The State of Architecture, Mumbai

The State Of Architecture in India


The state of architecture is an exhibition showcasing how architecture in India changed its course and the way it advanced in different aspects. It also accounts all the buildings and other events be it political or social and the way they affect the way they are built and also the reason why they were made. The exhibition also takes us through the journey also takes us through a lot of idea and raises questions about smart cities, role of architect and architecture etc.
Architecture is a form of art which is interrelated to many other fields. It is the art of building and designing. It is collaboration of ideas and diagrams. It is a product of cultures, different ideologies, needs and necessities. Architecture is a play of materials and forms and space. There are many other ways architecture can be defined.


“What is architecture anyway? Is it the vast collection of the various buildings which have been built to please the varying taste of the various lords of mankind? I think not.

“No, I know that architecture is life; or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived.

“Architecture is that great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man, and his circumstances as they change. That is really architecture.”

  • Frank Loyd Wright


Architecture has been existing in the nation and the world since the early ages and has developed substantially until today. Earlier the ideas of building were different and the purpose was as important as building.  But today the form and the idea of space and use of material has completely different. The idea of architecture has taken different turns one where you follow certain principles and ethics whereas the other you just build and forget. It is an architect’s call what does he or she need. But at the same time it is also the call of the consumer. In architecture the consumer is the most important entity in the process as it may or may not have knowledge about the field.

Architecture in India started developing with the Harappa civilization in the Indus valley. Further development began in the mauryan period by building of the sachi stupa and other such stupas around the country and also other structures. Also the temples had carvings about the stories of the gods and other cultural stories.  The architecture was with the material stone and the material had its own quality thus making the structures bulky and long lasting.

Until the colonies came in the architecture remained with stone and with carvings, but once the different colonies came in the state of architecture changed and new styles came in. new materials came in, also different colonies had different styles. For example the Portuguese used wood and laterite to make houses in Goa in response to the climate and by using the material available. There were certain features that the Portuguese introduced and built accordingly. Whereas on the other hand the British made buildings using  stone in smaller modules and later on started using rcc and other materials. Some of the new styles that came up during this period were neo-classical and art nouveau. The first architects in the 19th century were Fredirick Willams Stevens, Sameul Jacob, Charles Wyatt and Henry Irwin. These were the ones who came up and made remarkable structures.

After independence architects like le Corbusier were invited to India and design government buildings and plazazs. With Corbusier came new ideas, values and understanding of architecture. The way he used concrete and color was very different modern. Other architects like Louis Kahn and Laurie Baker used bricks to express their form of architecture and the people got exposed to these new forms. Architects like B.V.Doshi and Charles Correa bought in the Indian philosophy and ideologies while designing the building and executed them in a decent manner. The response to climate and topography was taken into consideration and buildings were designed. The architects also used glass and steel construction techniques in some projects. Architects like Raj Rewal and Achyut Kanvinde along with B.V.Doshi made many institutional buildings and changed the idea of and institution from a closed space to a highly open interactive space.

The architecture today is different. The way the building are made are completely commercialized and money earning agendas. The architects either make a good building by using certain values and principles or make bad buildings just to earn money. The buildings have advanced so much that the facade over powers the building with its huge glass cladding.

The idea of modernism has changed the way architecture has. As they both travel together. In the colonial age the neo classical architecture was modern whereas today there is no perfect definition of what is modern. As the state of architecture is continuously changing.

There are still lots of questions unanswered on the state of architecture and its course. Also the idea of modern and modernity and modernism remains unanswered in the correct manner.


Author: lifeinarchitecture

Architecture Student in Mumbai

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