Announcing – The Short List: 2016-17 Cycle


All submissions and nominations will be accepted till 26th January 2017.


Any project built in India that has been completed in the last three years (after 15th August 2013) is eligible for the 2016-17 cycle of The Merit List. Only built projects will qualify.


Contemporary architecture practices in India produce work of substantial quality. They venture beyond the concerns of form and space and engage with the potential of the rich landscape often curating projects that are complex and multidimensional that address issues that push the boundaries of programmatic frameworks. Recognising a need to seek and chronicle such projects, TML aims to instigate critical discourse on the architecture of India. The Merit List aims to represent the eclectic, multi-layered, multi-faceted and diverse landscape of architectural practice in India. The TML process seeks to institute a line of inquiry that traverses typology to make place for exceptional ideas in irrespective of typology and scale.

Why The List?

Underpinning TML is a dire need of a serious commitment to create a culture of excellence, establish a peer-peer review and form a community of professional exchange to understand the concerns of practice and pedagogy in India. The Merit List intends to frame a counter-narrative to the numerous design awards that have grown over the years in India. With intent to evaluate each project in its own context and judge the merit of each against the programme it deals with, The Merit List intends to outline a set of critical discussion points as a reflection on the state of affairs in contemporary architecture.

1000, 100, 10


About 1000 studios in India frame the critical content of work and thought. These studios contribute substantially the identity of modern India.


About 100 projects: products of work from these studios become essential case-studies in the concerns, issues, semantics and ethos of practice in India. These projects are rich in content and should have a significant impact on the discourse – professional and academic – in future.


About 10 Projects from this set transcend the framework of the probable and surprise us with ideas that deserve chronicling. These 10 projects represent the promise of things to come: the work that is valuable and must be discussed in order to calibrate the trajectory of status-quo.

S, M, L, XL

Projects are products of situations and flourish within the parameters of these situations. To keep the evaluation of the project completely independent of typology, TML took a cue from Rem Koolhas and made scale as the only organiser of content for the Jury Process. This way, each piece of work is independently evaluated against the background of its programme and the challenges.








10,001sqm and above

2016-17 Jury

Jury Insights (2015-16)

I feel that architects and film-makers are very similar because we are artists who cannot function beyond and outside the market. As artists, we must recognise a political agenda parallel to our artistic agenda as the two are not un-linked.

Sankalp Meshram Director/Film-maker, Mumbai

I use TML and the submitted projects as a lens to ask questions like what are the current challenges? Have these projects tried to address them? It was very rigorous in its format even to arrive at a short list of projects.

Mahesh Radhakrishnan MOAD, Chennai

The Merit List can be the kind of competition that can overcome the ‘picture-perfect syndrome’ that all of us architects are falling prey to.

Samira Rathod SRDA, Mumbai
I see the Merit List as very different from other architecture awards. There are projects that would have won the typical award yet have not made it to the list, and there may be some projects that have made it to the list which may not have won the typical award.  The crucial difference I see here is that the typical award looks at the best design, whereas the Merit List looks at the significance of the precedents that are being set.  Therefore a list rather than a winner.
Prem Chandavarkar CnT Architects, Bengaluru


The Missing Typologies

Where is our contribution? Why is it limited? Why must it not be so? Abstract “How do you work with the city where architecture does not transcend being primarily viewed as a built environment?” – Mahesh Radhakrishnan  The pluralistic expression that India belongs to does not secure an abiding place in the projects that architects can traditionally […]

Patterns of Patronage

“Who is the client?” Abstract With respect to the classic relationship shared by an artist and his patron, the profession of architecture inherently responds to the societal forces of opportunity, market patterns, and the influence of the culture. Architecture has unfailingly bemoaned the loss of the right kind of patronage. How deep does the issue of patronage root […]

Isolated Discourse

Where is the culture of exchange? Abstract Architecture must chart an open culture of exchange with other disciplines of design and accommodate more integrated levels of dialogue in the creative process within the physical reality of the built environment as its backdrop. The craft of making buildings is not limited to architects. It exists inspite of […]

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