The Building of a Modern India

How India forged a modern identity with its architects staying true to the country's ethos and values of an ancient civilisation
By: Madhu Kapparath, Jasodhara Banerjee
Published: Aug 15, 2017
The Building of a Modern India

Image by : Alok Brahmbhatt

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If there is one overarching theme that defines the architecture of the decades that followed India’s Independence, it is Mahatma Gandhi’s message of austerity and simplicity. It is a philosophy that has been carried to conclusion by the architects featured here. In these decades of architectural history, India forged a modern identity—the desires of an independent nation, a way of thinking that is unshackled from a feudal and colonial past, while affirming obliquely the roots and values of an ancient civilisation.

 (Acknowledgements: Yatin Pandya, Annabel Lopez)

Indian Institute of Management
Ahmedabad

The Vastrapur campus of the institute is spread over 67 acres, and was designed by American modernist Louis Kahn. The architect set about not just designing classrooms, but envisioning a new educational system that encouraged discussions and interactions. Consequently, instead of being the centre of learning, classrooms became a formal space for the beginning of the learning process; and the institute became one where education was a collaborative and cross-disciplinary effort. 

The structure, built of local materials like brick and concrete, blends modern sensibilities with Indian traditions.