Amaravati Government Complex Design Competition

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’.

 

 

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From top: the legislative assembly designed by Le Corbusier for Chandigarh and the below one is the legislative assembly proposed for Amaravati by Fumihiko Maki as a tribute to his ‘Guru’

 

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.

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Doshi with Maki in Ahmedabad, during Maki’s visit in 2013. They remained lifelong friends after their meeting in chandigarh in 1950s.
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Professor Christopher Benninger with Ar. Fumihiko Maki in Mumbai, 2012
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Ar. BV Doshi with his shishya Prof. Benninger

 

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.

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Louis Kahn’s unbuilt Hurva synagogue project
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The High Court as proposed by Vastu Shilpa
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Buildings proposed by Vastu Shilpa
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Buildings proposed by Vastu Shilpa
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2 thoughts on “Amaravati Government Complex Design Competition

  1. I caught the Corb connection too (I mean, how could you not?) but missed the Kahn reference. Good job with that one.

    Although I think the real character missing here in the review is actually the political being – but more on that later. Quite an abomination, this competition itself. When the whole debate is on drought and the shortage of arable land, we have a government that willingly donated 90000 acres of some of the most fertile land in the country.

    Like

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