Iñaki Alday, Quesada Professor of Architecture, has been appointed as the founding director of the first pan university grand challenge project at the University of Virginia, the Yamuna Project. Alday will join the India Coordinator of the Yamuna Project and Professor of Architecture, Pankaj Vir Gupta, under the leadership of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs Jeff Legro.
The University of Virginia’s Yamuna Project is a long-term, inter-disciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. Iñaki Alday – Quesada Professor of Architecture and Principal, aldayjover architecture and landscape — and Pankaj Vir Gupta — Professor of Architecture and Principal, Vir Mueller Architects/Delhi — initiated the project with a series of research studios beginning in 2013-14. The outcome was Re-Centering Delhi, an award-winning vision of Delhi’s Yamuna that rejuvenates the local environment, improves local infrastructure, and reorients patterns of urban settlement in order to ameliorate the lives of local residents and enhance public access to Delhi’s culturally and ecologically vital Yamuna River.
Currently, phase two of the Yamuna Project involves an interdisciplinary team from the University of Virginia with expertise in architecture, land planning, civil engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, anthropology, political science, history, and cultural studies. The team’s objective is to engage the efforts of government agencies, experts and activists in an ongoing program to address the multidimensional challenges posed by the vision of Re-Centering Delhi.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Delhi Jal Board on July 12, 2016 makes revitalizing the ecology of the Najafgarh drain, the source of 60% of Yamuna’s pollution in the Delhi area, an important focus of phase two. Over the longer term, the Yamuna Project’s objective is to build a publicly accessible body of information and expertise that will catalyze efforts to reinvigorate the Yamuna’s ecological system in Delhi.
Iñaki Alday (Zaragoza, 1965) is, together with Margarita Jover, the founder of aldayjover architecture and landscape, in 1996 in Barcelona, an internationally awarded firm that faces works of public architecture and landscape with a common approach to the specific character of the place. aldayjover has designed some of the most important recent public spaces in Barcelona (Green Diagonal-Sagrera), Zaragoza (Water Park), or Pamplona (Aranzadi), as well as architectural pieces and landscapes (The Mill Cultural Center, DHC, or the Recovery of the Gallego river in Zuera). Currently, aldayjover is working in several locations in Spain and in Puerto Rico, in projects that combine heritage and new buildings, natural dynamics of rivers and public space and social dynamics. aldayjover has been awarded with the European Public Space Prize (2002), the FAD Prize (2009), the Urban Integration (2011), the nomination for the Mies van der Rohe EU award (2009), and a number of Spanish and Iberian prizes. In 2011, Iñaki Alday was appointed as the Quesada Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture of the University of Virginia.