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Architectuure and identity


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The search of identity by India between the period of 1890 to 1990 and the Deliberate attempts to exert an Indian identity through the built environment have been glorified.

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Architectuure and identity

  1. 1. Architecture and Identity Nationalism, Regionalism and Individualism The search for identityIndia 1880-1980 RAVIDEEP SINGH Studio-3b
  2. 2. SYMBOLIC NATURE OF ARCHITECTURE 1) The overall configuration of a precinct of a city or a building carries meaning. The patterns and masses that comprise an architectural style have specific associations. For e.g., planning of the city of Simla had a British small town touch to it. 2) The materials of which any building is constructed and the construction techniques used carry meaning. For e.g.. The use of sandstone with Persian Islamic architecture as indosarcenic. 3) The illumination of buildings and their interiors has been a major carrier of symbolic meaning. buildings such as the Bahai House of worship designed by Fariburz Sahba, where there is a explicit use of light. City of simla (1832) • Ref: Baha'i temple, new Delhi oLiD1
  3. 3. 4) The use of color- color serves many mundane purposes such as reflecting light or hiding dirt but it is also a medium of aesthetic expression. For e.g., specific colors were specific to the buildings of British and certain Indian localities such as jaipur(pink). 5) The activities that have taken place or take place in specific spaces- the behavior settings that comprise the environment- are associated with particular cultures. For e.g., the teen murti house, designed by Robert Russell(1920) for the commander in chief of British forces, is important because it became the residence of the first prime minister of India. THOUGHT SYMBOL jaipur Teen murti bhawan REFERENT Basic semiological triangle Ref: planetarium.jpg
  4. 4. The quest for identity The tools used at various times in the search of identity areRegionalism: increased globalization has resulted in a loss of a sense of place and thus local identities. Traditionalism: the way in which local aspirations subverted colonial and modernizing forces in India. For e.g. the design of religious buildings. Modernism: the perception that change way from the past is required to make future better. Revivalism: the notion of maintaining uniqueness of spirit through appearance.
  5. 5. The colonizer's heyday (1858-1910) o The classic and the neo-gothic architecture were clearly used as statements of superior culture o Dinshaw dorabjee mistri designed classical buildings in Bombay such as the Parsee panchayat. The building adhered to the classical styles though the implementation was done through local hands. Raniwas quarters of nahargarh fort, with its European elements is another example of Anglo-Indian architecture which was practiced in 1880’s The parsee panchayat , Mumbai Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press.
  6. 6. Imperial impositions the planning and urban design ideas of the British were effected by 1) Their perceptions of the nature of Indian city 2) The fear of revolts of 1857 types 3) The huassmannization type policies prevailing in European countries, and 4) The planning ideas being implemented by industrial British cities. The hill stations such as shimla were imposed with British plans and architecture. It had all the clutter of an English small town, a central mall and great Elizabethan houses. City of simla (1832) • Great Elizabethan houses. Ref:
  7. 7. Imperial impositions- cantonments and bungalows The nineteenth century cantonments and bungalows have acted as major precedents for housing developments in India – there were both suburbs laid out on gridiron planned communities with, following prevailing European practices, segregated land uses. the typical sub-urban bungalows had pitched roofs and richly carpentered details. The classic bungalows had Doric or Tuscan columns showing not only showing imperial heritage but also for Indians, of commerce. Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press.
  8. 8. Gothic and ancient European classic revival The church of sacred heart by Growse combines European gothic and indigenous architectural forms and the bangla apex to its front facades. James Fergusson was to advocate gothic in India. The gothic started replacing the classics because of its visual complexity and greater associated meanings. For eg. St. John’s church, Mumbai. Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press.
  9. 9. Indo-saracenic An attempt by the British, to show a sense of belonging to India. It was also supposed to serve as a imperial gesture to revive Indian traditions. The Napier museum by Chisholm, one of the prolific practitioner of indosaracenic, in 1872. the structure incorporates various vernacular elements and inspirations of roofs and balconies from the Padambhapuram palace of the south. Eventually most of the Indo-saracenic buildings were British in sitting, spatial organization and composition. However, the degree of complexity and homogeneity and consistency of borrowing from Indian tradition evolved over time Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press.
  10. 10. The amalgamation of styles In The princely states such as Udaipur, the buildings such as the city palace were a mixture of hindu-rajput and Islamic Persian architecture with local materials such as sandstone which led to the evolution of flowers and geometric patterns for decoration and appearance of domes, arches and inlays. City palace, Udaipur Ref:,_Udaipur
  11. 11. Renaissance-oriental and indian-electic The renaissance-oriental is the mixture of renaissance and mughal architecture after the failure to successfully integrate gothic with Indian architecture. For eg, the palace of Falaknama in Hyderabad. The Indian eclectic was modeled on royal luxury but its referents were Indian myths and folktales as well as architectural patterns and motifs. For eg the Amba Vilas palace in Mysore(1900-10). palace of Falaknama Ref: Amba Vilas palace Ref:
  12. 12. Renaissance-oriental palace of Falaknama Ref:
  13. 13. Indian- eclectic Amba Vilas palace Ref:
  14. 14. revivalism One of Ravindranath Tagore's house’s Konarka had a large verandah, which has eight columns which are Buddhist in proportions and patterns, a chajja of mughal character runs around the portico and has stepping similar to the Buddhist stupa. The balconies has carved out railings similar to the fatehpur skirl. Gandhian ashram consisted of simple vernacular huts, like the Sabarmati ashram-Gandhi’s perception of the village as a way of life. Sabarmati ashram Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press. Ref:
  15. 15. revivalism Sabarmati ashram Image Ref:
  16. 16. Anglo-Indian architecture Anglo-Indian architecture is basically high classical and a move towards modernism. Delhi was taken as a starting point of Anglo-Indian architecture in India. The plan was based on two crossing axes, the kings way(now raj path) and queens way (now Jan path)-and radiating axes, one which links the Council house through Connaught place to old Delhi. At the head of kings way is the viceroy’s house (now rashtrapati bhawan). At the other end of kings way are the ruins of purana quila. The war memorial,i.e. India gate and a statue of george.v was placed along the route. Planning of Delhi Image Ref:
  17. 17. Anglo-Indian architecture The viceroy’s palace, though had a European design theme but it used elements from the mughal architecture: chajja’s, jaali’s and chattri’s. the idea of garden’s to the rear of raj bhavan was also possibly borrowed by Fatehpur sikri. The dome of the viceroy’s palace was Buddhist, from sanchi. The material was sandstone, the attitudes were mughal and the scheme was British Rashtrapati bhawan, new Delhi Ref:
  18. 18. Anglo-Indian architecture Connaught place, designed by W.H. Nichols, the composition consists of two concentric rings, one of retail and one of commercial activity. It was a clear representation of imperial dream. Connaught place, new Delhi Image Ref: Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press. Image Ref: Self
  19. 19. The indo-Deco The indo-deco is basically fusion of Art deco with Indian forms. The buildings of Mant and Chisholm were succeeded by Kirti mandir, the temple of fame containing the cenotaphs of previous rulers, where Indian forms were rendered with crisp angularity and nandalal Bose's murals were done with fluid elegance Kirti mandir Ref:
  20. 20. Bibliography Jon Lang, M. d. (1997). Architecture and independence. Delhi: oxford university press.