essays

Opinion: Tirana New Municipality Competition

Eneida Berisha • Sep 27, 2020 • 239

Opinion: Tirana New Municipality Competition

In the month of July, the Municipality of Albania announced the 10 finalists for the competition of the new municipal building - and a new possibility for an “identity” of the city. The attempt to bring forth such a difficult design brief is to be congratulated, and the inclusion of internationally renowned studios is a feat in itself. The topic of competition, especially when it includes some degree of public opinion and decision is always a tricky one.

The architect Reinier de Graaf illustrates it even in his book Four Walls and a Roof - when speaking about an international competition, a major urban development in Russia, where the public’s opinion is to be considered - how precarious the act is.

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Housing & Provisioning Services: Co-Production Strategies for India amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

Tarun Bhasin • Jun 9, 2020 • 2416

Housing & Provisioning Services: Co-Production Strategies for India amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

The following essay is written in light of the current internal (reverse) migration crisis in India actuated by the country-wide lockdown put in place as a result of the Government of India's strategy to mitigate and prevent the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic. The essay tries to understand the deep-rooted systemic faultlines and mechanisms that contribute to spatial injustice in our cities, which create conditions for such a crisis to occur. It discusses how co-production as a strategy for creating a viable market for provisioning services (such as food, water, sewerage, energy, green spaces, markets, roads, etc.) is not only desirable but inevitable. Furthermore, it discusses the link between social movements and housing free-market th (...)

Remembering 'In Bruges'

Tarun Bhasin • Feb 13, 2020 • 4916

Remembering 'In Bruges'

‘In Bruges’… is a movie about Bruges. It shows nothing about Bruges. It is set during Christmas in Bruges. And yet, it has nothing to say about it at all. But again, it is all about it, as the title suggests. It is a movie of ironies, where through simple contradictions memory emerges from the encasement of mentalism of its characters, and ingresses itself within their actions and emplaces itself onto the events that take place… In Bruges.

The shots open by presenting a layer of social dystopia in the 'otherworldly' images of Bruges creating an apparent conflict, giving a hint on the presence that Bruges will impose on the characters of the movie. Image Courtesy: Universal Studios

It is a stor (...)

Davide Macullo on "the architecture of necessities"

WA Contents • Dec 10, 2019 • 5761

Davide Macullo on

Swiss architect Davide Macullo, founder of Davide Macullo Architects, draws attention to the architecture of necessities, ranging from its humanist scale to the technological phenomena in this exclusive essay.

Text by Davide Macullo

Buildings will outlive us, so we build for generations to come. Our journey is a time best used to contribute to allowing "a civilised people to live in the midst of their own art" (Bruno Munari).

The architecture of necessity is a definition that covers every aspect of creating architecture. It offers us the opportunity to organise our thoughts, without necessarily finding or having to focus on a sequence of priorities. In creating man’s habitat, every element is considered and as suc (...)

The First B.Arch Degree Conferring Department Of India Turns 65!

Shubhayan M • Sep 5, 2019 • 11572

The First B.Arch Degree Conferring Department Of India Turns 65!

Way back in 1954, six individuals amongst a batch of twenty successfully graduated and were awarded the very first Bachelor of Architecture degree in India. The Department of Architecture, Town and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, Shibpur (Erstwhile B.E. College, Shibpur) conferred upon these six individuals, the very first B.Arch degrees of the country, a first-of-its-kind achievement in the country back then!

2019 marks 65 years of the same!

The institute, IIEST Shibpur has undergone myriad transformations over the ages. It was christened Bengal Engineering College (BEC) in 1921 and elevated to the status of a Deemed University in 1992 while its recognition as Bengal Engineering an (...)

Architecture industry plummets, young architects hit hardest in India!

Shubhayan M • Aug 27, 2019 • 20054

Architecture industry plummets, young architects hit hardest in India!

While unfair labor conditions of architecture for architects and the discussions of unpaid internship are still alive and debated in architecture, World Architecture Community's India Reporter Shubhayan Modak reveals many tragic situations that young architects and students are confronted in India in the professional practice of architecture.

The last few years have been challenging for architects and allied designers in the Indian subcontinent. The situation in India is one that hints towards a gradual disintegration, and the symptoms are visible. Demonetization hit hard in 2016. Architecture, like most other sectors, faced violent turbulence, one whose wounds have hardly healed. However, demonetization is only a micro-reason, a (...)

A Pulse in the Nebula

Tarun Bhasin • Aug 7, 2019 • 6603

A Pulse in the Nebula

In 1973, NASA launched Skylab, an unmanned space station to the earth’s orbit. It was met by 3 crews of 3 members each over a period of 24 weeks for data gathering. Its decaying orbit meant that NASA needed to bring it back to Earth. They assumed that in the 8 years it was supposed to be in orbit, they will be able to develop the technology that would bring Skylab back. They couldn’t. And in 1979, Skylab came crashing down into the Indian Ocean and Myanmar.

Image courtesy of NASA

Act IIndia has for long been a case study of urbanization, even before Independence. Being the most industrious colony under the British Raj, India was quickly churning out resources and finished goods with its surplus of labour found in k (...)

Can experiences of US cities be an inspiration to Istanbul’s impending water & construction crisis?

Mert Kansu • Jul 3, 2019 • 6085

Can experiences of US cities be an inspiration to Istanbul’s impending water & construction crisis?

"You don’t want to walk and talk about Jesus; you just want to see his face," has concluded the environmentalist and architect David Waggonner’s interview with The Atlantic[i]. This quote has been more than a Rolling Stones lyric in recent years. It has become the mentality of environmentalists and designers in how they interact with water in cities. Research shows that people living in urban areas now make up more than half of the world population[ii]. Although cities dominate the way we live and work, the word water is talked, discussed a lot, but never made visible, especially in those with climatic vulnerabilities. Instead, water is shunned and pushed away outside of, or under cities. Often only made apparent in urban fringe (...)

The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2018, on Reforms in Practice and Education

Varun Kumar • Jun 4, 2019 • 11196

The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2018, on Reforms in Practice and Education

In November 2018, the Council of Architecture (COA) released the Architects (Amendment) Bill 2018 (2018 bill) via e-mail. A comparative chart of the bill and the original Architects Act, 1972 was also presented to show the new laws for practice in India.

The COA asked Architects for feedback. But for beginners, it is important to know the Act and why it has been in news. Let us look into the background of the act in correlation with the issues present in the practice.

What is the Architects Act, 1972?

The Architects Act, 1972, also called the Principal Act, was put into force on 1 September, 1972. It is "an act to provide for the registration of architects and for matters connected therewith.”

Image courtes (...)

On Organic Architecture: 'Neelai' Lake House by Shirish Beri & Associates

Tarun Bhasin • Dec 31, 2018 • 20645

On Organic Architecture: 'Neelai' Lake House by Shirish Beri & Associates

The following article presents thorough documentation on the principles of organic architecture and the arguments by some of its proponents throughout the 20th century by means of comparison of architectural elements in the purview of said principles. The building in focus is 'Neelai' Lake House, in Andur; a weekend house made by Ar. Shirish Beri (practicing in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India) for himself. His sense of architecture has been compared with the notions proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright; and his disciple Nariman Dosabhai Gandhi, the strongest advocate of organic architecture in India - who also practiced in Maharashtra.

'Neelai' Lake House, Andur, Maharashtra - Shirish Beri & AssociatesThe site is divided i (...)