... on Proposed Academic Building on CEPT Campus by Christopher Benninger
Thanks for the email. I followed up with the activity on Facebook - especially Riyaz's wall. Much has been said and it couldn't be closer to the truth. Saw the video which was appalling, to say the least.
To begin with - as you enter the main gate - you see the new building dominating the backdrop of the north lawns - something you would never see - given the dense foliage there.
Perpetuating this idea that vegetation is 'dispensable' and everything that exists is but an 'impediment' to their grand new visions couldn't be more obvious. Symptomatic of this disease is the act of putting benches abutting the long edge of the north lawns. Creating a causeway to connect to their new 'jewel' (again enough has been said about the object' )- almost akin to a flyover that Hyderabad built to connect cybercity to the airport in the last decade.
There may be endless discussions on the architecture of the building - but the aspirations of both the new objects on campus to reinforce 'access' / 'visibility' toward themselves and lay claim to their immediate precincts is particularly disturbing. When this immature attempt to increase 'footfall' at the new object comes not by means that allure you into the new spaces, but by impeding access to existing connections and networks - and laying down formal axes (almost colonial) - it only reeks of the insecurity of an oppressor who feels he has no legitimacy to the acquired position of dominance.
I am concerned about how this narrative could change. Architecture is the mere agency to effect it - and I am afraid that the argument of 'subjectivity' may be used to coerce the community to accept this travesty. How can we change mindsets that dwell in insecurity and naked ambition? How can the larger community resist this?
Can we publicize alternate sensitive proposals to their program/ brief - can we sensitize people (read non-architects) to this phenomenon?