications include books on the Victoria Terminus Station, a world heritage site, in Mumbai; on the impact of conservation legislation there; and most recently, on that city's Art Deco buildings. In 2000, he edited a book for the UIA that earmarks the end of the century and is titled The Architecture of the 20th Century in the South Asian Region. Mehrotra has also edited the first of the three books that document the 2004 Michigan Debates on Urbanism.
He has long been actively involved in civic and urban affairs in Mumbai, having served on commissions for historic preservation and environmental issues, with various neighborhood groups, and, from 1994 to 2004, as Executive Director of the Urban Design Research Institute. He studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (CEPT), and graduated with a master's degree with distinction in Urban Design from the GSD. He has taught at the University of Michigan (2003-2007) and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT (2007-2010).