Indian Architect & Builder
Contextual Revitalization And Sustainable Place Making Image Credit: Indian Architect & Builder
Contextual Revitalization And Sustainable Place Making Image Credit: Indian Architect & Builder

Contextual Revitalization And Sustainable Place-Making

The Bengal Rowing Club

Architect’s Note: The objective was to improve the quality of club life and the cultural legacy of the institution and to increase the footfall of young people by achieving a contemporary look while still preserving a sensorial and contextual meaning.

Sahiba Gulati, Ayan Sen

The redesign of The Bengal Rowing Club has been approached in a manner that has resulted in a building that is relevant to today’s time that speaks of its origins and carries the potential to attract people of younger generations.The glory of a place, its memories and stories oftentimes become old and somehow buried in the glitter of the present. The associations become hazier as the dilapidation of the source renders them bittersweet. And then sometimes, this glory is reclaimed; and just like that the Bengal Rowing club was refurbished and renovated, announcing that it was not done with the world, that it is not to be forgotten. In 1929 it came into existence beside the Rabindra Sarobar Lake, and was known as the Marwari Rowing Club. Clubs then represented the charm of its society; the Bengali society back then and still known for its love of intellectual exchange and dialogue.

The ‘adda’ is an offspring of this culture. While ‘adda’ translates to ‘place’ in Hindi, its Bengali equivalent is ‘a group of people or a gathering with a purpose to discuss’. An ‘adda’ is not a debate or idle gossip or mindless chatter. Neither does it entail critiquing authorities or establishment. ‘Adda’ discussions range from politics, art, films, food and much brainstorming and ado over nothing. Globally acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray,in his movie ‘Angantuk’, has traced the culture back to Greece at the time of Socrates. Earlier, the rendezvous commenced at tea stalls, at park benches and homes till the club culture was introduced by the British. The Bengal Rowing Club, an iconic club of its time, w


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