Love your neighbourhood, celebrate its heritage
Respect your neighbourhood. Respect nature. That is Kolkata Architecture Foundation’s appeal to house-owners, developers and architects in the city.
The foundation aims at uniting like-minded citizens to preserve the cultural and aesthetic identity of the city and its neighbourhoods.
“It is an unequal fight that goes on when a house is being built as the builder wants to maximise profit and the architect has to convey a philosophy to him. It boils down to how sensitive they are to the neighbourhood. But the situation would change if the house-owner also starts asking what the buyer intends to do with the house,” says Chaudhuri, the president of the foundation and the moving force behind it. Chaudhuri has been featured among the “100 Most Influential Architects and Designers in the Subcontinent in 2018” by Architectural Digest.
Chaudhuri feels ideas on paper aren’t enough to reach out to the masses. “Common people would not understand the value of virtual environment till they see it translated to a physical environment.”
According to Chaudhuri, the façade of a building is more than the built component. “It also encompasses the surrounding trees and the pavement.” So the foundation maintains the pavement greenery in its Hindusthan Park neighbourhood.
Another project it have taken up is painting electrical distribution pillar boxes. The first lot was inspired by the paintings of Le Corbusier, a pioneer of modern architecture. The second was based on Nandalal Bose’s linocut paintings in Sahaj Path. “We will even paint the garbage vats so people think twice before littering the surroundings.”