Thursday, August 24th 2017
Apr
2008
25

Narendra Patel: The most spiritual architect in America

The diminutive Indian-born designer of buildings, furniture and landscape also happens to be a pioneer of green-building at the high-end of the luxury market

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BY PAUL KAIHLANarendra Patel is an architect who was born in the Indian province of Gujarat, did his post-grad in Canada — and made his name in Rancho Mirage, CA, the better-half of Palm Springs. He radiates an out-sized aura in proportion to his bantam-physique, and walks around with a stillness and slight smile that makes you wonder if he knows something that the rest of us haven’t quite figured out.

One thing we know Patel *has* figured out is design — homes like the one above (photographed by Arthur Coleman), commercial buildings, furniture, materials, whatever. Patel weaves together classical geometry and undulating forms that call to mind sand dunes or ocean waves.

Only a person who is channeling an enormous amount of spiritual power can place proportions of this beauty into form.

One irony may be that Patel is a leading light in the high-end home market — the class of custom mansions that the meek whom the Bible says will inherit the earth aren’t likely to afford at the moment. Still, he is a “green” pioneer in the luxury category in terms of building concepts and construction principles. As the current issue of Robb Report reports:

Natural materials are celebrated and integrated into the design, rather than dug out and cast off the jobsite. In a reverent nod to early modernists . . . the houses are built around boulders that occur naturally in the landscape. The homes are low-slung, with sweeping wood ceilings dappled with soffit lighting resembling a starry night sky . . .

Now, Chinese developers have discovered Patel — and his green works are setting a new benchmark in the People’s Republic. His Mayland Seaside project, a mega 5-star hotel in Guangzhou, will generate *more* power than it consumes.

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3 Comments on “Narendra Patel: The most spiritual architect in America”

  1. now let's see him build some low cost housing :)

  2. A God among mortals. Wish we had more of his creation in San Francisco

  3. A great guy with nice design. But his design needs a really good GC and specialized subcontractors to follow on.

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