Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA's blog about New York architecture

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Why I Love Construction: The Mumbai Years

 I worked as a stone mason at this  Nari Gandhi bungalow  in Mumbai when I was 21,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

I worked as a stone mason at this Nari Gandhi bungalow in Mumbai when I was 21, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

 This is almost how we worked on the  Nari Gandhi bungalow  in Mumbai,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

This is almost how we worked on the Nari Gandhi bungalow in Mumbai, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

 Posing in front of the same  Nari Gandhi bungalow  as an American in 2012,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Posing in front of the same Nari Gandhi bungalow as an American in 2012, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

By Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

There are women in the AEC (Architecture-Engineering-Construction) industry, both in offices as well as on the field. This article offers only a small glimpse into my life as an architect on the construction site.

I always loved physical activities like competing in track and field, hiking/backpacking, rock climbing, swimming, along with visual harmony and scientific principles behind them, which is what drew me to becoming an architect.

My first job on a construction site was at the age of 21, as a stone-mason, at a house designed by Nari Gandhi. He was a famous Indian architect, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, and was frequently called the 'Howard Roark' of India due to his eccentricities. On site, I broke stone into tinier, artier pieces for facing the brick walls. I climbed bamboo scaffolding, drunk chai, smoked bidis (Indian cigarettes) and of course worked with Indian workers all day long. It got me addicted to site work!

 This is how work is done on construction sites in Mumbai,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

This is how work is done on construction sites in Mumbai, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

 Similar to the residential buildings I interned on as an architecture student in Mumbai,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Similar to the residential buildings I interned on as an architecture student in Mumbai, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

This was quickly followed by an internship on a residential housing project, where I spent 6 months watching concrete being poured, brick walls being laid, steel cages being assembled, PVC plumbing pipes being sunk.

Hanging out on construction sites has helped me in becoming dxxx good at CA Construction Administration)! Something most female architects dislike or avoid, but will hopefully change. 

Coming soon- Why I Love Construction- The New York Years.

 Hiking in the Zanskar Range, Himalayas as a young adult,  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Hiking in the Zanskar Range, Himalayas as a young adult, Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA