"Vidhan Bhavan sits on the crest of the Arerà Hill, overlooking the Madhya Pradesh capital city of Bhopal"
"Vidhan Bhavan sits on the crest of the Arerà Hill, overlooking the Madhya Pradesh capital city of Bhopal" © Charles Correa Associates

The new State Assembly, in the capital city of Bhopal, for the Government of Madhya Pradesh was commissioned in 1980 but did not begin construction until 1983. Many factors determined its form: its site on the crest of a hill; the historic Muslim monu­ments nearby; and the famous Stupa of the Buddha at Sanchi, some fifty kilometres from the city. But perhaps the greatest deter­ minant of form was the mandala - the cosmic organisation of functions, sequences and spaces within the ancient Hindu con­ception of the Universe.

top left, Location Plan; top right, Ground Plan, bottom, Section
top left, Location Plan; top right, Ground Plan, bottom, Section: 1 Public entrance, 2 Court of thePeople, 3 Central Hall, 4 Courtyard, 5 Legislators' entrance, 6 Ministers' offices, 7 Library, 8 Cabinet room, 9 Vidhan Parishad (upper house), 10 Legislators' foyer, 11 Vidhan Sabha (lower house) 12 VIP entrance, 13 Reflecting pool, 14 Combined Hall © Charles Correa Associates
Model
Model: The multiple forms ofthe Vidhan Bhavan, especially the dome and tower, recall various historic monuments in the state. In their new incarnation, each form identifiesthe placement of  the government functions within © Charles Correa Associates

The plan consists of a series of spaces within spaces, divided into a pattern of nine compartments (common in mandalas) which focus around a centre which represents nothingness. On two perpendicular axis, emanating from a central courtyard, are the administrative offices. The remaining four corners are occupied by the specialised functions: the Vidhan Parishad (Upper House), the Vidhan Sabha (Lower House).