Benny Kuriakose

Conservation Consultant, Muziris Heritage Project

Benny Kuriakose started his career in 1984 and received the basic lessons in architecture under the tutelage of Laurie Baker. The Charles Wallace India Trust Award that he received in 1986 took him to the University of York, UK, to do an MA in Conservation Studies. On return, Benny joined the Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad, and worked with the Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra, coordinating training programmes for architectural and civil engineering degrees and diplomas and doing projects on cost effective techniques.

He started practicing architecture again in 1993 during which period he designed many residences. In 1994, after the earthquake in Lattur he was commissioned by the Malayala Manorama to design the rebuilding of Banegaon village. 1996 brought him to Chennai as the designer for the Kerala buildings and the public buildings in Dakshinachitra on the East Coast Road to Mahabalipuram. The extraordinary project of transplantation of old buildings to sites juxtaposing new ones was a challenge that spurred him on to set up an office in Chennai.

Among Benny's conservation projects are the conservation of Paliam Palace, Paravur Synagogue, Kottappuram Fort, Kottappuram Market (all are in Kerala) Gables Bungalow in Conoor and the preparation of the conservation development plans for the Muziris and Thalassery Heritage Projects and as a consultant on various INTACH projects. Recent architectural work includes design of the tsunami affected villages of Chinnangudi and Tarangmbadi in Nagapattinam District, the design of the Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Centre and the Department of Engineering Design, IITM in Chennai along with Architect Jeevan V, the layout for the village of Chapredi for the Kutch Earthquake Rehabilitation Project, the design of the Institute of Palliative Medicine at Calicut, and the resorts such as Backwater Ripples Resort, Kumarakom, Springdale Resort, Vandiperiyar, and the Club Mahindra Resort, Ooty.

Benny has been visiting lecturer at the Faculty of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology and various other architecture schools. He was awarded the Inside Outside Designer of the Year 2001. He has offered his services as consultant to UNDP, various State Governments and other organizations.