Louis Kahn’s IIMA dormitories at risk of demolition once more in India

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2022-11-14 11:44:23

Dormitories designed by American architect Louis Kahn are once more below risk of demolition with the Indian Institute of Administration Ahmedabad backtracking on its choice to not demolish them.

The Indian administration college is about to demolish and exchange a cluster of brick dormitories regardless of withdrawing its unique plans to switch them with new buildings following a global outcry in 2020.

Louis Kahn’s dormitories at Indian Institute of Administration Ahmedabad are below risk of demolition

In response to the governing board of the Indian Institute of Administration Ahmedabad (IIMA), the choice to finish restoration works once more is because of “a security concern” for residents.

It lately introduced that consultations with engineers from IIT Roorkee and an undisclosed group of restoration specialists discovered the buildings to be “uninhabitable” and in want of changing.

“Short-term options” now not an possibility

“The board consulted trade specialists and mentioned the problem for a number of months earlier than making this choice concerning the reconstruction of components of the outdated campus,” the IIMA board’s letter states.

“The security of our folks is our major duty, and with that in thoughts, the board felt there was a necessity to deal with this problem fairly than go for momentary options akin to restorations, which had been tried however weren’t as efficient.”

The IIMA Board claimed that the dormitories shall be reconstructed to pay homage to Louis Kahn’s unique structure whereas assembly “the practical wants” of residents.

Nonetheless, British architectural historian William JR Curtis has described the choice as a chance for “a skin-deep Americanisation” of the campus, reported The Indian Specific.

IIMA board accused of “secrecy”

Curtis has additionally accused the board IIMA of a “lack of transparency” over its choices, claiming that the report from the consultations with specialists has not been made public.

“Apparently a workforce of engineers from IIT Roorkee ready a report, however the IIMA administration is refusing to make this public,” Curtis mentioned.

“As for the architectural evaluation, this has been made by American architects, however there too there’s a refusal to disclose their judgements and even their id. Why all this secrecy? Naturally there’s suspicion of a ‘white wash’.”

Curtis is just not the one trade determine to have publicly responded to the choice. On Twitter, Bartlett College of Structure professor Sophia Psarra referred to as on the trade to “share and resist destructions to heritage attributable to neoliberal tasks”.

Founding father of Bennetts Associates Rab Bennetts mentioned Kahn’s work “stays related”, including that the choice “is gloomy information and I hope an answer might be discovered”.

Work on IIMA started in 1962, earlier than reaching completion in 1974, which was the identical 12 months that American architect Kahn died.

In 2021, the college’s board mentioned it had abolished its plans to demolish the buildings after an eruption of protests. On the time, Curtis described Kahn’s contribution to the campus as “one of many excellent works of the time, of any time” in an article for the Architectural Overview.

The IIMA dormitories are among the many many ageing heritage buildings threatened by demolition around the globe immediately.

One of many types usually most in danger is brutalism, the time period for structure with daring monolithic varieties solid from uncovered concrete. In an interview with Dezeen, director of the Twentieth Century Society Catherine Croft mentioned builders are sometimes in charge for the purge of those buildings.

The pictures is by Edmund Sumner.





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