Bengal Colonial Architecture

1356 Words6 Pages
Prologue The architecture of Bengal delta dates back more than twomillenniums. The ruins and surviving works show a close tie with the soil and nature. Essentially growing from the local context, they are responsive to terrain and climate. The local architectural lineage has strong imprints of many political empires,including the Gupta, Pala, Sen, Sultans of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Islamic origin, the Mughal and the British. Each has had a deep and profound impact over the local architectural style.Though reconfigured and reinterpreted with these influences, there is a strong pattern of heavy masonry construction that is grounded.One finds this essential quality of Bengal architecture in a single cell Sultanate mosque to a large Buddhist…show more content…
The quest involved a deliberate selection process of what to hold on to and what to abandon. It involved resisting the strong forces of global modernism, yet adapting them where necessary and acceptance of what is truly local. Through deep contemplation, he gradually developed an insight of the local architectural legacy and climatic requirements. Soon enough, he decided to shift from a pure western style of architecture. To find the answer of how the indigenous and vernacular should be interpreted, he travelled extensively within the country and the Indian subcontinent and particularly studied Mughal, Pathan and British Colonial architecture. He found them quite responsive to the local climate, nature and culture. He understood that local architecture should be natural, use local technology and materials should be locally available. His search for a local style focused on the building to be natural and dealt with the local environment and climate, yet honest with the key philosophy it developed…show more content…
He has been equally influenced by the Bengali vernacular, the Pathan palaces and late modernist works, including those of his mentors’ in the USA and Le Corbusier. The Corbusian influence is most apparent in his works in concrete as in the BCIC building and PRISM cyclone shelters, where he achieves the lightness and dynamism with a similar geometry as used in the later works of Corbusier. The ethos that Haq shares with Corbusier and the leading modernists is his quest for a local language that addresses the present yet timeless in essence where the past, present and future co-exist. Typologically the long lineage of Bengal architecture was mainly restricted to religious buildings, palaces and upper class villas. The suitable language of the new typologies that emerged with the socio-economic changes, especially post-independence, required a suitable language that is contemporary yet rooted in tradition. New functional typologies such as multi-family residences emerged to address the needs of an increasing middle/upper middle class population. This was a new concept in the country, what would be a proper vocabulary for a cluster living in the Bengali

More about Bengal Colonial Architecture

Open Document