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Posted at: Apr 14, 2018, 12:55 AM; last updated: Apr 14, 2018, 12:55 AM (IST)BOOK OF THE WEEK

Celebrating the spirit to build

Celebrating the spirit to build
Apurva Bose Dutta

Geetu Vaid

Imposing buildings and tall structures define urban spaces across the country. Commercial buildings, office blocks, malls, housing societies, villas et all hog all the limelight, even as the people behind their creation remain unsung and unknown to a common man. Right from the masons to engineers to the architects, very little is known about the art and craft of converting a set of lines and drawings on a sheet into impressive living spaces in concrete and mortar. Apurva Bose Dutta gets down to celebrating the spirit of building with her book Architectural Voices of India — A blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos. There is a dearth of texts on architecture in India and Bose’s book is a brilliant effort to fill this gap. 

Treading across generations, she picks up doyens of this profession and documents their work and persona through interesting and well-structured interviews. As many as 17 Indian architects across different generations and building genres are brought on a common platform by Bose, herself a practicing architect. So right from  Christper Charles Benninger to Hafeez Contractor to Raj Rewal to Brinda Somaya and Parul Zaveri, are there on these pages sharing their vision and experiences with the readers. Each chapter takes one on a journey into the life and work of each of these stalwarts of Indian architecture as their ethos and design philosophy are documented meticulously by Bose. 

An interesting element of each chapter is the section ‘Project that re-defined architecture for me’. 

As the work of these pioneers encompasses the cultural diversity, design and technology as well as the physical, social and economic conditions prevailing in the country, through interviews Bose  traces the journey of Indian architectiure in the contemporary as well as historical perspectives.

Using her in depth understanding of the profession and experience in journalisn, Bose highlights the impact of global and local influences on Indian architecture. She also raises current issues of quality of architectural education, importance of industry training and studio learning, sustainability, creating green and user friendly buildings, affordable housing and  smart cities. The text is perfectly complemented by pictures, illustrations, drawings and sketches of projects of different architects featured in the book.   

A delightful and informative read for students of architecture as well as those with a love for buildings. and builders. 

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