16 Oct 2019
Organized by: Prof. Vidya Srikanth, Course in-charge for the elective, Vernacular architecture & Prof Shubhi Sonal
The Students of 5th semester B.Arch. have an elective -Vernacular Architecture where they study the vernacular styles across India and the World. The essence of any Vernacular style is the use of Locally available materials, Climate responsive features, relation to Culture and occupation. It is sustainable architecture in its truest form.
Bangalore Cantonment with its rich history and amalgamation of cultures has beautiful examples nestled deep within its Urban Core. ‘Blackpally’, as Shivaji Nagar was originally named (after Billi-akki or white rice that was grown here) was the hub of commercial activity. The Heritage walk was aimed as an exercise to identify buildings with a vernacular character in the area covering Kamaraj Road to Chandani Chowk along Commercial street, Old Poor House road, Meenakshi Koil Street, Dharmaraja Koil street, Narayan Pillai Street, Veerapillai Street, Jewellers street and others. Some main nodes and Landmarks like Russell Market, Ekamreswara temple, Chandani Chowk, Taj Circle and Richards square were observed. Different occupations and trades specific to each street is a character of Old core areas of any City, and Bangalore Cantonment was no different.
The walk commenced with a brief Introduction and History of the locality given by Prof Vidya Srikanth at Woodys, a heritage establishment on Commercial street. The students were divided in groups and each group were to observe Facades, architectural features, Materials of construction, Street setting, transitional spaces and locate the building accurately on the street.
The students walked enthusiastically discovering ‘Treasures’ along the 6km route covering the entire Shivaji Nagar area. The Walk concluded at Cinnamon, an ancient property on Gangadhara Chetty Street that has undergone Adaptive Reuse and converted into a Boutique store and Café. The high ceilings with Timber Rafters, Doric columns, Thick Brick walls with Lime plaster, Tiled roof and Granite flooring has been restored with sensitivity and style by the Architectural firm of Mathew and Ghosh. The students realised the value of preserving heritage buildings that reflect the Vernacular style of the region and giving it a completely new use, thus bringing commercial value to the property.
Students will present their learnings in the form of photographs, sketches and video in the coming weeks. The Walk was also an exercise in gaining better understanding on the available heritage buildings that can be taken up for Detailed documentation to add to the repository of the School of Architecture REVA University in the coming years.
We thank the Director Dr. Vimala Swamy for encouraging and supporting these experiential learning exercises that have a tremendous impact on Learning outcomes of the students. The School of Architecture is always looking for different ways to make Theory based courses fun, interactive and relevant to students of today.