Louis Kahn-Designed Dorms in India Might Be Razed

Controversy is brewing in India over the preservation of world-class architecture, where the administration of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad announced plans to demolish 14 of 18 student residences designed by architect Louis Kahn and built in the 1960s and 1970s were.

After local and international outcry, an online meeting was canceled to receive new offers for the demolition.

One of the most important American architects in history, Kahn is known for masterpieces such as the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, and the Philips Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, New Hampshire. and the First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY (He also had three families, spoke to bricks, and died on the floor of the men’s room in Penn Station.)

The exposed red brick student dormitories in Ahmedabad are an integral part of the institute’s holistic campus design and are among the architect’s best works – with repetition, geometry and manipulation of light and shadow. They illustrate Kahn’s ability to design buildings “in response to the cultures, climates, and traditions of their respective locations,” said historian William JR Curtis, who has contributed to Architectural Record and The Architectural Review on dormitory preservation support.

In a statement, the World Monuments Fund urged the institute’s administration to reconsider this, citing the project’s impact on the “modern development of Indian higher education” and environmentally conscious design, which continues to be an example of building for a local climate represents. “The Kahn campus, designed as an ensemble, must be preserved in its entirety in order to protect the aesthetic, functional and symbolic values ​​it contains,” the statement said.

Supporters of the dormitories include the Council for Architecture in India, as well as architects and academics, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize winners, Rafael Moneo, Alejandro Aravena, and Balkrishna Doshi (the architect who brought Kahn to India in the early 1960s) open letter . A Change.org petition had over 12,000 signatures on Thursday afternoon.

The director of the administrative institute, Errol D’Souza, defended the demolition plans in a letter to the alumni and called the structures “inanimate”, among other things because of “concrete and slabs falling from the roofs”. Brick deterioration causing cracks and water seepage; and structural problems following an earthquake in 2001.

The school had previously commissioned an extensive restoration project for the buildings, but reversed the course with the plan to rebuild.

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