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Indian Architects and their way of defining Indian Modernism:

AP Kanvinde
Kanvinde played with space and forms. A famous example is the ISKCON Temple at
New Delhi. He gave great importance to natural light. The form of the building is
such that the problem of ventilation as well as excessive heat is beautifully solved.
He championed the cause of vernacular architecture. He believed that values and
historical influences contributed towards good architecture.
"Over the years I have come to believe it is imperative that an architect develop a
sensitivity to human nature and a respect for human values. This, after all, is at the
very core of his work. In India the search for a new architectural expression must
continue and this must go beyond the satisfaction of matter of fact functional
needs. I think the designers sensibility here must become aware of the
accumulated wisdom of generations, but this should go together with the idea of
progress reflected in the evolution of technology. In my own case, I must
acknowledge my tremendous debt to Gropius it was he who really exposed me to
the power of technology on the one hand and the psychological dimensions of
spatial organisation on the other. Actually my present concerns and realisations are
all reflections of my earlier preoccupations: as a student at the J. J. School in
Bombay my thesis was on Archi tectural Composition and its Application to Indian
In Kanpur, the local availability of high quality brick and the prevalent labour and
construction practices made Kanvinde go for reinforced concrete for structural
frames and brick as infills .
Guided though he was by pragmatics of construction, Kanvinde made an
aesthetic use of the two materials, while on the other hand Kahn, guided by
expressive motives had ultimately used the two materials to show the rationality
and logic of organisation and order, an intellectual and pragmatic result.
Based on observations on his work, we can say that despite most of them being
distinctive, they are all very similar. They appear to be built with a large amount of
thought having been given to making them functionally efficient and practically
feasible. This coupled with his humble character might be the reason for his work to
not have received the same attention. His works are generally raw and
The visible difference in his later works, as compared to earlier ones, is that the
structural system is easily readable on the face of the building, and the buildings
clearly respond to climate.

Raj Rewal

Habib Rehman

Charles Correa

BV Doshi