CONSERVING ARCHITECTURE BY KULBHUSHAN JAIN [Ed]

With a collection of essays on preserving our architectural heritage, Kulbhushan Jain attempts to spark the ever-passive conversation on conservation practices in India: the good, the bad and the ignored parts of it; in his recent work titled- ‘Conserving Architecture’. The compendium discusses the multifarious approaches that are needed to address the grey area between heritage and modernity, the need to find a common ground between the two. Continue reading CONSERVING ARCHITECTURE BY KULBHUSHAN JAIN [Ed]

Humanising Architecture by Sandeep Virmani

In this transcript of a lecture presented by Sandeep Virmani of Bhuj-based Hunnarshala Foundation at the Z-Axis Conference 2016, he talks about the inclusive process of design and planning at Hunnarshala which hinges on the idea of human resource as the fountainhead of all building activity.

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Site-Visit : B.S. Abdur Rahman University by architectureRED

With our cities growing at an incomprehensible pace, reformative delineations negotiating our built fabric often manifest into dense, ad-hoc environments with rocketing skylines and misplaced
socio-cultural semiotics. Responding to a consequential influx, the revival of B.S. Abdur Rahman University by architectureRED presents a case of place-making that attempts to restore an institutional culture by thriving on the nitty-gritty of a radically transformed, peripheral Chennai. Continue reading Site-Visit : B.S. Abdur Rahman University by architectureRED

Architects on Architecture : mayaPRAXIS: Dimple Mittal and Vijay Narnapatti

In this edition of ‘Architects on Architecture’ series, we speak with Dimple Mittal and Vijay Narnapatti of mayaPRAXIS about their influences, practice, design thinking, and engagement with the discourse of architecture in India today.

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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

Houses of Mylapore

A public initiative, Houses of Mylapore intends to generate interest and involvement of the community to harbour an awareness about the preservation of a transient past – the cultural and architectural ethos of Mylapore – through Heritage Walks, installations, souvenirs and other activities.

“The challenge here,” explains Tahaer Zoyab of Chennai-based Triple O Studio, one of the co-founders of the Houses of Mylapore initiative in a televised interview, “is that not too many people associate an individual house as a heritage building so that is a notion that we have been trying to change through this project itself.”

Since November 2015, Tahaer and his partner, Anupriya Subbian have directed a part of their studio’s efforts along with several other volunteers to an ongoing endeavour of documenting and thereby, preserving the eclectic suburban fabric of Mylapore.

01 Continue reading Houses of Mylapore

What is Heritage? – Prem Chandavarkar

In context of the recent demolition of the Hall Of Nations, Prem Chandavarkar observes that the lacuna in understanding the definition and the meaning of heritage will lead to the loss of many valuable buildings that belong to our recent past.


A couple of weeks ago, the Hall of Nations, an exhibition hall in Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, was demolished to make way for a new convention and exhibition centre. The building was a rare example in the world, and the only one in India, of a space frame built in reinforced concrete.  Completed in 1972 and designed by architect Raj Rewal and structural engineer Mahendra Raj, it was widely recognised as one of the icons of a period of modern Indian architecture that started in the 1950s and continued till the 1980s. This was an era that centred on India’s desire that the potential of her newly won freedom should offer the country a new modernity, and the cutting-edge architecture of that time, produced by the first generation of post-independence architects, was a significant and powerful representation of this quest. Continue reading What is Heritage? – Prem Chandavarkar

Peoples Architecture Commonweal, Chennai

Towards an informed architecture and building practice.

The present day ‘modern’ distress inflicted by ‘innovation’ offers only a fleeting escape amidst architecture that cannot be distilled and built environments that cannot be differentiated. This yearning for a mature, viable society may be met by reclaiming lost responsibilities of unveiling the grammar of traditional practices. Exploring the scope for a radical reorientation of the profession, I recently spoke with Architect Sudhir Kumar to get an insight into the studio’s core concerns which find expression through architecture, research and civic engagement projects.

Based out of Chennai since 1991, Peoples Architecture Commonweal is a coalition of a small group of architects, led by Sudhir Kumar. The studio is invested in the exploration of cultural practices through insights offered by an evolutionary approach towards architecture. Guided by the study of instinctual older approaches to planning, design, and building that are free from the restraint of technological trends, architecture is seen as a means to build more equitable communities by supporting craft and other livelihoods embedded in their local contexts. Continue reading Peoples Architecture Commonweal, Chennai

If I were to Teach…

Matt Groening, from “School is Hell”, 1987.

In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Sen Kapadia contributes the first to provoke further thought as he reminisces about the importance of a diverse learning environment against the restrictive curriculum-based thinking. 

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