Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
The first RCC framed structure to be built in India, the building is an archetype for detail.Everything, including the furniture has been designed to suit the climate.The building has been so sited that the longer facades have been designed to face the North and South. There are no walls - only asbestos louvers that screen the interior from the exterior, providing shade from the sun while ventilating the interior space.The Southern garden is heavily wooded, while the Northern garden is sparsely planted. The difference in temperatures facilitates conventional currents through the building.CORRIDORS on the NORTHERN SIDE - access to the rooms
Sliding teak doors with no rollers and panels alternating on the inner and outer frames provide constant ventilation, while ensuring privacy.The flooring is of black cudappah that has been laid with large joints to disguise the irregular edges which were a result of a lack of precise cutting instruments in those times. The few walls have been plastered with Chettinad egg plaster, which is dense and highly reflective.The extended low sills, highly polished black cudappah floor, the shining white walls and the constant breeze through the building proves to be the perfect canvas for the sunlight streaming in through the louvers. CROSS-SECTION
The furniture has also been aptly designed to suit the climate.The bed is made of cane, with provisions for a mosquito net, the chairs have cane seats and backrest for ventilation.The extended low sill allows for additional seating, with a view into the northern garden, which has narrow reflecting lotus pools.The utilitarian core consisting of the main staircase, bathrooms and laundry area services the building.The wiring and plumbing are concealed and the building is provided with lightning conductors. FRONT ELEVATION of GOLCONDE
From the street, a large exposed concrete wall with an oversized door allows forms the dominant part of the elevation, behind which is visible a series of louvers that form the northern facade. The subtle shifts in scale and accent - between form, structure and detail make the entire building a harmonious union. The Golconde ( named after the Golconda Fort ( a mine of jewels)) , funded by Akbar Hayadri, the then Diwan of the state of hyderabad , remains a vital part of Modernist Indian Architecture for being the first "home-made" building of its kind and its success in merging aesthetics, craft and technology almost-perfectly. Posted by Jyotsna at 1:55 PM Labels: visits Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
- One, he had a clear idea of his clients and their needs. To him, they did not exist as social and economic categories; they were not high income groups or tribals, but people with names and personalities. He once said that he could recall the names of all those for whom he had built houses.
- Two, no one has the right to waste money, materials and energy in a country like India.
- Three, people have the "inherent and inherited ability" to know what good architecture is. Architects, he felt, could and should learn from ordinary people.
- Four, design has to be organic; it has to be transferred from the field to the drawing table and not the other way. He wrote that, "good or bad design, or good or bad taste has little to do with colour, or form, or texture, or costliness — but that has only to do with honesty and truth in the choice of materials and the method of using them".
His concepts of architecture and design were not utilitarian; he only reiterated that utility and aesthetics can comfortably coexist. There is a fundamental critique of the way knowledge is currently understood, acquired, valued and practised in Baker's work. He did not respect the hierarchies implicit in the use of modern knowledge. He acknowledged traditional wisdom and was constantly learning and adapting it in his work practices. The divide between thought and manual labour was for him a false one. He designed his buildings in such a way that they would "fit in with the local styles and not be an offence to the eyes of the people". The housing projects Baker undertook for the poor were in sharp contrast to the government housing projects. His homes were lived in whereas the sarkari concrete huts ended up being used as cattle sheds and storehouses.