A Moment In Architecture


Tulika Books, 2002

167 pages

Price INR 400.00

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For the uninitiated, looking at Indian architecture is like viewing a forest. Obscured by the profusion, at first the eye sees only dense vegetation, in a state of confusion, conflict and chaos. Only when the focus narrows to a single tree, a shrub, a blade of grass, does the forest s variety become discernible and an order emerges. Behind the unseemly mess of an Indian city, behind Mughal portals and inside step wells, in old mountain houses and dark temple interiors, lies another picture of Indian architecture. The author of this book, an architect himself, takes the reader on a personal journey through its labyrinths, providing insights into structures that dot our lives. He casts his gaze sometimes lovingly, sometimes despairingly on buildings as diverse as the stone citadel of Jaisalmer, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the facades of Greater Kailash, on a step well at Adalaj, a Corbusier church, a Frank Lloyd Wright house. In so doing, he lays bare ideas and facts about these buildings, while reflecting on the sensory and meditative qualities of experiencing each of them. Written from the vantage point of a practising professional, the book is an intimate autobiography of architecture.A Delhi-based practising architect, Gautam Bhatia graduated in Fine Arts and did his postgraduation in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of several national and international awards for his architectural work and writings.. . . The sparkle of the writing is shadowed throughout by architectural drawings, a few photographs, quick sketches of buildings and, intriguingly, a range of drawings . . . recording bitter-sweet fantasies of the distortion, destruction and demise of architecture.Inside Outside