Navin Piplani
Research Associate

Profile

Biography

Navin runs his own architecture conservation practice in Delhi and has acquired knowledge and hands-on skills in historic building conservation by working on several significant architectural conservation projects in India and Europe. Since March 2002, he has been involved as a core member of Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative, a multidisciplinary team of conservation and management professionals, engaged in the architectural conservation of the World Heritage Site of Taj Mahal and its environs.

Navin assisted Prof. AG Krishna Menon, eminent conservationist in India, in the preparation of the Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India. This was adopted and published by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage on November 4, 2004, and is applied extensively by the heritage professionals working with INTACH.

Research

Overview

His research in the field of universal conservation principles and philosophies and their relevance in indigenous conservation practices and techniques is appreciated and acknowledged widely. This led his MA dissertation in the subject to be awarded Duncan Gillard Memorial Gold Medal for the best dissertation during the academic year 2000-01.

Projects

  • Conservation of Taj Mahal, World Heritage Site in the State of Uttar Pradesh. A core member of the Taj Mahal conservation Collaborative working as consulting advisors to the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  • Delhi - A Heritage City, WMF-AMEX/ INTACH sustainable tourism project to prepare design concepts for a ‘heritage route’ highlighting and linking the architectural heritage of Delhi in a cognitive manner. As a pilot the route is to link two significant World Heritage Sites in Delhi - Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. It is part of a larger vision to recognize, present and conserve Delhi as a heritage city.
  • Site Interpretation and Visitor Facilitation Centre at the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, World Heritage Site in the State of Madhya Pradesh. Working as principal consultant architect to the Indian Oil Foundation for the Archeological Survey of India.
  • Integrated Development Plan for the sacred historic town of Pushkar in the State of Rajasthan. Working as consultant conservation architect with M/s Rahul Mehrotra Associates, Mumbai for the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation.
  • Archival research for the architectural evolution of the historic fort and settlement at Jaisalmer in the State of Rajasthan. Working as consultant conservation architect with M/s Rahul Mehrotra Associates for the Bombay Collaborative and the World Monuments Fund.
  • Conservation plan for Bahawalpur House, Mandi House chowk, New Delhi. Working as consultant conservation architect for the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi towards the preparation of the re-development plan for the National School of Drama complex in consultation with Prof. KT Ravindran, principal consultant preparing the master plan and urban design proposal for the site.

Past conservation projects

  • Redevelopment of Connaught Place - Alternate Concept. A Conservation and redevelopment concept proposed as an alternative idea to the ‘restoration and preservation’ proposal prepared by the New Delhi Municipal Committee. Worked as consultant conservation architect with Prof. AG Krishna Menon for the New Delhi Traders Association.
  • Action Plan for the Development of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah Precinct and the surrounding areas, Delhi. Worked as principal consultant conservation architect for Azim-ul-Haque, appointed as the Court Receiver by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.
  • Conservation of Jama Masjid, Shahjananabad, Delhi. Worked as principal consultant conservation architect for the Delhi Waqf Board.
  • Preliminary building fabric survey and conservation report for Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Shahjahanabad, Delhi. Worked as principal conservation architect for the Delhi Waqf Board.

Past research projects

  • ‘Imagining Delhi’, an exhibition on various urban aspects and characteristics of Delhi conceived by Charles Correa, Chairman Delhi Urban Art Commission, coordinated by Prof. KT Ravindran, Head of the Department of Urban Design, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. Co-organized the exhibition with Prof. AG Krishna Menon, Director TVB School of Habitat Studies, Delhi for the Delhi Urban Art Commission, Delhi Development Authority and New Delhi Municipal Committee.
  • Delhi - A Heritage City, a conceptual project proposal for defining and representing the outstanding value of Delhi as a heritage city, at both national and international levels. Coordinated the study with a group of architectural students and Prof. AG Krishna Menon, for the Delhi Urban Art Commission.
  • Conservation and development guidelines for the development of area around protected monuments, case study - Ajmeri Gate, a gateway to the historic city of Shahjahanabad, now protected and preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. Coordinated the study with a group of architectural students and Prof. AG Krishna Menon, for the Delhi Urban Art Commission.

Publications

Selected publications

  • 2010: Baig A and Mehrotra R (eds) 'Engaging with conservation at York.ac.uk: Is it relevant to conservation in India?', in 'Thinking' Conservation: contemporary perspectives for India, Mumbai (India), Jasubhai Media.
  • 2009: 'Carrying Capacity: concept and application in the management of historic urban areas', in the Conference Proceedings: Urban Heritage and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities, 2nd Asian Academy for Heritage Management Conference, 1-3 December 2009, Heritage Studies Centre, Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao SAR, China.
  • 2009: 'Conservation studies AT York.ac.uk', in Indian Architect and Builder, August 2009.
  • 2008: Hardy M (ed) 'Interpreting the Venice Charter: Case study of the Taj Mahal
    and its environs, India', in The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism, Conservation and Tradition in the 21st Century, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, ISBN (10): 1847186882, ISBN (13): 9781847186881.
  • 2005: Jain S (ed) ‘Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India - The International Perspective’ in Context, the Journal of the Development and Research Organization for Nature, Arts and Heritage, Volume II, Issue 2, ISBN 81-902313-2-4.
  • 2004: (with AG Krishna Menon), Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi.
  • 2001: Burman P and Fodde E (eds) ‘Conserving Crafts: The Indian Experience’ in This common bond: training cathedral craftsmen and conservators for the next generation, the University of York, ISBN 090476169 X.
  • 2001: ‘Universal Principles and Vernacular Wisdom: A Dual Approach to Conservation’, unpublished dissertation for MA in Conservation Studies, the University of York.

Teaching

External activities

Memberships

  • Member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-UK)
  • Registered as an Architect with the Council of Architecture (CoA)
  • Member of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA)
  • Member of the Indian National trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
  • Member of the Association of British Scholars (ABS)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the INTACH Haryana Chapter
  • Board of Directors, Bombay Collaborative Urban Design and Conservation Pvt Ltd, Mumbai
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholar, MA in Conservation Studies, Department of Archaeology, the University of York (2000-2001)
  • Lecturer in architecture and building construction systems, TVB School of Habitat Studies, affiliated to Indraprastha Guru Govind Singh University, Delhi (2004-2007).
  • Internship with Dr. Henry Cleere, World Heritage coordinator at the ICOMOS International Secretariat/ World Heritage Centre, Paris, France. To devise a classification system to analyze and evaluate the World Heritage Archaeological Sites for ‘management mechanisms’ and guidelines (2001).
  • The Committee for the Restoration of Ancient Monuments, Athens, Greece. Worked with Demosthenes Ziro on a project for the Anastylosis of the Temple of Athena Niki at the Acropolis of Athens (2001).
  • The Committee for the Preservation of Monuments on the Southern Slope of the Acropolis, Athens, Greece. Worked with Konstantinos Boletis on a project for the Rehabilitation of the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens (2001).

Invited talks and conferences


  • Co-organised three-day international conference - 'Conservation Philosophies: Global or Local?', 3-5 June 2010, King's Manor, York. The conference was organised jointly by the Centre for Conservation Studies, Department of Archaeology, University of York and ICOMOS-UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites -UK).
  • Guest lecturer at the Reinwardt Academy for Cultural Heritage, Amsterdam School of the Arts, 8 March 2010, The Netherlands; lecture titles: 'Urban conservation in context of 'protected monuments': Taj Mahal', and 'Living heritage and sustainable development in the context of 'unprotected heritage': INTACH Charter'.
  • Invited speaker at 2nd Asian Academy for Heritage Management Conference on Urban Heritage and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities, December 1-3, 2009; organised by Heritage Studies Centre, Institute For Tourism Studies, Macau SAR, China; Paper - 'Carrying Capacity: concept and application in the management of historic urban areas'.
  • Invited speaker at a conference on the Evaluation of Conservation Projects, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), March 26 - 28, 2008, Bhopal, India. Paper - ‘INTACH (India) Charter and Evaluation Mechanisms’.
  • Visiting lecturer in Urban Conservation and Recycling, post-graduate degree course in Urban Design, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi (2005-2006).
  • Organized and participated in two-day seminar titled, ‘Urban Regeneration of Historic Areas’ for the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design (ILAUD) (Italy) and TVB School of Habitat Studies (Delhi), August 10-12, 2007, New Delhi.
  • Organized one-day seminar on reading Architecture, titled, ‘Exploring the Third Space’, for TVB School of Habitat Studies, March 17, 2007, New Delhi.
  • Invited speaker at international conference on The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism and Conservation in the post war world, the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU), November 3-5, 2006, Venice, Italy. Paper - ‘Interpreting the Venice Charter, Case Study: Taj Mahal and its environs, Agra’.
  • Organized and participated in a five-day workshop, Structural Stabilization and Site Conservation, for the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation and the Getty Conservation Institute, July 25 - 29, 2006, the City Palace, Udaipur in the State of Rajasthan. The workshop was designed to introduce to the undergraduate students of architecture the scientific aspects of architectural conservation.
  • Co-organized with Prof. AG Krishna Menon a two-day seminar on the conservation scenario in India, Conservation Today and Conservation Tomorrow, for students, alumni and teaching staff at the Centre of Conservation Studies, Department of Archaeology, the University of York during their study tour to India, March 28 - 29, 2006, INTACH office, New Delhi.
  • Invited speaker at international conference on Shaping Continuity: International Perspective on Tomorrow’s Historic Gardens and Landscapes, the National Trust for Scotland, September 20 - 22, 2005, Edinburgh, UK. Paper - ‘Redefining Authenticity in the Context of Historic Gardens: Taj Mahal’.
  • Invited speaker at Indo-UK Colloquium on Conservation and Cultural Tourism, the British Council, July 2004, Cochin in the State of Kerala. Paper - ‘Preserving the Historic Environment’.
  • Invited speaker at conference on Cathedral Crafts: Conservation Skills and Training Needs, Centre for Conservation Studies, Department of Archaeology, the University of York, June 2001, York, UK. Paper - ‘Conserving Crafts: The Indian Experience’.

Navin Piplani

Contact details

Mr Navin Piplani
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor
York
YO1 7EP

Tel: (44) 1904 323925