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Foreign architects eye India's huge IT projects

February 08, 2006 02:51 IST

The emergence of huge software parks has not just changed the landscape of Indian cities, but has created a new genre of demand for overseas architects as well. 

Such as Singapore-based Architects Team 3, which has designed the largest facility of Hexaware to come up in Chennai -- over 1 million sq ft spanning 27 acres at an investment of Rs 350 crore. 

This facility, which is expected to be completed in three phases, will house 9,000 software professionals. Its construction will add to the list of the few green buildings in the country. 

Green buildings are those designed and built for the efficient use and harvesting of energy and water resources, and for better waste management, to make for a better world. 

Tay Hui Tiong, director, Architects Team 3, says his company now plans to open offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Currently, there are a dozen-odd people working for Architects Team 3 in Chennai and Bangalore.  

Tiong says Architects Team 3 has been working in the country along with Ascendas, the business space provider, for the last two years. 

"Prior to setting up a base here, we were working out of Singapore," he says, when the need to operate in India was felt. However, the core team of six people who design the constructions are still based in the company's Singapore office. 

It's clear that these overseas architects sense a huge opportunity in India's construction boom on the commercial front driven by IT and ITES companies. 

Architects Team 3 had worked along with Ascendas flagship software park, International Tech Park in Whitefield at Bangalore. 

ITPL has a total built-space of 2 million sq ft. The company has also provided its expertise to the International Tech Park in Chennai, of which the 5 lakh sq ft phase one has been completed. 

Ascendas, also a Singapore-based company, has to its credit 4 million sq ft built space in India, and is developing a tech park in Kolkata at an investment of $150 million, and another project in Pune. 

The variety of experience and expertise in designing mega structures has been the cutting edge of overseas architects, and the reason Indian architects lose out on similar opportunities. 

Tiong says it has been profitable to take up work in India as the volumes of projects make up for the lower exchange rates as compared to projects in Singapore. 

Ask Tiong about India's limitations, and he says that it takes time to make local employees focus on the importance of on-time delivery and quality.

S Bridget Leena in Chennai
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