In the past five years, as India’s hunger for glass-encased IT parks and marble-swathed gated communities appeared insatiable, architects designed supersize projects dreamed up by Indian developers. Then the money disappeared. As the global economic crisis has snowballed, the country’s banks have turned skittish.
“The first to get hit are large projects,” says Mohit Gujral, whose firm, Design Plus, does lots of big projects and has had to lay off a quarter of its 140 employees. Design Plus has worked on some of New Delhi’s swankiest mega-malls and with Singapore-based Kerry Hill Architects on the city’s first Amanresorts hotel. As business slows down, Gujral says, “You look at projects and scales you may not have considered earlier.”