Who Is Building The Architectural Marvels of Tomorrow?

Name one beautiful building in your city. Most likely you will name something constructed fifty or more years ago. Most likely the building you name would have been built by the British or one of the erstwhile rulers of India.

I have lived in Delhi most of my life. I have seen new buildings, roads, stadiums, flyovers, metro all come up in my lifetime, but I can count the post independence, beautiful buildings, using the fingers on my two hands. All the landmarks like Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament house, Qutub Minar, etc. etc. are from a bygone era. The newer ones like Akshardham, Lotus Temple, are too few. In fact come out any of these buildings and you are greeted by a mess all around.

Architecturally pleasing buildings are typically old

Maybe Delhi is an old city so let us look at Gurgaon. In the past twenty years I have seen Gurgaon come up almost from scratch in front of my eyes. Well there are a few architecturally pleasing buildings otherwise it is a nightmare.

New buildings arent very pretty to look at

Alright maybe our planners spent their energy in designing layouts of cities rather than individual buildings? But even that doesnt seem to have happened. The layout of most cities seems random. In Gurgaon there are malls right next to office complexes and these stand right next to an isolated house on a 250 yards plot. I really pity the family staying in that house, they have no privacy as every window in the office block next to them overlooks their house. Obviously, the plots for houses, shops, malls, apartments, hospitals, etc. were allotted in a random fashion.

Every city in India supposedly has a Chief Town Planner. Both Delhi and Gurgaon have them. But were these people doing their jobs? Villages are better planned. Every village plans where to place its temple and mosque, where the wells should be, where the markets should be, the school, where the open spaces should be, etc. They follow simple logic to ensure that growth doesnt happen haphazardly.

Indians have a very good aesthetic sense. But why isnt it showing in our cities. Why is the view from every window in our city not pleasing to the eyes?

[this is a guest post by L. Venkata Subramaniam, do visit his regular blog where he writes on technologies affecting everyday life ]

L. Venkata Subramaniam

I like to learn about and write on technologies that affect peoples lives. My personal homepage says more about me.

8 comments:

Kartz said...

Welcome here and thank you for the guest entry. We appreciate your time.

A very pragmatic post. Unfortunately, I have not been to Gurgaon to speak about the buildings there. But yes, coming to think about the cities I have been to, taller and taller structures spring up like daisies...

Peace.

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

@kartz

Well tall is not necessarily bad. I have nothing against tall buildings. It is just that I think most of what we build does not show common sense either in terms of usability or in terms of aesthetics.

Kartz said...

Indeed. I quite agree. Flaunting the exteriors aside, the insides have a lot more to tell.

Oh yes, I had forgotten to add the point on aesthetics whilst mentioning "tall buildings". Thanks.

Peace.

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