Rahul Mehrotra

Principal, Rahul Mehrotra Associates

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    “The pace of urbanization challenges the notion of urban permanence.” – Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning & Design, Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University, USA.

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    Rahul Mehrotra was a member of the concluding panel at the 5th LafargeHolcim Forum held in Detroit in April 2016.

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    4th Holcim Forum in Mumbai, India 2013: Green Mobile workshop - Compact city: This workshop aims at analyzing what differentiations need to be made with respect to specificity of site and society when evaluating the scale and density of a city. Pictured (in cap): Workshop expert, Rahul Mehrotra.

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    Rahul Mehrotra at the 4th Holcim Forum 2013 in Mumbai.

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    Werner Sobek (left), Director of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany and Rahul Mehrotra, Principal, Rahul Mehrotra Associates, India at the Global Holcim Awards jury meeting in Zurich, 2012.

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    Global Holcim Awards jury meeting 2012 in March 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland: Members of the Global Holcim Awards Jury 2012 (l-r): Rolf Soiron, Mario Botta, Maria Atkinson, Yolanda Kakabadse, Werner Sobek, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Aaron Betsky, Enrique Norten (head), Hans-Rudolf Schalcher, Rahul Mehrotra.

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    Rahul Mehrotra co-moderated the workshop “Informal Urbanism: between sanctioned and shadow orders” at the 2nd Holcim Forum held in Shanghai in 2007.

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    Rahul Mehrotra (left), India/USA and Yung Ho Chang, China/USA, co-moderated the workshop "Informal urbanism - Between sanctioned and shadow orders" at the 2nd Holcim Forum held in Shanghai in 2007.

Rahul Mehrotra is Chair of the Department of Urban Planning & Design at the Harvard GSD in Cambridge, MA, USA and was Head of the Holcim Awards jury for Asia Pacific in 2014.

Last updated: January 01, 2017 Mumbai, India

Rahul Mehrotra is Professor of Urban Design & Planning in the Department of Urban Planning & Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) in Cambridge, MA, USA.

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 has designed a software campus for Hewlett Packard in Bangalore, 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 also worked on a social housing project for 100 elephants and their caretakers in Jaipur as well as a corporate office in Hyderabad and several stand-alone houses in different parts of India.

His current research involves looking at India’s medium size cities and the broader emergent patterns of urbanism in India: focused on evolving a theoretical framework for designing in conditions of informal growth – what he refers to as the “Kinetic City”. He has run several studios looking at various aspects of planning questions in the city of Mumbai, under the rubric of “Extreme Urbanism”.

He was James Marston Fitch Historic Preservationist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome (Sept/Oct 2016). The select group of artists, practitioners, and scholars gather to pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual exchange and innovation.

Rahul Mehrotra studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (CEPT), India, and graduated with a master’s degree with distinction in Urban Design from the Harvard GSD. In 1995, he founded The Bombay Collaborative, an architectural conservation practice that also acts as a consultant to the Mumbai Environmental Action Group, INTACH, the Orient Foundation, and various neighborhood and citizens’ groups in Mumbai.

He was Associate Professor at the College of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, USA (2003-07), and has also taught at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA (2007-10).

He has written and lectured extensively on architecture, conservation and urban planning issues related to Mumbai. He has co-authored Bombay: The Cities Within (Eminence, 2001), which covers the city’s urban history from the 1600s to the present; Banganga: Sacred Tank (Eminence, 1996); Public Places Bombay (‪Max Mueller Bhavan, 1996); Anchoring a City Line: The history of the Western Suburban Railway and its headquarters in Bombay, 1899-1999 (Eminence, 2000); and Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives (Marg, 1997); as well as Conserving an Image Center: The Fort Precinct in Bombay (Urban Research Design Institute). Based on this study and its recommendations, the historic Fort area was declared a conservation precinct in 1995.

Rahul Mehrotra was a member of the jury of the Aga Khan Prize for Architecture in 2004.

He moderated the workshop Informal Urbanism: Between sanctioned and shadow orders at the 2nd LafargeHolcim Forum 2007 in Shanghai, and was a workshop presenter in “Compact city: Sustainable or just sustaining economic law?” at the 4th LafargeHolcim Forum 2013 in Mumbai. He was a workshop expert on Kumbh Mela in India, the world’s largest “disassemblable” city, at the 5th LafargeHolcim Forum 2016 in Detroit dedicated to “Infrastructure Space”.

Rahul Mehrotra was a member of the Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury 2012 and was Head of the LafargeHolcim Awards jury for Asia Pacific in 2014.