Since times immemorial man has always needed shelter for protection against inclement weather and security in a hostile environment. Using his ingenuity and resources, he has fulfilled his needs, provided himself with comfort, rest, privacy, relaxation, freedom of action and facilitated social interaction among family members. A shelter or house is thus a physical manifestation of the life-styles of people, their skills and technological achievements and sensitivity to built-forms. In the contemporary context it expresses the creativity of the architect and emergence of a new coherent architectural style. Domestic architecture as compared to other types of architecture incorporates more intelligently and clearly the aspirations of people, their social needs and ways of life. Crucially, it reflects the development of trends in house design.
Contemporary Indian Houses is a well illustrated document of changing trends in architectural tune. It is not only a reflection of contemporary Indian architecture but also source of reference material for architecture historians. Moreover, it fulfills the needs of architects and other professionals engaged in house construction activity along with those general readers who wish to keep themselves informed of what is happening in the field of creative design. For instance, before getting their houses designed prospective house owners, particularly the urban elite, would find in this publication interesting material on the latest trends in domestic architecture.
The book discusses fifty-one architect-designed built-up houses selected from different parts of India. They display the diversity of needs, tastes and building materials in the context of different weather conditions and social trends. Different architectural appearances or external expressions have determined the classification of the houses into five sections. This grouping keeps the reader’s growing interest in the external aspect of a residential structure. The emphasis is on the built-form rather than on the interior and its décor. Each house is accompanied by an explanatory text and supplemented by appropriate drawings and photographs to present a comprehensive picture of India’s many-splendoured domestic architecture.
Renowned Architect Christopher Charles Benningerhas written Foreword to this book. In his words, “Building houses is the most civilizing activity of man and it is through such endeavours that historians and archaeologists attempt to understand the very essence of culture. Contemporary Indian Houses is a document of our times which expresses the social and geo-climatic conditions of the subcontinent. This volume covers a wide range of architecture an locales and represents the creations of an eclectic group of architects. Through the case studies a collective image takes shape in one’s imagination.”