OBITUARY: VIKRAM LALL– The Pride of CCA, by Dr S.S. Bhatti

The sad, sudden, and untimely demise of Vikram Lall comes as a rude shock to all members of CCA Extended Family. He breathed his last in Brussels [Belgium] on 27 December 2020 from heart-related complications. He was one of CCA’s most conscientious, creative, and promising alumni. He showed his mettle as the principal architect of Lall & Associates, an architectural firm that he established in New Delhi after his graduation, followed by a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Design from the University of Cambridge.

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The sad, sudden, and untimely demise of Vikram Lall comes as a rude shock to all members of CCA Extended Family. He breathed his last in Brussels [Belgium] on 27 December 2020 from heart-related complications. He was one of CCA’s most conscientious, creative, and promising alumni. He showed his mettle as the principal architect of Lall & Associates, an architectural firm that he established in New Delhi after his graduation, followed by a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Design from the University of Cambridge.

True to the spirit of holistic education that I had sought CCA to impart to the students, Vikram diversified the gift of his enviable creativity into architectural practice, teaching, research, musicology, and art appreciation. He taught at several architectural schools in India and abroad and was also a member of the Visiting Faculty at the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi.

Vikram’s passion for the conservation and promotion of India’s rich cultural heritage led to the formation of a non-profit organisation called SAAR, Society for Art Appreciation and Research. For SAAR, he curated concerts and gave presentations on the literary, artistic, and musical traditions of India here and overseas. Until recently, he was directing and anchoring a television series on the History of Musical Traditions of India for Doordarshan, India’s National Television broadcaster.

Lall helped design several landmark buildings, including the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi in collaboration with BAPS [Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha] and Sompuras, traditional temple architects. In addition to his important role in the design of the Akshardham Temple, Lall was a design management consultant in the creation of the Indian School of Business and contributed to the design of Buddha Smriti Park, Patna.

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In his path-breaking book “The Golden Lands”, he described the history, styles, and interpretation of Buddhist temples, monasteries, and ancient monuments across Southeast Asia. The book was released in London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. In India, it was launched by the Buddhist leader Dalai Lama.

Vikram Lall was an award-winning architect, educator, author, and patron of the arts. Well versed with the eastern and western ideologies, he had the knack to creatively bridge them under his personal signature. He was honoured by the President of India, and his projects have been extensively covered in several national and international journals. Vikram had taught at several architectural schools in India and abroad. His areas of research and interest included History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture, and Conservation Studies.

Vikram’s untimely demise is a tragic loss to the profession of architecture, in general, and his alma mater, CCA, in particular. I will personally miss him for his winsome demeanour, disarming civility, and ebullient creativity, in my capacity as his teacher and principal.

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I pray to the Almighty Father to grant his bereaved family the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss in submission to His inscrutable will. Vikram will be missed by all those who had the good fortune to be enriched by his blessed presence beside his invaluable contribution to various branches of Architecture and allied disciplines. Vikram had taught at several architectural schools in India and abroad. His areas of research and interest included History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture, and Conservation Studies.

I pray to the Almighty Father to grant his bereaved family the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss in submission to His inscrutable will. Vikram will be missed by all those who had the good fortune to be enriched by his blessed presence beside his invaluable contribution to various branches of Architecture and allied disciplines.

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May the departed soul rest in peace!

—Dr SS Bhatti
Founder-teacher and former Principal,
Chandigarh College of Architecture [CCA]

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