Author: Kunal Rakshit

Amaravati Government Complex Design Competition

Chandigarh was a long time ago, but arguably, no development of a new state capital has generated as much excitement and hype as Andhra Pradesh’ Amaravati city. While India is looking up to Amaravati as a modern day, even ‘futuristic’ capital that may well become a template for India’s 100 smart cities project, the city itself has a rich and glorious past. Three international firms were shortlisted in the final stage competition including Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners from London, UK, BV Doshi of Vastu Shilpa Foundation from Ahmedabad,India and Fumihiko Maki of Maki and associates from Tokyo, Japan. The brief for the competition was to design spaces that are eco-friendly, assimilates green and blue concept and most of all, act as vital geographic and economic gateways to their respective markets Jury members comprising Erwin Viray (Professor of Architecture and Design at the Kyoto Institute of Technology,Japan), Suha Ozkan (Founder president of World Architecture community , Turkey), Rajeev Sethi (Designer and Art curator, India) , KT Ravindran (noted urban designer and educationist, …

A House From Kerala

‘A house From Kerala’ is a beautiful documentary which shows how a 300 year old wooden house was saved from being demolished and instead it was dismantled and moved 2000 km away to be rebuilt again. Architect Pradeep Sachdeva from Delhi took the grand inititaive which gives us an insight into how ingeniuos was architects of yesteryears.

Office US Atlas

OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, was conceived as a working architecture office that explored the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. OfficeUS Atlas is a new book that compiles and interprets the research assembled in the exhibition’s OfficeUS Repository, an archive of nearly 1,000 projects produced by U.S. offices abroad between 1914-2014. The publication is the second in the four-volume OfficeUS book series, following Office US Agenda,  published last year. A massive, 1,232-page compendium, Atlas is structured around a highly organized mix of firm profiles, project data, press records, and infographics that detail the transformations of the U.S. architectural office and its international impact over the past century. At the U.S. Pavilion, the Repository was presented as a system of 1,000 binders that lined the walls of the installation. Rather than preserve this material as an unchanging collection of data, the editors wanted Atlas to bring it to life and expand on the goals of the exhibition—to present an untold …

Modernism Rediscovered: Julius Shulman

TASCHEN’s Modernism Rediscovered brought to light for the first time some 300 forgotten architectural masterpieces, drawn from photographer Julius Shulman’s personal archives. Paying tribute to houses and buildings that had slipped from public view, Shulman’s stunning photographs uncovered a rarely seen side of California Modernism. This extensive volume brings hundreds more architectural gems into the spotlight. The photographs, most of which are published here for the first time in a book, depict buildings by Albert Frey, Louis Kahn, John Lautner, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, and more, as well as the work of many lesser known architects. Not just restricted to the West Coast this time, the images were taken all across the United States as well as in Mexico, Israel, and Hong Kong. Widely considered the greatest architectural photographer of our time, Julius Shulman has once again opened his archives so that we may rediscover the world’s hidden Modernist treasures. The buildings burned in our memories, which to us represent the spirit of the fifties and sixties architectural design, were …

Carlo Scarpa

In Robert McCarter’s Carlo Scarpa monograph, Austrian architect Peter Noever tells an astonishing tale. In 1974, he and Scarpa toured the Adolf Loos made American Bar in Vienna. The moment they entered Scarpa started evaluating the space. He ordered champagne for the ladies…… who were present and a measuring tape for himself. Scarpa then continued to measure everything down to the exact millimeter. When completed he announced the space to be of “singular spiritual and emotional quality.” This is precisely how I envision McCarter analyze the work of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa—measuring tape in hand.  In this substantial volume, McCarter leads us by the hand through Scarpa’s achievements. He gives us a survey that is both vast, and in the spirit of Scarpa, meticulously detailed. Carlo Scarpa is a mystery. He has never achieved the iconic status in this country reserved for Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, or Louis Kahn, yet Scarpa was revered by all of them. McCarter’s comprehensive tome has the capacity to change this. With over 350 drawings, photos and plans …

Brion Cemetery Meditation Pavilion – Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa was one of the second generation of Modern architects – however, as a son of Venice, he was sensitive to that city’s old-fashioned culture (unlike most modernists), and made his reputation through a number of commissions and renovations in which he used Modern methods and spatial concepts to transform Venice, rather than crudely eliminate its ancient identity. He understood that the past is not dead and that we in the present must engage and intertwine with it. Scarpa did not restrict himself to Venice, however. Indeed, perhaps his most visited and well-known work was the last he completed in his lifetime – the Brion Cemetery at San Vito D’Altivole, a small village not far from the Dolomite Mountains. This was the country of Giuseppe Brion, founder of the prestigious Brionvega electronics company, who Scarpa admired as a man of the people, who had “started from the bottom”, as well as for the design quality of his products, many of which are museum pieces today. When Brion died in 1968, his family bought a …