Godwin Austen Johnson, GAJ, New architect of the month, MEA New Architect, Dubai architects, United Arab Emirates

Meet GAJ's architect Piyush Prajapati, once awarded for the best architectural thesis in India

“Coming to Dubai initially had more to do with travel goals and life experience, but somehow this place grew on me in a very short span of time,” said Piyush Prajapati, architect at award-winning architecture practice Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ). “When I started at GAJ as an architectural intern, [I hoped to learn] more than the curriculum. I was open to another learning adventure at GAJ and it paid off well.”

A graduate of the Faculty of Architecture from Gautam Buddh Technical University in Lucknow, India, Prajapati was a member of INTACH, an NGO that focuses on the conservation of architectural heritage before relocating to the UAE. There, he learned to develop a set of values towards architecture and the “spaces in which we live,” he said. Soon after, he worked as a sustainable architect and interior designer.

“I was awarded for the best architectural thesis in India,” he said. “And I have been honoured with several awards at national and international design competitions and projects. Recently, too, I’ve been speaking and sharing my design philosophies at international podiums, such as the Museum of Architecture in Slovenia, and at the Tile Awards 2017 in Iceland.”

While at GAJ, Prajapati has worked on a number of projects including a 45-storey tower and hotel in Dubai Creek Harbour, Al Seef Dubai, another 40-storey tower in Dubai, and a masterplan project in Abu Dhabi.

“I would like to work on dynamic architecture that integrates users as part of it,” he said. “The Middle East has already started working on these principles and soon, I see myself working on one of these projects as well. Working with the team on high-rise buildings and masterplans gives young architects like me a huge opportunity to learn.”

Having grown up in Delhi, Prajapati hopes to one day contribute to the design of dense urban environments. According to the architect, his concept ‘Hex-a-Tral’, which has been acknowledged by the Future Architecture Program, is his starting point.

“Hex-a-Tral focuses on harnessing energy from human movement in order to create architecture that can grow in physical volumes on literal grounds,” he said. “The complete potential of the idea and approach is still unexplored, but I would like to work more on this, which is my long term goal, and this can be achieved only through constant learning.

Working at GAJ has extended my creative boundaries and has helped me realise, refine and utilise my philosophies in the field of architecture, materials and technology.”