"Kailash, Ellora", sketch by Anant Raje, November, 1996
"Kailash, Ellora", sketch by Anant Raje, November, 1996 © Anant Raje Foundation

The history of architecture has for long responded to the making of places. Places have inspired the acts of architecture. It took centuries to build traditions, the forms of which were not intended by anyone but were worked on without knowing. These forms were closely connected with a way of life, crystallizing its inner structure in the process of what became a tradition.

What order was brought in the material realm and what order was brought into harmonious expressions of the spiritual realm are evident from the way the buildings were made. The way of life and the order in the material realm brought about the significant architecture of a given era.

The choice of material that encloses space is distinct from that which is unenclosed. A building is an enclosure, but without reaching its real fulfilment its technology remains only on the surface—that is, far from transcending into architecture.

The lessons of past architectures show us an integrated solutions to problems in their time. The complexity of those problems are not yet fully understood. Apparently, simple solutions have misled the present into false rationale and its academic acceptance.

A building programme can become innovative when worked with the climate of the place. The places realized within and outside the building become more meaningful. The culture of a place is very closely connected with its climate, lending further to its architectural expressions. The spaces in plan which seem to be outside any rationale are often intimately connected with ways of living and need to be discovered. These spaces are truly the life-force, generating in its wake the freedom to express and acknowledge, its needs and values.

Long ago, magnificent buildings and complexes were made. Some of them are still standing, some in parts and some suggesting the place where they stood. All of them passed on to the present the inspiring moments of the time, raising continuous questions in the process and making it clear that no matter which direction architecture may take, the future will contain the ruins of the present.

July/September 1983