Synopses & Reviews
A place of astonishing contrasts, India is home to some of the worldand#8217;s most ancient architectures as well as some of its most modern. It was the focus of some of the most important works created by Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, among other lesser-known masters, and it is regarded by many as one of the key sites of mid-twentieth century architectural design. As Peter Scriver and Amit Srivastava show in this book, however, Indiaand#8217;s history of modern architecture began long before the nationand#8217;s independence as a modern state in 1947.
Going back to the nineteenth century, Scriver and Srivastava look at the beginnings of modernism in colonial India and the ways that public works and patronage fostered new design practices that directly challenged the social order and values invested in the building traditions of the past. They then trace how Indiaand#8217;s architecture embodies the dramatic shifts in Indian society and culture during the last century. Making sense of a broad range of sources, from private papers and photographic collections to the extensive records of the Indian Public Works Department, they provide the most rounded account of modern architecture in India that has yet been available.and#160;
Pluralism, fusion and hybridity are the dominant traits of cultural change in twenty-first-century India. The resultant architecture reflects this fabric of one of the world's largest and most populous nation states. Architect, educator and author Rahul Mehrotra has been at the forefront of the Indian contemporary architecture scene for more than two decades, and Architecture in India is his unique take on the topic across four themed chapters: Global Practice: Expression of (Impatient) Capital; Regional Modernism; Alternative Practice: Towards Sustainability; and Counter Modernism: Resurfacing of the Ancient. Each chapter introduces exponents of these distinct genres of architectural expression, examining the work of more than 60 contemporary architects in more than 500 photographs. Architects, students, academics, architecture buffs and admirers of India's famed heritage of architectural pioneering will find this volume a rich trove of design ideas.
and#8220;Indiaand#8221; is a word that invokes a host of clichand#233;s: a timeless civilization of living traditions, great spiritual wisdom and artistic riches; a subcontinent of astonishingly diverse yet harmonious regional, religious, and linguistic differences; a crucible of cultural synthesis. The idea of and#8220;Modern Indiaand#8221; invokes rather more equivocal clichand#233;s: a world of contrasts and contradictions, rich and poor, extravagance and destitution, space-age know-how but medieval means. The role that modern architecture and planning played in the early nation-building efforts of India, following its independence in 1947, has been widely regarded as an archetype of the internationalization of modernism in the mid-twentieth century. Yet the experience of modernity in the architectural history of India is a much longer and richer story.
Peter Scriver and Amit Srivastava relate how it began, due to a rethinking of design practices under colonial patronage in the early twentieth century, which directly challenged the building traditions of the 19th century. This is the first study to examine both the colonial and the postcolonial aspects of the story, and the authors draw on a broad range of primary sources, including private papers and photographic collections, and the extensive records of the Indian Public Works Department system, to provide a more fully-rounded and considered account than has previously been offered.
About the Author
Peter Sriver is a