NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART
(Ministry of Culture, Government of India)
7th May 2015
Re: Appeal for Respecting the Architectural and Cultural Significance of the School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
It is with a sense of shock and remorse we understand of CEPT University’s plans to undertake major structural and other design modifications to the School of Architecture – CEPT campus buildings, designed by legendary architect B.V. Doshi.
In fact NGMA recently organized one of the most extensive archival retrospective of B V Doshi’s projects, of which CEPT’s School of Architecture is of seminal significance in the history of the 20th Century. The B V Doshi Retrospective at NGMA that celebrated architecture as a creative discipline was appreciated throughout the world and acknowledges that B V Doshi has not only inspired a whole generation of architects in India and South Asia, Along with Raj Rewal, Charles Correa, Kanvinde – B V Doshi’s seminal 20th Century projects continue to be researched by reputed Universities around the globe. The cultural and historic value of the original building is, thus, undisputed and its merits as much attention as do other ‘heritage structures’. In fact the Power Station of Art museum in China is in conversation with us to host the same retrospective exhibition. Significantly, the School of Architecture design, with its openness and naturally ventilated Studios remains a reference and inspiration for present times and the future. The informality in the CEPT design has engendered one of the most pioneering inter-disciplinary Architecture, Planning and Design Schools over the last 50 years more relevant today and for the future – as a synthesis of sustainable design and a free thinking institution. Any changes to box or enclose these free spaces would adversely impact the ethos of free learning.
We thus appeal to the CEPT University’s Governing Body and its Board of Management to preserve the Cultural and architectural significance of this unique campus.
We also request that a Committee of duly qualified scholars, conservation professionals be formed to undertake changes for growth and continuity – without compromising on the authenticity and integrity of the original design.
We request that a scientific mechanism for changes be brought into place, respecting its original DNA.
We believe that CEPT University’s Governing Body and Board of Management would extend complete support in conserving this rare project of the 20th century architectural heritage of India, based on well accepted guidelines for continuity and adaptation.
Looking forward to a positive discourse and efforts to respect the 20th Century heritage at CEPT, Ahmedabad.
PROF (DR) RAJEEV LOCHAN
Mr Sanjaybhai Lalbhai,
Chairman, Governing Body, CEPT University,
Jaipur House, India Gate, New Delhi – 110 003 INDIA
Ph 011- 23386111 / 5378 Fax 011-23384560