P T Krishnan

An eager crowd of architects, students and cultural practitioners were in for a delightful evening as renowned architect P T Krishnan — fondly known as PTK to his peers — shared insights on the profession and his life at Spaces, Besant Nagar recently, in an event hosted by the Chennai Architecture Foundation. A doyen among pioneering architects of the 1970s and 80s, P T Krishnan is an architecture graduate from the University of Madras, who also has a post-graduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley (1969). He returned to India in 1971 after working with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (New York City), and set up his own firm in 1983. He is the architect of many iconic buildings such as the SPIC House in Guindy, IIM Kozhikode, and several overseas projects such as the buildings at the University of Mauritius. Explaining why he was initially reluctant to talk about his work, Krishnan said, “Nowadays, architects are always talking about themselves and the projects they’ve done — but at the same time what is lacking is informed criticism from the peers. The values that need to be discussed aren’t the peripheral aspects but what was the architect’s intent when he designed a building.” The host urged Krishnan to enlighten the audience about his life and work, detailing the rigours of education and the time he spent learning under architect K N Iyengar.