Istanbul services for these projects are often choosed

Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture

MIM 425E CRN:12906 – Architecture Today

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Yrd.Doç.Dr. Mehmet Emin ?algamc?o?lu

Emre Da?tan – 020110197


Globalization effect in Contemporary Architecture
related with Social Perspective in India

Abstract: Massive transformations in the built
environment on India’s landscape became more visible with the liberalization of
the Indian economy since the mid 1990s. With opening up the design and
construction sector to global world, architecture in India experienced new
forces of international design firms that want to have an influence on the
country’s architectural scene. The process of economic liberalization was
preceded by social integration problems in previous decades, on issues of
class, caste and social mobility and resolution of this social issues was
critical in setting the foundation for the liberalization of India’s economy.
Once the political system settled these concerns, it shifted its emphasis to
economic integration. Consequently, India saw significant investment in infrastructure
and acceleration on physical development in the early 2000s that the
architecture emerged as a visible manifestation of this process. In today’s
India, there is a rapidly growing economically mobile middle class that results
conctructions of new landscapes. The architecture results from this phenomenon
often displays a complete detachment from its local environment, the place and
the community in which it is set. Moreover, its quality and material choice is
often unmindful of local resources and traditions in this examples. They are
architectural productions which are usually a quick response to large-scale
infrastructure projects (such as housing, hospitals, schools, colleges and
commercial development) The design services for these projects are often
choosed from Western firms that are well experienced in configuring global
buildings, using new materials and technologies.

Key Words: Indian
architecture, infrastructure projects, housing schemes for
upper and middle classes, transformation, integration and adaptation, identity
deformation, high end luxury apartments and hotels, hospitals and shopping
malls, and master planning for large scale townships and special economic zones
in India, social perspective in India.

? ?

            From 1940s to 1980s, most
architectural practises in India focused on modest building commisions because
the private sector was in a construction activity of a limited scale. With the
result of this, private enterprise never engaged in large scale architecture
and the market of it did not exist untill after 1990s, when a liberalised
economy came. Before that, “the big firm culture” had not arrived in India.
International firms from Singapore, United States and some parts of Europe have
come to command the largest share of large scale infrastructure projects in
India. These projects range from housing schemes for upper and middle classes
to high end luxury apartments and hotels, hospitals and shopping malls, and
master planning for large scale townships and special economic zones. More
recently, the most representative and visible projects are Information
Technology (IT) parks set up outside growing IT cities. Cyberabad in Hyderabad,
Electronic City in Bengaluru and Tech Park in Chennai are good examples of such
development. With good and stable infrastructure provided in this IT parks,
they became a home for multinational global companies, with global
architecture. Zaha Hadid Architects’ India Land and Property Limited Project in
Chennai (2006-present) (Figure 1a),
FXFOWLE’s  (2008-present) (Figure 1b), Pei Cobb Freed &
Partners’ Wave Rock in Hyderabad (2006-2010) and an Indian architect Hafeez
Contractor’s recent work for National Institute of Fashion Technology building
in Navi Mumbai (2005) (Figure 1c and 1d)
are the examples of globalization effect landing on the ground as alien
objects. These are designed, crafted and engineered with completely Western
sensibilites and they represent the impotency of global architecture. Steel,
glass and several prefabricated cladding products, not manufactured in India in
the 1990s but now available, create new expressions that are attractive for
investors; however the inefficient response to basic paramaters such as
climate, light and airflows, as well as the use of energy-unfriendly materials
such as metal and glass cladding, make them uneconomical and unsustainable
propositions. On the other hand, their power lies in their ability to represent
the power of capital, thus they serve as an iconic beacons for investment in
new terrains. The buildings in IT parks 
in Bengalaru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Mumbai demonstrate an incredible
skill for  international-standard
building artefacts in the Indian context, which is largely dominated by
labour-intensive construction processes. In fact, the malls reconfigures the
landscape completely based on an imagined economic condition in country. The
practices challenge construction norms and traditions and there is usually a
disjuncture with the context alien processes and forms. (Figure 1e, 1f and 1g)


Figure 1a- Zaha Hadid Architects’ India Land      Figure 1b- FXFOWLE’s
Software Technology and Property Limited Project, Chennai (2006)       Park, Noida (2008-present)



Figure 1c- Hafeez Contractor – National Institute
     Figure 1d- Hafeez Contractor – Infosys

of Fashion Technology building in Navi Mumbai      Progeon




Figure 1e-Slums in
Cyberabad: A
peddler                Figure 1f- Slums
in Cyberabad: A settlement infront of a building.                                                 
In the middle of the tech-city.                             


1g-Slums in Cyberabad:
An Indian kid                                                                               
doing bicycle.

Another programme that demonstrates the same
characteristics in the way onto the landscape is the luxury hotel. They are
often drived by brands or chain hotel corporations, these buildings exert their
uninhibited presences in the form of large scale structures. They also need no
reality check from the locale and are insulated and gated enclaves that are
often designed to isolate the tourist or business traveler from the realities
of the neighbourhood. Several buildings are being constructed across India at
as rapid a rate as the growth of the economy and the increase of traffic of
business travelers and tourists. Located generally in the boomtowns of India,
such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, these
buildings put great premium on efficient functioning and interiors without any
investment in the exterior form or their configuration in the city
urbanistically. The Park Group of Hotels’ buildings have set an interesting
precedent that will challenge the multinational hotel chains in Kolkata, Navi
Mumbai and Chennai. On the other hand, other infrastructure related projects
such as new airports, educational institutes and housing estates are subject to
greater reality checks from the locale and tend to become more culturally
specific. Social norms, densities of occupation and many other related aspects
must be negotiated in these projects, unlike the autonomous nature of IT parks
and office buildings. Airports, have to accommodate spatial innovation to
respond to teeming crowds that accompany passengers in arrival and departure
lounges from traditional ceremonies that are still the social norm in the
country. They confront a high level of resistance due to the fact that they are
often extensions to, or renewals of existing airports. Adaptations and
transitions between old and new evolve naturally, and the global solutions are
modified and localized quickly. The retrofitted Mumbai domestic airport
designed by architect Hafeez Contractor and DV Joshi . (2006-2008) (Figure 2a and 2b), the Indira Gandhi
International Airport (Figure 2d),
Terminal 3 in New Delhi (2006-2010) designed by HOK, Chhatrapati Shivaji
International Airport (Figure 2c), Terminal
2 in Mumbai by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) (2014), THE Chenai, Raipur
and Vadodara (Figure 2d) airports
designed by Frederic Schwartz Architects integrates responses to social
conditions but struggle to be more sensitive to their orientation, siting and
issues of sustainable design parameters.


Figure 2a-Mumbai
domestic airport:
Hafeez           Figure 2b- Mumbai domestic
airport: Hafeez Contractor (2006-2008)                                            Contractor (2006-2008)


Figure 2c- Chhatrapati Shivaji International           Figure 2b- Indira Gandhi
International Airport                                                                    

2d- Vadodara Airport

The Indian government used liberalized economy for its
financial institutions, such as ICIC and LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of
India) across the country as well as for state capitals in the past. The Tamil
Nadu Legislative Assembly building (2008-2010) (Figure 3a) designed by the Berlin based gmp architects. The domed
capping of this building bears a resemblance to the Reichstag dome, moreover
its imagery is removed from any reference to the cultural mileu in which it is
set. Instead, it boasts of energy efficiency and the integration of sustainable
design principles as its driving logic. Similarly, the housing sector is in a
situation which one of  global flows have
caused often irreversible destruction of landscapes in many of India’s urban
centres due to the government’s clear failure to deliver housing, or the
conditions necessary for good housing, for millions of homeless people. As a
result, in the liberalised economy, private enterprise has stepped in to this
gap and squeezed land markets, and the spike in land values make this a viable
and attractive proposition for private developers who work with the local
politicians to form a new “land mafia” in most Indian cities.

3a- The Tamil Nadu
Legislative Assembly                                                                         building
(2008-2010), gmp Architects


The medley of office towers, malls and gated housing
communities of the emergent landscapes is symbolic that globalising processes
are creating across the world. Such seperated communities are almost completely
dependent on individual mobility, high level security and complete exclusion of
economic and social diversity. The recently estanblished Lavasa Township
between Mumbai and Pune, designed by the American firm HOK, is an example of
global suburbs that are based on the New Urbanism model that propagates a low
rise, high density and walkable city paradigm while being limited by its
nostalgic references to traditional European urban imagery. Similarly, the
Mahindra World City near Chennai (2008) (Figure
4a) also by HOK and Special Economic Zone (2007) by Robert AM Stern Architects in Gurgaon suggest the popularity of
the New Urbanist paradigm as well. Unfortunately, all these projects have
either densities too low to imagine in the Indian urban context or feature high
rise apartment blocks in farmlands. (Figure
4a) It’s hard to imagine how Indians would occupy these spaces. Thus, under
the leadership of Indian architect Sudhir Jambhekar, the international studios
of firms like FXFOWLE have attempted to respond to the locale through colour,
texture, material choices and more meticulous understanding of lifestyles, most
other firms have merely translated their standart designs into a context
entirely different from where these ideas originated. The isolation of these
proposed settlements within the Indian context makes them global suburbs, gated
and buffered from the reality of the diverse and economically disparate
urbanism of India.

Figure 4a- Mahindra World City layout, Chennai
(2008), HOK

Unfortunately, in its first phase of the liberalisation
of India’s economy foundations and other non profit institutions are restricted
to respond the neeeds of the poor people. In the decades after independence,
the struggle for identitiy continued to be the central issue for architects in
India. Modern works ran up against resistance and the struggle to address the
issues of multiple identities. It became an evident that during these years,
aesthetic modernity seemed to have arrived before social modernity through the
small community of architects who had become host to these new ideas. Also in
larger urban centres in India, urban space has been fragmanted and polarised,
and multiplicity of architectural expressions are visible in any given physical
locale. In Indias post liberalisation economy, cities and their peripheries
have become critical sites for relationship between the private and public,
resulting in new negotiations between the elite and subaltern cultures. Today,
private capital chooses to build environments that are insulated from their
context. The physical relationship between different classes was often
orchestrated according to a master plan founded upon entitlement to housing and
proximity to employement. The fragmentation of service and production locations
has resulted in a new bazaar like urbanism through the entire urban landscape.
This is an urbanism created by those outside the elite domains of the formal
modernity of the state.  The
architectural landscape has the overlaps, slippages and potential cross
connections between vertical and horizontal views which allow a reading of
simultaneous validity of diverse architectural forms in multiple
locations,inequalities and spatial divisions between social classes. (Figure 6a and 6b) However, two
non-governmental organisations, the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai
(established in 1992) and the Environment Planning Consultants in Ahmedabad
(1996) served as advocates for questions planning policy, public space,
preservations of historic districts and a general thrust for coordinated
planning cities. The state sometimes participated in these partnerships, co
opting these NGOs in projects. The Slum Networking of Indore Project
(1989-present) (Figure 5a) initiated
by Himanshu Parekh, and the  relocation
of slum dwellers from the railway lands in Mumbai are examples of this. These
facilitated a successful exchange between the formal and informal settlements.

Figure 5a- The Slum Networking of Indore City
(1989-present), Himanshu Parekh, The map shows the location of the slums,
proposed green areas and natural drainage.

Figure 6a – Ganesh
Immersions: Temporal landscapes and events exert a great presence in the
representation of Indian cities

Figure 6b- Indian
Urban Landscape: The coexistince of slums and high rise buildings in
extremely close adjacency creates a visual duality that has come to
characterise most Indian cities.


In conclusion, in today’s India, the architectural
response for rapidly growing economically middle class has a result of
contructing new landscapes as a quick response to large scale infrastructure
projects. Generally, the architectural results are designed, crafted and
engineered with completely Western sensibilites and they represent the
impotency of global architecture and they often displays a complete detachment
from its local environment. On the other hand, their power lies in their
ability to represent the power of capital. They also need reality checks from
the locale and are insulated and In Indias post liberalisation economy, cities
and their peripheries have become critical sites for relationship between the
private and public, resulting in new negotiations between the elite and
subaltern cultures.




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