The Journal, UK
December 1, 2004

By Rebekah Ashby

The architect practice behind Newcastle Great Park has won its first contract on the Indian sub-continent.

Newcastle-based RyderHKS has clinched work on a £20m project to oversee the development of 1,200 apartments plus supporting commercial and leisure facilities in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

International corporation ETA Karnataka Estates has commissioned architects from the Newcastle office to transform the 16-acre Binnyston Gardens site in the centre of Bangalore.

The project team will be flying out to India in the next few weeks to carry out initial assessments and work is expected to start on site in 2005.

Graham McDarby, architectural director at RyderHKS, said: "We are very pleased to announce our first contract win in a new geographic market for the firm. This commission represents a tremendous opportunity for us to apply our commercial, residential and environmental design skills to a project of major significance in Asia.

"We are delighted that our client is keen to adopt a truly sustainable approach to the project and this forward-thinking attitude, combined with the application of practical and intelligent design, will result in a landmark scheme for Bangalore."

Described as India's Silicon Valley, Bangalore is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia thanks to a thriving IT and biotechnology industry.

A population of highly-skilled workers has led to high demand for a top quality city centre working and living environment.

The firm's growing reputation for an energy-conscious approach played a key part in the winning of the contract, which will see the team incorporate environmentally-aware and sustainable technology including photovoltaic panels, a bio-gasifier plant, on-site sewage treatment works and rainwater harvesting in order to reduce energy consumption.

The project team will also be working around existing trees on the site, to minimise disruption of the surrounding ecosystem.

Currently ranked 18th in the Architects Journal Top 100, RyderHKS employs 150 staff at its offices in Newcastle and London and has worked on many of the region's developments including 55 Degrees North, Cobalt Business Park and Citygate.

Its experts are also responsible for the master-planning of Newcastle Great Park, thought to be the biggest greenfield development site in the UK.

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