PUDUCHERRY: A new Mairie building modelled on the structure that collapsed should be utilised as a place for art, culture and public space and only government activity should be restricted to registration of marriages as in the past. This was mooted at a workshop on ‘Most purposeful use of Mairie building as Public space’ workshop organised by the People for Pondicherry’s Heritage and PondyCAN.
The workshop was conducted to elicit the views of people with regard to the future usage of the building. The government needs to take a decision in this regard so that they can specify it in the proposal for reconstruction of the building by availing funds from World Bank.
The World Bank team that visited Puducherry recently sought a clarification in this regard, sources said.
The participants which included architects, teachers, representatives of cultural bodies, INTACH, Friends of Pondicherry Heritage, architects from Puducherry as well as Auroville and others were of the view that the building should not only constructed as was in the original structure, but the place also should be a public place. They suggested that there could be an art gallery, an audio visual room, library, an interpretation centre. The marriage registration office, coffee shop could be housed in the annexe. The building must be economically self sustaining, said Kakoli Banerjee of People for Pondicherry’s Heritage.
However the participants were open to use modern technologies. A solar panel on the roof and some deviation of the structure like a continuous podium and underground parking, without tampering the foot prints of the building, said Shama Dalvi, an architect.
However the absence of government representatives disappointed them.
“It was a collaborative effort to arrive at a consensus but none of the official representatives had come. Invitations were sent to PWD, Tourism, Town and Country Planning, Art and Culture, Municipality and Police and they assured to send representatives,” said Sunaina Mundeen, of PondyCAN and convener of the Workshop.