Sharanam wins the RIBA's International Award for Excellence 2024

Sri Aurobindo Society and SARVAM are pleased to announce that our Sharanam Centre for Rural Development, designed and delivered by the British architect Jateen Lad, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Award for Excellence 2024

Sharanam is amongst the first modern buildings in India to receive such recognition. 

The Royal Institute of British Architects has been recognising outstanding work in the built environment for more than 180 years. RIBA's international awards are one of architecture's highest global accolades, celebrating buildings from around the world that demonstrate visionary thinking, design excellence and social impact and make a distinct contribution to its users, surrounding environment and communities. 

The RIBA International Award for Excellence is one of the most rigorously judged architecture awards in the world, with every shortlisted project visited by a group of international experts. 

Sharanam is entirely hand-built from the red earth of the site by local people trained on the job by the architect. Extensive planting and environmentally sensitive buildings transformed the ecologically damaged site into an accessible place of beauty, tranquillity and well-being. Thin masonry vaults, built without formwork, span over a delightful interior of community, working and private spaces. A massive granite thinnai defines a large hall designed for conversations, workshops and performances. Deep verandas and ponds merge into landscaped gardens connecting to offices, a kitchen and washing courtyards. The socially empowering delivery resulted in a quality and care in workmanship and enabled construction funds to be directly invested into communities improving long term livelihoods.

The judges cited Sharanam as an example of the highest calibre of architectural response to social, cultural and environmental challenges. They praised the project's "exceptional beauty, functionality and tranquillity" and consider it "an exemplar of the architect leading the project from vision to completion to achieve world class innovation, sustainability and quality of execution.....[in] a building of outstanding quality and dignity". 

Sri Aurobindo Society and Jateen Lad extend their profound gratitude to Cadbury Schweppes Asia Pacific and Mondelez International for their generous support and valued co-operation throughout