Monday, December 26, 2016


The world of art has seen significant development in art domain during early 1900. The initial period led by Henry Matisse, attempted to abandon any attempt at descriptive, naturalist use of colour and form while Picasso and Braque paved the way non-euclidean means of representing space and form. The abstract and non-objective works attempted to free the art form from any meaning and its subservience of representation.  The work of Kazimir Malevich in other part of the world proclaimed the supremacy of art form over the meaning. Later they were recognized as Suprematist artist, deviated substantially from constructivism subservience to utilitarian futurism. It relied heavily on anti-gravity tectonics and composition, bringing creative equivalence of futurist art form in society. The lecture by Zaha Hadid at Tate London, talked about the 100 year old movement,  its relevance in Architectural Avant Garde and its journey into the realm of visionary architecture. She directly fostered the Suprematism and its notion of seamless,  anti gravity tectonic composition and eventlually she explored new philosophical, and technological futuristic approaches towards the utilitarian domain of architecture. 

The Roca Museum in London is non- celebrated interior project by her. The large space is divided into module of spaces with seamless and sensuous form (partly existing structural elements). Each time single space is captured from multiple points, revealing the dynamic tectonics in motion. The principal aesthetic dwelling on futuristic imagination of architecture of Vigor, speed and its militant objectivity, characterizing the forces that architecture exerts on us. Sometime such forces are acknowledging, sometime contradicting or cancelling, resulting into sensuous and hedonistic world view of aesthetic experience. 

Photographs Credit: Manoj Parmar Architects

Monday, December 19, 2016


Architecture and Urbanism of pilgrimage cities are complex and constantly transforming by forces that shaped religious beliefs and customs. They are complex due to its sacred geography, religious significance or mythological values, while they are constantly emerging/ transforming due to their increasing significance in context of socio-politico-economic subservience. This duality is often difficult to deconstruct from discipline point of view and are often relegated its destiny to it its own self-organizing capabilities.

Pandharpur is a pilgrimage city along the Bhima River, known for its annual ritual visit by thousands of devotees, especially from Maharashtra. The city continues to gain its popularity as most desirable destination for pilgrimage along with several other cities in the state. It also continues to be emerging on the line of undisciplined &  incidental mode, as other pilgrimage cities in India.

The genesis of the city is Bhima River, the ghats and the temple along with the several shrines that are built by several rulers. These shrines are scattered on the banks of the river and carrying immense wealth of Architectural types of the diverse region. The inner city also houses the large Wada’s (Distinct Type of Large House that are seen in the Region) built by several ruler from various parts of the state.

Along with the distinct large Architecture and religious buildings, the city fabric is further punctuated by small houses and mixed used public buildings of significant architectural attributes & relevance. These series of architectural intervention gives the city a sense of strong history and character. The orientation within the city is also guided by presence of such distinct architectural types and paves the way for religious and economic dominance.

Pandharpur, in the process of its transformation, is also dotted up with the most undesirable architectural and urban interventions. The deterioration of the city fabric is evident due to negligence and unplanned transformation.  The growing importance of city is apparent in its transformation as it attempts to adjust itself with crowd management & economic necessities. The city is typically classified as various other pilgrimage cities across India. The history of wealth of architecture, as on now is obliterated with the remains of iconography that continues to drive the physical transformation. The material conditions that has been historically evolved and survived through successive generation which once were seen to be as resolution of architecture with mythology or social/cultural resonance. But the present conditions of the urban fabric don’t seem to acknowledge the symbiosis relationship.  It is yet to be seen that how collective wisdom of iconography passes the wealth of such vibrant cities to next generation. 

Infrastructure for Layering of Queues

Bridge Connection to Shrine


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


The field of conservation is often elite and niche practice, it often trapped into the conversation of what is contextual history and what is fabricated context. This perhaps leads  to conflicting nature of practices and resultant outcome of such wanted desirable are questionable. The conservation is also often linked with colonial architecture and less of indigenous architecture and typologies. 

The recent site visit to Bardoli (Surat), the native town of Saradar Patel, revealed very good example of restoration of 85 year old house of Sardar Patel. This house has dual history, one as it is indigenous type and other that it has history of freedom struggle. The house is conserved by local trust with help of the local contractor ( Vikram Rathod). The brief was simple and clear to restore the house to its original condition. It led to revival of teak wood post and beam construction as skin and wrapped Verandah with load bearing wall as inner sanctum. The structure restoration was systematically designed and carefully executed, while aesthetic is simply recreated from the images of the past. This perhaps would be one of the few example of restoration of Architecture that is related to freedom movement. 

This example has raised lots of issues related to conservation. The conservation is relevant and significant to locals if the history and historical events are relevant. The technique and methods becomes part of natural progression and relevant local history.

Photographs: Manoj Parmar Architects

Thursday, October 13, 2016


The planning domain traditionally governed by monolithic & top-down  understanding of master plan approach. The centralized approach has been widely criticized for not being able to be inclusive on various account, esp: community aspects, heritage aspects, informality, environmental aspects, resilience & mitigation aspect. The recent endeavor (2014) of making of development plan endorsed the idea of two or three tier idea of making a development plan and its governance. It perhaps make some sense, in mega city context of Mumbai, whose diverse features in context of  geography, history and community necessitate the  alternate approach of their inclusion. The provision of Local Area Plan (LAP) is an bottom-up approach to be operated at the administrative ward level where making, transforming and directing development shall be collaborated at the level of local area representative. 

The Local Area Plan provides excellent opportunity to carry out experiment with participation and communication based action. It subsides the notion of master plan & drawing board approach and hinges on idea of sharing, developing and mobilizing the collective imagination of community. The studio revolved around seven sites: Sakinaka, Mulund, Oshiwara, Golibar Slums, Malvani, D.N. Nagar, Kalbadevi. The sites have different histories and issues, however all sites are largely part of TOD and are expected to have rapid transformation in next few years. 

The studio developed at three levels: Development of generic imagination and communicating to the local are resident and stake holders, Development of action areas, Development of strategies and implementation criteria.

The outcome of such experiment is imagined to inform the  specific areas for urban renewal, housing, Commercial precincts,  educational and cultural institutions, up-gradation of slum areas and relocation of population, improve accessibility to open spaces, and largely revival and retention of environmental and ecological systems. 

The studio process and final outcome were reviewed by Shyam Khandekar ( My Liveable City), Pankaj Joshi (UDRI), Gautam Chaterjee (MMRDA) and Ashok Lal.


The history of built architecture has produced tremendous amount of knowledge, validating and criticizing their existence, howeve...