Category Archives: Books

Water Design : Environment and Histories | Edited by Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Indian waters and waterscapes are replete with political ambitions, cultural affinities, environmental compulsions, and mythology. From the ornate subterranean water structures of Bundi in south-eastern Rajasthan to the unique Vasanta-Mandapas or the spring pavilions of Tamil Nadu; the book is an account of water histories woven into the landscapes of different time periods in Indian History.

Cover of the book: Section of Bhawalde ki Baoli, Bundi. Drawn by Nisar Khan, Conservation Architect. Courtesy Divay Gupta. ©INTACH

“Architecture negotiates space, it designs space. When it engages with water, it designs water.” –  Jutta Jain-Neubauer

At its core, Water Design: Environment & Histories explores this intrinsic relationship between water and space in India – the negotiations in built and unbuilt space, in social, ritual and sacred space, in real and metamorphic space. Looking at the structural and aesthetic figurations of water and waterscapes, it opens discussions within a larger cultural and spiritual worldview of these rich ensembles. Continue reading Water Design : Environment and Histories | Edited by Jutta Jain-Neubauer

The Architecture of Hasmukh C. Patel : Selected Projects 1963-2003

With a career spanning four decades and a self-made legacy of some of the most significant works of Independent India, Hasmukh C. Patel’s architecture speaks volumes about the architect he embodies and the grit he possesses. A narrative of his personal and professional journey – the book showcases select 51 projects that summarise Patel’s architectural idiom in its entirety.

Book Cover: Looking between the expressed columns and the main wall of the front facade while entering the Newman Hall in Ahmedabad,1963
Book Cover: Looking between the expressed columns and the main wall of the front facade while entering the Newman Hall in Ahmedabad,1963

“…………………The human being is at the centre of my creative efforts…………………This is the only thing I understand and the only thing I practice.” – Hasmukh Patel Continue reading The Architecture of Hasmukh C. Patel : Selected Projects 1963-2003

Christopher Benninger: Architecture for Modern India

A monograph on the work of Prof. Christopher Charles Benninger chronicles buildings that express his transition from an architect in India to an Indian Architect outlining and emphasising on the core values of his work and the changing nature of the context that it negotiates with.

A 1972 Photograph shows Christopher Benninger with Balkrishna Doshi on the CEPT Campus, Ahmedabad.
A 1972 Photograph Shows Christopher Benninger with Balkrishna Doshi on the CEPT Campus.

Continue reading Christopher Benninger: Architecture for Modern India

Boombay: From Precincts to Sprawl : Kamu Iyer

As a memoir-cum-historical and cultural repository, Boombay: From Precincts to Sprawl by Kamu Iyer captures the zeitgeist of an era in Mumbai from 1940s to the present.  

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“This book is different. Kamu Iyer is an architect who has lived in Mumbai all his life. He is observant, analytical and visual. He understands how people use spaces – especially public spaces. And he has a sense of History.” writes Charles Correa in his foreword to Boombay. Continue reading Boombay: From Precincts to Sprawl : Kamu Iyer

DIALOGUES with Indian Master Architects: Narendra Dengle

Conceived, conducted and edited by Narendra Dengle

Encompassing a staggering 50 years of architectural practice across seven Indian Master Architects, the book engages in profound discussions that one can go back to as learnings. Presenting them as multi-faceted personalities, it captures each of their intriguing journeys – as aspiring students of architecture to inspiring architects who laid the architectural touchstone of an Independent India.

The book is a rare compilation of intimate conversations conducted over a period of seven years with seven of India’s most senior Architects – Achyut Kanvinde, Raj Rewal, Anant Raje, Hasmukh Patel, B V Doshi, Uttam C Jain and Charles Correa. Each of these dialogues is curated by author – conductor Narendra Dengle with a live audience to facilitate participation from students, practitioners, and academics from architecture and other diverse disciplines. This he intended would commence discussions on a number of aspects – social, historical, and interdisciplinary.

Continue reading DIALOGUES with Indian Master Architects: Narendra Dengle

Crafts in Interior Architecture: India. 1990 Onwards.

Book by Rishav Jain


Published by SID Research Cell at the CEPT University, Rishav Jain’s book on ‘Crafts in Interior Architecture’ takes a critical view of the history of building crafts in the context of space-making while analysing recent attitudes towards their integration in contemporary work.

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Historically, building crafts have been an intrinsic part of making architecture in India. We have all known and been intimate with the practice. In the Indian context, the idea of ‘kala’ is rooted in many ways of working with materials and mediums. There is a great significance to the relationship of the artisan with the architecture of our subcontinent. There are, of course, many and complex layers of this relationship. That is where this book dwells. Continue reading Crafts in Interior Architecture: India. 1990 Onwards.

Laurie Baker: Life, Works & Writings – Gautam Bhatia

The book assembles influences, details and observations on and by Laurie Baker to treat one to an explicit and fitting record to his willingness to accommodate and experiment with architecture of frugality and his continuing capacity to inspire people in re-evaluating excess.

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Reprinted in 2014, this book authored by Gautam Bhatia makes an invaluable contribution by documenting the intent and ideas attached to the prolific legacy of Laurie Baker that secedes from the conventional notion of architectural practice. In his preceding author’s note, Gautam Bhatia writes, “The book was originally intended to be a guide to his method of building, but over the many meetings in the verandah of his home, the Hamlet, and the numerous visits to the sites (occasionally carrying a client’s door on the roof of his car) and watching him communicate with the Malyalee masons with vigorous gestures, I came to realise that Baker’s architecture is a by-product of a larger picture – a picture that recognises the importance of people’s aspirations for a better life. I began to see that his buildings were merely a direct and honest response to this spirit, this idea. It was after having realised this that the book took a different turn.” Issued in paperback, the book is eponymously grouped in three distinct parts with brisk chapters – Life, Work & Writings. Continue reading Laurie Baker: Life, Works & Writings – Gautam Bhatia

The city observed: Notes from an unfolding India: Pallavi Shrivastava

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The City Observed by Pallavi Shrivastava reads like dispatches from a battlefront by a seasoned war correspondent. Each chapter is a stimulating vignette of some memorable place, or recently contrived artifact, through which Pallavi unravels counter intuitive conclusions. Pallavi has two eyes and many voices. Those two eyes see things often unnoticed, bringing into focus a collage of real life issues and human circumstances. She has an uncanny ability to conceive of the metropolis as an everyday person would, yet to catalyze unique understandings and conclusions from her choreographies! She navigates the metropolis building narratives out of keen insights, speaking for those without voices; giving eyes to people who have eyes, but no vision. Pallavi’s most provocative ability is to reveal contradictions between the emerging urban form and the critical needs of the everyday Mumbaikar, who emerges forgotten in the unfolding scenario. Her written landscapes reveal disturbing images of the bad within the good, and of poverty within plenty. From bright images emerge a sense of charm, tinged by nostalgia for the city’s past, yet a warning of pathos in times to come.

Christopher Charles Benninger Continue reading The city observed: Notes from an unfolding India: Pallavi Shrivastava

Balkrishna Doshi: An Architecture for India

Written by William J. R. Curtis.

An engaging reprint of the seminal book by Curtis takes us through the experiments of the defining years of Doshi‘s practice – a practice that has presented us with some of the most challenging axioms and paradoxes of modern architecture in India and eventually – ‘an Architecture for India‘.

Book Cover
Book Cover

Continue reading Balkrishna Doshi: An Architecture for India

Himalayan Cities; Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture

Book by Pratyush Shankar.

Following years of travel, documentation and engagement, Pratyush Shankar authors a rich, intimate monograph: an insight into the unique, diverse, versatile and complex human habitats of the Himalayas illustrated with Photographs, Sketches and Drawings.

A Spread from the Book. The book is beautifully laid out and richly illustrated.
A Spread from the Book. The book is beautifully laid out and richly illustrated.

Continue reading Himalayan Cities; Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture