On February 9th, 2024, the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) bestowed upon Prof. Christopher Benninger, the esteemed founder of CCBA Designs in Pune, the prestigious Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal 2024, the highest accolade in the architectural realm. This distinguished award, recognizing excellence and innovation in architecture, was presented to Prof. Benninger during the National Convention of the Indian Institute of Architects held in Lucknow.
The honour was a testament to Prof. Benninger's unwavering dedication and significant contributions spanning over 55 years towards the advancement of architecture in India. His remarkable achievements have left an indelible mark on the landscape of modern Indian architecture, imparting it with a unified voice and a distinctive identity that resonates globally.
The award ceremony was graced by notable figures including Ar. Abhay Purohit, President of the Council of Architecture India, and Ar. Vilas Avachat, National President of the Indian Institute of Architects, alongside a gathering of prominent architects such as Ar. Jitendra Mehta, Vice President of IIA, Ar. Tushar Sogani, Jr. Vice President, Ar. Sandeep Bawdekar, Jt. Hon. Secretary, Ar. Akshaya Kumar Beuria, Jt. Hon. Secretary, Ar. Sandeep Saraswat, IIA Chairman Uttar Pradesh, Ar. Vikas Achalkar, Chairman IIA Pune Centre, Ar. Rina Salvi, Co OPT Committee member of IIA Pune Centre, Ar. Shitesh Agrawal, Managing Director of Sankalp Designers and Mr. Ramprasad Akkisetti, Managing Director of CCBA Designs.
Internationally recognized for his contributions to shaping the built environment, Benninger has garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Great Master Architect Award, multiple Lifetime Achievement awards, an Aga Khan Award nomination, six Indian Institute of Architects Excellence in Architecture awards (more so than any other architect). In 2024, CEPT University bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate in Architecture, underscoring his enduring impact on the profession, architectural education, and practice.
Prof. Christopher Benninger, at 81, has had a distinguished career spanning over half a century. He is recognized as the foremost thought leader amongst architects and planners in India, with iconic, aesthetically designed sustainable creations, influencing generations of architects and planners. His books and teachings have taken design and planning philosophies across boundaries. He has propelled the idea of sustainable architecture and architecture for the masses since 1971, which became a social tool in alleviating poverty and enhancing human development in India and its neighbourhood. Christopher Charles Benninger's legacy extends beyond physical structures, resonating in the minds of aspiring architects and educators, positioning him as a luminary whose unwavering dedication inspires generations.