srbe 2022
Director, Andagere Architects and Rural Studio - Founder, Samarakshan. INDIA

Ajith Andagere

Ajith Andagere is an alumni of Malnad College of Engineering Hassan, Karnataka, India having graduated in architecture in 2002. Shortly after, Ajith received a project to build a resort near Sandur Bellary. Ajith consciously chose to live on site for the duration of the project to gain hands on experience working with natural materials and craftsmen. These 18 months reinforced Ajith’s commitment to end-to-end design, as well as a passion for traditional craftsmanship and techniques; a journey which continues today. In 2004, Ajith’s holistic, vernacular approach was recognized by Studio Mumbai Founder Bijoy Jain that led to a three year working partnership in Bangalore and Alibaug. Here he learnt in depth, the art of using craft and involving artisans in architecture. For several years, Andagare Architects worked from the famous world heritage site Hampi and Nrityagram Dance School during which time Ajith redesigned the campus, before finally settling in rural Magadi Taluk. The picturesque rural setting of his practice is located two hours west of Bangalore where land is aptly named “Bande Thota”, which means “boulder garden”. A multidisciplinary team of passionate architects, interns, carpenters, blacksmith, potters and other craftsmen live in the surrounding villages and attend the studio and workshop each day. The practice provides end-to-end services - design, construction, project management, research, furniture, permaculture and object development. Today, Andagare Architects has worked all around India and their project, “Jalakara”, a boutique villa located on Andaman Islands was featured in several international travel and design magazines. And according to Times Travel this has rated as one in 50 best boutique hotel of the world 2017. “Swarga”, a farmhouse near Bangalore was featured in Architectural Digest. Their current focus is on using their experience and knowledge towards building community based, social welfare, and redefining luxury through tourism and government projects. The practice remains committed to exploring the fusion between contemporary and traditional, sustainable approaches, and how this contributes to India’s unique architectural voice and identity. In 2017 Ajith Andagere co-founded a non-for profit organization called “Samrakshan India” to document vanishing common man vernacular architecture of India. Currently they are documenting houses of South India and conducting hands on experience workshops in vernacular, ecological and earthen building techniques to Architects and architecture students.