August 03, 2020
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Raj Rewal

The architect on exhibiting at Centre Pompidou, Paris, and his love for modern architecture

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Raj Rewal
Raj Rewal

What is your exhibit at Centre Pompidou about?

The synthesis of rapid industrial development and the awareness of one’s secular cultural roots.

Should public buildings lean towards symbolism or should they be functional?

The first job of a building is to fulfil its function. I believe light, space and structure are the three main elements. The building must have an expr­ession or rasa with which people can identify. In public buildings, symbolism is important.

Public buildings in India leave a lot to be desired. Do we lack talent?

I believe public buildings should be given to architects through an architectural competition, not on the basis of who charges the lowest fee. Here the maintenance factor is given little importance.

Is innovative architecture valued in India?

There is limited awareness. While the world of music, literature, sports are dutifully covered, one rarely reads a piece on good architecture.

Your favourite architecture in India....

Fatehpur Sikri in Agra and well-planned cities like Jaisalmer and Jaipur. A lot of my architecture is influenced by these.

What motivates you?

The thought that India offers unending opportunities in the field of modern architecture.

What must we do to plan our cities better?

It's still done on a two-dimensional basis. We need to visualise how buildings would appear.

Which Indian city is planned best?

Most cities in Rajasthan, Madurai, Tanjore and parts of New Delhi.

What is your latest project?

The University of Creative Arts in Rohtak. The Energy Technology Centre there will be functio­nal through solar power. Technologies that minimise heat and energy-friendly methods is the need of the hour.

Your advice for new-generation architects.

I would ask young architects to absorb as much as they can.

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