Going underground…and overseas

Going underground…and overseas

Ramesh Paripooranananthan is forging a successful career as a London architect – interspersed with globe-trotting trips to attend the weddings of Old Elizabethans in the Far East!

Ramesh, who uses the surname Pari professionally, works with BB Partnership – a London practice specialising in mid to high-end residential projects. He was recently lead project architect on a £250m-plus mixed-use development in Brent, the largest in the firm’s 25-year history.

He is currently overseeing the construction of two largely subterranean houses in the capital. It is a solution that is being used increasingly in London, especially where space is at a particular premium. The design includes lightwells and courtyards cut into the ground to let light pass down into the spaces underground.

The project is, however, not without its challenges, as Ramesh explained: “This is a much more expensive method of construction; we only investigate this when we have situations where planners will not let us build up. Both houses have already made the architectural press due to the controversy over the application, and I am sure they will also make it again once they are completed.

He adds: “Digging into the ground in central London is always a tricky business as you never know what you will find. I worked on a job a couple of years ago where we found a World War II bunker underneath the offices we were refurbishing!”

Ramesh (OE 1997–2004), who was in Underne House, studied at Central St Martins and then at Nottingham University, where he qualified as a Chartered Architect after eight years’ working and studying. He credits QE for the resilience and perseverance necessary for that period.

He previously featured in Alumni News in 2015 when 12 OEs attended his wedding to Millie, whom he had met at Nottingham. (“There are still just the two of us, but starting a family in the near future is on the agenda, he says. “In the meantime, my hobbies – photography and running – and my nephews – four boys – keep me very busy!”)

Recently, it has been Ramesh’s turn to return the compliment: in November, he travelled with several old boys to Hong Kong for the wedding of his QE contemporary, Dennis Yiu, and then journeyed on to Thailand for the nuptials of Bimal Sualy, from the year below. Both grooms were in Stapylton. “I spoke to Bimal for the first time when we both attended the University of Nottingham and now I am one of his groomsmen – small world!” says Ramesh.

Ramesh is pictured above on the far left with other old boys from his year, left-right, as follows: Bhavin Shah (Stapylton); Paraag Gudka (Pearce); the groom, Dennis; Johan Byran (Stapylton); Kunal Shah (Stapylton); Sandeep Dasgupta (Stapylton) and Rahul Patel (Stapylton).

The second group photo shows, left-right, back row: Warren Balakrishnan (Underne); Rachita Lokubalasuriya (Leicester); Chivaar Gami (Leicester) and Ramesh. In the front row are: Ashish Gohil (Leicester); the groom, Bimal, and Dhanish Mahmood (Leicester). All except Ramesh are from the class of 2005.

Ramesh was among the alumni taking part in this year’s Careers Convention for Year 11 boys and their parents. “I try and give back to the School however I can.”

During the autumn, QE pupils came to his office for mock university interviews. “I was very proud last year to see that the three boys I worked with went on to study architecture at brilliant universities. I think it is fantastic the School is building this network for the students, as this wasn’t in place when I was there. This will only help the student body.”