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August 18, 2012

Bath House: kahn’s legacy restored.



The form of the building is unassuming.

You will probably notice just the solid concrete block walls and the large pitched roof over it from outside. It gives an impression of being too monotonous and probably more cerebral. Yet the building leaves a lasting impression upon the visitors and architectural critics because of its sheer simplicity, articulation of spaces and clarity in language.

Personally, this is one of my favorite kahn building.

Designed as the entrance and changing area for patrons of an outdoor swimming pool, Trenton Bath House was a part of the larger scheme -which never got constructed- for the Jewish Community Center of the Delaware Valley.

"THOUGH UNCEREMONIOUSLY THROWN OUT OF THE PROJECT, KAHN OFTEN SPOKE OF THIS PROJECT AS A TURNING POINT IN HIS DESIGN PHILOSOPHY."

The Bath House design is a simple cruciform shape. Four square concrete block rooms or areas, surrounding an open atrium. Each of the rooms is topped by a simple, wooden rectangular pyramid roof. Apart from the pure design elegance, Kahn also clarified his thinking about the utilitarian purposes of the various spaces, and it was in this building that he first articulated his notion of spaces serving and spaces served.

August 13, 2012

Top 20 Architectural quotes.

Curiously enough, architects have expressed themselves and their thoughts in many profound ways. Many are 'thought bites' which carry more than one layer.

These are (my) top (favourite) architectural quotes (though a few are generic and can be applied to all forms of design). Enjoy..!


The sun never knew how great it was until it struck the side of a building.
Louis Kahn

I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.
Le Corbusier


Be the best, not necessarily the original. 
I M Pei


God is in the details.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


An expert is a man who has stopped thinking - he knows!
Frank Lloyd Wright

Form ever follows function.
Louis Sullivan

I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?
Philip Johnson



August 8, 2012

Coming of Age: Contemporary architecture in Srilanka



Contemporary Srilankan architecture has been successful in continuing the legacy left by master Geoffrey Bawa. There are a handful of projects which are truly international yet rooted firmly on the country’s rich tradition. The vocabularies, in most cases, are unmistakably modern, but the spaces and details reflect local sensitivities.

I thought to share one recent project representing the impressive body of works from Srilanka. The project is in itself a case study of housing in warm humid tropical climate.

The project is a Holiday Bungalow for Mr. Sanjeewa Maddumage at Mathale Sri Lanka, built in 2009 by Architect Thisara Thanapathy (he won the prestigious Geoffrey Bawa award 2010/2011 for Excellence in Architecture).



Framed view