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Louis Kahn-Designed Dorms in India Could Be Razed

A world-class architectural-preservation controversy is brewing in India, the place the administration on the Indian Institute of Administration in Ahmedabad had introduced plans to raze 14 of 18 scholar dormitory buildings designed by the architect Louis Kahn and constructed within the 1960s and 1970s.

After an area and worldwide outcry, a web-based assembly to start in search of new bids for the demolition was canceled.

Kahn, one of the crucial vital American architects in historical past, is finest recognized for masterworks just like the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and the Kimbell Artwork Museum in Fort Value, in addition to the Philips Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, N.H., and the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, N.Y. (He additionally famously had three households, talked to bricks and died on the lads’s room ground in Penn Station.)

The uncovered red-brick scholar dormitories in Ahmedabad are integral to the institute’s holistic campus design and are thought of among the many architect’s most interesting works — with repetition, geometry and the manipulation of sunshine and shadow. They exemplify Kahn’s potential to design buildings in “response to the cultures, climates and traditions of their respective locations,” mentioned the historian William J.R. Curtis, who has written op-eds for Architectural Document and The Architectural Evaluation in help of the dorms’ preservation.

In a press release, the World Monuments Fund known as on the institute’s administration to rethink, citing the undertaking’s affect on the “fashionable improvement of Indian larger training,” and the environmentally delicate design that continues to be an instance of how you can construct for an area local weather. “Conceived as an ensemble, the Kahn campus should be preserved in its entirety to guard the aesthetic, useful and symbolic values imbued inside,” the assertion mentioned.

Supporters of the dorms contains the Council of Structure, India, in addition to architects and teachers together with the Pritzker Structure Prize laureates Rafael Moneo, Alejandro Aravena and Balkrishna Doshi (the architect who introduced Kahn to India within the early 1960s), who’ve posted an open letter. A petition had over 12,000 signatures on Thursday afternoon.

The administration institute’s director, Errol D’Souza, defended the demolition plans in a letter to alumni, calling the constructions “unlivable” due to points together with “concrete and slabs falling from the roofs”; brick deterioration inflicting cracking and water seepage; and structural points ensuing from a 2001 earthquake.

The varsity had beforehand commissioned an in depth restoration undertaking for the buildings, however reversed course with a plan to construct anew.

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