Chandigarh was a long time ago, but arguably, no development of a new state capital has generated as much excitement and hype as Andhra Pradesh’ Amaravati city. While India is looking up to Amaravati as a modern day, even ‘futuristic’ capital that may well become a template for India’s 100 smart cities project, the city itself has a rich and glorious past.
Three international firms were shortlisted in the final stage competition including Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners from London, UK, BV Doshi of Vastu Shilpa Foundation from Ahmedabad,India and Fumihiko Maki of Maki and associates from Tokyo, Japan.
The brief for the competition was to design spaces that are eco-friendly, assimilates green and blue concept and most of all, act as vital geographic and economic gateways to their respective markets
Jury members comprising Erwin Viray (Professor of Architecture and Design at the Kyoto Institute of Technology,Japan), Suha Ozkan (Founder president of World Architecture community , Turkey), Rajeev Sethi (Designer and Art curator, India) , KT Ravindran (noted urban designer and educationist, India ), Keshav Varma (Ex- Municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad, India) led by chairman Professor Christopher Charles Benninger of India selected the design submitted by Maki Associates of Japan.
The top level technical panel headed by Professor Benninger had held several rounds of discussions with the three shortlisted competitors for three days and went through micro-level information provided by the planners. The jury spent nearly 40 hours in examining the plans and proposals of three top firms abefore reaching their decision.
ROGERS STIRK HARBOUR + PARTNERS LED BY LORD RICHARD ROGERS
MAKI ASSOCIATES LED BY FUMIHIKO MAKI
VASTU SHILPA FOUNDATION LED BY BALKRISHNA DOSHI
According to the hon’ble chief minister two iconic buildings including High Court and Secretariat would be developed in Amaravati. He said that it is people’s capital and the design would be placed in public domain for debate and suggestions from people. He also told that the best designs from two other architects (Vastu Shilpa and RSH+P) also would be taken into consideration to develop Amaravati as world class capital.
Inspirations for the designs:
It is symboliFumihiko Maki and BV Doshi both were friends from over five decades who were shortlisted for the competition entry and the chairman of the jury panel Christopher Benninger regards both of them as his ‘mentor’.
It was also to be noted that inspiration behind the projects submitted by these two architects were visibly inspired by their ‘Guru’ Le Corbusier. It is Le Corbusier alone whose body of work inspired young Maki to visit Chandigarh in the 1950s and there he be-friended Doshi who was overlooking Corbusier’s projects in India.
While it remains clear that Corbusier was the guiding force behind Maki’s design, it is evident that Louis Kahn played a definitive role in Doshi’s plan of the capitol complex.