NEW DELHI: Over 600 architects, academics from over 30 nations have written to the IIM-Ahmedabad against the proposed demolition of the premier institute’s dormitories. The signatories, including scholars from 118 universities, called it an act of “cultural vandalism”.
The IIM-Ahmedabad campus has generated attention and study in classrooms and architecture offices around the world, the experts said. “Various institutions with aging modernisms are looking up to IIM-A to lead by way of example. A comprehensive conservation effort for the entire campus would be a befitting tribute to your own rich architectural heritage, which is also our collective heritage,” they wrote.
If done appropriately, they said, it would warrant a UNESCO World Heritage status. “We believe the letter collectively embodies the voice and belief of the architecture and design profession. The letter states that the proposed demolition of the IIM-A dormitories will seriously damage the global reputation of IIM-A. It would be an act of cultural vandalism.
The letter calls upon IIM-A to embrace a comprehensive plan for conservation of the entire old campus, and lead the conservation efforts of modernist architecture, by way of example,” the signatories said.
The dormitories were designed by architect Louis Kahn.
“It seriously jeopardises the legacy of Louis Kahn and of modernist architecture, especially in the Indian subcontinent, where there is a dire need for the conservation of modernist heritage,” reads the letter. “There are many successful examples across the world of modernist architectures being creatively repurposed, retrofitted, and in some cases rebuilt, while preserving their architectural ethos,” it adds.