The greatest crime an architect of our origin can commit in this century is to see our traditional architecture as only the facade and try to breed it to the functional requirements of a project
Even [today], nothing beats a well-conserved temple or a house that stood the test of time. When we go inside them, we can even smell the past in the wet mud plastered floor and its smell in the air.
There is no doubt that these buildings need to be conserved so that we can stay rooted in our past and not forget where we came from. But, can we say the same about buildings that are impersonating to be one of them? We can see examples of them all over the valley. The space of a single traditional building gives birth to a number of towering RCC structures, with 8’- 10’ of frontage.
Each sibling varies in height, either because of government regulations or self-guided interests, and tries to outdo the other with traditional elements plastered onto the façade. In some cases, even concrete windows are painted brown.
A naive tourist walks on the streets with a DSLR hung around his neck, oblivious to these happenings, mistakes these buildings for a traditional one instead. Will he judge the palaces and these houses in a single breath?
In a race to identify ourselves with our ancestors, we have been losing the grip on our identity of this time. We see this misrepresentation in many parts of the valley, from
private residential buildings to large government projects.
How did this happen? Where are we right now architecturally?