Designed by Balkrishna Doshi / Vāstu Shilpā Consultants, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore is an important site for the heritage of modern architecture in India – a study in the possibility for architecture to assimilate time and human presence in a composition of the built, open and in-between spaces.
Photos and Film: Ruturaj Parikh; Edited by Isha Raut ©Studio Matter
Drawings: Vāstu Shilpā Consultants; Courtesy Khushnu Panthaky Hoof
The Plan as a Generator
The Indian Institute of Management campus in Bangalore occupies about 54,000 square meters within a 100-acre site. Designed as a poly-nuclear plan, the overall spatial arrangement relies on a series of intersecting corridors that form the basic skeletal structure.
Continue reading MODERN HERITAGE: IIM, Bangalore
CURATED BY SANGEET SHARMA
The Capital Project of Chandigarh is among the most widely discussed and debated projects in the history of Modern Architecture in India. Under the trusteeship of Prime Minister Nehru, several young Indian architects joined hands to contribute to the mammoth task of nation-building, working across diverse sectors such as buildings for Space Research & Technology, Administrative Infrastructure, Cultural & Educational Institutions and Housing. At the forefront alongside his better-known contemporaries, was Architect Shivdatt Sharma [SD Sharma], a silent but powerful contributor to the ‘modernist’ landscape of a young India. In this piece, curated and assimilated by his son and architect Sangeet Sharma, SD Sharma writes about his time working alongside Le Corbusier and as an apprentice under Pierre Jeanneret.
In an intimate note that follows, Sangeet Sharma shares instances of growing up in the newly built city of Chandigarh and working under Shivdatt Sharma as an apprentice for almost two decades. He reflects on the many relationships that he has nurtured with his father, over the years – one of a friend, philosopher and guide.
LEARNING FROM LEGENDS
Authored by Shivdatt Sharma
Le Corbusier and his associates, all being the members of CIAM, processed the pure architecture that was to be followed in the making of Chandigarh. They believed that geometry was a timeless factor in the whole universe, and was, therefore, to be followed to create purity. Continue reading MODERN HERITAGE: In Retrospection: Shivdatt Sharma
The contribution of the history of modern architecture in India is unparalleled in terms of the many experiments that were embarked upon in search of spatial and social innovations that were responsive to the cultural, social, political and economic landscape of India. At a time when architecture in India needs a critical review, it is this history that serves as a reference and a foundation.
Mapping Modern History
1930 – 1949
Continue reading MODERN HERITAGE: Listing
Through a visual journey, acclaimed photographer Ram Rahman talks about a critical time for architecture in India – from Independence to Economic Liberalization – as we observe the anxiety of architectural positions in times of uncertainty and struggle for identity.
In India, masters are revered and apprentices forgotten. But it is the apprentices who religiously took the message, the art and the knowledge across India from the first generation of experimenters till the generation of architects and designers who work in an economically liberal India.
This video [with Ram in the background narrative] takes one through an incredibly rich history of the architecture of post-independence India when the socialist ideology worked through democracy creating a fertile ground for experiments in housing and civic architecture. This time stands in stark contrast to the present as the patterns of patronage change and the state becomes increasingly impervious to the core issues.
Ram Rahman is a photographer, designer, curator and activist based in Delhi. He has been an observer of modern movement in architecture in post-colonial India. Using photography as a window to history and the present, he observes the changing landscape of architecture, design and art in India.
He is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust. Ram Rahman has studied Physics from MIT followed by Graphic Design from Yale.
This presentation is excerpted from a closed-door session with MoMA‘s C-MAP Asia Group in June 2015.
A Conversation between William J.R. Curtis and an Unknown Indian.
UI You are known around the world as a historian and critic of architecture who defends quality against mediocrity, and who maintains a long view of events. In a recent article, ‘Nothing is Sacred: Threats to Modern Masterpieces in India’, (Architectural Review, April 2014)*, you have sounded the alert about the vulnerability of major works in India such as those by Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn in Ahmedabad, and of course those by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Subsequently in the Times of India you have argued in favour of the legal definition and defence of modern architectural heritage. What are these threats and what can be done to protect these universal masterpieces of modern architecture? Continue reading Protecting Modern Masterpieces in India