Kolkata: The Latest Architecture and News
The door: despite being one of the most fundamental architectural elements, the immense significance these portals hold in architecture and culture can hardly be questioned. Historically, empires erected gigantic gateways to welcome visitors and religious shrines installed doors with ornate embellishments to ward off evil just as contemporary governments have built arches to commemorate important events.
In this photo-series, however, architect Priyanshi Singhal directs her focus to doors in a humbler vein—those of homes and hole-in-the-wall shops. Armed with her camera, she travels through narrow winding streets in age-old Indian towns and villages—characterized by their mixed land-use—as she studies and documents the inherent relationship between architectural tradition, culture, and a people. A door and its chaukhat (threshold) hold deep spiritual meaning in India’s traditional vastu shastra system of architecture. Furthermore, Singhal’s work provides us a brief glimpse of the imprint that the vagaries of time, community and economy have left on India’s historical urban fabric.
Design Forum International has unveiled Dakshineswar Sky Walk, a 380-meter long pedestrian intervention designed to improve traffic and movement leading to the Dakshineswar Kali temple in Kolkata, India.
Located on the banks of the Ganges River at the northern tip of the city, the Dakshineswar Kali temple is one “of the most revered places of worship in Hinduism, the seat of divine female power, Shakti,” and draws in a large number of devotees year-round. Because of its popularity, the roads leading to the site have become congested due to increased vehicle traffic, foot traffic, and the appearance of small shops and kiosks.
Taking these existing conditions into account, Dakshineswar Sky Walk aims to become a dynamic solution to the site’s problems. At 10.5 meters wide, the skywalk will connect a nearby traffic rotary with the gates of the temple compound, with 12 escalators, four elevators, and eight staircases to allow users to embark and disembark.
Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘Practices of Consequence’ (Volumes I and II), delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at ‘Abin Design Studio’, a Kolkata-based architectural firm.
In a city that, though culturally rich, has remained fairly neglectful of contemporary architectural developments, Abin Design Studio’s dynamic philosophy attempts to trigger a ‘think revolution’ by challenging the conventional and recreating the city-scape of Kolkata. Abin Design Studio was founded in October 2005 by Abin Chaudhuri, who partnered with Jui Mallick in 2006. What started off as a small three-person firm is now a frontline organisation rendering complete design solutions from conceptualisation to realisation of space, object and visual.
The projects have a strong spatial quality which fuse lessons from past traditions with aspirations of the present in a sparkling coup of energy. Their passion to transform and nerve to challenge is almost incomparable. Indian Architect & Builder’s interview with the founders, after the break…
The Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA), Herzog & de Meuron’s first project in India, has broken ground in the new district of Rajarhat. The new museum seeks to embrace the city’s renowned cultural past and ultimately transform it into India’s “Art City”. Programs ranging from high-end gallery and art restoration facilities, to artist studios and an outdoor performance theater aims to empower local artists so they may play a critical role in the evolution of their community.