Architecture that celebrates life, diversity

Architecture that celebrates life, diversity

unique Habitat

Architecture that celebrates life, diversity

Different sounds from all corners attract the auditory senses, as you enter ‘Celebrating Habitat’ exhibition. On view at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), the exhibition is unlike any other art or installation exhibition in the city. There are paintings, photographs and wooden models of the buildings designed by an internationally renowned architect, planner, academician and an institution builder, Dr Balkrishna Doshi.

Doshi believes architecture cannot stand alone, diverse elements of music, art, and theatre through the manifestation of navrasas had to be essentially incorporated to give it character. With the experience of being the coordinating architect for Louis Kahn’s design and execution of IIM, Doshi believes this sense of wonder is like a theatrical experience. With small-scale interactive models of housing, the understanding of the elements and design of a house becomes an interesting intervention, especially when analysed through colours, light and time in varied scales.

The exhibition showcases Doshi’s substantial six decades of unique architectural legacy. His milestone works include the Shreyas School at Ahmedabad (1957), the CEPT Campus (1967 until almost 2012), the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (1977-85), the Sangath office at Ahmedabad (1979-81) and the Amdavad-ni-Gufa (1992-95).

“With deep rooted beliefs in tradition and organic aspects, his architectural marvels reflect an intriguing amalgamation, aptly visible in unconventional structures realised by him, which outlines his built heritage as a uniquely realisational experience,” says Prof Rajeev Lochan, director, NGMA.

As a believer and practitioner of transformative education, Doshi has highlighted “various dimensions that will certainly benefit one and all in gaining an understanding of what one could achieve as part of his artistic practice and conviction,” the NGMA director added.

Analysing the exhibition, Doshi says, “In this retrospective, it becomes important to understand what this journey means. Over the last 60 years, there have been many questions of such a nature. It's like a vast circle. In a philosophic way, this stage connects me, 60 years later, to my beginnings. Hence, this retrospective is very important for me to evaluate my work; an introspective dialogue with students to look into the future afresh. There are many aspects like professional, philosophical and spiritual.”

“The retrospective can be a new starting point to the discussions on the relevance of our profession and the significance in architecture as a holistic experience, celebrating life with all its nuances and diversity. The discussions should be inclusive and question new directions for the future. The ideas of experiential, illusionary and likewise different issues have been manifested in the retrospective,” Doshi says.

Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, as the curator of this exhibition and representing the Vastu Shilpa Foundation says, “For Doshi, architecture has always been a backdrop which celebrates life, and that is what this exhibition attempts to do, by creating a landscape of memories through illusions and spatial experiences of his mostcherished projects.”

The exhibition is on view at NGMA from 10 am to 5 pm, except Mondays and National holidays.