Post colonial architecture abd Bangalore

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A framework for a discussion on Architecture and Postcolonialism in Bangalore

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Post colonial architecture abd Bangalore

  1. 1. BANGALORE
  2. 2. A place is a location with perceptible characteristics. A place has a sense of belonging, and an area does not become a place until the individual human has had some kind of interaction with it. By interacting with a space, the human becomes a part of it, henceforth making it a place. Space and place are co-dependent. The colonialist takes a space or a place and redefines it to assert civilisational or nationalistic superiority .The post- colonialist does the same, hoping to reverse identities to imagined origin or forge a newer hybrid identity – sometimes called global or international. Space has temporal insinuations and place has physical insinuations.Yi-FuTuan
  3. 3. The settler s town is a strongly built town, all made of stone and steel.The town belonging to the colonized people, or at least the native town, the Negro village, the medina, the reservation, is a place of ill fame. It is a world without spaciousness, men live on top of each other.The native town is a crouching village, a town on its knees, a town wallowing in the mire. (Frantz Fanon,TheWretched of the Earth 1961: 37–39)
  4. 4.  The planning and urban design policies of the British followed certain principles – (a) their perceptions of the nature of the Indian city, (b) the fear of further revolts along the lines of the Mutiny of 1 5 , c (aussmann s plan for Paris which had become so popular in Europe and which advocated cutting through and demolishing old city centres to make space for new construction and boulevards, and (d) planning techniques already in use for Britain s industrial cities. In the main the effort was to physically and socially separate the Europeans from the indigenous populace – the so-called White and Black towns of Madras being an example.This being done an effort, though sometimes belated, was also made to enforce sanitary and developmental guidelines on the old towns, though these had little effect as in the main they failed to take into account traditional ways of community life.
  5. 5. In addition to major urban design schemes, it was the civil lines and the cantonments which remain today a major evidence of 19th century British presence, and which in turn have influenced much middle-class housing development in modern India. This stems from their perception as the colonies of the elite. The cantonments and civil lines both were generally laid out as grid iron planned communities with central thoroughfares the famous Mall Roads , with tree-lined streets, regularly divided building plots and bungalows as the main housing type. Churches and cemeteries, clubs, race and golf courses, and other trappings of an easy civil life followed. Avenue Rd circa 1860 The busy street it is now.
  6. 6.  Bangalore Cantonment had, for example, a population of 100,000 by the early 20th century and consisted of public offices, churches, parks, shops and schools. It was an entity distinct from the old city – traffic between the two had to stop at a toll-gate and pay entry tax. The Cantonment thus developed into a European town in India, whose main house type was the bungalow.
  7. 7. The typical residential bungalow for the wealthy, for example, was set back from the road by a walled compound. The amount of land enclosed was a symbol of status. For a senior officer a ratio of 15:1, garden to built form, was appropriate, while for a beginning rank it could even be 1:1. In this sense the British showed a hierarchical system no less developed than the complex caste system which they ascribed to India. The Gothic revival in England brought about a corresponding change in bungalow design – spawning buildings with pitched roofs and richly carpentered details including such features as the monkey tops of Bangalore. The Classical bungalow with its Doric, and later, Tuscan orders became a symbol not only of an European heritage but also of the military and political might of Britain.
  8. 8. R-Madura Coats house R-Interior of the Mascarenhas house L- State Bank of India Estate built 1940 for the Resident. Details: Balustrade Tuscan columns MadrasTerrace Ionic columns
  9. 9.  The social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or marginalizes another group. By declaring someone "Other," persons tend to stress what makes them dissimilar from or opposite of another, and this carries over into the way they represent others, especially through stereotypical ARCHITECTURE.A housing row in a Shivajinagar Street. Note the ambivalence.
  10. 10. While Madras and Hyderabad architecture opted to go the Indo- Saracenic way in architecture, adopting the Mussalman , Bangalore scrupulously adhered to the European Classical style. Sometimes the Gothic was indulged in – iron crested towers, turrets on the wing, steep gables and monkey tops. The Bangalore Palace is a unique edifice, akin to the French chateaus of Kapurthala. The Maharaja wanted aTudor castle, and this palace is modelled on Windsor castle with its battlemented parapets and fortified towers. The building has a breath-taking presence – a bizarre vision of a past era of Britain transported 1000s of miles away to the City of FourTowers. Meticulously executed.
  11. 11. Attara Kacheri or the old 18 public offices. Construction began 1864, finished in 1868. Stone and brick painted red, in the Graeco-Roman style. Axially in line with theVidhana Soudha. (R) note the fluted columns with Corinthian capitals and elaborately moulded entablatures.What better way to world the natives than to impose the colonial s laws and systems upon them in a building that harks back to the imperial Graeco-Roman past ofWestern civilisation.
  12. 12. Vidhana Soudha is the only building conceived and executed as an intended Indian composition. Based on Dravidian architectural principles and elements. The Russian delegation story. Hanumanthaiah took them around. “(ave you no architecture of your own, they asked?These are all European buildings.That is howVidhana Soudha was born. Is it Oriental?
  13. 13. Examples of the European- Classical form spread across many buildings.
  14. 14. The Christians brought a sense of Western culture and cosmopolitanism to a town/city that has also known the influence of native caste-driven Hinduism (all the maths have deep roots here) and Islam. Knowing English enabled them to access knowledge and global opportunities. It also allowed a sense of sophistication through access to Western classical music, art, theatre, cinema and other aesthetic pleasures that were more contemporary than ancient.
  15. 15. Interior of Windsor Manor hotel. Brooke- fields.
  16. 16. Diamond district Telecom Bldg EGK Bldg
  17. 17. In cities, such as Brazilia, Chandigarh, or Islamabad, modernist architecture has been combined with nationalist rhetoric to create new images for the nation. From the late twentieth century, constructing the world s highest building, as in Malaysia s Kuala Lumpur orTaiwan s capital, Taipei, has become an essentially competitive strategy for postcolonial nations to put themselves on the map and make claims on others definitions of modernity. In all these strategies, the aim is to convey to the city s inhabitants a new sense of national citizenship, a new collective consciousness. In Bangalore, the IT firms and the realty developers seek to define this new momentum . Realtors seek to transform space into place through high-rise buldings like the Mantri Pinncle or exclusive gated Townships and Office Complexes.
  18. 18. As world space is simultaneously global, postcolonial, and colonial (among other categories), postcolonial histories of migration not only distinguish the population, politics, and culture of one postcolonial (or postimperial) city from another but also from other world or global cities , such as Frankfurt, Chicago, or Zurich. For example, of the roughly one-third of population of New York that is foreign born, over half are from the Caribbean and Central America, with significant proportions from Europe, South America, and South and Southeast Asia.Charles Correa Infosys

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