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Lost Cultural Context in City Architecture

ABSTRACT

THIS RESEARCH PAPER FOCUSES ON THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE OF PUNE CITY, AND HOW THE OLD TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN ENOUGH IMPORTANCE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITY. THE RESEARCH ACKNOWLEDGES THE LOSS OF CULTURAL CONTEXT IN TERMS OF ARCHITECTURE WITH THE HELP OF ON-SITE AS WELL AS DESKTOP INFORMATION.


Key words : culture, city architecture, wada architecture, lost, pune

INTRODUCTION

Culture has always been a defining factor in the architecture of a particular area. “Architecture is the portray of nation’s culture integrated with all aspects of human life and has a profound impact on it. Architecture is the result of the culture of the society” (Parvizi, 2009)

Pune, known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, has a long history of traditional architecture, from wadas, temples, to formation of settlements (peth). The history of the city is closely related to the rise of the Maratha empire from 17th–18th century. In the 18th century, Pune became the political centre of the Indian subcontinent, as the seat of the Peshwas, who were the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire.

With the expansion of the city and rapidly flourishing urbanization in 20th century, the architecture styles and patterns have witnessed a great evolution. Invention of new building materials and construction technologies have transformed the cities into modular and rigid concrete hubs. This has led to loss of certain cultural characters thus affecting the skyline of the city.

AIM : to acknowledge the lost connection between traditional and modern architecture of Pune city.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To study the history of Pune city’s architecture.
  2. To study the current scenario and the change in architectural style.
  3. To verify if the connection between the old and new architectural style is really lost.

CONCEPT OF CULTURE

“Culture is the material and non-material works of arts and science, plus the knowledge; manners; education, made of thought; behavior and attitude accumulated by people through their history.” (Ahianba J.E.). The Encyclopedia of philosophy defines culture as “The whole way of life, material, intellectual, and spiritual, of a given society.” Similarly, the Oxford Advanced Learners’ dictionary defines culture as “The customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group.” In simple, culture is the ritual practice of society from ancient periods. Culture is practiced through the group of people who occupy a specific locality and share the same cultural traditions. (Sourav Koirala).

CULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE

Design is the appearance and articulation of Culture. “Along these lines, Architecture and Culture are related and inseparable.”(Koirala,) Architecture is the area of character of every network and conveys the message of culture of that society. Along these lines, Architecture relies on the topography, societies, conventions, habits and information on the network likewise as its history. “The structure and connections of structures and spaces goes about as a sort of ‘social marker’, which can depict the lifestyle and societal position of its occupants.” (Koirala,) The physical highlights of Architecture like shape, size, enrichments, and developments style and so forth are polished through the social arrangement of society.

Architecture is that the results of dynamic thought of creating space influenced by factors like beauty, knowledge and elegance. It is regularly said that, the space characterized by design is steady or not is characterized by the needs of the present society or Culture of occupants of that society. Culture is the product of experience from diversion to times.

RESEARCH GAP

  1. A thorough documentation of historical and vernacular architecture of Pune has been done in an attempt to preserve the roots of development.
  2. Similarly, we can see documentation regarding the urban development and current scenario of Pune city.
  3. But, there is no research which focuses on the lost connection between the historical and urban architecture of the city – which is leading the city towards deprivation of cultural essence.

SCOPE AND METHADOLOGY

The research focuses on the core city area of Pune i.e. old Pune city, specifically the peth area; since these areas have both traditional and modern architecture.


Methodology followed:

  1. Finding out the change in structure from traditional to modern through on site visit and online articles/research papers about history of Pune and its development.
  2. Asking local people of their views about the architecture through on site surveys.
  3. Analyzing both the scenarios.

PUNE’s ARCHITECTURE OVER THE YEARS

During Maratha empire

  • WADA architecture
  1. The ‘Wada’ Architecture, likewise alluded to as Courtyard Architecture is the residential style of Maratha Architecture which has made a commitment in Residential Architecture. This sort of Architecture style managed Air and Light, coming about to incredible ventilation of both. What’s more, it additionally fulfilled security/protection worry, because of the outside of structure. All the yard houses/designs in the present time, have been to some degree influenced by the Maratha Reign Architecture.
  2. The customary home in Maharashtra was known as the Wada. A Wada was regularly a huge structure of at least two story with gatherings of rooms organized around open yards. Two sorts of wadas: One which houses numerous families, similar to a high rise of late occasions or chawl of Mumbai.(Mostly for the white collar class families) One in which just one family dwelled. (For the most part claimed by the more extravagant class like family members of the Peshwas and brokers)
  • Shaniwar wada
  • Vishrambaug wada
  • Nana wada

During the British

Colonial architecture is an architectural style from a mother country that has been incorporated into the buildings of settlements or colonies in distant locations.

  • Mandai
  • Fergusson college
  • Shinde Chhatri

After independence

  • Bajiraro road

Old Pune City Before Modernization and After Modernization :
Mandai skyline

Mandai is one of the historical buildings in Pune. Over the years this structure was now surrounded by concrete buildings losing the character of the street.


Old wadas and new block buildings :
Following are some of the photos of old wadas and the new buildings put next to each other to understand the difference.

  • Gandhi road
  • Bajirao road

.

Modern buildings in Pune

No similarity in character :
From the above images we can see that the architectural style followed in the elevation, the detailing of the features in the traditional structures is nowhere to be seen in the modern buildings. There is no similarity between the elevation of the old houses and the new houses.


Surveys :
Questions asked for the on site survey:

  1. How many historical monuments do you know in Pune?
  2. What do you think about the architecture of the old buildings?
  3. What do you think about the architecture of modern buildings?
  4. Do you feel when you see a concrete building next to a wada (old residential houses) ?
  5. What are your thoughts about the city’s architecture overall?
  6. Do you think there is a connection between the traditional buildings (wadas) and the modern buildings?
  7. Do you think the city is losing/ will lose in future its cultural value in terms of architecture?

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

From the study we can see the gap between traditional architecture and modern architecture.


Once the old skyline of Pune with beautiful Maratha architecture has now become concrete modular hub with no thought given to the architectural character.