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Anirudhan Iyengar

Anirudhan Iyengar

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Published by Mohit Puri

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Published by: Mohit Puri on May 03, 2013
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Anirudhan Iyengar4
year ,38NMIMS BSSAResearch and MethodologyBook:
Concepts of space in traditional Indian architectureby Yatin Pandya
The book is an attempt to answer the questions: What makeshistoric architecture awe-inspiring? Why have architecturalmasterpieces retained their vitality even after so many centuries?What spatial qualities and organizational principles have renderedthem timeless?" "the author starts with taking aboutthe fundamental Indian philosophical and ideological ideas - theIndian notion of time, the duality of existence, the concept of a worldwithin a world, the idea of opposites as counterpoints, the role of semiotics in providing visual clues in architecture and the changingperception of space while in movement. In the above narratives heexplains them in detail with more examples of temples andtraditional houses as reference. Further on the author takes updetailed analysis of five Indian architectural sites thatis Rudabai Stepwell at Adalaj, near Ahmedabad; the Kailash Templeat Ellora, the Sun Temple of Modhera with its unique water-tank;Udaipur's City Palace and the Sarkhej Rauza in Ahmedabad. Each siteis discussed in detail with visually appealinggraphicrepresentatuion of plans and sections. With analytical studiesoverlaid on them. And the understanding of volumes in thebuilding. Miniature-style reproductions are drawn for each exampleto reconstruct spatial, environmental and experiential qualities. Thebook gives a visual insight into the planning and the volumes of thespace of the buildings. Reading through diagrams one gets the notionof the kind of culture which would have existed in that time. The
diagrammatic representation of all the space shows a clearrelationship with culture and tradition of the community that usedthat space. Understanding through the jails of sarkhej or to the highwalls of the Udaipur city palace are the outcome of the stricttraditions followed by the Muslim and the rajput rulers .The authoralso emphasizes the role of kinesthetic in guiding the perception of space while in movement. Movement in terms would be thecirculation, progression through spaces and the change in volumes of the spaces. Understanding the interplay of culture, tradition andspace formation and references from the books gave me an in-depthin the traditional India.
India the land of cultures and traditions these values transcend timeand space to remain alive and appropriate even in the present. Thebeauty of traditions is it consistently adapts and suitably transformsaccording to the change in circumstances. In psychic Indian historytime is a very cyclic phenomenon. Looking through cycles of life andbirth and rebirth to faith in reincarnations all reaffirm the belief inthe recurrence of time.Drawing parallel to traditional Indian spaces as their existence is apause in time and the experience inside them around the movementof the sun which features light,darkness,solid and void they are themutually defining aspects of the space. They are interdependent oneach other a counterpart shapes the other. As counterparts theybecome mutual references and integral part of self-balancing systemin space.
Mass or volumes of a built form is a combination of space and time.Over time spaces are not the same and similarly time over differentspaces is not the same. The juxtaposition of time and space is thecharm of traditional Indian architecture.
Relating back to the book which has the magnificent examples of oneof the finest architecture in India. Looking through the palaces of Udaipur one can still feel the charm of royalty and kingship thought
the courtyards and the Diwan-e-Am and the Dewan-e-khas. Thevibrancy of the space communicates with the onlooker and this is thebest part of traditional architecture. The space remainscommunicative and interactive all the while through its spatialqualities through time.
Breaking down these spaces into its fundamental would be rangingfrom approach and movement, scale and proportion, quality of lightand the relationship of the different elements with each other. Tounderstand such architecture one not only needs to interpretthrough perceptual and experimental qualities but even lookingthrough the culture and the tradition, which existed in thespace.
For example looking through women’s quarter in the Udaipur
palace, which had steep walls and an inner looking courtyard, andsmall entry doors, which signifies privacy for the women. Contrarythe same space interpreted in the shadow of its culture would seem
like a secret enclosure of the palace. One can’t call space and
tradition as a two faces of coin they are in a way the legs of a chair.You remove one leg and the balance of the chair is disrupted.
Understanding the relationship of space, time and culture zooming ininto a space not as big a palace nor as cultural as a temple butlooking at a very basic Indian house. Traditionally planned Indianhouse is very basic in its space geometry but rich in culture andtradition. The Indian house is a simple formation of a small verandathrough which one enters the living room adjoining which would be afew rooms followed by a kitchen and dining area ending into abackyard with washing and baiting facilities. Taking this ahead intime looking at house planning around 1960s to 1980s when the ideaof small two to three story apartments came into theurban senario. Following the idea of a living room with one diversiontowards kitchen and bathroom and the other diversion towards theroom. Looking at the planning one would question why is thebaiting and the kitchen area separated compared to the rooms.Through a modern spectacle why is there no attached bathroom inthe rooms.

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