BACKGROUND & BUSINESS HISTORY
As the founding principal of ARUP DATTA ARCHITECT LTD. (ADAL), Arup Datta realized early in his career that great architecture is the result of a combination of talent, experience and collaboration. It is a creative problem-solving process that includes resolving multiple issues and integrating the user’s needs.
In 1988, Arup founded his architectural, master planning, urban design and interior design company in Calgary. He has enjoyed tremendous success thanks to his fresh and appropriate design approach, creating effective solutions to meet all clients’ objectives. Through three decades, ADAL has reflected his unique ‘concept design expertise’ with outstanding projects nationally and internationally.
Arup worked with two leading firms in India before immigrating to Canada in 1974 and becoming a registered member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). He completed his education in project management at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, USA.
After being recruited at Cohos Evamy and Partners as a senior design and project architect, Arup was involved in designing Western Canadian Place (Husky Towers) and Bankers Hall. He went to Nigeria in 1983 on a three-year contract to design a $135-million twin-tower office and convention facility.
Returning from Nigeria, he joined the former MSA as the senior associate where he lent his talent and skills in designing West Edmonton Mall (Phase III & IV) and the Mall of America, two of the world’s largest billion-dollar mixed-use shopping mall projects.
Today, he continues to create excellent planning and architecture drawing from the expertise of key core personnel while being personally involved in every project; a benefit to clients that cannot be assured in larger firms.
His design of functional, efficient and economical buildings has been recognized through the many local, national and international awards his firm has earned, and projects designed have made a profound impact on the social, cultural and economic level wherever they are located.
Since 1992, the firm has extended its practice to B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario, and in 1993, began to market itself internationally, providing services to developers in Asia and the Middle East. Arup is a fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects. Backed by the firm’s strong reputation, which has been recognized by the Canadian High Commission, Arup has been invited to present on many international trade missions.
Having found its niche in providing architectural services, mixed-use commercial, senior’s housing, residential and the assessment of government projects both within Canada and abroad, today ADAL is well known for its creation of unique design concepts with cost-effective solutions in Canada and internationally.
ADAL’S BUSINESS MODEL
The field of architecture is filled with creative talent. Arup chose to make process the firm’s unique selling point. Accordingly, no matter what type of project, or the environment within which it is being developed, the process attracts clients. It is analytical, systematic and practical. Arup subscribes to the maxim that high-quality process ensures high-quality results. With a core team of highly-experienced longtime members, the studio is currently busy on a number of exciting projects.
How ADAL sets itself apart begins with rigorously defining the constraints and parameters of the project; land features, esthetic demands, budgetary constraints and regulatory issues are all laid out on the table. Next, the team coordinates and collaborates to develop design solutions that meet the constraints. Then, ADAL works with the client to develop measurable, achievable benchmarks. Finally, the execution stage – after a laser-like focus on developing the right benchmarks, ADAL provides every project in a timely manner and within budget.
Arup insists on delivering architectural design solutions that are innovative and provide value to clients. Innovation is about thriving through constraints, which are abundant in architecture. Arup has always embraced the constraints of the profession. Client demands, budgets, regulations and topography are issues that deter the meek. Arup is never deterred. He greets these obstacles with perseverance. The result is always a project that is not only on-time and on-budget, but one of immense value.
Arup has always maintained the highest ethical standards. He provides honest and fair assessments of cost upfront. His dealings with clients and contractors are transparent, as he maintains high-quality documentation during the life of a project.
Every project starts with a sit-down meeting with the client to analyze their needs and then it’s back to the office to design a building with pen on paper, making hand-drawn sketches of ideas and notes as to how his creative mind can best address those needs.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Arup has had a hand in designing some of Canada’s most well-known buildings, including South Pointe Toyota and Lexus South Pointe, two of Canada’s largest car retail centres designed unlike any other car retailing location.
Arup was invited to make presentations abroad under the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs Export Development Program. Since that time, Arup has made over 175 presentations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and throughout the Middle East to promote Canadian architectural and planning expertise. He was the keynote speaker at the Canadian Infrastructure Mission to Vizag and Hyderabad, India.
South Pointe Toyota, facing Deerfoot Trail with its distinctive showroom tower, was followed by another automobile dealership for the same owner in Edmonton. The stunning 50,000-square-foot Lexus South Pointe (Edmonton) luxury dealership won an Americas Property Award in 2014-15 in the retail architecture category – Canada, and went on to be judged America’s Best from the U.K.-based International Property Awards, while being listed in the top five – in the world – in Dubai.
High-class multi-family residential projects have also been recognized by the same international institution: designs that are sympathetic towards social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects in each stage of conception, development and implementation.
Callaghan Ravines in Edmonton, Walden Heights in Calgary and a multigenerational housing project in Skyview Ranch (Calgary) are some of the most unique projects that have been designed by ADAL.
Currie has become one of the city’s most desirable communities and ADAL has been awarded the design by Statesman Group of Companies for the restoration and conversion of the heritage-designated former Officer’s Mess and three buildings for independent and assisted living which will be a lifestyle community for seniors to enjoy life with dignity.
ADAL has completed residential designs in Sage Hill, a 30,000-square-foot convention centre in Royal Oak and an industrial/commercial development in Jacksonport – all located in Calgary.
Master planning begins with a vision that will offer the best potential for a site and Arup is also currently working on the best use for a client on a 12-acre parcel of land in Edmonton.
Arup Datta still travels to Asia where he has completed major mixed-use projects in Chennai and Coimbatore, and the design of a retail, shopping and office resource centre of over 1.1 million square feet in Bangalore that was accepted as one of the Canadian exhibits at a World Architectural Festival in Barcelona competing with world-class international architects.
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENTS
Arup’s contribution has been mentoring intern architects to become registered professionals for decades. His trainees become true professionals. Additionally, ADAL donates regularly to local organizations and supports several international organizations.
As leader of his firm, Arup is responsible for many talent development initiatives. He also brings in external experts for training which allows his staff to stay abreast of the ever-changing architectural design environment. This year, he has been selected as one of the top 20 Business Leaders by Business in Calgary magazine.
In May 2018, Arup was elected as a fellow to the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) for his contribution to the built environment, one of the highest honours in the field, and was elected as a life member of the Alberta Association of Architects.