March 1, 2015

REIMAGINING LUTYENS' DELHI

REIMAGINING LUTYENS' DELHI
January 2015; Edited by Viren Brahmbhatt et al.
A PUBLICATION BASED ON GSAPP SPRING 2014 STUDIO | COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Reimagining Lutyens' Delhi is based on the studies on Lutyens' Plan for Imperial Delhi, by the Urban Design Studio, Spring 2014 (Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design), Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University in The City of New York. 

Abstract
The subject of the Studio was a comparative urban dialogue between New Delhi, Kisumu, and MedellĂ­n. Like dynamic cities everywhere, they share concerns about the form of their continuing expansion and the consequent mandates for compact growth. This dialogue is of particular interest given the diversity of character and context of each, within the broad context of development in the "Global South." The New Delhi mandate involves densification of the Lutyens' Plan for the original colonial city, long considered an international landmark in early 20th century urban design. In question is the evolution of this culturally significant and highly formalized hallmark from its ceremonial significance as new Capitol of India to expanded meaning as center of a new commercial metropolis. For each of the three cities, detailed study sites were carefully chosen as particular "fragments" that could serve as windows through which to view the larger question of their respective development modes, and to comparatively explore "saturation" levels of density within the respective urban contexts.

REIMAGINING LUTYENS’ DELHI examines the present day situation of the landmark historic plan for the new capital of India by the British architect Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), completed in 1931. The original plan has been considerably modified in ad hoc fashion over the past two decades due to real estate pressures related to the large growth of the city and region during this period. Yet much remains of enduring value within the plan such that consideration of preservation measures is crucial, while recognizing that Lutyens’ composition has entered an era of transformation. The four “provocations” presented in the exhibition aspire to address the contradictions between preservation and development. Developed by post-professional students, faculty, and experts at Columbia University in collaboration with local partners in Delhi, each urban design proposal examines a typical condition between the center and periphery of Lutyens’ Delhi. They are the Bungalow Zone; the Janpath; the remnants of Baoli, Hauz, and Nullah; and the adjacent Kidwai Nagar neighborhood. They are proposed with the hope of making a positive contribution to the debate on the future of the past for this world landmark in urban design.  




The exhibition and publication are made possible by the generous support from Steelcase Asia Pacific Holdings, India.

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