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Acknowledgement It has been a wonderful journey since beginning. From the moment of the admission to till now, his journey gave me lots of learning, experience and memories. At the end of this amazing journey i would like to take a pause and pay gratification to everybody who supported me and influenced me to archive my goals in life. First of all, I would like to thank my God, my Gurumaharaj, for showering his blessing on me and giving courage to me in difficult time. Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities and success in life. Prof. Pratyush Shnakar, my guide, thank you for your patience, continuous encouragement and belief in me. Your valuable inputs, discussions and keen interest throughout the thesis made it easier and enriched. I am deeply obliged to Prof. Chhaya, my dean, for providing wonderful backdrop and atmosphere for discovering and enriching my talent. I would also like to thank all my faculties for their knowledgeable teachings and experiences. I would like to express my deeply appreciation to Mr. Ram Rahman, without whose help this thesis could have been not possible. Thank you for providing all required information, material and food at your home! Thank you my entire family especially my Ba, Papa, Mom, Jikaka, Kakima and all my siblings for their unconditional love, support, faith and belief in me. This could have been not possible without your help and trust. Akruti, my best friend, thank you for being there for me in all my needs and deeds. I will cherish our little girl’s talk and time we spent together. I deeply appreciate the last moment help of Priyanka and staying there for me all time. I will miss my entire girls gang Ruchi, Shweta, Sejal and Shaily for sweet and wonderful time we spent together. Thank you all my friends at CEPT and 07 batch for giving best time of my life.

Architecture of Habib Rahman a critical inquiry into the reinterpretation of his early influences into the context of India

Hiralba Jadeja UA1407

Guide: Prof. Pratyush Shankar Undergraduate Thesis School of Architecture CEPT University, Ahmedabad


Acknowledgement Introduction


Need for study


Aim and Objectives


Research Method


Scope and Limitations


Chapter-1 The Architectural Backdrop


1.1 Architecture in India: Post-Independence approach 1.2 Nehru’s vision for Indian architecture 1.3 Architectural History of New Delhi



The Architect- Habib Rahman Life Picture


2.1.1 Introduction of Architect Habib Rahman 2.1.2 Rahman’s Education 2.1.3 Early influences Architect Walter Gropius Architect Oscar Niemeyer 2.1.4 Rahman’s early practice in Kolkata 2.1.5 Rahman As chief architect in CPWD 2.1.6 Works after retirement

21 23 25 26 32 38 40 43

2.2 An over view 2.3 Project Chronology

Chapter-3 Case Studies 3.1

8 11 14

Criteria of selection of case study

3.1.1 Names of the selected case studies 3.1.2 Location of buildings in New Delhi

3.2 Framework of Analysis 3.3 Selected Case Studies 3.3.1 Site Level 3.3.2 Building Level 3.3.3 Detail level

46 48

53 55

55 55

56 61



Illustration Credit




Introduction In 1947, India has gained Independence. It not only got freedom but also got a new direction for discovering a new identity. Independence not only opened an opportunity for reclaiming our heritage It also allowed us to move forward while adapting features of globalization. Architecture is one of those features that symbolize the civilization by its existence. It is believed that architecture is the reflection of society and culture; here newly independent India wanted to reflect the modern approach towards the future of the country. There were many social, political ideologies and models for India to follow from Indian modernist, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, but it was the model of Nehru that had been emerged as the prevailing model for the region. The modernist approach of Nehru not only ruled the fields of industrialization and commercialization but also in architecture, where he was firmly recommending bringing the rational approach towards designing and planning without leaving the traditional roots. After independence, there was a Development of and a dying need of a representative capital city. The city, which would not only represent the country on the basis of politics but also symbolizes a future of modern India in the world of globalization. Nehru’s idea for New Delhi was to build largescale industries, central planning, the application of advanced technologies and huge capital investments, which was heavily drawn from the west and the Soviet Union. During that time, government authorities like PWDs were the major developing authorities for the cities, which not only provided the capital for constructions of the government buildings, but also designing and executing them. Thus, the chief architects of PWDs played a fundamental and trend setting role for developments of any city. Habib Rahman, as chief architect of New Delhi, had to play a similar role for the city. He had designed many iconic buildings all across India, especially in New Delhi. His American roots had brought modern direction to Indian architecture, which was followed by many other architects during that time and also afterwards. His works range from office buildings to institutional buildings and lowrise row housing to high-rise housing apartments. Emphasis on functionality, minimal decoration and use of modern materials in the construction were the key features of his rationalist approach to designing, following this he designed many buildings New Delhi. The study, therefore, investigates the implication of such an attitude that retains its validity even in today’s context. On a wider plane, such study intends to provide an understanding into making of an architectural image from modern influences to traditional adaptation of a form, A desire of exploring such distinctive concept and personality has encouraged this study.


Need for study In most of the government buildings in New Delhi, one can find similar architectural vocabulary getting repeated everywhere and interconnection between them. They were built with same idealistic approach and philosophy. Architect Habib Rahman has contributed a let in establishing the image of governmental architecture in the city. Habib Rahman being an MIT student was an architect with modern influences. His presence as chief architect of CPWD gave the new direction to government building of many cities in India, especially in New Delhi. Studying his work would not only help to identify his philosophy but it also identify modern architecture in India. It would also help to relate to the history of the city and understand evolution through revolution.

Aim To understand the design ideology of Architect Habib Rahman by identifying his notion of modern architecture, his expression and adaptation of local influences in his works, especially in New Delhi.

Objectives • • •

To study New Delhi as a capital city and its development after independence. To study the evolution of design language of the architect through his works. To understand the influence of modern architecture with integration of local climate, context and architectural language.

Methodology • •

• •


The study is obtained by two modes: 1) Literature survey 2) Exploration of case studied Recognition of architecture in New Delhi, India and Habib Rahman is based on literature survey. To pursue this part, representative examples from the works of the architect are analyzed. From complex forms, these buildings will be abstracted to their basic elements, in order to revel their underlying generative concepts. A conscious effort will be made to examine and understand how the designer’s philosophy is materialized in building forms; as fundamental concept or theme, what is it that the

designer abstracted from his influences to his own creative pursuit. Further, interviews of Delhi based senior architects is taken in order to get the Life Image of Architect and city.

Scope and limitations •

• •

This study mainly focuses on the architecture after independence it only covers early work of architect after independence. (1952-1960) Architecture after independence and the arrival of modern architecture in India itself is a vast topic of study, so this thesis only gives the brief overview about the development of architecture in India. The case study only covers government projects of Architect Habib Rahman that he designed as a chief architect of CPWD in New Delhi. The buildings, which are situated only in New Delhi, have been covered in the study for detailed analysis. This help to compare the works of the architect in the similar context to identify the evolution of architectural language. Buildings are not entirely experienced by the author due to the restriction of accessing them, so the impression gathered is partly through description by secondary resources such as books, documents, periodicals, interviews and visual images.


Chapter - 1

The Architectural

Backdrop 1.1 1.2 1.3

Architecture in India: Post-Independence approach Nehru’s vision for Indian architecture Architectural History of New Delhi

6.a and 6.b Refugee camps after partition of India



Architecture in India: Post-Independence approach

Independence in 1947 brought forth a bewildering range of problems, opportunities, expectation and dreams. The partition of the country caused a refugee problem that involved million of families. All eyes were on newly freed citizens and their leaders as the nation settled down to doing what had to be done to set the wheels of development in motion. At first there was no time for elaborate building plans. Hectic building activity occurred because million had to be re-settled all over Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal. A crash-building program was undertaken in the public sector using whatever materials were readily available and thus a number of small towns and re-settlement colonies came up, almost instantly, in many parts of the country. In one sense, it was the finest hour for the Public Development Works Department who had to contend with innumerable constraints and supply problems in restoring a sense of confidence to millions through the provision of housing and services. All this was achieved by Indian engineers and handful of architects employed by The Government.1 At the time of Independence, India had less than one architect per 1,00,000 population whereas Britain had one architect per 4,000 population.2 Just as architects were beginning to size up the enormous challenges of construction that lay ahead, the old debate on style erupted the process. The central question in the debates on style in the decades before Independence was: How much indigenization of style could the British afford to indulge in without appearing to be making political concession to subjected people? After Independence, the question changed to: how much indigenization could a newly independent nation afford without appearing backward and weak in both its own eyes and in the image presented to the rest of the world. Thus there were two broad stylistic expressions which prevailed in the uncertain fifties: 1. 2.

7.a Crawford Hall, Mysore University, Classical Revival building by Otto H. KĂśnigsberger, Mysore, 1947-49.

7.b Gandhi Ghat Memorial, One of the first modernist building by Habib Rahman, Barrackpore, Kolkata, 1949.

Revivalism Modernism

The first approach of Nationalism, a widespread and understandable sentiment in the first flush of freedom, was sought to express through revivalism in all forms of cultural expression, including architecture. Some of the tallest political leaders in the land lent their support to the revivalists, who sought to reach thousand years back for architectural forms and details, which symbolized various classical eras and golden ages of Indian culture. The revivalists believed that these movements like Art Deco and Modernism did not reflect the soul of the region. They said that architecture for India should be based on traditional styles. Architecture of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker’s magnificent capital at Delhi (completed in 1930), dominated largely by Neo-Classicism, remains the most monumental example of this synthetic creation for many years. But after the nationalist movement, the revivalists among the British architects

7.c Tuberculosis Association, Anglo-Indian building by Walter George, New Delhi, 1950-52.

[1] Raj, Mahendra. In Interview with Malay Chatterjee. November 1984. [2] Chatterjee, Malay. Architecture in India. Paris: Electa Moniteur, 1985 : 124. 7

8.a Mangaldas Girdhardas Town Hall Town Hall by Claude Batley, Ahmedabad, 1938.

8.1 Architectural approaches after independence

8.b Ashok Hotel by E.B. Doctor New Delhi, 1955.

8.c Vigyan Bhawan by Ramprakash L. Gehlot, New Delhi, 1955.

8.d Vidhana Soudha H.R. Naidu, Bangalore, 1952-57.

8.e Sevagram Ashram, Wardha, represents the Gandhi’s idea of simplicity and minimal.


turned to classicism as an expression of imperialism, whereas the Indian revivalist architects looked to Buddhist and Gupta-era prototypes-namely, a distant past that was free of any perceived colonial influences. The architecture that emerged from this approach was Anglo-Indian and Indo-Saracenic. Architects Claude Batley, Swinton Jacob and Walter George were the influential figures for the revivalist of post independence. One can clearly see the influence of that style in the design of E.B. Doctor’s Ashok Hotel in New Delhi (1955), H.R. Naidu’s Vidhana Soudha (1952-57) in Bangalore and Ramprakash L. Gehlot’sVigyan Bhawan Conference Center (1955), in New Delhi. The second approach towards architecture was modernism where building styles were born from the modern movement and rationalist perspective. The modern movement offered India a vision of the future based on a functionalist language that was free of colonial associations and of specific religious or ethnic traditions. Architects in India were aware of the ferments in the Europe art and architectural works of the three first decades of the century. They knew the works of the cities beautiful proponents (the construction of New Delhi was well under way), the proposal of the Bauhaus, the writings of Le Corbusier in Europe and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States and Japan. It was not, however, until well after Independence that the new ideas were absorbed into architectural practice and even then it was only a relatively small number of firms that actually embraced them.3 As revivalist ideas did not hold strongly with the leader of India-Jawaharlal Nehru, who was all set to embrace modernism as the vehicle to represent the agenda of the unfolding future. The recent memory of the agonizing partition of the subcontinent, and the demand of the secular state called into question the value of India’s architectural heritage for use in the present. Modern architecture seemed to promise exciting possibilities for the expression of India’s newly formed identity, and its clean, efficient forms were easily understood by the technocrats who made the [3] Lang, Jon. A concise history of modern architecture in India. Raniket: Permanenet Black, 2002 : 7.

decision for the country to advance the industry, commerce and science. Modernism in India was more like an overall approach to life that it meant designing the world positively, improving it, doing better than the required standard, being progressive and inventive, and this certainly included great visionary minds like Gandhi, Tagore and Nehru. Gandhian architecture was architecture of simplicity, minimalism, with many intellectual antecedents and parallels including modern architectural precepts, but without the formal vocabulary of modernism. Tagore’s architecture was much more poetic and Halics Its in roots presented the idea of revivalism in the spirit. Ultimately it was Nehru’s model of a socialist, industrialized modern India, free of poverty and unfettered by past constraints caught the attention. Gandhi’s dream of village India was impossible to realize as too much had changed after independence.

9.a Tagor’s Mud House, Shantiniketan, represents the Tagor’s idea of folk paradigm.

9.1 Different models of architecture by leaders of India after independence

Perhaps the first truly modern building in India was the Golconda Ashram in Pondicherry, designed and built between 1936-1948 by Antonin Raymond. Despite of Raymond’s experience with Frank Lloyd Wright his own work was strictly International modernist in both spirit and execution. The reinforced concrete building had a strikingly simple form. Its details and features were evolved from a thorough study of climate and the psychological needs of its occupants. Cross ventilation and sun protection was achieved for entire building surface with pre-cast horizontal louvers, and precast thin shell concrete vaulting was used to create a ventilated double roof for insulation.4 Though few architects in India were aware about its existence during that time, Golconda was the perfect example for the climatic, social and technological constraints. The architects after independence, which includes Habib Rahman, Achyut Kanvinde, Mansinh Rana and Durga Bajpai, got their architectural training in America, represented the formal arrival of the modern architecture in India. This generation had been exposed to Le Corbusier and other European masters via America and not directly. The masters of the American Modern Movement like Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright also influenced them. Thus in Rahman’s New Secretariat in Kolkata

9.b Golconda Ashram by Antonin Raymond, Pondicherry, 1936-48.

9.c Golconda Ashram Exterior.

[4] Published in. Progressive Architecture March 1949 : 46-47. 9

(1954) and Kanvinde’s ATIRA building in Ahmedabad (1953), we see the austere influence of the Bauhaus; in Bajpai’sJehangir Art Gallery (1953), a plasticity and freshness of expression is quite alien to the building tradition of Mumbai. In New Delhi’s, Oberoi Hotel (1958) by DurgaBajpai and PilooMody is clearly in the International style promulgated by Gropius and it is a clear recognition that new tourism required new functional form that could economically integrate structure and services. 5 10.a ATIRA building by Achyut Kanvinde, Ahmedabad, 1953.

10.b Jehangir Art Gallery by Durga Bajpai, Mumbai, 1953.

10.c New Secretariat by Habib Rahman, Kolkata, 1954.

The constant struggle existed between revivalist ideas and modernist ideas. But after that another predominant stylistic vocabulary in this period came that attempted to express the free spirit of India. The arrival of the architects like Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and Joseph Stein marked the beginning of the new stylistic approach that made modification to the International style. Le Corbusier’s creation of qualitative space through exposed concrete structure in Chandigarh, Kahn’s monumental buildings by exposed bricks in Ahmedabad and Stein’s organic aesthetic characters and integration of built form and landscape in New Delhi, all of them introduce the vocabulary that deeply influenced the next generation of Indian architects. Le Corbusier’s greatest impact was that he instantly solved the dispute between revivalists and modernists. His progressive social ideals and architectural ideas fit in neatly with Nehru’s ambitions for India, and for almost two decades his work served as an architectural model for the independent democratic nation, India. The history of modern architecture in India shows the striking montage of different approaches toward architecture, each representing powerful ideologies and offered patrons and architects a stylistic option, a choice of identity, an image of India. While the debate on style raged throughout the several decades, this struggle sought to address questions of collective identity in the light of inherent cultural pluralism that existed in the region-a challenge that architects across the country had to face in the coming decade.6

10.d Oberoi Hotel by Durga Bajpai and Piloo Mody, New Delhi, 1958.

10.e Indian International Center by Joseph Allan Stein, New Delhi, 1962.


[5] Chatterjee, Malay. Architecture in India. Paris: Electa Moniteur , 1985 : 126. [6] Mehrotra, Rahul. Architecture in India since 1990. Mumbai: Pictor Punblishing Pvt. Ltd. , 2011 : 33.


Nehru’s vision for Indian architecture

“ A moment comes when we step out from the old to the new, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” 7 The enormous changes, which have transformed the world in the 20th century, are especially evident in the situation of India. During the period following its independence from British rule in 1947, the nation dominated by a strong belief in the ability of technology to advance the cause of democracy. This was the time when India as a country had to define and refine its ideas to form an ideology. It was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, who paraphrased the spirit of the time, a brave new world, which unfettered by tradition and medievalism. The orientation was towards a secular and democratic order, which combined of industrial and scientific spirit. The vision of India’s first prime minister, Nehru, guided the nation into the modern era. With a population of 350 million in 1947, India was the second largest country in the world after China. Nehru wanted international recognition for his country commensurate with its history and its potential for development, and he sought to harness India’s great resources to position it alongside the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe and China in shaping the future. Nehru believed that communal unrest grew out of economic injustice and that the secular and socialist state, investing in technology, would be able to erase both of these curses together. In post-colonial India, scientific knowledge was given priority over traditional learning, centers for scientific study and research were given the privileged position in a society, and engineers were accorded a high status. After centuries of colonization, in 1947, India was off to a fresh start.8

11.a Le Corbusier with Nehru.

Architecture, the physical manifestation of the development, demanded an architecture that was set on common ideals. Architecture was representative of spirituality, the social consciousness, the conventionality as well as the rationality of the people and newly found nation. Nehru believed that India needed to redefine its nationality and ideas. Modernism was perceived as the natural approach of expression in the new nationalism: it was unhampered by historical or cultural restraints, and it reflected the optimism of free people in their aspiration for economic development as well as the desire to link the rest of the world. Nehru understood that industries were the new Guru’s for defining the modern day nationality and technologies were new tools to archive modern day nationality. With compare to other leaders’ approach towards architecture like Gandhiji’s and Tagore, Nehru’s impact on the art and architecture of India was much more immediate, obvious and far-reaching. Nehru’s optimist and enthusiastic approach drew attention of the nation. [7] Nehru, Jawaharlal. The religion of reason. The Times of India. Ahmadabad. 9 August 2009. [8] Frampton, Kenneth, Khaleed Ashraf Kazi and Belluardo. An Architecture of independence: the making of South Asia. New York: The Architectural League of New York, 1998 : 13. 11

12.a, 12.b, 12.c and 12.d Buildings designed by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh.

12.e, 12.f and 12.g Buildings designed by Le Corbusier in Ahmedabad.

12.h, 12.i, 12.j and 12.k IIM designed by Louis Kahn, Ahmedabad.


Inspiration for the architecture did not come from the Europe; it was primarily to the United States that young Indian, particularly north Indian, architects looked for inspiration and for their post graduation education. America was seen as the modern country, and with political independence the easy dismissal of American attitude that was characteristic of many British intellectual circle began to be unimportant to Indians.9 The attraction of the U.S. was enhanced by the fact that it was still perceived as a former colony that had proved its greatness, an achievement India hoped to duplicate. Nehru in his address to South-Asian leaders suggested,

“Don’t go abroad in search of the past, [but] go to foreign countries in search of the present. The search is necessary, for isolation from it means backwardness and decay.” 10 Hence as a step towards modernity, Nehru brought in modern architecture within India. While after the independence architecture profession was dominated by British based professionals, he appointed and appreciated works of the Indian architects who had studied in America or worked under American masters. The first generation of modern architects in India Achyut Kanvinde, Habib Rahman, Mansinh Rana, were influenced by either directly by studying or working under the masters of modern architecture like Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer and Alvar Alto, or indirectly by their writings. They were unified by a desire to bring new approaches for the architecture of new India, which would gives international identity. Nehru brought India one-step closer to modernism by inviting influential architects like Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret to the India. Then Sarabhai Family invited Louis Kahn to Ahmedabad. Both left profound effect in the Indian architecture by their derived whole new set of architectural vocabularies out of reflection on climate, culture and topography. Their climatic rationale, matched by a powerful architectural oeuvre, offered a new family of forms with which one could build the “brave new world”.

13.a TB - Sanatorium Paimio by Alvar Alto, Finland, 1932.

13.b Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Write, Pennsylvania, 1935.

The name of Chandigarh reverberated almost all over the world despite the controversy it engendered as the most powerful Indian version of the modernist vision. Nehru remained firmed with his experiment of Chandigarh and did not allow to affect the negativity of disliking of several people. In his opinion, he believed that change is always difficult to accept, and it is even harder to adjust when it is changing your identity, but to stand with the rest of the world change is required from time to time. Nehru’s vision changed the perspective of the country from influenced by Anglo-Saxon to being Modern, and brought the aspect of universal technology and globalization. 13.c Harvard Graduate Center by Walter Gropius, Massachusetts, 1949.

[9] Lang, Jon. A concise history of modern architecture in India. Raniket: Permanenet Black, 2002 : 43. [10] Nehru , Jawaharlal . The discovery of India. Kolkata: The Signet Press, 1946 : 565. 13


Architectural history of New Delhi

Delhi is an amalgamation of many cities built at different times in its thousand-years history, and it is this history that has been a fascination for its citizens and visitors for centuries. Delhi can be divided into discreet geographical area that relates to different period of history starting form Rajput period to Sultanate period, Mughal period, Colonial period and lastly the period after Independence. There the glorious relics of the Sultanate and Mughal empires, such as the QutubMinar and Humayun’s Tomb, and more recently the graceful colonial architecture left by British regime: Connaught Place.

14.a Qutab Minar, Symbol of Sultanate architecture.

14.b Humanyun Tomb, Symbol of Mughal architecture.

14.c Connaught Place by Robert Tor Russell, Symbol of Colonial architecture.

The architectural history of the New Delhi starts from the time when in 1911 the Britishers decided to shift the capital of the city from Calcutta to Delhi. Sir Edward Lutyens (1869-1944) was chosen as chief architect of the Delhi Planning Commission to create the new capital city. The site of Raisina Hill was chosen for a capital complex as Lutyens planes the new capital to be southwest of the walled city of Shahjahanabad, surrounded by the ruins of the earlier cities. Along with fellow architect Sir Herbert Baker (1862-1946), Lutyens laid the plan of the New Delhi that was centered on two intersecting axes-King’s way and Queen’s way, which were later renamed Rajpath and Janpath respectively. The viceroy’s house (1914-1929), known today as Rashtrapati Bhawan) was placed atop King’s way on Raisina Hill and the secretariat buildings on either side of it. Directly opposite to Viceroy House is the War Memorial (1921-1931), known as India Gate, which is located along the perpendicular parade route that cuts across King’s and Queen’s Way. Within the capital complex is the circular Parliament Building (previously the Council House). The wide tree-lined avenues, elite class bungalows on both the side and magnificent government buildings, all were the key features of the planning of the city. The idea behind the planning of the city was to create the exuberant imperial garden city that would never have shortage of land and density like other urban British colonies in Bombay and Calcutta. Lord Hardinge, the viceroy was the active part of the planning for designing of the city and buildings. He wanted Lutyens to incorporate the Indian traditional architecture features in his design. Being critical about Indian architecture, Lutyens took the approach neo-classical with Indo-saracenic style while designing the buildings of the capital cities.11 He did considerable research to understand the Indian architectural ethos and how to incorporate it into his own western, classical ideals and created masterpieces with a fusion of east and west made of stone, copper and other local materials. Other British architects also employed Lutyens’ neo-classical style to good use. One can see clear evidence of the approach in Sir Herbert Baker’s Secretariat building and the Parliament house and in Robert Tor Russell’s (1888-1972) Connaught Place. These architects opened the architectural chapter of new capital, but it was only after Independence when truly the modern and modernist work filtered into the city. [11] Khanna, Rahul and Manav Parhwak. The modern architecture of New Delhi:1928-2007. Noida: Random House Publishers India Pvt. Ltd., 2008 : 11.


15.b Rendered drawing of the aerial perspective of the proposal by Edward Lutyens.

15.c Aerial view of half-built Connaught Place.

15.a Edward Lutyens’ plan of New Delhi.

15.d Photograph taken during the construction of the Secretariat building. 15.f Rashtrapati Bhawan

15.g India Gate

15.h Aerial view of North and South block of Secretariat and Parliament house behind the North block.

15.i Parliament house

15.e View of one of the standard bungalows, all had verandas and extra windows which provides protection from the climate. 15

16.a Supreme Court India by Ganesh Deolalikar, New Delhi, 1952.

16.b Jawaharla Nehru Memorial Library, New Delhi, 1968-1969.

16.c Rabindra Bhawan by Habib Rahman, New Delhi, 1961.

16.d Azad bhawan by Achyut Kanvinde, New Delhi, 1958-61.

By the time Lutyen’s New Delhi was completed in 1931, it was known to most of the people in India and Britain that India was on its way to some sort of independence. But know one knew that what kind of independence it was until the last minute, when suddenly partition of India-Pakistan was inevitably declared, and the handover date brought forward. The modern city of New Delhi, post 1947, is structured largely around these low-rise, high-density housing to meet the urgent need to house refugees who had fled from newly formed Pakistan after partition. Many refugee settlement colonies such as Lajpat Nagar, Nizamuddin and Moti Nagar were built during the time of fifties to solve the habitation problem of those people.12 Even new government administrative and institutional buildings were needed to be constructed to accommodate various agencies of India. This was only possible with the help of government authorities such as CPWD and DDA. Being the government authorities they had maximum capital and power to fulfill the requirement in the short amount of time. The very first generation of CPWD architects like Ganesh Deolalikar, ShridharJoglekar and R.I.Gehlote faced the problems of how to develop the areas of New Delhi in response to the needs of expanding democratic government buildings. They faced a quandary given of the strong urban design and architectural precedents set by Lutyens and Baker. Their goal for the development of the city was to fit within the architecture of the Lutyens and Baker without being the same. Some of them, however, chose the revivalist approach while designing the buildings. In Deolalikar’s Supreme Court, (1952) we see the extension of the Lutyens’ and Baker’s design philosophy for New Delhi. The Indo-British style was combined with Indian architectural elements with colonial aesthetics. It regarded as rather heavy headed for his use of Indian element such as Chhattris that stand in strong contrast to the elegance of those at FatehpurSikri. New chapter really began in the architecture of the New Delhi after Nehru became President and brought his modernist group of architect in the city. European and mostly American trained Indian architects, for example, Habib Rahman (1915-1995), AchyutKanvinde (1916-2002) and MansinhRana (1922-2013), were the architects who truly brought the modernism to India. Their generation was given a huge responsibility to shape the architecture of the newly independent India that had no particular identity. They and others like them returned to Indian and begun to implement their ideas in an Indian context; meeting with substantial resistance from the political quarters, which preferred the insertion of revivalist, not western, design. Many of them asked to incorporate the Indian embellishments in their designs that we see in some of the buildings like Habib Rahman’s Indraprastha Bhawan and Rabindra Bhawan and in AchyutKanvinde’s Azad Bhawan. Their architecture became the inspiration for the future generation that substantially lead towards more rational approach of designing. Corbusier was the other great influence on New Delhi’s [12] Ravindran , K.T. Interview. Author. 9 January 2013.


early architecture. The great Swiss-French architect came to India to plan the new capital of Punjab - Chandigarh in 1950. Of Corbusier’s interaction with Indian and local architects, came a long-lived fascination with creating architecture out of reinforced concrete, pilotis and brise solely, which gripped young architects like Shiv Nath Prasad, Rajinder Kumar, Jugal Kishore Chowdhury. Whatever their styles were, all these architects took time to express and address foreign influence and teachings in the Indian context. The big question was: what it means to be modern Indian and how to create a modern Indian architectural style? This plagued all of the first generation of Indian architects, and it was a question that was never answered conclusively. The fifties and sixties saw a prolific phase of architecture within Delhi where architecture seemed to be important for the notion of ‘nation building’. In the seventies and eighties, architects Charles Correa, Kuldip Singh, Raj Rewal and RomiKhosla made their footprints on the city with major commissions. It was during these years that architects moved beyond the modernist mould of Wrightgropius-Corbusier, building for example the first skyscrapers in the city, such as Kuldip Singh’s town hall structure (the Palika Kendra), completed in 1983, and Correa’s JeevanBharti in 1986. The subsequent decades saw a mix of talents that used variety of new materials, with varying styles and philosophies. The end product of all these various influences, made the city a sort of exhibition ground that showcases centuries of architecture, each in its own way mirroring the times.

17.d Jeevan Bharti building by Charles Correa, New Delhi, 1986.

17.e Asiad Village Housing by Raj Rewal, New Delhi, 1981-82.

17.a IIT by Jugal Kishore Chowdhury , New Delhi, 1961-1984.

17.b Akbar Hotel by Shiv Nath Prasad, New Delhi, 1965-69.

17.c Palika Kendra by Kuldeep Singh, New Delhi, 1965-83.

17.1 History of architecture according to time period. 17

Chapter - 2

The Architect

Habib Rahman 2.1 Life Picture 2.1.1 Introduction of Architect Habib Rahman 2.1.2 Rahman’s Education 2.1.3 Early influences Architect Walter Gropius Architect Oscar Niemeyer

2.1.4 Rahman’s early practice in Kolkata 2.1.5 Rahman As chief architect in CPWD 2.1.6 Works after retirement 2.2 An over view 2.3 Project Chronology


Life Picture


Introduction of Architect Habib Rahman

"A building becomes architecture when it not only works effectively but moves human soul." (Rahman) Acknowledged as a professional of distinction, Rahman was presented the Padma Shree in 1955 and the Padma Bhushan in 1975. Ironically, very few citizen of Delhi knew his stature on the Indian architectural firmament during the Fifties and Sixties. He has designed major landmarks of New Delhi as a chief architect of CPWD including Rabindra Bhawan, WHO headquarter, The General Post office (Dak Tar Bhawan) and Delhi Zoo. The paucity of Indian architects and the vast amount of construction required in the newly independent country meant that many young Indian architects were required to take up the challenge of working on projects way beyond the level that their experience would normally have warranted. Of these young architects, the first to have lasting influence was Habib Rahman.13 Being the first Indian who has studied architecture from America, many of his building reflects his foreign roots of designing. He was one of the first generation of architects who has brought modernism in India along with Achyukt Kanvinde (1916-2002) and Mansinh Rana (1922-2013) who have also studied overseas like him.

21.a Architect Habib Rahman (1915-1995)

It was a heady experience for Rahman to live and work in Delhi in the 50’s, as Independence had not only brought political change but also change in social and cultural ethos. Dominating dynamism of Pandit Nehru and his philosophy of Modern India drove the newly independent nation politically and also architecturally. As CPWD being a major construction agency during those times, it designed most of the government building and residences after independence that shaped physical environment of the city that we experience even today. As Nehru’s philosophy also dominated the built environment, he had played major role of being a critic for the CPWD work, designed by any government architect including Rahman. Being the chief architect of CPWD, Rahman has got opportunity of his lifetime to have shaped a capital of the independent nation. Through out his career he has designed many government offices, institutions, residential housing, apartments and hostels and monuments. Awards like Padma Shree; Padma Bhushan and JK cement chairman award for Lifetime Achievement appreciated his efforts towards his profession. He has even joked that he was given a major award every 20 years of his career (respectively 1955, 1974 and 1995), and should he live to a hundred, he would get the Bharat Ratna. 14

[13] Lang, Jon. A concise history of modern architecture in India. Raniket: Permanenet Black, 2002: 43. [14] Rahman, Ram. “Tribute-Habib Rahman.” A+D March-April 1996: 19. 21

After the retirement instead of enjoying his retirement, he chooses to be professionally active till last date. He became secretary of Delhi Urban Arts Commission for three years and also continued to work as consultant for several projects. He was also connected with Delhi school of architecture as student used to come to him for his guidance. His involvement in projects and design solutions always remained superior for Delhi architecture and architects. He had also given design proposal for Ayodhya Babri Masjid in 1990 just five years before his death. He was very spectacle about recent architecture of that time and used to give his opinion. This way he always remained connected to the outer world with his designs and words.

22.a Rahman performing classical Dance, Ragini Devi Dance of India, New York, 1946.


Dancer, artist and architect Habib Rahman was always passionate about his profession and that passion brought him to the stage where he could influence the future generation of architects. He was critic of architecture not only of others work but also of his own work. His ideology and manifestation would be describe in more detailed manner in coming chapters, which will inform us his education, influence of other architects on him, his practice as architect in India and how he has developed certain style of his architecture. All these information with analyzed case study will allow us to identify his philosophy of ‘Modern Indian’ architecture.


Rahman’s Education

Born in 1915 in Kolkata, Rahman spent his early years touring east Bengal (now Bangladesh) with his father, who was a judge. HE came from the background where he was not familiar with electricity and telephone till the age of 16.15 After completing his schooling he took admission in Bengal Engineering College in Kolkata to become a mechanical engineer. Since beginning he was interested in the architecture but during those times the profession of architecture was virtually unknown in India and was taught only in the J J School of Arts in Mumbai. So he set to become a mechanical engineering. But his keen interest led him to design his father’s three-story house in Shibpur, Kolkata in 1935 as a second year student.16 After completing his bachelors in 1939, he went to Delhi to give competitive exams for the Railway Service. He failed the exams, much to his fate, but succeeded in winning a Bengal government scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. He went there to do his master’s in mechanical engineering, but after visiting design studios of architecture department at MIT, his passion for architecture was rekindled. After much struggling with his mind, passion took over his mind and he finally decided to switch over to architecture. He went to the dean of the architecture department and requested him to give admission. Dean allowed him to join the architecture for one or two months and told Rahman to see if that what he really wanted to do. Impressed by his work dean gave the permission to transfer his admission in architecture department and helped him to do all government procedure to West Bengal Government. MIT also stopped his scholarship cancellation due to course change and set perfect canvas for his architectural studies. Rahman also didn’t let down his professors and completed his five years course of graduation and master in three-and-half years. There he studied under very influential faculties like Lawrence Andersen, William Wurster and Walter Gropius, who were teaching at neighboring University Harvard. Under those talented personalities he learned the philosophy of simplicity and functionalism. He didn’t had money to do masters because the scholarship duration was getting over after graduation as per the rules, his determination didn’t stop him to study further. His education fees got excused due to his excellent performance in studies and food problem got solve by working for canteen to wash plates at night. Finally he completed his studies in 1944 in less than required time and become first Indian to study architecture in US. As world war-II was going on, Rahman couldn’t go back to India immediately after completing his studies. He stayed there for almost two and half years and worked in the offices of different architects like Konrad Wachsman, Ely Kahn, Walter Gropius and Lawrence Anderson. His practice under these architects made him more versatile and strong. It also helped him to establish his own identity in newly independent India. [15] Bajaj, Sheela . Profile: Habib Rahman. The Asian Age. 17 March 1996 : 22. [16] Rahman, Habib. “Sarkari Architecture.”. Inside-Outside. February-March 1987: 143. 23

24.a Habib Rahman with the model of National Library Annex, Kolkata, 1953.


2.1.3 Early Influences Some architects left their impression so strongly on Rahman that we could see the similar kind of architecture from him after coming back from America (influenced by his masters). During his stay at America, Rahman worked mostly with architects who were either strong follower of modern movement in architecture or deeply connected with Bauhaus or International style. Though he had worked with many architects, not all of them left an impression on him. But each of them played a major role in training him to perfection, When he was working with Konrad Wachsman, for the first six months of his practice he had to design only a single hinge for the prefabricated steel section that were being used to build a plywood building for the troops.17 He had been trained to that discipline, which could prepare him to see the buildings till the smallest possible detail. Rahman had even worked with the dean of his department Lawrence Anderson in college as well as in his office, but Walter Gropius played the role of the master for him. Studying and working under Gropius’ guidance made Rahman more familiar with Gropius’s style and philosophy. He was convinced by the Bauhaus style that Gropius has founded. Influence by that style so deeply that he introduce the Bauhaus or rather say International style as per American context in India. Rahman was the one who had brought first multistory with steel frame structure and concrete flat slab in India bringing Bauhaus to the country. Such strong influences did not only come from professional connection but also socially attached with each other, This resulted in bringing the new genre in Indian architecture. Another major influence on Habib Rahman was the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Though Rahman never met Niemeyer nor visited Brazil personally in his life, he became familiar with his architecture only through secondary sources. Both had more or less similar kind of events in their life as Rahman was a government architect and Niemeyer had done many government projects due to his political connection. Niemeyer’s career was on peak during the 40’s and he was also a well-known figure in America as he was invited to design Brazilian pavilion in New York World’s Fair in 1939 along with Lúcio Costa. Their design earned a positive attention and charmed by Niemeyer’s design, Mayor of the city Fiorello La Guardia made him honorary citizen of New York City.18 Rahman’s very early building in Kolkata, New Secretariat, was partly influenced by the design of Niemeyer’s Ministry of Education building in Rio de Janeiro.19 In order to understand the design aesthetics and style that were taken into account by Rahman from these architects, we have to first understand their own idea of architecture and particular characteristics developed by them. Knowing architects will ultimately lead to the base idea of the Rahman’s style of architecture. [17] Rahman, Ram. Interview. Author. 10 January 2013. [18] Papadaki, Stamo. Oscar Niemeyer. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960 : 117. [19] Rahman, Habib. “Architect Rahman’s notes.” The Weekly. 24 October 1952. 25

1903-1907 Studied architecture, in Munich and Berlin

1910-1925 Behrens’ Private practice with Adolf Meyer in Berlin office 1908-1910 Fagus Factory, 1911 Germany




1914 Werkbund Exhibition,Cologne


Appointed Director of Bauhaus 1919-1928 1919 Founded Bauhaus, Weimer


1928-1934 Private practice in Berlin

1926 Bauhaus Building, Dessau




Architect Walter Gropius

“Architecture begins where engineering ends.” (Gropius) The shakers and makers of the modern world - Einstein, Shaw, Matisse or Wright, etc spent their lives under a very special set of historical conditions. They lived to be very old men in a period of fantastically accelerated social change. Unlike the great prophets of past times, they survived not merely to see their predictions come true: they lived on into a world in which their works had become commonplace, the very wrap and woof of everyday life.

26.a Architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969)

Walter Gropius, one of the few actual inventors of modern architecture, the creator of the world famous Bauhaus and the most influential architecture teacher, Gropius was, an active and vocal member of a profession which has been powerfully shaped by standers which he himself helped establish. Throughout a long and active life in international architecture, he has played three interconnected yet separate roles: Designer, Educator and Critic. His contributions in all three areas have been impressive, though they have fluctuated in relative importance from decade to decade. Born on May 18, 1883, Gropius was a son of an architect Walter Adolph Gropius and wife ManonAuguste Pauline Scharnweber. He received his architectural education from the technical institute in Munich (1903–04) and University of Charlottenburg, Berlin (1905–07). But his education was interrupted, first, by a trip to Spain (1904-05) where he toured the country and worked in a ceramic factory; and secondly by the usual stint in the Imperial Army (1905-1906). After completing his studies in architecture, he traveled in Italy, Spain and England for a year. His life as an architect really began when he entered the office of Germany’s most famous architect, Peter Behrens. He worked for three years in the office (1907-1910) and became chief assistant of Behrens. The Behrens office was a magnet, which attracted many bright young architects-how strong a magnet may be deduced from the fact that Walter Gropius, Mies van de Rohe and Le Corbusier were all three employed there.20 Gropius used to say about Behrens,

“I owe him much, particularly the habit of thinking in principles…an imposing personality, well-dressed and having the cool deportment of a conservative Hamburg patrician, (he was) endowed with will power and a penetrating intellect…moved more with reason than emotion.” 21 [20] Fitch, James. Walter Gropius. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960 : 8. [21] Gropius , Walter . Interview. James Fitch. Cambridge, April 1960. 26

Private practice 1937-1969 with Maxwell Head of the architecture department, Harvard University, U.S.A. Practice at The Architects Collaborative 1938-1941 Fry, London 1946-1969 Practice with 1934-1937 Marcel Breuer 1949 Harvard Graduate Center, Massachusetts 1938 Own house, Lincoln





1961 University of Baghdad,Iraq



Died,1969 Boston



Gropius also owed the Behrens office his first contact with modern industry; for Behrens, in his capacity as design consultant to the German electrical trust, was perhaps the first architect in history to hold this essential modern post. Through this contact, Gropius was exposed to the whole range of design problems from that of the factory down to the products manufactured there. In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin. He always promoted working in collaboration as he thought that architecture is a filed of different profession and arts, and all to gather they create a scope of total architecture.

27.a Fagus Factory, Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, 1911.

“The art of architecture is dependent upon the cooperation of many individuals, whose work reflects the attitude of the entire community. In contrast, certain other arts reflect only narrow section of life. The art of architecture and its many branches should be not a luxury, but the life-long preoccupation of a whole people.”22 Till 1914 he continued his privet practice that was truncated by the four-your hiatus of World War-I in which he had to pay his duty in army from 1914-1918. But before the First World War he had found his ground in architecture and made his presence felt in the evolving profession. This period was the most fruitful of Gropius’s long career; he designed most of his significant buildings during this time along with Adolf Meyer. The Fagus factory in Alfeld-ander-Leine (1911) immediately established his reputation as an important architect. Notable for its extensive glass exterior and narrow piers, the facade of the main wing is the forerunner of the modern metal and glass curtain wall. The omission of solid elements at the corner of the structure, heightens the impression of the building as a glass-enclosed, transparent volume.23 In his next major work, the Administration Building for the Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne (1914), Gropius carried the idea further by glazing the entire facade including the corner stairwells. His entry in the Chicago Tribune competition of 1922 was an application of these principles to skyscraper design. In contrast to the winning Gothic design by Raymond Hood, Gropius’s solution was free of all eclectic or historical detail. Using the rectangular Chicago window employed by architects like Louis Sullivan, Gropius offered a significant European solution to the design problem

27.b Werkbund Exhibition, Cologne, Germany, 1914.

posed by America’s most innovative structure, the skyscraper. Gropius developed a clear commitment to and talent for organization and a dedication to promoting his ideas on the arts. In 1911 he became a member of the German Labour League (DeutscherWerkbund), which had been founded in 1907 to ally

27.c Water Gropius and Adolf Meyer, Chicago Tribune Tower competition entry, 1922.

[22] Bayer, Herbert, Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius. Bauhaus:1919-1928. Boston: Charles T. Branford company, 1959 : 18. [23] Fitch, James. Walter Gropius. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960 : 19. 27

creative designers with machine production, where he joined Henry van de Velde in his initial efforts to counter standardization of design and promote individual creativity. Gropius argued for such building techniques as prefabrication of parts and assembly on the site. However much he accepted the inevitability and restrictions of mechanization, he felt it was up to the artistically trained designer to “breathe a soul into the dead product of the machine.” He was against imitation, snobbery, and dogma in the arts and cautioned against such oversimplification as the notion that the function of a product should determine its appearance.

28.a Bauhaus Curriculum designed by Walter Gropius, 1919.

28.b Faculties of Bauhaus from left to right: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemeer.

28.c Alder Cabriolet Interior, image showing reclining seats design by Walter Gropius.

28.d Bauhaus Building, Dessau, 1926.


“Architecture in the last few generations has become weakly sentimental, aesthetic and decorative... this kind of architecture we disown. We aim to create a clear, organic architecture whose inner logic will be radiant and naked, unencumbered by lying facings and trickery; we want an architecture adapted to our world of machines, radios and fast cars,... with the increasing strength of the new materials – steel, concrete, glass – and with the new audacity of engineering, the ponderousness of the old methods of building is giving way to a new lightness and airiness.”24 In 1908, Henry van de Velde suggested Gropius name as the head of the Grand Duke of Saxe School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar due to his friendship and their common idea on art education. Although Gropius did not take up the appointment and Henry van de Velde was asked to step down in 1915 due to his Belgian nationality that resulted in to the cessation of the school in 1915. Velde’s recommendation for Gropius to succeed him led eventually to Gropius’s appointment as master of the school in 1919. Under this position he merged Grand Duke of Saxe School of Arts and Crafts and Grand Duke Saxe Academy of Arts in to a single school and gave the name “Bauhaus” - German word meaning “house of building”. The Bauhaus was the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century, one whose approach to teaching, and understanding art’s relationship to society and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and the United States long after it closed. It was shaped by the 19th and early 20th centuries trends such as Arts and Crafts movement, which had sought to level the distinction between fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing. The school is also renowned for its faculty, which included artists Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and designer Marcel Breuer. The curriculum, which Gropius devised for this combination, was a rational effort to merge the best of crafts training with all that was valid in the academy. He was opposed to “art for art’s sake”, believing that every artist was first of all a craftsman: “only in rare blessed moments of inspiration, moments beyond the control of his will, his work may blossom into art.” 25 In the manifesto of the Bauhaus Gropius clearly mentioned his idea of to develop a contemporary program for the school where the intention of the Bauhaus is the ultimate aim of all creative [24] Gropius, Walter. The new approach to architecture and the Bauhaus. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1935.1919-1928, Charles T. Branford company, Boston, 1959, p.25. [25] Gropius, Walter. Program des Staatlichen Bauhauses. Weimer : Bauhaus, 1919: 1.

activity is building. The specific principles upon which Bauhaus was founded are not easily encapsulated. Gropius himself found it necessary to amplify and develop them repeatedly after the first publication of the first manifesto but in essence they were these: 1. The education of the designer “must include a thorough, practical manual training in workshop actively engaged in production, coupled with sound theoretical instruction in the laws of design.”26

29.a Bauhaus building, Dessau, 1925-26.

2. “The Bauhaus believes the machine to be our modern medium of design and seek to come to terms with it.”27 3. The scale and complexity of modern problems necessitates collaborative design. “Any industrially produced object is the result of countless experiments, of long systematic research.” The design school must recognize this and equip the students with “common basis on which many individuals are able to create together a superior unit of work.”28 4. All design must recognize this fact of life and distill a new set of aesthetics criteria from it. Such a process would, for architecture, lead to “clear, organic (form) whose inner logic will be radiant and naked, unencumbered by lying facades and trickeries.”29 5. The Bauhaus teaches “the common citizenship of all forms of creative work and their logical independence upon one another.”30 In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau with the promise of better financial support and an escape from the growing antagonism of the conservative Weimar community. In Dessau, Gropius designed the school building and faculty housing (1925–26). The school itself is a key monument of modern architecture and Gropius’ best-known building. Its dynamic composition, asymmetrical plan, smooth white walls set with horizontal windows, and flat roof are features associated with the Bauhaus style of the 1920s. Gropius resigned as director of the Bauhaus in 1928 to return to practice privately as an architect in Berlin. With Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, Unsympathetic to the Nazi regime, he and his second wife, Ise Frank, whom he had married in 1923, left Germany secretly via Italy for exile in England in 1934. Hitler’s government closed the Bauhaus in 1933. Gropius’ brief time in England was marked by collaboration with the architect Maxwell Fry that resulted in their important work, Village College at Impington, Cambridgeshire (1936).

29.b Bauhaus Balconies by László Moholy-Nagy, 1926.

29.c Armchair by Gerrit Rietveld.

In 1937 he was invited to teach at Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts. The following year he was made chairman of the department, a post he held until his retirement in 1952. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1944. At Harvard he introduced the Bauhaus philosophy of design into the curriculum, although he [26] Bayer, Herbert, Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius. Bauhaus:1919-1928. Boston: Charles T. Branford company, 1959 : 27. [27] Ibid. p.30. [28] Ibid. p.28. [29] Ibid. p.29. [30] Ibid. p.127.

29.d Impington Village College, Exterior, Classroom wing, Impington, Cambridge, 1936. 29

was unable to implement workshop training. He was also being called to MIT as a visiting faculty in architecture department. In addition to his teaching, Gropius collaborated with Marcel Breuer a former Bauhaus pupil and later fellow teacher, from 1937 until 1940.Among their designs was Gropius’ own house in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the Pennsylvania Pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, The Alan I W Frank House in Pittsburgh and the company-town Aluminum City Terrace project in New Kensington.

30.a Gropius own House, Lincoln, Massachusetts, 1938.

30.b Harvard Graduate Center, Designed by TCA, Massachusetts, 1949.

In 1945, Gropius founded The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC) based in Cambridge with a group of younger architects. The original partners included Norman C. Fletcher, Jean B. Fletcher, John C. Harkness, Sahah P. Harkness, Robert S. MacMillan, Louis A. MacMillan and Benjamin C. Thompson. TCA executed many important commissions, including the Harvard Graduate Center (1949), the U.S. Embassy in Athens (1960), and the University of Baghdad (1961). He was widely respected as a teacher and designed a number of American buildings, including the Harvard University Graduate Center (1950). Gropius remained an active member of TAC until he died at the age of 86. Most assessments of Gropius’ influential career center upon his achievements as educator and author rather than as architect. In his own building designs he turned away from personal and subjective aspects in favor of reaching for intellectual solutions of larger and socially urgent problems. Among his most important ideas was his belief that all design—whether of a chair, a building, or a city—should be approached in essentially the same way: through a systematic study of the particular needs and problems involved, taking into account modern construction materials and techniques, without reference to previous forms or styles. Gropius had always denied that he had any ambition to establish a style; he had always maintained that, on the contrary, it was a basic methodology of design that he sought.

“It is not my intention to introduce a cut and dried “Modern Style” from Europe, but rather to introduce a method of approach which allows one to tackle a problem according to its peculiar conditions…an attitude toward the problems of our generation which is unbiased, original and elastic.” 31 30.c University of Baghdad, Auditorium, Designed by TCA, Baghdad, 1961.

By promoting the New Architecture of modern world he had maintained two major principles upon which his whole idea of modern architecture depended, those were: 1. Standardization 2. Rationalization

30.d University of Baghdad, Library and Academic area, Designed by TCA, Baghdad, 1961.

By standardizing different elements of the building you can meet the desire of less expensive and less effort ful way of construction. In the world of mechanization, to take the maximum advantage of the machine, standardizing elements could save lot of time of construction that ultimately lead to mass production of the buildings. By rationalizing, he was approaching a state of technical proficiency when it would become possible to rationalize buildings [31] Gropius, Walter. Scope of total architecture . Boston, London etc.: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1956 : 3.


and mass-produce them in factories by resolving their structure into number of component parts. Like boxes of toy bricks, these would be assembled in various formal compositions in dry state, which means building would definitely cease to dependent on the weather. By rationalizing the standardized component, it gave the opportunity to pre-fabricate the building that could guarantee fixed price and definite period of construction. At the end all we can say that Gropius’ architecture does not have the aesthetic fascination of Wright’s or Le Corbusier’s but reflects a sober and programmatic concern that marked his whole life. . Without following any historic style he created architecture that was clear simplified forms.

31.a Pre-fabricated copper house for mass production, (Top) A complete Five room house loaded on a motor lorry for conveyance to the site, (Middle) Assembling walls, (Bottom) Completed House.


1930-1934 BA in architecture, Brazil

Worked with Lúcio Costa,Brazil 1934-1943

1940-1965 Private practice in Brazil

Pampulha Lake Development, 1940-42 Rio De Janeiro



Private practice in France 1965-1985

1947 United Nations Headquarters, New York 1943 Ministry of Education and Health, Rio De Janeiro



1956-2012 Brasília, Brazil




Architect Oscar Niemeyer

“It is important that the architect think not only of architecture but of how architecture can solve the problems of the world.” (Niemeyer)

32.a Architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012)

32.b Ministry of Health and Education, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 1937-43.

Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who created some of the famous modernist buildings in his country, was considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. He was an inspiration to the generations of young architects not only of his country but also to the young architects of worldwide. He is being considered one of the masters of modern architecture. Few years prior in age and career, Niemeyer had the similar events of manifestation in his architecture profession as Habib Rahman. Though he was practicing independently, he had worked for many government project and ministers during his practice, like Rahman. As Rahman was encouraged by Nehruthe Prime Minster of India, Niemeyer was given opportunities of his lifetime by Juscelino Kubitschek who became successively Mayor of Belo Horizonte-capital of the state of Minas Gerais in 1940, Governor of the state in 1950, and President of Brazil (1956-1960), due to his favorable relationship with him. Oscar Niemeyer was born Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer SoaresFilho on December 15, 1907, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After graduating from Barnabitas College in 1923, Niemeyer worked for his father at a typography house for a short while before entering the Escola Nacional de BelasArtes, from which he graduated architecture in 1934. While a student, he joined the offices of Lúcio Costa, an architect from the Modernist school. Niemeyer worked with Costa on many major buildings from 1935 to1943. His work had no particular dictation and passed unnoticed until 1936.32 During his internship Costa was appoint by the Education minister Gustavo Capanema to design the New headquarter of the Ministry of Education and Health in Rio de Janeiro. Le Corbusier was also invited for the same project to collaborate with Costa. During Corbusier’s four week long stay in Rio, Niemeyer was appointed to help him with the drafts, which allowed him a close contact with the Swiss master. This was not the only time when he came under the influence of the master. He was familiar with master’s architectural style through publications and via his earlier visits to Rio. Then complete transformation took place in the young architect, earning him Costa’s confidence to put him as design charge for the Ministry of Education building, after the withdrawal of himself in 1939. Profoundly inspired by master’s work, one can see the influence on his earlier work like [32] Papadaki, Stamo. Oscar Niemeyer. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960 : 12.



1985-2012 Private Practice in Brazil

1949 Harvard Graduate Center, Massachusetts

1938 Own house, Lincoln






Henrique Xavier house (un-built) (1936), Obra do Berco Day Nursery (1937) and Ministry of Education and Health (19371943), all situated in Rio. The use of the Pilotis as structural element, flat roof and free plan reflects the influence of the master. Le Corbusier often used to say that talent was not enough if it was not backed by a strong character; and many young men departed from his studio with only set of “stilts” and “roof garden”. Niemeyer absorbed Corbusier’s lessons completely and rather than imitating Corbusier’s style completely he started to explore his own canvas by experimenting with plastic material concrete. Another element, which he had used extensively in his earlier work, was movable louvers that might be the need of weather. He restricted himself to use similar elements again and again as his architectural knowledge grew from his own experience. He also denied to blindly follow the ongoing trend of Bauhaus because he did not want to restrict his imagination. He used to say,

“We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just didn’t have any talent. All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it.” 33

1961 University of Baghdad,Iraq



Died,1969 Boston


33.a Ministry of Health and Education, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1937-43.

33.b Henrique Xavier house, Rio de Janeiro, 1936.

The curve lines of the nature were his inspiration for the rest of his life. His fascination to the curves left little wonder that he seldom embrace the right angle, the straight lines or the squares. His lines began to follow the curves of women body. Influencing him too, through every pore, were the elliptical white beaches of Brazil, its sinuous rivers, the rounded towers of its baroque churches, its heaped-up mountains and the curling waves of the ocean. For him his work was to about ‘form-follows-function’ but it was more like ‘form-follows-beauty’ or, even better ‘form-follows-feminine’.34

“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to freeflowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire universe, the curved universe of Einstein.” 35 As soon as he started his solo career in 1940, Juscelino Kubitschek gave him a major project to develop a new suburb to the north of the city called Pampulha and commissioned him to design a series of buildings which would become known as the “Pampulha architectural complex”. The complex included a casino, a

33.c Obra do Berco Day Nursery, Rio de Janeiro, 1937

33.d Sketch of woman body by Niemeyer.

[33] Niemeyer, Oscar. In book of Spade, Rupert. Oscar Niemeyer- Master of modern architecture. London: Thames and Hudson, 1971 : 10. [34] Niemeyer, Oscar. The Economist. 22 December 2012. [35] Niemeyer, Oscar. Curves of time: the memories of Oscar Niemeyer, New York and London. Phaidon Press Ltd., 2000. 33

34.a and 34.b Pampulha Museum of Arts and Casino, 1942. 34.1 Plan of Pampulha lake development Legend a. Church of Francis of Assisi b. Casino 34.c “Baile” Restaurant, 1942.

34.d Aerial view of “Baile” Restaurant, 1942.

Pampulha Yacht club

34.e Church of Francis of Assisi, 1943.

34.f and 34.g Pampulha IATE club, Swimming Pavilion, 1961. 34

c. Pier d. “Baile” Restaurant e. Yacht Club

restaurant/dance hall, a yacht club, a golf club and a church, all of which would be distributed around a new artificial lake. A weekend retreat for the mayor was also built near the lake. This project became an exploratory canvas for him to try out the plastic material concrete and provided him to discover his own architectural style by following his profound affection with curves. This set of buildings did not only gave him the opportunity to search his own ethics but also earn certain recognition world wide. He also got a bad acknowledgment for designing a church without following religious standards for the nave and facade. But that did not stop him from doing what he has destined to do After that the opportunity came for him, which any architect would desire. In 1956, Juscelino Kubitschek who by now became the President of the country came to him and described his ambitious project to build a new capital of the Brazil 600 miles to north-west and 3000 feet above sea-level from Rio and asked for Niemeyer’s help. He could not denied it and he eagerly accepted the proposal. Along with Lúcio Costa who designed the layout of the city, He was trying to shape a Utopian ideology of city where there was no nobler region and rich and poor would live in identical apartment.

35.a Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, Brazilian Pavilion for the New York World’s Fair, 1939.

“The architect’s role is to fight for a better world, where he can produce an architecture that serves everyone and not just a group of privileged people.” 36 To his frustration, that never happened; bureaucrats lived in the middle of the city, the poor on the edges. Niemeyer designed a large number of residential, commercial and government buildings in Brasilia. Among them was the residence of the President (Palácio da Alvorada), the chamber of deputies, the National Congress of Brazil, the Brasília Palace Hotel, the Ministry of Justice building, the presidential chapel the Cathedral of Brasilia and residential buildings. While designing the buildings for the capital he said,

35.b ‘Sul America’ Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, 1952.

“When planning the government buildings for Brasilia I decided they should be characterized by their own structures within the prescribed shapes ... I tried to push the potential of concrete to its limits, especially at the load-bearing points which I wanted to be as delicate as possible so that it would seem as if the palaces barely touched the ground.” 37 Niemeyer had become interested in Communist ideology as a youth and joined the Brazilian Communist Party in 1945. This became a serious problem in 1964, when the Brazilian military overthrew the government in a coup; Niemeyer, viewed by the army as an individual with dangerously left-wing sympathies, had his office ransacked. Spooked, the architect left the country of his birth a year later, in 1965, resettling in France and mainly designing buildings in Europe and northern Africa. He also turned to designing furniture, which also included his trademark use of sinuous curves. As soon as military dictatorship ended in Brazil, he returned back in 1985. Niemeyer received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988, the highest award in the profession, for his Cathedral of Brasilia. Till the last days of his life, he used to go to the office everyday

35.c Copan Apartment building, São Paulo, 1961.

[36] Niemeyer, Oscar. The Economist. 22 December 2012. [37] Ibid. 35

36.a The Alvorada Palace, 1957-58.

36.b Brasilia Palace Hotel, 1957-58. 36.1 Plan of BrasĂ­lia city by LĂşcio Costa Legend

36.c National Congress Complex, 1958-60.

1. Square of the Three power 2. Presidential residence 3. Foreign embassies 4. Residential zone (inner) 5. Residential zone (outer)

6. Recreation zone 7. University city 8. Cemetery 9. Master traffic intersection 10. Airport 36.g Row House, Dwelling unit, 1958. 36.h Viewing Stand and in background Ministry of Army, 1970.

36.d Itamaraty Palace, 1960-69.

36.e Brasilia Supreme Federal Court, 1958-60.

36.f Metropolitan Cathedral, 1959-70. 36

36.i Residential block, Apartment unit, 1958.

to design and oversee the projects. Having outlived most of his old friends, intellectual sparring partners and his wife, Niemeyer continues to press for a better world through better design. All this was made possible by the material he chose, reinforced concrete, which could be poured into any shape: a homeproduced substance for a rapidly industrializing country that yearned, from the 1930s onwards, to cut its own self-sufficient style in the modern world. For him Concrete could be painted in luminous colours or decorated in native ways, with shells or palm fronds or azulejos, the blue-and-white tiles inherited from the Portuguese.38 The dream project of ‘Brasilia’ earned him the title of master of modern architecture of Brazil and put him in the category of the architects who has created history for bringing the revolution in the architecture of his time. The debate always remained between the critics and the architecture lover that whether to name his architecture the ‘lyrical architecture of concrete’ or ‘concrete monstrosity’. In a way, his earlier work where he used straight lines, louvers and pilotis or his later works where he used abstract forms, sensuous curves and reinforced concrete, both defines the architecture of Niemeyer – Simplicity of means, a directness of purpose and solution so natural. In small, large or enormous buildings; weather the usual program as in dwelling blocks, or unique as a presidential “palace”; whether designing for exacting as in a museum, or creating pure structural phantasy as in a youth club, we see the same intent: the transformation of architecture into a joyous event.39

37.a Use of Azulejos in Hotel of Brasilia.

37.b Museum of Contemporary Art, Niteroi, Brazil, 1996.

37.c The Oscar Niemeyer Museum, known as the Eye, Curitiba, Brazil, 2002.

37.d International Cultural Centre, Asturias Spain, 2011.

[38] Niemeyer, Oscar. The Economist. 22 December 2012. [39] Papadaki, Stamo. Oscar Niemeyer. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960 : 26-27.

37.e Niemeyer sitting on relaxing chair designed by himself.



38.a View of the Gandhi Ghat from Hoogly river, Barrackpore, Kolkata, 1949.

38.b Gandhi Ghat, View at night.

38.c Habib Rahman with the model of New Secretariat, Kolkata, 1954.

Rahman’s early practice in Kolkata

Rahman came back to India in 1946 after the World War II ended. He came back with his wife Indrani Devi, daughter of Raginidevi, famous American Indian classical dancer and trainer. He joined West Bengal PWD just five months before the independence in 1947 as senior architect following the condition made by the West Bengal government with his scholarship. A fledgling profession the architectural profession was in the state of infancy when the British left. There were less than 300 qualified architects in the country.40 It was an era when the engineers designed most of the buildings. Few in governments or society knew what an architect was or did. It was a difficult task for Rahman because of the responsibilities he had to shoulder at the age of 32 as the senior architect of PWD. There was no one to advice or guide him due to rarity of the professionals. The engineers did most of the designing and construction during those times. Even Indian Institute of Architects was dominated by British-trained professionals and they also denied the membership of Habib Rahman as it did not recognize American degree. There was nobody to discuss modern architecture with until Joseph Stein arrived in 1952 to head the newly established department of architecture at BE College, Kolkata. Out of all the circumstances, Rahman remained firm with his modernist approach and designed more than 50 buildings for West Bengal PWD, out of which three buildings gained whole nations attention towards his architecture. Those buildings were - Gandhi Ghat at Barrackpore, the 14-storeyed New Secretariat and Bengal Engineering College both in Kolkata. During this period, he tried to remain true to his architectural influences and designed buildings that were highly inspired by Bauhaus style and Oscar Niemeyer. The use of steel frames, flat slab, concrete as construction material and standardized elements were highly inspired by the Bauhaus and multistoried structure for government buildings, use of sun control elements and simplicity and clarity in form were influenced by Niemeyer. Only few weeks after his association with Bengal PWD, he had been assigned the extremely prestigious and challenging project to design the memorial for Gandhiji on the riverbank of Hooghly at Barrackpore near Kolkata. The brief that was given to him was a sketch but it clearly demanded the reflection of the personality and philosophy of the Mahatma. To design a memorial was far from his design aesthetics he had to experiment with his design ideology for this structure. The budgetary limit given to him was five lakh rupees and deadline stipulated was January 30 1949, Gandhiji’s first death anniversary. As there was no contemporary example for him to look up to, he took Gandhiji’s respect for all religion as his inspiration. He designed the memorial that harmoniously and aesthetically reflected and symbolized the three major religions of India – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. His idea resulted in tower – a simplified profile of a temple shikhara, capped with an Islamic dome and a horizontal cantilevered slab projecting from [40] Rahman, Habib. “Sarkari Architecture.” Inside-Outside. February-March 1987: 145.


both sides appeared in silhouette somewhat like a cross, under which the ghat steps descend to the river. After going through few structural difficulties, finally the Gandhi Ghat got completed before the deadline and it was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on January 15, 1949. Six years later he received the Padma Shree award for this magnificent design of Ghat. Soon later, he got to design the New Secretariat building in Kolkata. The plot that was given to him was 1½ acre in area facing the Hooghly River. This building was a milestone for the Indian architecture as it had many architectural and structural elements that were being used for first time in the country. For this modern government office building he took inspiration from the two buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer and those buildings were the United Nations Headquarters in Ney York and the Ministry of Education building in Rio de Janeiro. He introduced the steel frame structure resting on concrete piles that had never been used before in India. He also introduced the horizontal and vertical louvers concrete as sun breaker. The building was designed in three blocks to take the advantage of the site and orientation out of which one block was 14 stories high. Poor soil condition restricted the height of the building to 14 floors, but it was the tallest building in Indian constructed ever at that time. So in away Rahman became the first architect to introduce the ‘sky scraper’ to India, Same approach was taken while designing the buildings and hostel for the Bengal Engineering College. One can even see some of the similarities between the New Secretariat building and the College. For the hostel blocks he tried to use the wing system for the first time making a cross shape in the plan. The designing and construction took the time duration of 1950-1955. This BE College building acknowledge by others may be because during that time all the college design were mainly British architecture or other European architecture inspired, and this was the first one that out that British-European architecture shadow and represented something different and modern to the institutional architecture. During his six years in the Bengal PWD, he got opportunity to design several colleges, schools, hospitals, offices and housing schemes. Starting from work on the drawing board and following through to solving complicated problems of architecture details and spending lots of time on construction, helped him to develop confidence and maturity. His architectural and engineering training helped him to design building with simple, logical and economic structural system. This practice in Kolkata made him all prepared for the challenges that he was going to face in New Delhi as Chief architect of CPWD.

39.a New Secretariat, Kolkata, 1954.

39.b Bengal Engineering College, Kolkata, 1954.

39.c Bengal Engineering College, Kolkata, 1954.

39.d Bengal Engineering College Hostels, Kolkata, 1954. 39


40.a Housing exhibition ticket gate, New Delhi, 1954.

40.b Image showing UGC (left) and CAG (right) buildings, New Delhi, (1954 and 1958).

40.c Type-III flats, R.K. Puram, New Delhi, 1959.

40.d Ministry of External Affairs’ Hostel, New Delhi, 1965.

40.e Curzon Road Hostel, 1969. 40

Rahman as chief architect in CPWD

When Nehru visited the inauguration of Gandhi Ghat in 1949, he was awestruck by the structure that how simple it was yet truly representing the spirit of Gandhiji. He appreciated the efforts of Rahman and invited him to Delhi to join CPWD as enormous task of public development was waiting to be done who need the fresh perspective of architects like him. Rahman applied for the transfer to the New Delhi but took little time to get the procedure done. In 1953 he moved to Delhi as Senior Architect in the Central PWD. Working here in Delhi brought him lot of scope and success in his career. After receiving Padma Shree award for his Bengal works Indian Institute of Architects promptly awarded him a fellowship and membership, which they initially denied to give hi due to his graduation from US. During his twenty years of CPWD, he had opportunity to design and complete more than 100 major buildings and housing projects all over India. By 1957 Rahman had come to the attention of Meher Chand Khanna, the dynamic new Minister of Works and Housing, who ensured that several prestigious projects were assigned to him. Rahman always enjoyed designing low cost housing. His special interest in residential design started when he designed his father’s house in Kolkata during his engineering days, even his bachelor’s thesis was about low cost housing. He designed several residential projects including Ramakishnapuram’s two bedroom flats (Type-III) for junior government staff (afterward it for famous as ‘Rahman type’), Type-V and Type-VI flats for senior government officers also in R.K.Puram, Hoestels for officers on Curzon road and hostel for Ministry of External Affairs’ officers. By 1965 Rahman was senior enough in service to begin representing the CPWD in important interdepartmental committees concerned with wider planning, urban design, and landscaping issues in the capital. He always showed his concern toward architecture happing during his time, as he was very much against the government’s attitude toward the ‘urban aesthetics’ of the city that they were vandalizing in the name of ‘beautification’, ‘modernization, and ‘re-densification’.41 A crippling accident in 1970 did not diminish Rahman’s professional dedication and determination to continue active service. He became Chief Architect of the CPWD in 1970. As chief architect to government of India he found himself at the bottom of a rigid and unsympathetic hierarchy: PM, Secretary, Director General (always an engineer), Additional Director General (always an engineer), and lastly, Chief Architect. This structure killed the creative abilities of the average architect in service. Rahman’s tenure was too short to bring matters to a head. As he saw it, the government should either disband the Department of Architecture to give the work to private architects or it should bestow some dignity and responsibility to the department by giving it a status equal to the engineering department. Rahman’s tenure, however, saw the creation of the country’s first Urban Arts Commission (UAC), a development which gave him some, if not lasting, satisfaction. [41] Chatterjee, Malay. “Tribute-Habib Rahman.”. A+D. March-April 1996: 23..

Habib Rahman retired in 1974 from his post in New Delhi. During his service for CPWD, Rahman always worked for betterment of the lifestyle of people and the profession of architecture. Through his knowledge, he tried to create a strong image of the capital city without being overly ambitious. Being in the CPWD he had worked on large number of projects all over India, the greatest concentration of his work is in Delhi: 15 large offices complexes including the 21-storeyed Vikas Minar, UGC, CAG, Administrative building block at Pragatimaidan, WHO building, Several hundred units of innovative government housing, the Delhi Zoo and three exquisite memorials- the mazars of Maulana Azad, ZakirHussain and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Rahman was also often approached by other government departments and private sector firms to help improve the quality of their designs. So the ‘Rahman Touch’ shows up in a wide variety of projects for which he could not claim official authorship.

41.a Mazzars of Maulana Azad, Jama Masjid, Delhi, 1959.

41.b Mazzars of Zakir Hussain, New Delhi, 1971.

41.c Mazzars of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, New Delhi, 1975. 41.f WHO Headquarter, New Delhi, 1962.

41.d Administration block, The Trade fair, New Delhi, 1972.

41.e Delhi Zoological Park, New Delhi, 1956.

41.g Vikas Minar, DDA office, New Delhi, 1969.

41.h New tower block for Auditor Generals office, New Delhi, 1972. 41

42.1 Location map of Buildings designed by Habib Rahman in New Delhi As CPWD architect 1. Mazzar of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed 2. Dak Tar Bhawan 3. Sardar Patel Bhawan 4. Curzon Road Hostel 5. Ministry of External Affairs Hostel 6. Rabindra Bhawan 7. University Grant Commission 8. Auditor Generals Buildings 42

9. AGCR 10. Vikas Minar, DDA Headquarters 11. Indraprastha Bhawan 12. WHO Headquarters 13. Administration building, Pragati Maidan 14. Zoological Park 15. Mazzar of Maulana Azad 16. R.K. Puram Type - III flats

17. R.K. Puram Type - V and VI 18. Mazzar of Dr. Zakir Hussain As Consultante 1. Hindustan Times Building 2. American Center Library 3. Akashdeep flats 4. Sheila Theater


Works after retirement

When Rahman was at the position of Chief Architect in CPWD, he made great efforts to up bring the situation of a architectural profession in government department. Due to his efforts with fellow contemporaries, Indira Gandhi initiated the idea of an Urban Arts Commission for Delhi (DUAC) in late 1971. InderGujaral, the Minister of Works and Housing, and Rahman studied the two precedents available: the Washington Arts Commission and the Royal Arts Commission of UK. They prepared guidelines, the Law Ministry drafted the bill, and parliament passed the act in 1973 without any debate because members did not understand what it meant. A few months after retiring from government service in 1974, Rahman was appointed the first Secretary of the DUAC, with AchyutKanvinde and EbrahimAlkazi as members and BhagwanSahay as Chairman. That same year Rahman was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the only architect to have received that honor that time.

43.a Prototype of Pulbolok.

Though the DUAC was established with the best of intentions, it soon became apparent that it was no match for the powerful political and bureaucratic structures that control building activity in the capital. Rahman’s services were abruptly terminated in 1977 because of his opposition to placing a statue of Gandhi under King Georges canopy at India Gate, and because he had resisted lmamBukari’s determination to construct public urinals blocking the southern entrance to Jama Masjid. The government at that time was also considering condemning a large number of bungalows in the area south of Rajpath, auctioning the land released, and creating a second Connaught Place to bring balance in the plan of New Delhi’. Rahman was a stumbling block and had to go. A number of new trends not only in architecture but also in other fields like furniture, fixtures and vehicle, were introduced by him in those times that were being considered as innovation for India, out of which the most successful innovation was called ‘PULBOLOK’-pull, bolt, lock-a door fitting that replaced the functions of three separate fittings: handle, bolt and latch. The fitting was very easy to manufacture: it had one element made of die-cut-sheet metal, and another of bent metal road. It was extensively used in most government buildings all over India. He even joked in one of his interview saying, “ Perhaps I made a mistake not to have patented it, as it became popular enough to be commercially manufactured.” In 1985, Rahman had to have one leg amputated below the knee. In Jaipur to have foot fitted at the SMS Hospital, he travelled to the clinic every morning on a cycle rickshaw and he immediately found design defects in it. He failed to understand the design logic behind the angle of the seat, which was raised quite high and pitched forward, making the passengers an awkwardly to avoid being thrown in to the back of the driver. Rahman tried to devise a logical and cheaply manufactured rickshaw with a simple gear system that would make pedaling more efficient for the driver. Most probably his last design proposal was for Ayodhya, Babri Masjid in 1990. He was very disturbed by the death of many people in the despite of two religions on a historic land. He being

43.b Steel stool with cane seat inspired by Mora, 1968.

43.c Wooden table designed and crafted by Rahman.


a believer of equality, poem by Dr. Radhakrishnan dedicated to Rahman’s son Ram Rahman became inspiration for him-“ “Ram Rahman tere nam, Mandir Masjid there Dham.”42

44.a Sketch of postures on a rickshaw.

44.b Rickshaw developed by the bicycle and sewing machine.

44.c Habib Rahman in his last days, Oberoi Apartment , New Delhi, 1995.

His design integrated both the religion giving equal importance by providing two blocks representing each religion and connected by a bridge, which is also a security janitor sub-station water pump. He wanted to create a complex of architectural beauty, a showpiece that our future generations would be proud of. Courageously overcoming several spells of poor health in his last years, he remained intellectually alert and professionally active as a freelance consultant, including three years spent in New York. He was a jury member for several important architectural competitions. He took a keen interest in public affairs in general, and in planning and design issues concerning Delhi in particular. He grew increasingly concerned about the failure of the design profession to address the problems of rapid urbanization and growing social and economic disparities. In a conversation in 1989 he noted, “The public is beginning to form a very poor impression of architects and planners as mere money grabbers. Policy-makers also know we have shifting values and will compromise anything, because we feel that we will do a better job than the competition”. Though practically housebound for the last five years, he was totally `plugged in’ to local, national and international developments, Thanks to the explosion of print media and satellite television. He expressed his reactions on a wide variety of subjects in countless letters to newspapers and journals. In this sense, he was an activist right to the end. Habib Rahman died of a heart attack on 19 December 1995 soon after receiving the J.K. Cement Architect of the year Chairman’s Award for lifetime achievement on December 8. To his last day, he would play Rabindra Sangeeet on his bamboo flute, the enduring link with the bamboo hut, which he shared as a boy with his father. He expressed his reactions on a wide variety of subjects in countless letters to newspapers and journals. In this sense, he was an activist right to the end.43 Habib Rahman died of a heart attack on 19 December 1995 soon after receiving the J.K. Cement Architect of the year Chairman’s Award for lifetime achievement on December 8.

44.d Float for communal harmony, India day parade, New York, 1981.

[42] Rahman, Habib. Written on his design sketch of Ayodya proposal, 1990. [43] Chatterjee, Malay. “Tribute-Habib Rahman.” A+D. March-April 1996: 23.. 44

45.a Ayodhya – Babri Masjid design proposal, 1990.



An Overview



Habib Rahman (1915-1995)

Bengal Engineering College, India Degree: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering - 1939 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A Degree: Bachelor of Architecture - 1943 Master in Architecture - 1944

Professional Career

Worked in Boston & New York for 2½ years with Professor Lawrence Anderson, Walter Gropius, Konrad Naschman and Ely Khan, 1944-1946 Government of West Bengal, Kolkata. Senior Architect (Chief of Architecture Wing) 1947-1953 Central Public Works Dept. Government of India, New Delhi Senior Architect, 1953-1970 Chief Architect, 1970-1974 Secretary, Delhi Urban Art Commission, 1974-1977 Advisor to the National Thermal Power Corporation, New Delhi, India. 1977-1980

Teaching Career



Visiting Lecturer:

School of Architecture, Kolkata University, India.

School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India.

Pratt Institute of Design, Brooklyn, New York.

Melbourne School of Architecture, Melbourne, Australia.

Institute of Architects, Moscow, Russia

“Padma Shree” - 1955 “Padma Bhusan” - 1974 “J.K. Cement Architect of the year” - 1995

For Habib Rahman architecture was his passion and he was enthusiastically involved with it in every aspect. Studied and working under Walter Gropius left great influenced on him. More than the physical architectural style he admire the spirit of the International or rather say Bauhaus style that it emphasized on the use of modern technology, techniques and materials to design and manufacture high quality and cheap good, which could be accessible to many. This ideology worked very well form him in Indian context as requirement for quick infrastructure after independence was high on stack. He clearly understood the requirement of growing nation and tried to reach them with appropriate and innovative solution. In his earlier work one can clearly identify the Bauhaus language prominently but after that during the period of his architectural practice, he had developed his own architectural language that could merge with Indian context without imitating the traditional architectural elements. He was very much skeptical about the revivalist approach of architecture and did not appreciated the use of so called Indian traditional elements on building to Inidanized the outlook of the building. He felt that strongly that mere jargon or the simple imitation of old patterns was meaningless without a true reinterpretation for our times.


Joseph Allan Stein said about rahman, “Habib’s works were characterized by a rare sense of appropriateness and directness. His work, like his life, should be a beacon and a challenge. Indeed, it can be seen that Habib was a Gandhian kind of an architect, seeking beauty through appropriateness and simplicity. Despite the many limitations of being a government architect in a service dominated by bureaucrats and engineers, and working under severe restrictions, budgetary and otherwise, Habib’s larger buildings are notable for the same sturdy simplicity and sensitivity as to be seen in Humayun’s Tomb. His smaller structure such as the later memorials have a striking and poetic simplicity delicacy and grace. The WHO building and the Rabindra Bhawan are expressive of the sensitivity and dignity that give them an enduring and endearing quality in a city marked by harsh forms and violent relationships.”45 Weather as architect or educator, Rahman always promoted the suitable architecture with appropriate vocabulary. This quality of him attracted most of the other architects and student of that time. After his retirement his role of educator, guide and consultant directed lot of young designers to discover their own aesthetics and vocabulary that is most suitable of the time. According to Rahman architecture is not merely a structure of brick and concrete but it involves human attachment to it, which makes a building - an architecture.

[44] Habib, Rahman. In interview with Bachadan Shrivastav, Hindustan Shaptahik. 21 July 1968. [45] Stein, Joseph Allan. “Tribute- Habib Rahman”, A+D. March-April 1996 : 79. 47

2.3 1935




Project Chronology

His father’s house Kolkata

Gandhi Memorial Ghat Barrackpore, Kolkata

National Library Annex Kolkata

New Secretariat Kolkata

Bengal Engineering College, Kolkata

Housing Exhibition New Delhi

AGCR New Delhi

Auditor Generals Buildings New Delhi

Auditor Generals Buildings Chennai

Mazzar of Maulana Azad Delhi

Type-III flats, R.K. Puram New Delhi

1955 Dak Tar Bhawan New Delhi

1956 Delhi Zoological Park New Delhi

1957 CBR Building Ranchi




University Grant Commission, New Delhi




Rabindra Bhawan New Delhi

Sheila Theater New Delhi

WHO Headquarters New Delhi

Indraprastha Bhawan New Delhi

Type-V and VI flats, R.K. Puram, New Delhi

Ministry of External Affairs hostel, New Delhi

Vikas Minar, DDA Headquarters, New Delhi

Indian Pavilion for Asian Trade Fair, Tehran

1968 Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Uttarkashi

1969 Curzon Road hostel New Delhi


Gandhi Bhawan library, American Center Tribhuvan University, Nepal New Delhi

1972 Administration office for Tower of Auditor Generals Pragati maidan, New Delhi Buildings, New Delhi


Shridharani Farm house New Delhi

Mazaar of Dr. Zakir Hussain New Delhi

Alkazi Farm house New Delhi 49


Hindustan Times building New Delhi

Sardar Patel Bhawan New Delhi

Mazaar of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, New Delhi

Akashdeep New Delhi


1985 Proposal for cycle rickshaw New Delhi

1990 Ayodhya – Babri Masjid design proposal, Ayodhya 1970-93 Sharda rao house and flates New Delhi


Chapter - 3

Case Studies 3.1 Criteria of selection of case study 3.1.1 Names of the selected case studies 3.1.2 Location of buildings in New Delhi

3.2 Framework of analysis 3.3 Selected case studies 3.3.1 Site Level 3.3.2 Building Level 3.3.3 Detail level


Criteria of selection of case study

Being a government architect, Habib Rahman’s most of the buildings are government complex. He has designed buildings all across India but most of the important buildings are in New Delhi, which have left their impression in the architecture of the city. During his thirty years of government career Rahman has designed many types of building like low cost housing, high-rise apartments, offices, exhibition halls and museums, recreational complexes, institutions and memorials. Here the study is trying to capture different types of building to extract the range of ideas and vocabulary of architecture that evolved by the time. So the criteria for selection are: •

Buildings must be from the same city to identify the constants and the variables: New Delhi

The major building type: Government Buildings

Types of government building: Living Environment Working Environment Recreational Environment •


Names of the selected case studies

1. 2. 3.


Location of buildings in New Delhi

University Grant Commission Rabindra Bhawan R.K.Puram, Sector-13


Government Office Recreational Center Government Housing apartments


(1954) (1961) (1965)



Framework of analysis

To understand the design ideology of any architect, it is very important to understand his buildings in detail to extract the main essence of the design philosophy, where design ideology or philosophy is a result of works that have been done at different stages of the career over a period of time. There are many aspects, which helps to develop any particular style of designing. Habib Rahman, being a government architect, he had to consider aspects like budget, political requirement, privacy of building, governmental designing restrictions and available resources. Which in away helped him to carve out his own unique identity in architectural world. Study would try to observe his buildings at different level of designing, construction and space quality. To thoroughly understand any building one has to understand its aspects at three different levels, which are: 1. Site Level 2. Building Level 3. Detail Level These three levels give the clear understanding of architect’s intention and thoughts behind the particular direction that he has chose while designing a building. Those major three aspects are further divided in smaller groups to identify the each idea and minute details to get the principles of designing used by the architect. Influence of modernism is evident in Rahman’s earlier works, but the influence became more complex because of the understanding developed over a period of time of the Indian culture seen in modern context. The following chapter tries to understand the basic principles of modern architecture and its evolution belonging to the vocabulary created by the architect. The detailed analysis of the selected case studies is done as per the framework mentioned below.

56.1 Illustration showing framework of analysis for selected case studies.


1. Site Level 1.1 Program The description of program is to understand the basic functional requirement of the project. It would help to identify the core idea and driving force behind the design approach that architect had chosen towards particular building. 1.2 Local context Local context plays vital role in designing a building. Some times surroundings and exiting site condition becomes keystone for the design. This topic of site would try to analyze the shape, topography, landscape, neighborhood, location of the site and other forces in the context of New Delhi. Architects buildings have been put down under these criteria to understand his perception of the context and the thought process involved in such decision. 1.3 Organization Whether the building has one block more than one block, there could be many reasons behind positioning or siting of a building in particular site condition. Some times it is due to climate or strong context or it could be purely functional requirement, but siting of a building has always been an important decision for any architect. This aspect would focus on such decision of the Rahman made for particular organization and orientation of the government complexes. In addition to that, the study aims at to understand the access to the building, vehicular movement and provinces of the parking for different types of vehicles.

2. Building Level 2.1 Form and Layout The overall form of a building plays a decisive role in defining its nature. Being influenced by modern architecture, we could say he was a believer of ‘form-follows-function’ for designing space arrangement according to the functional requirement. But sometimes there are other forces that plays vital role for arrangement and organization spaces and overall form of building. This topic helps to identify the patterns of arrangements for different functions in the building to understand the architect’s intention of selecting particular form. 2.2 Structural System Choosing an appropriate structure for a building is a key decision to make. The choice of particular structural system guides the selection of the enclosure choice of the buildings. It also helps to define the restriction and freedom of the openings, space division and spanning. Thus this study would try to identify the structural system and its limitations and liberties that Rahman had used in his buildings. 2.3 Climatic Response The Extreme climatic conditions are dominant in India and to deal with that varied conditions an architect has to look upon not on just one aspect of the building but to many. The form of the building, construction material, architectural elements and scale are some of the important aspects to use to create a climate friendly building. The analysis of all these ingredients would allow us to classify the pattern that architect has used throughout in his building for solving the extreme climatic condition.


2.4 Hierarchy of Spaces Architecture is best experienced through spaces. The above two cannot be separated for analysis since architecture is fine synthesis of both. In any building every kind of internal spaces have their own importance. Some are more superior to other in relation to usage or user. The aspect of hierarchy would help to identify those gradations and their ways of doing so in the building.

3. Detail Level 3.1 Use of Material Influenced by Bauhaus and Oscar Niemeyer, Rahman extensively used concrete, glass and steel in his buildings, but not for all the buildings he had designed. Choosing a particular material for a particular element adds more depth to the overall experience of the space. So understanding his choices for the materials would to know the reasons of doing so for creating function appropriate space nature. 3.2 Architectural Vocabulary When we see a building some of the elements of it are prominent in its nature that draws attention of a spectator towards them. Some of them are developed for climatic reasons and some of them could be purely for esthetic purpose. Those elements are commonly identified as vocabulary of architecture that architect has used to shape his design. Vocabulary is generally developed over a period of time that comes from the experience of the architect. Here I am trying to identify the vocabulary that Habib Rahman had developed during his three decades of government career. Identification of his vocabulary would show his attitude to the program and also the variations his vocabulary has to offer.

4. Discussion After the detailed analysis of a case study, there would be many ideas and characters of a building that would come across. Under this topic, an effort would be made to summaries all those key ideas to get the complete image of the architect’s buildings. These key ideas would be also divided in three levels of the building similarly as detailed analysis, which are site level, building level and detail level. But rather than further dividing them in sub parts it would be combined under these larger topic to give the overall idea. A tabular method is adapted to identify each key idea of designing process. This ides will be supported by possible illustration and images for further classification.

Key Idea

Site Level

Building Level

Site Level 58. 1 Table for key ideas.




Case Study - 3a

University Grant Commission

Zafar Marg Bahadur Shah










Sikandra Road

Til a




Mandi House Circle



Supreme Court

62.a Larger Context Map of University Grant Commission




Introduction Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad was a key person in the development of the communal and educational environment in India. He was a senior political leader of the Indian independence movement and later became first Education Minister of India after independence. As the Education Minister, he over saw the establishment of a national education system with free primary education and modern institute of higher education. During his ministry time he founded some of the very important education institutes to supervise and advance the higher education in the nation. The credits of the foundation of Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Science, Lalit Kala Academy, University Grant Commission and many other scientific research laboratories. The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is a statutory organization set up by the Union Government in 1956, charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education. UGC was recommended in 1945 and formed in 1946 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and, Delhi. In 1947, the Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with all the then existing Universities. After independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of S. Radhkrishnan and it recommended that the UGC be reconstituted on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom. Abdul Kalam Azad formally inaugurated UGC on December 28th, 1953. The UGC was however, formally established in November 1956, by an Act of Parliament as a statutory body of the Government of India. To mark the new beginning of the education system, the UGC building was also desired to be representative of its modern time. Rahman was given the program to design a modern building accommodating the UGC authorities. Inspired from his international roots, he designed a totally functional and rational building that creates its own environment around the site. On approaching the site, one can see that a typical box shape government building is standing without much interaction with the surrounding and contains its activates within the site boundary.








Site Level

3a.1.1 Program To house all the offices of newly established University Grant Commission, a building was desire to set up the head office of the commission in New Delhi. As being the head office it required to contain so many department in single unit. Therefor the UGC authorities wanted to have maximum floor area permissible according to the plot of land allotted. With addition to the office spaces the building should incorporate the conference room, rooms for chairman and senior officers, cafeteria, proper parking for cars and other vehicles and few residential quarters for essential staff. There was also requirement given to accommodate some suites for visiting Vice- Chancellors. Conventional local materials were used, as the budget was tight. No imported material was appreciated. It was not possible to incorporate airconditioning system while constructing due to the limitation of funds, but Rahman was asked to give the providence for the airconditioning whenever the fund permits. Location: Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi Chief architect: Habib Rahman Client: UGC authorities Constructing authority: CPWD Area of site: 1.6 acres Year of completion: 1954 Plinth Area: 67,000 sq.ft. Carpet Area: 44,000 sq.ft.

69.a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

69.b Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

3a.1.2 Local Context

69.c The Times of India Office.

The site is located at the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, a road named after the Mughal Emperor of India, Bahadur Shah II. This road is also referred to as the Fleet Street of India, due to the presence of the newspaper offices of The Times of India, The Economics Time, The Indian Express, and The Financial Express amongst several others. The area on and around this road also houses some the important government agencies and other institutes e.g., Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Doll house Museum, Maulana Azad Medical College and DeenDayal Library. Lot of these buildings were built during the time of 50’s and 60’s.

69.d Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

The Building site is set back from the principal road of entry. To approach the UGC one has to come from a small lane connected to the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. There was not much green area existed during the development of this area. It was more like an open ground and respective constructing authority had to develop their own landscape within and around their site. Though there are many buildings that were constructed during the 50’s and 60’s around the site, there were not any prominent building structures presented to effect the design process of this building. The CAG building which just next to the UGC also designed by

69.e Shankar’s International Doll Museum. 69

M ar g a ay dh pa lU ya Da en De

arg Kotla M

Indraprastha Marg

Bahadur Shah Zafar Road

70.a Context Plan of UGC building showing principal road Legend and other important buildings. 1. University Grant Commission (UGC) 2. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) 3. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) 4. Deen Dayal Institute for Physically Handicap 5. Deen Dayal Singh Library 6. National Institute for Science

7. Jaamiat Ulma HInd Mosque 8. The Economics Time Office 9. Doll house Museum 10. The Financial Express Office 11. The Times of India Office 12. The Indian Express Office

70.b Plan Showing form and positioning of building according to the site shape. 70

Rahman was also completed in 1958, four years later the UGC building. As there was no prominent built or natural element available to inspire, it was all up to the architect to draw inspiration from his knowledge while designing the UGC building and site. 3a.1.3 Organization The plot given to Rahman was an irregular pentagon in shape and it was specifically asked to use maximum floor area permissible for the building incorporating all the required functions. The effort therefore was to locate the building on the plot in such a way that it fits into the site logically. So with the guidelines of the plot shape, Rahman designed a building consisting two wings parallel to the two side of the pentagon. Those two wings meet each other at the junction that is occupied by service core. As all the department were interconnected, rather than dividing them in different blocks, architect kept them in single building providing two wings for just required amount of functional segregation. The other requirement for the residential quarters was different from the working environment. Keeping that in mind Rahman has kept them in a separate small block adjoining to the site boundary. Due to the privacy reasons that block is positioned in the rear part of the building to avoid the direct visual connection from visitors. The placement of the building was in such a way that the front faรงade of the building is facing the principal road Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. But now there are buildings came up in the front that are blocking the direct visual connection with the road. There are two gates given for the access of the site, one for entry and one for exit. Vehicular movement is also designed according to the positioning of those gates. Parking allotment is done according to the vehicle type and the user of vehicle. Car parking and scooter parking for the office staff is provided at the ground floor of the north wing and car parking for visitors is provided in the compound of the building. Parking for cycle is situated at the backside of the building near the staff quarters. The road, which goes from the middle of the building, is specially designed for the car of chairman and other senior officers. Even separate car parking is given to them at the ground floor of the staff quarters. So in a way all the planning was carefully thought out according to the user and their belongings keeping in mind.

71.a Image showing principal road Bharadur Shah Zafar Marg and access to UGC and CAG buildings in earlier days.

71.b Quarter for Essential staff.

71.c Image showing Entry Gate of the building.

72.d Image showing parking area for the visitors.

72.e Image showing parking area for the office staff. 71

72.a Diagram showing the classification of vehicular parking and their location on site.

72.b Diagram showing vehicular movement within the site premises.

Car Parking for Office Staff

Staff Member and Senior Officers

Car Parking for visitors


Two Wheeler Parking

Essential Staff

Bicycle Stand Car Parking for Senior Officers

72.c An isometric view of the basic model of building showing the use of pure geometry in form inspired by Bauhaus style.

Office Spaces Corridors Service Core


72.d Diagram showing basic layout of the building.


Building Level

3a.2.1 Form and Layout UGC is one of the earlier buildings that Rahman has designed after joining the CPWD. During that time he was still much inspired by the Bauhaus ideology and buildings forms. Inspired from that, the UGC building has much like a box shape in overall form. Just like any other modernist building, it has been purely made to serve the functional requirement of the building. The classification of working spaces, parking spaces and other services spaces within the site is a rational way of modernist approach that he has used in his design. The affection towards pure singular form is evident in the design as all the functions are contained within one single building. But he still tried to break the simple cuboid form by tilting the two wings of the building making it to fit properly on the site. Even by provided separate block for staff quarters he broke the notion of one larger block floating in the site. The use of the vertical concrete louvers also shows the direct application of architect’s influence from the work of Oscar Niemeyer. The north wing of building has floating effect due to the void created by the columns and parking area at the ground floor. Both ends of the service core have curved shape walls that show Rahman’s intention to do something uncommon from the rigid from of the International style. But it was still a restrictive effort because it did not show much of the transition in the outlook of the building. There are small balconies coming out at the upper floors of the building. These balconies are so small that not more than three people can stand there comfortable. The form of these balconies has striking resemblance with the Bauhaus hostel balconies designed by Moholy. The overall layout of the buildings is quite simple as its overall form where wings are divided in three functional bays where on the both side they have office spaces and in the middle they have movement bay. The southern wing is six stories high and the northern wing is partially six and partially five stories high. Air conditioning plant room, sub-station, telephone exchange, lumber-room, storage room and Electrical room occupy the ground floors of both the wings. A portion of ground floor area of north wing is allotted for parking. The chairman’s room, conference room and the rooms of most of the senior officers are located on the first floor. Common office spaces for departments are provided on other floors of the wing. The canteen and recreational rooms are on the fifth floor of the north wing, which has a roof terrace. A couple of suites have been provided on the 5th floor of the south wing with bathrooms and kitchen facilities to serve as guest rooms for visiting Vice-Chancellors. The central core of the building contains all the services of buildings like toilets, lift shaft, staircase and other duct shafts. On the roof of the service core, the water tanks and the lift room is carefully concealed in one single enclosure. Here the internal staircase is placed in the triangle shape due to the curve outer wall of service core. A free standing open R.C.C. staircase is placed at the end of the North wing. The small block, which

73.a Similar designing approach like UGC in the building of National Library Annex by Habib Rahman, Kolkata, 1954.

73.b Balconies of UGC similar to Balconies of Bauhaus by László MoholyNagy, 1926.

73.c Image showing the balconies of building.

73.d Image showing freestanding R.C.C staircase at the end of the North wing. 73

74.a Diagram of functional and transitional spaces

Functional Spaces Transitional Spaces Vertical Transitional Spaces

74.b Diagram showing the grid pattern for the frame structure of the building.

74.c Diagram showing horizontal bands created by the projecting slab and void space on the ground floor creating floating effect of the building.


is located at the rear side of the building, accommodates the enclosed garages on ground floor and residential quarters on first floor. So overall the layout of the building is quite simple and compact in organization of spaces providing enough space for all functions to take place. 3a.2.2 Structural System Being true to his modernist roots, Rahman has used the R.C.C. frame structure for his building. The structure in the multistoried building is designed on a module of different grids, where wings has 12ft module of grid in longer span and 25ft module for work areas and 8ft module for corridor in shorter span. The grid changes where the two wings come together at the central core where the dimensions are based on the desired activity to happen. The system is a clear and simple gird, thus the form is liner in from, where north wing is liner in northsouth direction and south wing is liner in east-west direction. The smaller block also follows more or less same alteration because of the shape of the plot. A thick slab is extending out at the junction of two wings creating an expression of entrance. No expansion joins have been provided in the structure, where south wing is in the multiplication of eight of the module of 12ft and north wing is in multiplication of seven of the module 12ft. The ground floor of the building is 12ft high, where the other floors are 11ft high. Sunk slabs are provided under the corridors to accommodate the air-conditioning system for later use. Columns are placed at the cross junction of the grids. In the building, columns are in the wall, visible as ribs or free standing. Freestanding columns are rectangular in shape with semicircular ends on the both the sides. Due to this shape of the columns, it gives the illusion of slenderness making it look like heavy building resting on very little support.

75.a Columns visible as ribs in the structure of the building.

75.b The free standing columns of ground floor parking with round edges.

3a.2.3 Climatic Response It is a critical aspect for any government building to be responsive towards existing climatic condition of respective place. It is often very hard to archive a good building with enough sun protection, good light quality in all the area and natural ventilation due to their very long or big singular units of structure. They often opt for the artificial source of light and weather conditions inside the building. UGC building was also designed by the predetermined idea of using air-conditioning system for entire building. Due to the limitation of the funds, it could have been possible to insert the system during the time of construction. But the building was designed in such a way that it could adapt the system later on whenever funds provide it. The location of the plot was a critical point of discussion for the orientation of the buildings. As Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg being the principal road of entry, it was an obvious choice for the building to face in that direction. Even the irregular pentagon shape of the plot had longer span in north-south direction and shorter span in

75.c Image showing front facades of both the wings.

75.d Image showing rear facades of the North wing.



east-west direction, making more difficult to position the building in favorable direction to protect it from climate. This critical condition was party resolved by placing the two wings facing one of the less heating direction north or east other facing more heating direction south or west. The longer span of the plot in north-south direction would have not allowed this condition if building would have been a single huge block. Because anyways one entire side would have to face the south direction and by making it long and huge one block there could have been other problems arise relating to the ventilation and natural light. this was the best possible solution to orient the building to protect it from harsh weather condition. Understanding the extreme climate condition of the Delhi, Rahman broke down the building in two parts rather than keeping it a big single entity. To further protect the inside areas from the direct sun, the facades of the wings are further divided in smaller units of vertical louvers and horizontal chhajjas. It is almost like a skin of the building, which is protecting it from outer weather conditions. Rather than using the same articulation on the back facades of the building, he provided two continuous bands of concrete overhangs on the window. This expression was something new that any architect had ever used during that time. All these articulation would not only help to protect the room and walls of the building from direct sunlight, but it would also help to cut down the heat load on air-conditioning system.

77.a Facade of Ministry of Health and Education designed by Oscar Niemeyer, Rio De Janeiro, 1937-43.

The roll of the walls in this building is not more than an enclosure because the entire structure is made of beams and columns and walls do not have any part in load distribution. Even the outer skin of the building is protected by the louvers and chhajjas, That the Respectively smaller sized windows are closely kept in the room, which will allow just enough amounts of light and breeze in the room. Concrete jail has been kept at both the ends of the corridor for natural light and wind condition in that area. In short all this articulation at bigger level or smaller level played vital roll in creating the atmosphere of the building, which is well lit and airy. 3a.2.4 Hierarchy of Spaces Being an office building, there was not much different kind of activities going to be happening in the buildings. The need space environment was more or less same except the recreational area, cafeteria and residential suites. Generally hierarchy of spaces is measured on the bases of size, proportion, treatment and spaces quality of different spaces. But here there is not significant difference in the quality and proportion of the spaces except transition spaces and working spaces. Rarity of various kinds of spaces did not allowed much variation in hierarchy, but still architect has tried to archive functional clarity and importance by putting all the functions as per the required atmosphere. He has kept recreational spaces and cafeteria on the fifth floor that partly shares terrace of the building, giving opportunity of expanding the activity. The suites for Vice-Chancellors are also kept on the top floor of the building to keep the work environment and living environment separate.

77.b Front facade detail of UGC.

77.c Rear facade detail of the UGC. 77

Residential quarters for essential staff are also kept in the rear side of the building to avoid the prominent existence of the function.

78.a View of UGC building from CAG.

The size of the grid for working spaces is larger than transition space, but size of transition space is also kept comfortably wide for good movement of air and human circulation. Workspaces are kept on both the sides of corridors getting all facade treatment for sun protection. This placement shows the importance of office areas, which is the fundamental function of the building. Therefore corridor becomes a simple space for movement without much of articulation and treatments to purely serve the purpose of the function. But due to the sunk slab provided for ventilation duct, the roof of the corridor area comes below the usual height of the rooms giving the perfect feeling transition space opening into a bigger and taller room that has more importance than the other.


Detail Level

3a.3.1 Use of Material

78.b Internal Staircase.

The use of concrete, steel and glass would have been obvious choice of material for Rahman as his background was related to use of those modern material. Even for development of infrastructure in India after independence, these materials appeared to be most promising for creating imaginary for developing country. But in case of UGC, Rahman was asked not to use any unconventional materials for construction as cost of the building was not allowing to use expensive materials. Similarly it was not possible to quickly construct the structure from new materials, as required techniques to work with them were ignorant by the local laborer. In India where we have immense manpower to build, construction from concrete and bricks seemed to be the perfect choice for labor-intensive work. The entire building frame structure including columns, beams, louvers, chhajjas and slabs are made out of R.C.C work and just enclosing walls are made of brickwork. When this building started in early 50’s the use of R.C.C. for frame construction was pioneering. The use of such material permitted to work with grid pattern with which basic flexibility has been obtained to change the infill walls as per desired functional areas. The freestanding staircase at the end of the north wing is also an important element expressing the flexible use of new technology and material as it is completely built out the R.C.C. work. The window shutters and doors are made out of wood and normal glass has been used as filler to the windows.

78.c Freestanding staircase constructed out of R.C.C.

3a.3.2 Architectural Vocabulary Architect’s affection towards International style and Bauhaus is quite evident in the building of UGC. The building represents some of the best qualities of the style: simple and pure form, use of modern material and technology and clarity of functional divisions. Though Rahman had designed many buildings in


Bengal PWD, UGC have one of the first buildings he designed after joining CPWD. He was still in firm relation of his education and influences, from USA which affected his earlier buildings. Though his overall built form is much inspired from Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus style, but the facade treatment is not as per that same style. Here he has used Niemeyer’s approach of protecting building from extreme climate of the regions by creating surface of smaller units consisting vertical and horizontal louvers and hangovers. Closely placed vertical louvers and thin hangovers with cutouts at every intervals space create the perfect play of mass and void in the facade of building. There is not much of other ornamentation has been done on the building except the use of concrete jaali. Rather than going overboard with it, Rahman has used very limited amount of this expression at few places. He used it at the end of the corridors and at the ground floor parking of north wing. The restricted usage of this Indian element of climate and visual purpose, makes use to think that was it a really a thoughtful choice to incorporate this element or was it a forceful decision as lot of higher government figures were recommending to incorporate the Indian features of architecture to make Indians version of modern architecture. But in general the appearance is clean and precise. The repetition of standard element is achieved in pleasant manner.

79.a Image showing vertical louvers with horizontal bands, after the removal of square stone of sun breaker.

79.b Image showing detail of Concrete jaali.




Key Idea

Site Level



Orientation of building according to the principal road of entry.

Bahadur Shah Zafar Road

Shape and positioning of the wings follows the shape of the site.

Building Level

Overall Box shape form of the building inspired from Bauhaus and International style.

Layout made of two wings connected with central core. Office spaces on the periphery and transition space in the middle.

Grid system for building structure, with module of 12ft in longer span and 25ft for office and 8ft for corridor in shorter span.


Office Spaces Corridors Service Core

Separate Parking for Staff, Officers and Visitors according to vehicle types.

Car Parking for Office Staff Car Parking for visitors Two Wheeler Parking Bicycle Stand Car Parking for Senior Officers

Detail Level

Fragmentation of facade in smaller parts with vertical louvers and overhangs and floating effect by void creation at ground floor. Structural and nonstructural elements made of concrete.

Restrictive use of Indian architectural element


Case Study - 3b

Rabindra Bhawan

Connaught Place














Sikandra Road



Rabindra Bhawan

84.a Larger Context Map of Rabindra Bhawan.



Lytton Road






Mandi House Circle

h es


Supreme Court

Introduction Independence brought change in social, cultural and economical structure of the nation. With that the idea of National identity was also growing to represent the free spirit of the nation at the international level. Jawaharlal Nehru with the help of MaulanaAbulKalam Azad took the initiate to establish institutes, which represents the Indian culture by its words, form and spirits. Thus, the idea of founding three distinct national academies of India took place, which would promote and appreciate the different national art. Those academies are: Lalit Kala Academy for Plastic Arts, SangeetNatak Academy for Dance, Drama and Music and Sahitya Academy for Literature. The SangeetNatak Academy was established on May 31st, 1952, The Sahitya Academy was founded on March 12th, 1954 and The Lalit Kala Acadamy was established on August 5th, 1954. Though set up by Government, these are stated to be autonomous bodies. Many artists all across the India appreciated the establishment of such academies, which were providing a national platform for the emerging new artists of India. By the end of 50’s, these academies started to grow and spread across the India. The growth of these institutions demanded a central controlling system that would have headquarter in New Delhi. Jawaharlal Nehru gave the project to Habib Rahman, Senior Architect of CPWD, to design a building that would house the offices of these three national academies. He wanted to build a building that would mark the birth centenary of Tagor, who in addition to being a poet and novelist was an artist, playwright and composer. The construction of the building got completed in 1961 and it was named as Rabindra Bhawan. This building of Rahman was a huge turning point in his career as he shifted from his Bauhaus root to design a simple and elegant structure without overly of Indian elements, which would favour the purpose of the national academies.








92.a Context Plan of Rabindra Bhawan showing access of the site and other important buildings around.

Legend 1. Nepal High Commission 6. National School of Drama 2. National Museum for Natural Science 7. Doordarshan Bhawan 3. Triveni Kala Sangam 8. Kamani Auditorium 4. Shri Ram Center for Arts and Culture 9. Little Theater Group Auditorium 5. Himachal Bhawan



Site Level

3b.1.1 Program Nehru being the initiator, he took keen interest in the design process of the building. He wanted the building that should have sprit of Tagor and simplicity of Gandhiji without loosing the modern approach. The first attempt of Rahman was reject by him because it was a typical Bauhaus building with box from. That proposal did not go very well with him and Nehru asked Rahman to design it from the scratch to meet the aesthetic and spatial value of required spirit. Nehru was very pleased with the second attempt of design, which got constructed later.

93.a Rahman discussing plan of Rabindra Bhawan with Jawaharlal Nehru.

The basic requirements were to accommodate the administrative offices of all three academies, an exhibition gallery for the exhibition of paintings and the sculpture and a moderate sized theater. Along with those functions, there were other functions required like canteen, storage, shops and utilities to support the core activities. Keeping in mind all these requirements, a building was desire that would be a perfect combination of modern and traditional architecture. Location: Feroze Shah Marg, New Delhi Chief architect: Habib Rahman Client: Lalit Kala Academy Constructing authority: CPWD Area of site: 3 acres Year of completion: 1961 3b.1.2 Local Context

93.b Triveni Kala Sangam by Joseph Allan Stein, 1957.

The plot is located at the corner of Lyttom (Copernicus) and Feroze Shah Marg. The site is located in such way that it gets frontage at both the road. The area where the site situated is called Mandi House. It is the cultural hub of the Delhi as lot of these academies and performing art schools are located in this area. It has National School of Drama, Shri Ram Center for Performing Arts, Triveni Kala Sangam and Kamani Auditorium. Along with cultural institutions there are many other government buildings, which are around the plot. Some of them are, Doordarshan Bhawan, Nepal High Commission, National Museum of Natural History and Himachal Bhawan. All these buildings are located in the radial area created by the Mandi House circle and one the corner of this roundabout junction is occupied by Rabindra Bhawan site. Lot of these cultural buildings was built in the times of late 50’s and early 60’s along with the Rabindra Bhawan. But it was one the first of its kind that would have facilities and atmosphere to take place such cultural activities Other schools and institutions were started to find their roots in the cultural world but they did not have the proper infrastructure to take place the events. It was the Rabindra Bhawan, which was first to be completed before all the other institutes.

93.c Shri Ram Center by Shiv Nath Prasad, 1966-72.


94.a Diagram showing form and positioning of building according to the site shape.

94.c Diagram showing the separate entries for each block and vehicular movement within the site premises.


94.b Diagram showing pockets generated by the ‘Y’ shape of the building.

94.d Diagram showing parking allotment according to the user type.

Staff Member and Senior Officers

Cycle Stand


Staff Parking

Essential Staff

Visitor’s Parking

3b.1.3 Organization Just like any other Bauhaus building, Rahman’s first proposal for the building was all made of glass and steel with the aesthetics of a factory. Even the organization of the building was also like an object floating in site, very similar to the Bauhaus approach. But Nehru rejected the proposal by saying that it did not have the spirit of Gurudev (Tagor). He wanted a building that would blend with the surrounding rather than popping out. Then came the second proposal of the building based on which we see the current structure standing, a symbol of revolution in Rahman’s career of architecture. The building is divided in three major blocks: Administrative building, exhibition gallery and theater. The administrative block, which is the biggest of all, occupies the prominent amount of space on site. Architect’s vision was to make a bold statement and to hold itself firmly on a huge site. Thus the block has got monumental scale. ‘Y’ shape for the administrative block is chosen very thoughtfully to cover the most area on the site. Not only that, the position of the block is such that, it creates the different sizes of pockets where other two blocks are placed according to interrelation with the respective wing of the admin block. Being a junction point of two roads, the site is more or less has a wedge shape in overall form. To be precise, the plot is an irregular hexagon shape, where its one edge of the plot follows the curvature of roundabout of Mandi house. Thus the shape of the blocks also follows the shape of the site. Two sides of each block are parallel to the site boundary and they are also parallel to the other blocks. The pentagon shape of the exhibition gallery is result of site condition and facades of administration block. One façade of the exhibition gallery follows the curvature of round about; other one façade is parallel to Lytton road and rest of the two facades is parallel to the shape façade of administration block. Similarly theater block is also following the same principle, where its three sides are parallel to the site edge and one side is parallel to the administration block. Landscape is a important part of the building that has been incorporated at different places in different scale. Huge landscape has been provided between the theater and administrative block, which fits in one of the pocket created by ‘Y’ shape of the building. People use this pleasing landscape without bothering internal activities of the building. Another small garden is designed between administration block and exhibition gallery that used to consist a ruin of old mosque from Mughal time. Unfortunately that has been removed now so one cannot see how that old structure used to blending with the building around. This garden is also being used as an extended part of the exhibition gallery where permanent display of stone sculptures has been put up. Another garden is located in the entrance gate of the building extending till the backside of the pentagon gallery. Many sculptures are placed in that area and from that garden one can see the curve facade of the building responding to the traffic island. Separate gates of entry and parking have been provided for the building according the user with respect to their proximity to different building blocks.

95.a Model of first design of the building in the moulde of Bauhaus style.

95.b View of the Exhibition Gallery from the Mandi House Circle.

95.c Image showing shape of the building derived from the shape of the site.

95.d Image showing landscape as an integrated part of the building. 95

96.a Diagram of functional and transitional spaces

96.b Diagram showing basic layout of the building.

Functional Spaces

Office Spaces

Transitional Spaces


Vertical Transitional Spaces

Service Core

96.c An isometric view of the basic model of building showing the use of pure geometry in form inspired by Bauhaus style.



Building Level

3b.2.1 Form and Layout Rabindra Bhawan is designed with great harmony of distinct architectural style and aesthetics; all came together at one place. Each block of the Bhawan is distinct in form, layout and articulation, most appropriate for its individual functions. Each block has its distinct persona and significance that does not over emphasize their identity on each other. To accommodate three individual academies at one place, Rahman has designed administration block with three different wings each for one academy creating ‘Y’ shape in plan. All three wings are place at 120º to each other meeting at the central junction point of ‘Y’ shape. The service core of the building consisting staircase, lifts and toilets occupies that central junction created by these three wings. A combination of concrete dome and jaali is used to cover the central shaft of the lift and staircase. Each of these wings also has their one staircase for internal vertical circulation. The central service core is generating a very subtle curve in the façade of building giving it a slight fluid form, which is unusual form the Rahman’s Bauhaus aesthetics. Still the affection towards the pure form is evident as he did not tried to shift towards much complex from. The form of each wing is basic rectangular box with hexagonal central junction topped with a hemisphere dome on the central shaft. Though Rahman has tried to achieve a bold statement by creating sprawling administration block, still the scale of each individual functions and elements have been broken down to human scale. Facades of this block is made of numerous small windows closely placed heart to each other and two rows of continuous thin chhajjas that emphasize the horizontality of the building giving the illusion of never ending façade. The exhibition gallery, which is been placed in one of the pocket of ‘Y’ block, is connected thorough a arched walkway with Lalit Kala academy wing. Here the overall form of the building is completely different from the other two blocks. The use of the concrete jaali and brick false façade gives the building an image of a small monument itself. Blank brick walls of the first floor gives the illusion of a heavy slab resting on the delicate base of the building made of thin columns and jaalis. The AC plant room, Electrical sub station, storage and weather maker room occupy the basement of the gallery, whereas rest of the two floors are used for exhibition purpose. One of the sticking elements of the gallery is the spiral staircase that is placed in the central part of the gallery. This freestanding subtle element of vertical movement enhances the softer effect in the gallery, which otherwise has a very solid form looking from exterior. Lighting for the exhibition is not only provided by artificial means but there is a continuous strip of small windows that runs at the top of each floors, which lits the ceiling area of the gallery as well as the walls.

97.a Image showing the rectangular wing of the Administration Block and dome on top of the service core.

97.b Image showing transitional space in the middle and office spaces on both sides.

97.c Image showing the overall box shape form of the Exhibition Gallery.

97.d Freestanding spiral staircase of the Exhibition Gallery. 97

98.a Diagram showing the grid pattern for the composite structure of the building.


98.b Diagram showing shadow pattern of the building during the daytime

3b.2.2 Structural System Moved from his Bauhaus roots, Rahman has used composite structure for the construction of the administrative block. Here he has used brick masonry load bearing walls with the combination of R.C.C. column, beam and slab. As similar to its form, the structural grid of the building is also very simple. It is divided in two grids of 12ft module and 25ft module where shorter span has two modules of 25ft and longer span of the wings has 8 modules of 12ft in case of Lalitkala and Sahitya Academy and 9 modules of 12ft in case of SangeetNatak Academy. The R.C.C columns are placed in the central part of each wing at the position of intersection of two grids and load bearing walls are kept at the periphery of the entire block. The roof slab of the block is projecting out 6ft beyond the walls on all sides. Future air-conditioning had been also provided in the structure of this block. The R.C.C dome covers the hexagonal shape of the lift and staircase shaft, which is placed on the supports of those walls of shaft and two columns of foyer.

99.a Image showing freestanding columns in the auditorium of Lalit Kala Academy of Administration Block.

The structural design of the exhibition gallery is also based on the module of 12ft just like administrative block. But here the entire structure is made of R.C.C framework with different filler walls at each level. The R.C.C. columns are place at the periphery of entire block and in the central part of the gallery creating a service core. Administrative block has load-bearing wall along the periphery of the structure, so one cannot see the existence of the concrete columns from outside unless you visit the place from inside. But the existence of the columns is much evident in exhibition gallery as they are coming out from walls as ribs of the structure. But in case of the theater block, structure is not as simple as these two other blocks. This theater is designed with combination of many grids forming a complex layout of different dimensions. Here whenever the function changes the dimension of the grid also changes according the function. The columns of the sitting area are placed on the intervals of 10ft from center to center and columns of the stage and back stage areas are place on the interval of 11ft. Rahman designed structural layout of the theater purely based on the functional requirement as it would have been difficult to fit the diverse activities of performing art arts in one single module of the space. The false ceiling above the sitting area is suspended from the 8ft deep pre stress concrete beams, which also supporting the flat slab above the same area. The foyer area of the theater has a semicircular vaulted slab, which is also in the module of 11ft same as the stage area.

99.b Columns of the Foyer area as the support system of the service core.

99.c Image showing columns of the Exhibition Gallery as the ribs of the structure.

3b.2.3 Climatic Response Climate friendly buildings are achieved on different levels of designing where at site level the orientation of building plays major role of creating a suitable environment in the building that response to the different conditions of weather. In case of Rabindra Bhawan orientation of the buildings blocks is more context driven than the climatic drive. But at the detail level, more importance is given to the design and placement of each element of weather protection. The load bearing walls of the

99.d Internal structure of the Exhibition Gallery.


100.a Window detail of Administration block at scale of 1:50

Public Space Semi- Private Space Private Space 100.b Diagram showing hierarchy of the spaces


administration block is punctured by numerous small windows, which are place closely with each other. Those windows are protected by the two rows of continuous chhajjas that runs parallel to the facades of the wings. The lower row in each case is been placed on cantilevered brackets so that it is away from the wall and is not obstructing the breeze from coming in side. According to the architect the angle of the sunshades is designed to eliminate the strong morning and afternoon sun. The exhibition gallery had different facade treatment than the other block. Being the place for display of art, more emphasize is given to the artificial means of the lighting and ventilation. But during the time of construction none of this block had the accesses to air-conditioning system for entire building. Therefore provisions have been made to adapt the complete air-conditioning in the building. Still to complement the administration block, exhibition gallery has been clad with the intricate jaali as filler wall between two columns that are purely used for the aesthetic purpose and not for the climatic reasons. Similarly theater block is also designed with full airconditioning and ventilation system to suite the requirement of a close and quiet place without and distraction of outdoor activities.

101.a Image showing rows of continuous chhajjas, where the lower rows are placed on cantilevered brackets.

3b.2.4 Hierarchy of spaces In this building, architect has tried to get the functional clarity by designing individual building forms. So all the functions of this building are defined by the individual forms; which are then connected through either by simple pathways within the landscape or by covered walkways in between two blocks; which acts like a transition space between different functions. The functional classification of these blocks is purely based on the notion of public, semi public and privet spaces. The exhibition gallery and theater, which are meant for the public gathering, are kept in separate block, where as administration building that has semi public and privet areas are kept in separate block. Based on this the strong hierarchical order is clearly seen in terms of organization of the functions of this building. The proximity of the functions and each block are designed in such a way that it indicates their functional interrelationship with each other. The wing of Lalit Kala academy is kept near to the exhibition block and the wing of Sangeet Natak academy is kept near to the theater block due to their interconnection with each other. Even at the site level all functions are given equal importance by providing individual entry for each block. Theater has its own separate entry from the Lytton road, therefore it does not interfere other functions by overcrowding the area during the events of gathering. Another back entry is given from the Feroze Shah road to the site, which is designed to serve the entry for the other services areas like canteen, electrical substation and quarters for staff. While the administration block and administration building shares the common entry and exit gates, exhibition gallery has been provided with its own entrance plaza in front of the gallery that gives opportunity for small gatherings to take place.

101.b Image showing use of concrete jaali as the cladding in Exhibition Gallery.

101.c Entry Gate for staff members.

101.d Entry Gate for Administration and Exhibition block. 101


Detail Level

3b.3.1 Use of Material

102.a Image showing use of Random stone masonry in the end wall of the Administration Block.

102.b Image showing the glass facade of the Exhibition block.

The evident use of modern material is much visible in other buildings of Rahman that he has designed during that time. In Rabindra Bhawan also he tried to design with same materials and techniques. He designed entire building with concrete columns and steel and glass facades making it look like a factory building rather than a cultural center. As Nehru rejected this proposal due to its overall appearance and spatial quality, he used more conventional local materials in his second attempt to achieve the required simplicity of form and nature of the building. Thus the administration building is built of composite structure where walls are load bearing. The long walls of the three-wing administration block are constructed out of brick masonry and also cladded in exposed brick whereas the end wall of the each wing is constructed out of random rubble stonework with concrete jaali in the middle of the wall. Other than these, all structural members including columns in middle grid, beams, and slabs are constructed out of R.C.C. work. The windows are made out of steel frame and glass fillers, chhajjas and dome above the central core are built out of reinforced concrete. The exhibition gallery is also constructed with use of different materials for structure and enclosure. While the entire structure is built out of R.C.C. framework, the filler walls are partly made out of concrete jaali in most of the facades except the entrance facade, which is made out of steel and glass doors. The expression of using such transparent material not only gives direct visual connection with the administration block but it also opens out in the garden area situated in the middle of this two blocks giving the possibility of expanding out the exhibition in that open natural space. Rahman has used false brick facade in the upper floors of the exhibition gallery giving illusion of heavy slab sitting on the fragile supports. For the theater block, maybe the first time Rahman has used the pre stress concrete beams for any structure. The entire slab of the sitting area is constructed out of R.C.C. slab with the pre stress concrete beams to support the suspended false ceiling above the sitting area. The slab of the foyer area is constructed out of series of semicircular vaults made out of reinforced concrete. Here Rahman has tried to use a language of a traditional element built out of modern material to make it light in the spatial quality of the space.

102.c Image showing garden in the middle of the Administration and Exhibition blocks.

3b.3.2 Architectural language Rabindra Bhawan was a special building for Rahman, as he moved out of his comfort zone to design a cultural center that demanded very different approach of treatment than any other usual office building, which Rahman commonly used to design for CPWD. He described his building in the interview of Inside Outside magazine in year 1987 by saying,

102.d Image showing the ‘Y’ shape of the block. 102

“Rabindra Bhawan was the first building where I could free

myself from the influence of Walter Gropius and Oscar Niemeyer. This building belonged to India. Here I used traditional Indian elements such as chhajjas, jaalis and overhanging roofs. It was the first functional building that gave me aesthetic satisfaction. Maybe it was Rabindranath’s artistic genius that inspired me to give an emotionally moving quality to the building.” With Rabindra Bhawan, Rahman moved out of the Bauhaus style and its severe rationalist mould. Instead he created an interconnected structure free from Gropius’s box shapes and the Bauhaus Factory aesthetics. The most striking feature of the building is the two continuous rows of angled sun shades in reinforced concrete that runs parallel over the window, projecting two feet beyond the façade walls on all sides. This transforms version of chhajjas very pleasantly served the propose sun breaker, an Indian articulation of overhang opposite to western vertical louvers. Though the use of brick as cladding and random stone masonry in the administration block makes it heavy in appearance, the earthy and natural colors of both the materials generates the effect of perfect blend of a building in nature. The concrete dome above the central core of three wings and concrete vault of above the foyer of theater compliments the combination of using traditional element of architecture with modern material of construction. The play of light in exhibition gallery creates a structure with the manifestation of a monument that is complimenting the heavy structure of administration block without overemphasizing its identity. Articulation of different jaalis, arched walk way and other building elements creates a perfect juxtaposition of different materials and technique, serving area fine example of romanticized modernism.

103.d Entrance Porch of the Administration Block.

103.e Book shop of the Sahitya Academy.

103.a First floor of the Exhibition Gallery.

103.b First floor of the Exhibition Gallery.

103.c Jaali pattern of the Administration Block.

103.1 Different jaali details of the Rabindra Bhawan. 103



Key Idea

Site Level


Orientation of building according to the principal road of entry.

Shape and positioning of the wings follows the shape of the site.

‘Y’ shape of the admin block to generate the pockets in site, which could house the other blocks and functions of the building.

Separate entry for each block and vehicular movement according to those entries.

Staff Member and Senior Officers Visitors Essential Staff



Allotment of parking spaces according to the user.

Cycle Stand Staff Parking Visitor’s Parking

Building Level

Use of pure geometry in overall form of the building.

Basic layout of the building having service core in the center and functional spaces around.

Office Spaces Corridors Service Core

Grid system for building structure, with module of 12ft in longer span and 25ft in shorter span.


Division of the blocks according to the functions of the building and their users.

Public Space Semi- Private Space Private Space

Detail Level

Reinterpreted form of chhajjas in continuous horizontal louvers

Composite structure of the building of brick load bearing walls and R.C.C. columns and slabs.

Use of Indian architectural elements such as jaalis and dome.


Case Study - 3c

R.K.Puram Sector-13





Mandi House Circle

R.K. Puram sector-13

Africa Avenue

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R.K. Puram Sector-12

Viv eka nan d

Ma rg

Mahatma Gandhi Ring Road

110.a Larger Context Map of R.K. Puram, Sector-13.


Introduction In the time of 60’s, the necessity for multi-storied dwelling arose from rapid urbanization of Delhi due to population explosion. Continuation of only the usual two-storied constructions would have resulted in a linear development extending further away from the town center, which would have created problems of transport from the place of work. Besides it was not logical or economical to utilize all the available land for horizontal twostoried development. Rising land values made it necessary to plan high density housing schemes in area near the town center. The master plan for Delhi envisaged eight-storied development for central areas of the city. It was felt that it was inevitable; at the most, it could only be delayed by continuing with two-storied development. Continuing with such construction, it won’t only create more land cries but would also affect the economy of the user. With the idea of resolving these problems, government started to develop the multi-stories housing apartments for the employees and officers of different government departments. By doing that, government wanted to take full advantage of creating good environment with ample open spaces by providing different amenities such as school, shopping spaces and religious spaces near to these residential areas. But people who live in two-storied residential colonies were so used to the advantage of a private garden, that in the cases ground floor tenants, and first floor occupants, disliked the idea of multistoried housing. Even though it was true that each tenant could not be given a private garden in apartments, it was possible to give large open spaces to all in place of small patches of lawns and private gardens. Also each tenant could be given a sizable sleeping balcony in place of individual terrace. Another reason for general apathy towards multi-storied developments was that services like water supply, electricity, drainage transport, etc. were not well developed as yet in Delhi. For a city, it cannot function without them and government needed to gear up the envisaged developments in the Master Plan. In 1965, the multi-storied flats of sector-13 of Ramakrishna Puram made the modest beginning in the area of residential development. By the end of its construction, it made clear that this new way of creating residential environment was going to stay for longer time than anyone could have imagined. It did not only gave the opportunity of reaching the required human density of the area but also gave the opportunity of acquiring a living environment that was well balanced between the private and public areas of the user.










Site Level

3c.1.1 Program The government wanted to develop a residential area for their employees that would not only be high in density but it would also have the appropriate environment for the people for quality living. The sector-13 of the R.K. Puram was an initiative made by government to achieve the high-rise, high-density housing by abandoning the usual two-storied development that would unnecessarily occupy the high valued lands of the city. The program was to develop the whole sector-13 of the R.K. Puram by providing housing apartments for the government employees and officers, a school for children and an area for shopping and entertainment. The functional requirements for individual apartment were just like any other house units that consist some bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining hall, a storage area, a washing area and toilets. With addition to these functions, separate rooms and lavatories for servants were required to accommodate in the plan of an apartment. Not only that additional servant quarters were also required to be built, which are not attached to the residential blocks. So they are placed in the northern part of the site relatively far from the housing apartments. As it was not possible to give an individual garden or terrace space to the apartment tenant, Rahman has provided a big garden area to each block unlike the small patches of garden area in usual two-storied housing blocks. The balconies are also very similar in the size of a terrace that any tenant used to have in their typical two-storied housing. The final sector plan, which emerged from all the requirements, was originally having fifteen residential blocks that were spared across the site. But four of them could not be constructed due to the land dispute of the site. Due to that two blocks of the sector are placed far from the other blocks making them totally disconnected with the rest of the sector. Location: Sector-13, R.K. Puram, Inner Ring Road, New Delhi Chief architect: Habib Rahman Client: Government Constructing authority: CPWD Year of completion: 1965 3c.1.2 Local Context Ramakrishna Puram popularly known as R.K. Puram is a Central Government Employees residential colony in South West Delhi named after the saint Shi Ramakrishna. It was built in the second phase of extension of New Delhi, which started in late 1950s by acquiring land from Munirka village farmers. Developed by CPWD to South West of Central Secretariat, its development continued till 1970s, when R. K. Puram was established. It mostly contains double-storied housing blocks, with 2-3 bedrooms apartments for central government officers out of which Habib Rahman designed type-3 blocks for junior staff. Some high-rise apartment blocks like M.S. flats of sector-13 and Nivedita Kunj of sector -10 for senior officers were added

119.a Double storied quarter’s of sector-3 of R.K. Puram.


120.a Context Plan of Sector-13 showing principal road Legend and other important buildings. 1. Sector-12 2. Aradhna Colony 3. New Moti Baugh 4. Netaji Nagar 5. Shopping Complex of

6. Temple 7. Sarvoday High School 8. Sevant Quarter 9. Model Park 10. Sports Club

120.b Diagram showing the cone of visions of different windows of the blocks representing the non-obstructive view. 120

in the latter development. Gradually markets were added in each pocket, and schools and places of worship were also built. It is one of the oldest and larger developments in Delhi built for housing Central Government employees. It is roughly rectangular, enclosed by Inner ring road to the north, outer ring road to the South facing Vasant Vihar, Rao Tula Marg Marg to the west and Africa Avenue to the east. The area is subdivided into 13 "Sectors" which are named numerically from 1 to 13 where the sector-13 is the only sector located on the other side of the Ring Road. The area includes a number of important landmarks - Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram in Sector 12, Sangam Cinema hall and D.A.V. Public School in Sector-9, National Association Blind School and Tamil Sangam in Sector-5, Ramjas School and Delhi Tamil Education Association Senior Secondary Schools (D.T.E.A) in Sector-4, Lal Bhadur Shastri School and Management Institute in Sector-3, Malai Mandir in Sector-7 are a few of them. R. K. Puram currently does not lie on any of the current Delhi metro routes. The nearest stations are AIIMS, Hauz Khas or Daula Kuan. Once the Phase III of the Delhi Metro gets completed, R. K. Puram will lie on the Janakpuri-Botanical Gardens line with a station at Munirka and on the MukundpurYamuna Vihar line with a station at Bhikaji Cama Place.

121.a Image showing the Model Park of the sector.

121.b Original plan of the sector-13 with 9 Type-VI blocks and 5 type-V blocks.

3c.1.3 Organization The housing apartments of sector-13 consists two different types of apartment named type-V and type-VI. The type V blocks are ‘T’ shaped in plan and type-VI blocks are ‘Y’ shaped in plan so as to allow maximum radial bifurcation of each wing and at the same time to enable all wings to be served by common lifts, staircase and service shafts. In the original layout of the site, 6 blocks of type-V apartments and 10 blocks of type-VI apartments had been planned to give 138 type V flats and 230 type VI flats. However, four of the type-VI blocks could not be constructed due to the land dispute. As a result, there are 138 type-V flats and 120 type-VI flats finally got constructed. The density of the colony was expected to be 75 persons per acre after the completion of the project. Most of the blocks of the sector are situated along the periphery of the sector boundary, where most of them are situated along the inner ring road of the city and others are situated along the Shaheed Sudhir Tyagi Marg. The sports club and a big garden also known as Model Park occupy the central part of the sector. The South East corner of the site is occupied by a high school and a shopping center. Generally Rahman try to orient the building wings or block parallel to the plot boundary to place it appropriately on site. But here rather than following the same principle, he tilted each of the apartments in relation to the existing road. The idea behind such orientation was to give the best possible non-obstructive view to the maximum number of rooms in each block. With providing the large open spaces between the blocks, a feeling of openness with good air and light and considerable privacy for each flat is established.

121.c Image showing the diagonal orientation of the blocks with respect to the sector roads.

121.d Image showing the wide open spaces between the two blocks to provide the required privacy.

121.e Image showing the type of parking garages for the individual blocks.


Rooms Transitional Spaces Service Core 122.a An isometric view of the basic model of building showing the use of pure geometry in form inspired by Bauhaus style.

122.c Diagram showing structural grid of the apartment blocks. 122

122.b Diagram showing basic layout of the blocks.


Building Level

3c.2.1 Form and Layout Since the designing of the Rabindra Bhawan, Rahman had the significant changes in his way of designing. The rectangular box form of each wing still depicts his love for pure geometry in the building form. He always tried to break this singular form by providing wing systems and varied facades and corner conditions that would create the play of mass and void unlike the flat facade of Bauhaus building. Just like any other government building design by Rahman, he used the same wing system for the residential apartments of R.K. Puram. Both the types of the housing apartments have overall similar layout system for the plan where each floor consist three flats divided in three individual wings. Those three wings meet at the junction of central service core that contains the lifts, staircases, meter room (on ground floor) and lavatories for the servants. Each of the blocks has its individual parking garage near the entrance gate of the block.

123.a Lift and Staircase area of the Type-V block.

A type-VI flat is a 3BHK apartment block, where wings are placed in shape of ‘Y’. In each wing one flat is planned as a self-containing unit. The entrance lobby opens on to both the study room and the living room. On the opposite side is the dining room, which abuts on to the living room and receives service from the kitchen through the balcony. The three bedrooms have been arranged as to be accessible independently from the living and dining rooms and are near to the sleeping balcony at the end of the wing. These sleeping balconies cantilever out alternately in two directions so that each balcony can get enough sky exposure to the cantilevered portion. Some measure of privacy in balcony have been provided by judicious design of railing and a high parapet with jaali below. Type-V flat is a 2BHK apartment block, where wings are placed in shape of ‘T’. a compact plan has been evolved for each flat compare to the type-VI. The entrance lobby has a study room on one side and leads into the living and dining rooms. Both the rooms are placed opposite to each other without any wall as they can be used as one singular large space for social gatherings. The two bedrooms are accessible from the living and dining room and they open into the sleeping balconies that are similar in arrangement to those in type-VI flats. This type of block contains a separate staircase for the servants that directly open into washing area of the flat. Even separate rooms are provided for the servants, adjoin the staircase.

123.b Wash area of the Type-VI apartment

3c.2.2 Structure The structure of each block is very simple as its layout. It is a R.C.C. framework structure with the filler walls of bricks. The external walls of the apartments is one brick thick that is 9” in thickness and internal partition walls are half brick thick that is 4½” in thickness. The plan of each type flat is designed in the grid pattern of the

123.c Living room of the Type-VI apartment.


124.a Diagram of functional and transitional spaces.

124.b Diagram showing the heated area of the apartment during the different time of the day.

124.c Diagram showing hierarchy of the spaces. 124

building framework, where the dimension of each grid is decided according to the requirement of the corresponding functions. Floor to floor height of the structure is 10ft. The type-VI flats have three apartments on the same floor. But in case of type-V, all the three apartments are not at the same level. The perpendicular wing of that block is 2.5ft higher than the rest of the two apartments on the same floor. This staggering of the floors is done to create the covered driveway for that apartment type. The balconies of the type-V apartments cantilever 7ft from the walls and the balconies of the type-VI apartments cantilever 5ft from the walls. The roof slab in both the case is cantilevering out 6ft from the walls. 3c.2.3 Climatic response The orientation of the each block plays the major role in the response to climatic. Those blocks are not only placed to achieve the non obstructive open view for maximum rooms, but the tilted orientation also helps to achieve the suitable temperature within the apartment. All the blocks are placed facing the north side, which gives the maximum sun exposure in that direction. So the function, which are going to be used during most of the day are placed in that direction making them less hotter compare to other spaces of house. Other functions such as bedrooms and living room are kept in the south facade of the building, which might heat them in afternoons but they would become quite pleasant in the night-time for sleeping and social gathering. The third wing, which is placed along the North-South direction, is more or less perpendicular to the other two wings. In that situation this wing has the maximum sun exposure in the East and West facade of the building. So Rahman has kept the kitchen, dining area and toilets in the west facade to avoid the harsh morning sun. The bedrooms, study room and living room are placed in east facade so that they can avoid the harsh evening sun of the West. In the government offices, it is important to avoid direct sunlight coming inside the building to cut down the heat load on air-conditioning system. So one can see that Rahman has used heavy articulation of vertical louvers and overhangs in the facades of those buildings. But residential buildings do not require such kind of articulation, as there is no requirement to completely avoid the direct sunlight. Therefore, Rahman has used the concrete jaali and small chhajjas as the means of weather protection, which are scale appropriate expressions for the weather protections. 3c.2.4 Hierarchy Strong hierarchical order is present in the provision and the arrangement of different functions of the apartment. This arrangement is not only according to the climatic reasons but it is also done according to the privacy level. Being a residential building, privacy is the key element that no architect can ignore in his design. Keeping that in mind, Rahman designed each house as self-containing unit that shares very less interaction with other houses on same floor. Even the ‘Y’ and

125.a Image showing the R.C.C frame structure of the building with brick filler walls.

125.b Image showing the balconies of the Type-V apartment blocks.

125.c Image showing the use of Chhajjas and Jaalis for the climatic reasons.


‘T’ shapes of the blocks are also chosen to further emphasize the privacy issue as those arrangements do not give the direct visual connection to the other house. The only place for interaction is alternative balconies, which give moderate possibility of interaction with the tenant staying above. Other than that the central lobby and the common garden area are the places that gives full opportunity for any communication. With addition to the normal house functions, the requirement was also given to accommodate a residential space for the servants within the apartment block. So the organization of the functions is such that the servant rooms are kept either in the entrance part of the house in case of type-VI or they are kept in the central core of the building with other services in case of type-V. In both the case, the lavatories for the servants are kept in the central service core of the building. There is a separate staircase given to the servants of the type-V apartments, which connects the washing area of the house with servant room. 126.a Image showing the separate staircase for the servants of type-v apartment blocks.

The layering of the functions is done on the basis of the user and frequency of the usage of any articular space. The semi private areas are kept nearer to the entrance and private areas are kept in the far from the entrance of the house. In government houses of the officers, the study areas are often used as the small office space where one greets the official people in the house. So this semi-private room is kept it the front of the house opposite to kitchen area, which is also a semi-private area of the house as it is used by the servant most of the time. The bedrooms are kept in back part of the house, which do not share any direct visual connection with other spaces of the house. 3c.3

Detail Level

3c.3.1 Use of Material

126.b Type-VI apartment block.

126.c Type-V apartment block.


By the time of 1960’s, R.C.C became very common material for building construction. Not only Habib Rahman, but also other architects were extensively using this material as their key ingredient for designing. Using R.C.C. as structural material gave the opportunity to achieve the larger spaces in economical way. And for the construction of the high-rise apartment, this seemed to be the best material to reach the required height. Still it was difficult to construct the entire structure form the concrete as the material and labor charge for R.C.C. work was higher than the normal brick masonry. And in case of government project it was even more difficult to do so as the funds are very limited for any development. Thus it becomes the architect and engineer’s duty to bring out the best from the available resources. Here Habib Rahman has tried to handle the similar situation during the designing of the sector-13 of R.K. Puram. The framework of the building is constructed out of R.C.C while the walls are constructed out of brick masonry. Similar to the fame work, chhajjas and slabs are also constructed out of R.C.C. Though Rahman was trying to move out of his Bauhaus

past while designing the apartments of this sector, Walter Gropius’ basic principles for modern architecture seemed to be rooted deep in the design philosophy of the architect. The standardization and rationalization of the buildings parts were the key ideas of the modernization that Rahman partly adapted for his designs. Partly because in India most of the constructions were labor intensive rather than the assembly of parts. So not on the bigger scale, Rahman tried to use those principles on smaller levels of detailing by designing the standard concrete jaali patterns for all the blocks. Unlike his earlier works, Rahman has extensively used the jaali for the climatic and privacy purpose of these apartments. So it was logical to mass produce such amount of any building part and place it on site. So in away Rahman’s use of the materials not only suggests the economical use of them but also suggests the logical and appropriate use of resources from the point of view of mass production.

127.a Staircase shaft of the Type-VI blocks.

3c.3.2 Architectural Vocabulary The exaggeration of the facade treatments is quite evident in Rahman’s earlier works. One can see the over the top use of modern aesthetics and construction techniques for the designing of the government complexes. The extensive use of vertical louvers, long horizontal continuous or non-continuous chhajjas, closely spaced series of long windows and restrictive use of jaali are some of the general elements of vocabulary that Rahman has used in his earlier works. But all those expression are scale appropriate, as they are used in long, vertical and big office structures. But for the residential building, where comparative scale is smaller than the office structure, the needed vocabulary is also modestly different form the others. Rather than using any sort of the modern approach for the climatic and aesthetic purpose, Rahman adapted more Indianaized elements to do so. The use of concrete jaali not only serves the moderate level of privacy but it is also been used as the means of sun protecting device for the building. The parapet walls of balconies and wall of staircase shafts are also made of similar jaali pattern. This shows the continuation of the similar architectural language used in all over the building. The external walls of the apartment are painted without any plaster underneath. So one can see the joints of brick masonry on the facades of building. It just adds the more texture to the otherwise simple walls. The alternatively cantilevered balconies, concrete jaali, projecting chhajjas and exposed brick masonry, all to gather creates a harmonious combinations of the architectural language that Rahman has used in his design.

127.b Jaali pattern for the staircase area of the both blocks.

127.c Jaali pattern for the apartment areas of the blocks.




Key Idea

Site Level

Orientation of block according to the privacy and climatic reasons.

Large distance between the two blocks to get the enough privacy.

Building Level

Basic layout of the consist of service core in the center and three wing around. For the individual apartment transitional space in the middle and rooms on both the sides.

Use of pure geometry in overall form of the building.



Grid system for building structure, where dimension of the grid is according to the functional requirement.

Arrangement of the function according to the position of the Sun throughout the day.

Layering and allotment of the functions according to the hierarchical order.

Detail Level

Use of R.C.C in the framework of the structure and use of brick as filler walls. Use of Jaalis and Chhajjas as the means of weather protector.



Habib Rahman was influenced by Walter Gropius’ works which mainly focused on functionality of the building. This influenced in Rahman’s government building both under working and recreational environment. Specific function had specific units/blocks, which then became a part of one building. He further divided major functions of the building into wings systems.

Forms of the buildings are derived from pure geometry just like any Bauhaus building. They didn’t respond to the immediate context of the site; however the plan & orientation of the building are strongly derived from shape of the site.

Walter Gropius’s idea of standardization and rationalization of building element fitted very well in the context of Indian government building designed by Habib Rahman. He always designed and constructed with restricted funds. Using standard grid module in the structure and articulating elements in the facade, he made it possible for construction of the building to complete within the limited time frame and funds.


Due to limitation of availability of modern material such as steel and glass, fulfillment of his ideas could not be done Indian context. The lack of technical skills of assembly of those materials further restricted the usage of them. Even when Rahman was working for government, most of the construction works were labour intensive instead of machinery. Hence he used conventional material like concrete and bricks in his buildings.

Influence of Oscar Niemeyer can be seen in articulation of facades of his earlier buildings where Rahman used louvers and overhangs as sun breaker. But later he used Indian interpretation of those elements in form of chhajjas and jaali.

After all the analysis it was evident that Rahman’s early years works were strong representation of his influences from Oscar Niemeyer’ and Walter Gropius’ works. But later he developed architectural style that has the essence of Bauhaus style modified according to Indian context.


Illustration Credit Photographs of Habib Rahman and his works Pic. 7.b, 21.a, 22.a, 24.a, 38.a, 38.b, 39.a, 39.d, 40.a, 40.b, 40.c, 40.d, 40.e, 41.b, 41.f, 41.d, 41.e, 41.h, 43.a, 43.b, 43.c, 44.a, 44.b, 44.c, 44.d, 45.a, Topic 2.3, 71.a, 73.a, 75.d, 77.b, 78.c, 93.a, 95.a, 95.b, 95.c, 99.d, 102.b, 102.d, 103.a, 103.b, 119.a, 121.c, 121.d, 125.a, 125.b, 127.a Rahman, Habib (Rahman, Ram’s Archive). Pic. 38.c, 41.a, 41.c, 97.d Rahman, Ram Other Images Book Source Pic. 7.a, 7.c, 8.e Lang, Jon, Desai, Madhavi and Desai, Miki. Architecture and independence: The search for identity India 1880-1980. Delhi, Kolkata, New York etc.: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pic. 8.a, 8.c, 8.d, 16.a, 16.c, 16.d Lang, Jon. A concise history of modern architecture in India. RaLondonniket: Permanenet Black, 2002. Pic. 9.a Mehrotra, Rahul. Architecture in India since 1990. Mumbai: Pictor Punblishing Pvt. Ltd., 2011. Pic. 9.b, 10.d, 10.c, 11.a, 16.b, 17.b, 17.c Rewal, Raj, Sharma, Ram and Veret, Jean-Louis. Architecture in India. Paris: Electa Moniteur, 1985. Pic. 12.a, 12.b, 12.d Boesiger, Willy. Le Corbusier-Last Works. London: Thames and Hudson, 1970. Pic 12.b Curtis, William J R. Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1986. Pic. 12.h, 12.i, 12.j, 12.k Rosa, Joseph. Louis I. Kahn: 1901-1974. Germany: Taschen Gmbh, 2006. Pic. 13.a, 13.b, 13.c Tietz, Jürgen. The story of modern architecture. Germany: H.F.ullmann, 2008. Pic. 15.b, 15.c, 15.d, 15.e, 15.h Singh, Malvika and Mukherjee, Rudrangshu. New Delhi: making of a capital. New Delhi: Roli books Pvt. Ltd., 2009. Pic. 26.a, 31.a Gropius, Walter. The new approach to architecture and the Bauhaus. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1935. Pic. 29.a, 29.b, 29.c, 73.b Strasser, Josef. Fifty Bauhaus Icons You Should Know‬. London and New York: Prestel Publishing, 2009. Pic. 27.b, 28.c Fitch, James. Walter Gropius. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960.


Pic. 27.a, 27.c, 28.b, 28.d Droste, Magdalena. Bahuhaus 1919-1933. Germany: Taschen Gmbh, 2002. Pic. 29.d, 30.b, 30.c, 30.d Gropius, Water, Fletcher, Norman, McMillen, Louis. The Architects Collaborative. Switzerlan: Arthur Niggli Ltd., 1966. Pic 32.b, 33.a, 33.c, 34.f, 35.c, 36.g, 36.i, 36.1 Rupert, Spade. Oscar Niemeyer - Master of modern architecture . London: Thames and Hudson, 1971. Pic. 34.1, 35.a, 77.a Papadaki, Stamo. Oscar Niemeyer. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960. Pic. 93.b, 93.c Khanna, Rahul and Manav Parhwak. The modern architecture of New Delhi:1928-2007. Noida: Random House Publishers India Pvt. Ltd., 2008. Web Source Pic. 6.a <> Pic. 6.b < aspx> Pic. 9.c <> Pic. 10.e <> Pic. 12.e, 12.f, 12.g, 34.a, 34.b, 34.c <> Pic. 14.a, 14.b, 14.c, 15.g <> Pic 32.a, 37.b, 37.e < #/?picture=397995611&index> Pic. 34.e, 36.c, 36.d <> Pic. 37.d, 37.c < slideshow_item6_7> Pic. Topic 3.1.2, 34.g, 62.a, 84.a, 110.a Google Earth Pic. 69.b <> Pic. 97.a, 99.c <>


Bibliography Books Habib Rahman, Architecture of India and New Delhi Bahga, Sarbjit. Modern architecture in India: Post-independence perspective. New Delhi: Galgoti publication Pvt. Ltd., 1993. Bhatt, Vikram and Scriver, Peter. Contemporary Indian Architecture: After the masters. Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 1990. Khanna, Rahul and Manav Parhwak. The modern architecture of New Delhi:1928-2007. Noida: Random House Publishers India Pvt. Ltd., 2008. Lang, Jon. A concise history of modern architecture in India. Raniket: Permanenet Black, 2002. Lang, Jon, Desai, Madhavi and Desai, Miki. Architecture and independence: The search for identity India 1880-1980. Delhi, Kolkata, New York etc.: Oxford University Press, 1997. Mehrotra, Rahul. Architecture in India since 1990. Mumbai: Pictor Punblishing Pvt. Ltd., 2011. Rewal, Raj, Sharma, Ram and Veret, Jean-Louis. Architecture in India. Paris: Electa Moniteur, 1985. Singh, Malvika and Mukherjee, Rudrangshu. New Delhi: making of a capital. New Delhi: Roli books Pvt. Ltd., 2009. Thapar, Bindia. Introduction to Indian architecture. Singapore: Periplus Editions, 2004. Architecture of New Delhi Modern Architecture Frampton, Kenneth, Khaleed Ashraf Kazi and Belluardo. An Architecture of independence: the making of South Asia. New York: The Architectural League of New York, 1998. Pevsner, Nikolaus. Pioneers of modern design from Willian morris to Walter Gropius. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 1974. Wilkinson, Phillip. 50 architecture ideas you really need to know. United Kingdom: Quercus Print Ltd., 2010. Oscar Niemeyer Papadaki, Stamo. Oscar Niemeyer. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960. Rupert, Spade. Oscar Niemeyer-Master of modern architecture . London: Thames and Hudson , 1971. Walter Gropius and Bauhaus Bayer, Herbert, Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius. Bauhaus:1919-1928. Boston: Charles T. Branford company , 1959. Dearstyne, Howard. Inside the Bauhaus. London: The Architectural Press Ltd., 1986. Fitch, James. Walter Gropius. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1960.


Gropius, Walter. The new approach to architecture and the Bauhaus. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1935. —. Scope of total architecture . Boston, London etc.: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1956. Strasser, Josef. Fifty Bauhaus Icons You Should Know‬. London and New York Prestel Publishing, 2009. Unpublished Undergraduate Research Thesis, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University Barbhaya, Dhaval. Deconstruction in architecture: a critical inquiry. RA TH-0603 Bhalani, Jignesh. After the moderns: an analytical study of the works of Richard Meier. RA TH-0702 Maheta, Jignesh. Structuralism and Architecture. RA TH-0695 MEH Patel, Sujata. The development of contemporary architecture on Ahmedabad, RA TH-0326 PAT Patel, Krunal. Structure and architecture: understanding their interplay through works of Mahendra Raj. RA TH-1017 PAT Ragholia, Chirag. Modernism in India: An inquiry into the works of Achyut Kanvinde. RA TH-1029 RAN Article Periodicals Bajaj, Sheela. “Profile: Habib Rahman” The Asian Age 17 March 1996. “Contemporary architect : Habib Rehman” Link 19 July 1965. Shrivastav, Bachdan. “Vilakshan vastushilpi habib rehman se bhet” Hindustan Shaptahik 21 July 1968. Petrossian, Vahe. “Pavillon at asian world trade”. Tehran Journal 27 September 1969. Rehman, Habib. “Sarkari Architecture” Inside-Outside February-March 1987. Chatterjee, Malay and Rahman, Ram. “Tribute-Habib Rahman.” A+D March-April 1996. Singh, Patwant. “Multi -storeyed flat at ramakrishnapuram New Delhi” Design Incorporating Indian Builder February 1965. —. “University grants commission buildings”. Design Incorporating Indian Builders February 1955. Interviews Rahman, Ram. Son of Architect Habib Rahman. Architect Lall, Ashok B. Architect Ravindran , K.T.


Habib Rahman thesis by Hiralba Jadeja  

Student architectural thesis by Hiralba Jadejafor an undergraduate degree at CEPT, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on the architect Habib Rahman

Habib Rahman thesis by Hiralba Jadeja  

Student architectural thesis by Hiralba Jadejafor an undergraduate degree at CEPT, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on the architect Habib Rahman