Krishnan was raised in Chandigarh, one of the first planned cities of post-independence India that he cites as an early influence in developing an architectural consciousness. After completing his B.Arch from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi in 2005 he gained experience in major office and retail projects across the National Capital Region. An interest in urban design and masterplanning led him to do his post-graduation from ETH Zürich and then onto the UK.
In his three year stint he worked on many prestigious projects including the Athletes Village for the 2012 London Olympics and schools for the BSF programme initiated by the UK government. Working in the UK gave him an insight into the rigorous process of getting planning permission for large scale housing projects that required compliance to exacting building regulations and sustainability codes.
Upon his return Krishnan chose to settle in Cochin and founded Meister Varma Architects in 2011 to focus on site specific, design led solutions for the residential and hospitality sector. Drawing on local architectural traditions and woodworking, the practice strives to design climate responsive buildings. Careful site planning, building placement and orientation form key aspects of this design approach where natural ventilation, water conservation and renewable energy are integral to the design, not afterthoughts. Robust materials are selected to ensure that buildings age gracefully and extend generations beyond their current occupants. Their projects have been recognized and published in various international digital and print media. In addition to his own practice, Krishnan is also actively engaged in restoration of heritage buildings in partnership with German architect Karl Damschen. Precise architectural documentation, sensitivity of construction processes and knowledge of ageing of building materials form the basis of all restoration work – qualities Krishnan sees as indispensable to any critical practitioner of architecture.
Ar. Krishnan Varma