Tagore Theater of Chandigarh in India, designed by Ar. Aditya Prakash, is one of the master prices of modern architecture and symbolic of Chandigarh’s architecture style.
Dr Vikramaditya Prakash of University of Washington shares the very interesting story of how the Tagore Theater of Chandigarh was designed, built, and named. The key players here were Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret along with famous film personalities Prithviraj Kapoor and Zul Vellani.
Tagore Theater has been redesigned. However, should it or rather can it still be called ‘Tagore Theater’? What defines building’s identity?
Name to design or design to name- is a discussion which is ignored in most restoration and remodel projects. If the essence of the design has been changed so should the name also? Prof. Prakash argues:
If the new project was undertaken with the objective of restoring the original design, the entire essence and its manifestation along with the name should have been preserved. However, this does not appear to be the case and this is definitely not a restoration project. The site is the same, and the intended function is the same. But the building design is new.
The visual memories, the authenticity of the original design of Tagore Theater need to be preserved at least before it is lost forever. We cannot fuse new with the old under the same name just the way we do not fuse architectural styles while designing buildings. Remixing architecture is not design.
If we attempt to dilute the original design with new, we run the risk of loosing the elegance of its essence and profoundness of its design to tackiness.
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