25 October, 2020

Arise From The Clay Earth

Let our cities reflect the new age. Let there be a Taj for today.

Arise From The Clay Earth
When I heard two weeks ago that one Sanjay Singal, chairman of Bhushan Power and Steel, had bought a one-acre plot on 4, Amrita Shergill Marg in New Delhi for Rs 137 crore, I wanted to rush up to him and say, "Now that you have one of India's most prized properties, do select a great architect to build your home. For god's sake, let's not have another cut-and-paste job. Your building ought to symbolise the rise of a new age in India after the reforms, and millions will remember you for having captured a great moment in our history." For good architecture has the amazing ability to represent the life of the times in our imagination.

This issue of Outlook is about the way "the world looks at India", and one of the most potent ways is through visual memory. A great nation or city is defined by its buildings. We remember Paris not only by the Eiffel Tower, but by the wonderful boulevard buildings of Baron Haussmann. We think of New York by the Empire State and Chrysler buildings (although my favourite is Mies' Seagrams building). Sydney...


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