The Next In Vernacular Architecture
Indian Architect & Builder|IAB October 2019
Architecture has become a capitalist.
Himanshu Patel

Architecture of greed

Architecture has become a capitalist. It prides itself on guzzling tremendous amounts of energy and resources to maintain new higher standards of comfort and luxury. In the present architectural scenario, one is veering towards the new age methods where humanistic considerations are no longer the primary logic for the evaluation of the design. This has led to a disconnect from tradition and given us an increasing number of impersonal, anonymous buildings. Unfamiliarity with this so-called ‘new age architecture’ adversely affects the psyche of the people inhabiting it. Our designs today are taking us further away from nature. They are also distancing us from each other by creating closed, controlled, invulnerable and non-interactive spaces. Thanks to easy access to information, we learn of developments across the globe instantaneously. There are too much data and knowledge, but very little wisdom to use it appropriately. Most modern, developed cities across the world look very similar, whether it is Singapore, shanghai, or New York. We can see Indian architecture heading in the same direction. Our urban areas are blindly following the western language of office-building – first creating a glass box, then closing it with curtains and blinds to avoid glare on monitors, then switching on the lights and pumping more energy for the so-called 5-star rated ACs to reduce heat gain through the glass. This is a criminal waste of resources.

Global architecture in urban settings has sought to project an expressive vocabulary of surface ornamentation based on personal whims and fancies. All that one can see today is a growing hotchpotch of many-storied buildings in the so-called global style. All structural elements mainly RCC frames with non-load bearing walls are hidden or clad with cement plaster, paints, glass, aluminum, etc. The scale has been completely abandoned. The building is an expression of anarchy with its neighbor or with the environment. Instead of the harmonious, honest architecture, we now seem to prefer a senseless jumble of high rise concrete structures, each unit clad in the most unsuitable materials we can think of.

A global perspective with vernacular approach

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