AMDAVAD NI GUFA
BY B.V DOSHI
HAROON MOHAMMED F
VI SEM BARCH
Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi (born 26 August 1927) is an
Indian architect, considered an important figure of South Asian architecture
and noted for his contributions to the evolution of architectural discourse in
India. He is known for his contributions to the architecture of Indian Institute
of Management Bangalore.
Apart from his international fame as an architect, Dr. Doshi is equally known
as an educator and institution builder. Dr. Doshi has been instrumental in
establishing the nationally and internationally known research institute Vastu-
Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design. The
institute has done pioneering work in low cost housing and city planning.
AMDAVAD NI GUFA
Amdavad ni Gufa is an underground art gallery in Ahmedabad, India.
Designed by the architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, it exhibits works of the
Indian artist Maqbool Fida Hussain. The gallery represents a unique
juxtaposition of architecture and art. The cave-like underground structure has
a roof made of multiple interconnected domes, covered with a mosaic of
tiles. On the inside, irregular tree-like columns support the domes. It was
earlier known as Hussain-Doshi ni Gufa.
There are facilities for special painting exhibitions and for projecting films.
Gardens and a café are located above ground.
The gallery is called gufa ("cave" in Gujarati) because of its resemblance to
a cave. It was known earlier as Hussain-Doshi ni Gufa, after its architect,
B.V. Doshi, and the artist, M.F. Hussain. Later it was renamed after the city
of Ahmedabad, known locally as Amdavad.
The structure's contemporary architecture draws on ancient and natural
themes. The domes are inspired by the shells of tortoises and by soap
bubbles. The mosaic tiles on the roof are similar to those found on the roofs
of the Jain temples at Girnar, and the mosaic snake is from Hindu mythology.
The Buddhist caves of Ajanta and Ellora inspired Doshi to design the interior
with circles and ellipses, while Hussain's wall paintings are inspired
by Paleolithic cave art. The interior is divided by tree trunks or columns
similar to those found at Stonehenge.
While visiting Ahmedabad, Hussain asked his friend Doshi to design a
permanent art gallery for the exhibition of his works. Together they planned
an underground structure capable of withstanding the area's severe summer
Computer-assisted planning facilities were used to resolve the structure's
unorthodox design.A simple floor of wire mesh and mortar was used instead
of a traditional foundation. All the structure's components are self-
supporting, relieving stress by their ubiquitous continuity. Ferro cement, only
one inch thick, was used for the undulating walls and domes in order to
reduce load. The cave was constructed by unskilled tribal labourers using
only hand tools. Broken ceramic crockery and waste tiles were used to cover
the domes' exterior, which bears a transversal mosaic of a snake.
Work was carried out in two phases: the first was the construction of the
main cave as an underground art gallery, while the second covered the
surrounding structures including the paving, the café, and a separate art
The gallery space is below ground level. A partially hidden staircase leads to
a circular door which opens into a cave-like space. Though designed to
display paintings, the cave has no straight walls, instead using a continuation
of the curved dome structure which extends down to the floor. The domes
themselves are supported by irregularly shaped inclined columns, similar to
those found in natural caves. They are also said to resemble the trunks of
trees. The entire design is made up of circles and ellipses. Light arrives
though snouts, creating spots of light on the floor which move around as the
day progresses, intended to create a mystic atmosphere.
Hussain used the gallery's walls as a canvas, painting on them with bold
strokes and bright colors. The artwork depicts human figures and motifs of
animals, including his famous horse figures. He also decorated features such
as doors and even air conditioners. The figures were designed to resemble
ancient cave paintings in a modern environment. Hussain also placed a few
metal sculptures of human figures between the inclining columns. His largest
work, Sheshnag (the divine serpent), stretches over a length of 100 feet
Hussain-Doshi Gufa is a unique project blending state of art engineering know how
with very primitive construction skills of execution.
Enigmatic in its spatial experience the form of Gufa is a direct translation of climatic
and constructional obligations and knob an abstraction of personals fancies. Buried
spaces, earth mounds, raised volumes and china mosaic finish renders the
architectural energy conscious, in an otherwise harsh hot dry climate. Material
resources are further optimized through its shell like forms and Ferro cement
construction techniques. A simple wire mesh and mortar lined floor in a form of
natural sag of cloth, evolved through scaled model studies, eliminates the need of
any kind of foundation, as the basic form is continuous and efficient in optimizing the
stresses and its distribution. Similar economy of material is achieved through roof
shells in a form guided by computer designs which resolve stresses to a minimum,
requiring only an inch thick Ferro cement shell without any form work. The
construction is carried out with simple hand tools and by semi and unskilled workers
PPT COURTESY : HAROON
PC COURTESY : MUHAMMED
AUDIENCE COURTESY : VI SEM
SPECIAL THANKS :