The world’s largest statue has been unveiled today by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The “Statue of Unity” depicting former Indian Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was designed by Michael Graves Architecture & Design and stands at 182 meters tall: almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
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Greatly influenced by the modern movement--and in particular the presence of Le Corbusier--contemporary Indian architecture reflects a mixture of traditional and western references. Using mainly local materials such as brick, concrete and stone, Indian buildings stand out with their high visual impact and a assertive heaviness.
Dubai-based architecture firm Znera Space have released "The Smog Project," a design to clean the air in Delhi, one of the world's most polluted cities. Shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival's Experimental Project Category, the Smog Project hopes to address Delhi’s noxious air quality by adding a network of smog filtering towers throughout the entire city. India's capital has become known for toxic smog levels from overcrowding and industrial waste. Znera's proposal hopes to cleanse the smog chamber and generate smog free air.
Neelam Cinema is one of three theaters built in Chandigarh, a modernist city master-planned by Le Corbusier. Built shortly after India gained independence in the early 1950s, the cinema is located in the bustling industrial area of Sector 17. Designed by architect Aditya Prakash under the guidance of Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, the modernist structure stands to this day in its original form and continues to screen Bollywood films. However, without UNESCO World Heritage protection, the future of the cinema remains uncertain. Below, British photographer Edmund Sumner discusses his experience of shooting the 960-seat cinema, the heart of the city, and an icon of Chandigarh.
In 776 BC, the Olympic Games of antiquity were hosted at the Olympia stadium in Peloponnese, Greece, an arena widely believed to be the world’s oldest stadium. The elongated U-shaped track and stand had a capacity of up to 45,000 people.
Photographer Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz-Zoche has captured a series of vibrant images showcasing the “hybrid modernist” movie theaters of Southern India. The images below, also available on the artist’s website, capture the large number of cinemas built in both rural and urban areas of South India in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, all conveying an “unconventional mix of local building styles and Western influences."
Photographer Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz-Zoche has captured a series of vibrant images showcasing the “hybrid modernism” churches of the Southern Indian region of Kerala. The images below, also available on the artist’s website, depict the blend of modernist influences and local architectural elements that defined many Indian churches following the country's 1947 independence.
Paul Clemence of Archi-Photo shares rare images of the house of Pierre Jeanneret in Chandigarh. The photographer described the experience in an article published in Modern Magazine, which is republished below with permission.
Chandigarh, India’s modern planned city, is most commonly associated with the pioneering modernist master Le Corbusier, who conceived the radical urban plan and most of its important civic buildings. But credit is also due to the architect’s younger cousin and long-time collaborator, Pierre Jeanneret, who turned Le Corbusier’s sweeping vision into a reality. The cousins had worked extensively together, sharing a common, forward-thinking design sensibility. Appointed to senior architect, the Swiss-born Jeanneret oversaw the ambitious project on the ground and proved himself particularly skilled at connecting with the professionals and local community alike. “Effectively, he is respected like a father, liked as a brother by the fifty or so young men who have applied to work in the Architect’s Office,” wrote Corbusier in praise of his cousin.
The winners of arch out loud’s competition Reside - in which entrants were to design a mixed residential development on one of the last remaining sections of undeveloped Mumbai coastline - have been announced. The architectural research initiative challenged entrants to design for “both the indigenous fishing community that has occupied the site for hundreds of years - as well as a new demographic drawn to the affluent neighborhood that now encompasses the site”.
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