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DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA

Submitted by

Sreejith s
Guide

Minu Zachariya

B.Arch Dissertation

May-2019

C.A.T

COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE TRIVANDRUM

Mulayara P.O, Thiruvananthapuram

This thesis is the property of the institution and the author; it should not be re-produced without prior permission
C.A.T

COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE TRIVANDRUM

MulayaraP.O, Thiruvananthapuram

__________________________________________________________________

Sreejith s

B.Arch Dissertation

Deconstructivism in Kerala

Approval

The following study is hereby approved as a creditable work on the subject, carried
out and presented in a manner, sufficiently satisfactory to warrant its acceptance
as B.Arch Dissertation, a pre-requisite to the B.Arch Degree program for which it
has been submitted.

It is to be understood that by this approval the undersigned do not necessarily


endorse or approve the statements made, opinions expressed or conclusions
drawn therein, but approve the study only for the purpose for which it has been
submitted and satisfies as to the requirement laid down in the academic
programme.
ii

Guide: Dissertation Coordinator: Head of the Department:

Minu Zachariya Reshmi Ravindran Bijey Narayan

Assistant Professor Assistant Professor Professor

Date: Date: Date:


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CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Mr. Sreejith S has worked under my supervision on


‘Deconstructivism in Kerala’ towards the partial fulfilment of the requirement for
the award of the degree of Bachelor of Architecture of the University of Kerala. This
is his/her original work and can be submitted as a Bach Dissertation.

Minu Zachariya

Assistant Professor
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Date:
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DECLARATION

I hereby declare that the Dissertation titled “Deconstructivism in Kerala”


was carried out by me during the year 2019 in partial fulfilment of the requirement
for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Architecture of the University of Kerala.
This dissertation is my own effort and has not been submitted to any other
University.

Thiruvananthapuram

May 2019 Sreejith S


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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This study would have been extremely difficult to complete if it weren’t for
these esteemed people, who helped me in every stage of the project. I would like
to extend my utmost gratitude to these great minds in way that is familiar to me. I
am delighted to give them the credit of participating in the brainstorming, sharing
their resources, guiding & motivating. First of all, I would like to thank my mentor,
Assistant Professor Ar. Minu Zachariya, for her insights and contacts regarding this
topic.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Preface .................................................................................................................. 1

1.2 Need for research.................................................................................................2

1.3 Aim ........................................................................................................................ 2

1.4 Objectives ............................................................................................................. 3

1.5 Scope .................................................................................................................... 3

1.6 Limitations ............................................................................................................. 4

2 Applications of Deconstructivism on Tropical Terrains ................................................. 5

2.1 Orgin of the Concept of Deconstructivism ............................................................ 5

2.2 Characterstics of Deconstructivism ...................................................................... 9

2.3 Peculiar signifiers of deconstructivism ............................................................... 11

2.4 Consequences & Effects of the movement ........................................................ 12

2.5 Works of International Architects ....................................................................... 13

2.6 Deconstructivism in Indian context.....................................................................25


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2.7 Indian architects who may have used it...............................................................26

2.8 Parameters to compare architects.........................................................................34

3 Research Methodology .........................................................................................................36

3.1 Research Design....................................................................................................36

3.2 Primary Research...................................................................................................36

3.3 Secondary Research................................................................................................36

3.4 Methods Used………………………………………………………………….………….38

4 My concept for Deconstructivism ................................................................................39

4.1 Hypothetical project 1 ..............................................................................................39

4.1.1 Materials for construction ..............................................................................42

4.2 Hypothetical project 2 ..............................................................................................43

4.3 Hypothetical project 3 ..............................................................................................46

5 References ..................................................................................................................48

6 APPENDIX ..................................................................................................................49
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ABSTRACT

“Deconstructivism has been understood as a concept that intends on defying


symmetry and coherence. It tries to mimic the decay and disintegration of form. It
threatens the values of harmony, unity and stability. However, it has been
misunderstood as the architecture that leads to a total breakdown. The flaws do
not lead to the collapse of the structure. It proposes a new view of the structure
that the flaws are intrinsic to the structure and thus cannot be removed.” The
calculated flaw becomes a part of the structure that makes the building an
interesting piece of art by itself. It started as a movement in the 1970s in Europe
and spread across the developed countries. Famous architects like Peter
Eisenman, Bernard Tschumi, Frank Owen Gehry, Zaha Hadid, etc., have been the
pioneers of this style of architecture. Later, it emerged as a concept employed by
individual architects to express their views or experiment with their works. The
concept of Deconstructivism has a significant role to play in the post-modern era
in World Architecture. However, in the Indian Contemporary Architecture, it has not
seen the light of day. There has not been a compilation of the Deconstructivism
buildings of India. It has always been avant- garde architecture, a piece of textbook
knowledge and is highly unpopular in implementation. The architects and interior
designers who take a leap of faith to incorporate it are threatened by the clients for
economical and time constraints. A documentation of the architects who have
practiced this and designers who have, even subtly imbibed it in their spaces are
worth putting on paper. This research contains the case studies of buildings that
can be recognized as Deconstructivism, with the thoughts of the respective
architects. The buildings are majorly from two cities- Chennai and Mumbai. The
parameters with which each of these case studies would be scrutinized are made
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common, so that it becomes easier for the researcher to compare and contrast.
The research will involve different methodologies listed as interpretive,
observational, analytical and comparative in nature. Furthermore, two hypotheses
framed by the researcher shall be tested with the help of surveying and interviewing
of B.Arch students, professors and established architects respectively. The
inferences of the study may be of help to researchers who intend to put together
the evolution of Indian architecture or emergence of novel & (iii) experimental
architecture in Indian context. If the hypotheses test out to be true and usable,
another dimension may be given to this concept. The scope of this research is
beyond just one dissertation project. It touches upon numerous vast topics that
cannot all be dealt with in detail in this study. This study is confined to a mere
categorization and compilation of Indian deconstructivist buildings and a few
hypotheses testing.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 1

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 PREFACE

The topic of study is under the stream of space and built environment. It is about a lesser known
design movement of deconstructivism, which is a follow-up of the major art movement- Post
modernism. There is still a discussion as to whether it should be called a “movement” or considered
as just another tool of expression. However, the idea of deconstruction as a tool has made its way
into various fields. This, as a concept has been taken up by a handful of architects abroad and
scarcely by any, in India. “Deconstruction as a philosophical movement emerged from the writings
of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the 1970s. A deconstructivist approach includes an
attempt to deconstruct the elements of architecture. Often elements from other traditions are
incorporated in the composition, altering their function and meaning to provide an innovative three-
dimensional spatial experience.” (McClure, Wendy R., & Bartuska, Tom J., the Built Environment).
The concept owes its origin more to the works of Derrida in literature, where he thought breaking
down the words and phrases could help in deciphering hidden meanings to the sentences. He
himself gave many architectural metaphors in his works and thus, it came down to architecture after
having dripped through other fields like art, fashion, lifestyle, etc. “Deconstructivism has been
understood as a concept that intends on defying symmetry and coherence. It tries to mimic the
decay and disintegration of form. It threatens the values of harmony, unity and stability. However,
it has been misunderstood as the architecture that leads to a total breakdown. The flaws do not
lead to the collapse of the structure. It proposes a new view of the structure that the flaws are
intrinsic to the structure and thus cannot be removed.” They become a part of the structure itself.
“A Deconstructive Architect is therefore not one who dismantles buildings but one who locates the
inherent dilemmas within buildings”. This was a short-lived, but impactful movement that gave rise
to a significant chapter in the history of architecture. Pioneers like Peter Eisenman, Bernard
Tschumi, Frank O.Gehry, Zaha Hadid, etc., became associated with this style of architecture. Peter
Eisenman worked with cubical grid and experimented with the permutations in that. He utilised
juxtaposition and fragmentary methods 1 majorly. It was an expression of the psychoanalysis, for
him. As for Frank Gehry, he experimented with materials as well. The world famous Walt Disney
Theatre and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao were both made majorly of titanium. The forms
that he used were also experimentation. Zaha Hadid practiced this concept for over 20 years
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 2

executing about 80 built or unbuilt projects. She has always been marveled for her beautiful mind
and the amazing designs that come from it. From their works, the semiotic signifiers thus derived,
would help in identifying the deconstructivist buildings in India. Comparative study of the works of
different architects would give insights on the strengths and threats of the concept in general. Also,
a few sub-topics that are of current relevance may be linked with this concept and the viewpoint of
the researcher shall be conveyed in this dissertation project.

1.2 NEED FOR RESEARCH

Post-modernism was a movement that gave birth to other by product movements like
Deconstructivism. This concept inspired a number of monumental buildings abroad. However, in
India it hardly made a mark. It serves as an opportunity to be creative and explore forms, structure,
materials and textures. There has not been a compilation of the deconstructivist buildings of India.
It has always been avant- garde architecture, and is highly unpopular in implementation. The
architects and interior designers who take a leap of faith to incorporate it are threatened by the
clients for economical and time constraints. A documentation of the architects who had practiced
this and designers who, even subtly imbibe it in their spaces are worth putting on paper.

1.3 AIM

To study the Deconstructivism style for the tropical climate in Kerala.

1.4 OBJECTIVES

To study the international architects who have practiced the concept and narrow down to
keywords that describe the concept best. • Use the keywords as a signifier to spot Indian buildings
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 3

of that kind, using Architectural Semiotics and list down the deconstructivist buildings in India. •
Form case studies of deconstructivist buildings in India- observe, analyse and perform a
comparative study

1.5 SCOPE

Firstly, it helps in documenting the rarely utilised concept of deconstructivism in India.


Secondly, it can serve as a beacon to architects and interior designers that if it were popular and
well-put the clients would not be reluctant to give it a try. Thirdly, it serves as a tool to answer certain
questions such as - • the possibility of utilizing this as a “secular” architecture much in similarity to
the “democratic architecture” by Frank Lloyd Wright • why deconstructivism has always been avant-
garde (a concept that is used in most extravagance and never trickled down to day-to-day living) •
why such a radical thought always ends in paper at an ideation stage and hardly ever reaches
implementation 3 • The blooming of parametric architecture can also be touched upon, since it has,
technically, sprouted from deconstructivism. The proposed research tends to look upon the
following from the Indian Architects- • How have they heard about the concept of deconstructivism
• How and when did they start incorporating this in their designs • Extent to which this can be
incorporated in their designs • How difficult or inappropriate can it be for our country • How do they
convince the client that it would be a success • If it is used in a different interpretation, how? • If it
is used, then the difficulties in making it work- electrical, column layouts, working drawings, etc. •
evolution of the concept in India • reason of its unpopularity in India • future of the concept in India
• About their design process of that building • If it has stretched its influence on other interior
elements like furniture, door designs, column/pillar designs, wall treatments, etc.
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1.6 LIMITATIONS

There is a gap that all the secondary study is in reference to countries apart from India, as
there has not been much documentation in this regard. However, the primary study is conducted in
India since the topic itself is in Indian context. • The number of architects who practice or have
incorporated it in one of their works is a handful. • The built-forms taken for the study may or may
not be spread across the country, due to challenges of tedious travel and lack of budget.
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2. APPLICATION OF DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN
TROPICAL TERRAINS

As the title suggests the dissertation deals with the concept of deconstruction in
architecture. However the literature review is constructed in such a way that it sets the foundation
with a brief note about the origin of the concept as a whole. The emergence of the concept into
architecture is immediately delved into. This chapter has restricted itself to whatever the researcher
thought was relevant to the study. It includes the characteristics, consequences and effects, works
of international architects, deconstructivism in Indian context, about the architects and their
buildings which might be considered deconstructivist and finally parameters to compare architects
and buildings. These data have been collected in the secondary study that took the researcher to
5 architecture colleges across Mumbai, several online databases for research papers, blogs,
articles, etc. The consolidated data has been reviewed and utilised in a flow that directs towards
the objectives of this project.

2.1 ORIGIN OF THE CONCEPT OF DECONSTRUCTIVISM

The concept of deconstructivism is a byproduct movement in the Post-modern era and


originated from the works of Jacques Derrida, a French Philosopher and Writer, in the late 1960s,
in his books titled ‘Writing & Difference’ (1967) and ‘Of Grammatology’ (1966). According to Derrida,
the deconstruction of architecture has to demystify such illusion and to open the space of a different
practice of architecture. A space where the possibility of the relationship to another discloses itself
as the irreducible condition of each form of identity. “I would like to show how deconstruction of
architecture proposed by Derrida is not only concerned with the theory of architecture. It also implies
itself the possibility of a different architectural practice, which cannot be identified with a new
aesthetic and formal style. I would like to explain that deconstruction of architecture implies rather
the deconstruction of the political and that it can be put into effect only through the actual
deconstruction of the architectural structure which the Western tradition of the political has
embodied itself into”. (Vitale, 2010)
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 6

The idea of deconstruction was to break down the phrases, i.e., ‘deconstruct’ them to find
out the hidden or unintended meaning. Thus, the concept can be related to recurring keywords
such as ‘breaking down’, ‘fragment’, ‘dismantling’, ‘disjunctive’, ‘rupture’ and ‘layers’. It was when
Derrida used architectural metaphors such as “foundation”, “structure”, etc., in his works did the
great architects of that time figured that this concept could be a novel idea in architecture (Hodge,
2006). Architectural theorist Mark Wigley did his doctoral dissertation on “Jacques Derrida and
Architecture: The Deconstructive Possibilities of Architectural Discourse“(1986). He also
collaborated with Philip Johnson to curate the Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition in the
Museum of Modern Art in 1988. The exhibition showcased the works of 7 architects: Coop
Himmelb(l)au, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind and
Bernard Tschumi. The exhibition was the starting point of the Deconstructivist idea in architecture,
wherein the projects of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Eisenman and Gehry presented were theoretical (as
how the concept was intended, in the first place (McLeod, 1989)) or unbuilt. Wigley linked the
common elements of these architects’ works to the early 20th century Russian Constructivism, a
period when traditional thinking in architecture was placed in doubt (Hodge, 2006). Charles Jencks
identified “deconstruction” as Neo-modern whereas Mary McLeod established it as essentially Post-
Modern (McLeod (1989/1998) as citied in Mukerji & Basu, 2013, p.3). However, McLeod (1989)
also states that these are not the only inspirations: the other important formal influences being- 
Russian Constructivism of the mid and late 1920s (Koolhaas, Tschumi),  German Expressionism
(Coop Himmelb(l)au),  the architecture of the 1950s (Hadid, Koolhaas),  contemporary sculpture
(Gehry),  extreme fragmentation of diagonal forms (Himmelb(l)au, Hadid, Libeskind) Figure1:
Deconstructivist Architecture: 25 Years Later
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DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 8

The idea of deconstruction was to break down the phrases, i.e., ‘deconstruct’ them to find
out the hidden or unintended meaning. Thus, the concept can be related to recurring keywords
such as ‘breaking down’, ‘fragment’, ‘dismantling’, ‘disjunctive’, ‘rupture’ and ‘layers’. It was when
Derrida used architectural metaphors such as “foundation”, “structure”, etc., in his works did the
great architects of that time figured that this concept could be a novel idea in architecture (Hodge,
2006). Architectural theorist Mark Wigley did his doctoral dissertation on “Jacques Derrida and
Architecture: The Deconstructive Possibilities of Architectural Discourse“(1986). He also
collaborated with Philip Johnson to curate the Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition in the
Museum of Modern Art in 1988. The exhibition showcased the works of 7 architects: Coop
Himmelb(l)au, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind and
Bernard Tschumi. The exhibition was the starting point of the Deconstructivist idea in architecture,
wherein the projects of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Eisenman and Gehry presented were theoretical (as
how the concept was intended, in the first place (McLeod, 1989)) or unbuilt. Wigley linked the
common elements of these architects’ works to the early 20th century Russian Constructivism, a
period when traditional thinking in architecture was placed in doubt (Hodge, 2006). Charles Jencks
identified “deconstruction” as Neo-modern whereas Mary McLeod established it as essentially Post-
Modern (McLeod (1989/1998) as citied in Mukerji & Basu, 2013, p.3). However, McLeod (1989)
also states that these are not the only inspirations: the other important formal influences being-

 Russian Constructivism of the mid and late 1920s (Koolhaas, Tschumi),

 German Expressionism (Coop Himmelb(l)au),

 the architecture of the 1950s (Hadid, Koolhaas),

 contemporary sculpture (Gehry),

 extreme fragmentation of diagonal forms (Himmelb(l)au, Hadid, Libeskind)

The origin of this novel thought in architecture has been disputable. One argument is that
deconstructive architecture does not constitute an avantgarde. It exposes the unfamiliar hidden
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 9

within the traditional. It is the shock of the old. Deconstructive architecture is not an –ism, but neither
is it simply seven independent architects. It is a curious point of intersection amongst strikingly
different architects moving in completely different direction. It cannot be called a new “style”. The
projects do not even share a common aesthetic. What they do share is the sense of disquiet in their
works (Wigley, 1989 as quoted by Papadakis, Cooke & Benjamin, 1989).

2.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF DECONSTRUCTIVISM

Schismatic post-modernism or deconstructivism, spearheaded by Peter Eisenman,


developed into an idea that showed an impossibility of postulating any meaning or cultural
consensus. It avoids historicist imagery, contextualism and humanism, and instead exhibits a
technological imagery using fragmentation, dispersion and disturbance (Mukerji & Basu, 2011). It
drifts away from the basics of modern architecture such as ‘form follows function’, ‘purity of form’
and ‘structural honesty’ (Khan & Raghuwanshi, 2003, p.1). ‘Function follows deformation’ is a
phrase that says that the forms are first distributed according to the architect’s design and then
assigned a function (Wigley, 1989 as quoted by Papadakis, Cooke & Benjamin, 1989).
Deconstructivism is a byproduct of or reaction to Post-Modernism. So, there are all the reasons for
it to have borrowed a few ideas from this era and the previous one. McLeod (1989) gives an account
of the characteristics that were borrowed from Modernism and Post-Modernism:

Deconstructivism From Modernism

 preference for abstract forms

 rejection of continuity and tradition


DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 10

 fascination with technological imagery

 disdain for academicism

 polemical and apocalyptical rhetoric

Deconstructivism From Post-Modernism

 rejects fundamental ideological premises of modern movement

 rejects functionalism

 rejects structural rationalism

 rejects faith in social regeneration

Deconstructivism supported aspects like form- generation, functionality, material and


construction technology with structural logic (Khan & Raghuwanshi, 2003, p.6). The distinctive
features of the Deconstructivist Architecture stated by Mark Wigley shall be the signifiers used to
identify the buildings that may be declared as “deconstructivist”. The forms are characteristic
skewed geometry and distortion of the structure. “Distortion of form” is a generic idea of
deconstructivism, which can be broken down further into:

• Rotated grids

• Warped planes

• Diagonal elements
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• Shifted or displaced functions or features

• Perforation of the building envelope

• Exposed structural elements

• Use of industrial materials

The focus is always directed towards the form, rarely utilizing the site, client, production
process or the program as the subject of investigation or radical transformation. In the European
context of deconstructivism the fragmentation of society, impossibility of cultural consensus,
obliteration of meaning and disillusionment with structuralism constitute as the major aspects
(McLeod, 1989/1998:690 as cited in Mukerji & Basu, 2013). 2.3 PECULIAR SIGNIFIERS OF
DECONSTRUCTIVISM In the present socio-technological scenario, the multiphrenic,
schizophrenic, individualized self is able to freely adopt floating signifiers where the relation of the
symbol and signified are broken down and the signifier is devoid of meaning. They now represent
luxury and power and exotic and foreign, thus displaying indetermanence. A deconstructivist
building has always been linked to ‘meaninglessness’, among other things. A book called
‘Deconstruction (Omnibus Volume)’ written by Papadakis, Cooke & Benjamin (1989) states that
deconstructivism represented abhorrence of meaning- a sentiment shared byTschumi, Eisenman,
Derrida- they termed it the “empty man”, a man without qualities. Eisenman asserts it as ‘nihilism’
or meaningless volumes.
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2.3 PECULIAR SIGNIFIERS OF DECONSTRUCTIVISM

In the present socio-technological scenario, the multiphrenic, schizophrenic, individualized


self is able to freely adopt floating signifiers where the relation of the symbol and signified are broken
down and the signifier is devoid of meaning. They now represent luxury and power and exotic and
foreign, thus displaying indetermanence. A deconstructivist building has always been linked to
‘meaninglessness’, among other things. A book called ‘Deconstruction (Omnibus Volume)’ written
by Papadakis, Cooke & Benjamin (1989) states that deconstructivism represented abhorrence of
meaning- a sentiment shared byTschumi, Eisenman, Derrida- they termed it the “empty man”, a
man without qualities. Eisenman asserts it as ‘nihilism’ or meaningless volumes.

2.4 CONSEQUENCES & EFFECTS OF THE MOVEMENT

The introduction of deconstruction to architecture has contributed to an attitude of critical


skepticism and scrutiny, a questioning of existing conventions of composition and form (McLeod,
1989, p.51). Effects of Post-Modernism have been laid out as eclectic exoticism, simulacrum,
floating signifiers and interdetermanence (Mukerji & Basu, 2013). All of these can be applied to
deconstructivism as well, in the sense that-

 the concept remains foreign till date (exoticism)

 it is superficially borrowed from the Western counterpart, merely trying to give an


impression of the style (simulacrum)

 without any context to India that it remains a “floating signifier” and,


DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 13

 Indeterminacy (indescribable) + Immanence (limited knowledge) = “Interdetermanence”.

It is a term used to describe the Post-Modern works, coined by Ihab Hassan to perhaps
signify “underdetermined”. One major consequence of this concept is a potential narrowing of
audience. Most likely, only small cultural elite will appreciate the iconoclasm of forms, the inversions
of common sense and everyday expectations. Indeed, deconstructivist architecture risks the elitist
charges that modern architecture faced with post-modern critique. Another consequence is a denial
of urban context and a renewed focus on the building as object. The fragmentation and formal
explosion of these works means that not only do they contrast radically with a traditional urban
fabric, but they cannot join readily with other buildings to form defined public space. The single
building once again becomes more important than the city, individual creation more important than
collective accretion (McLeod, 1989, p.50).

2.5 WORKS OF INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTS

It is worthwhile to look at the international experience in order to understand this kind of


architecture in India, wherein “parallel that elsewhere in the world because, at a generic level, the
architectural problems of India are not unique.Their specific solutions may be” (Lang, 2002, p.151
as cited from Mukerji & Basu, 2011, p.2). Think of the term “starchitect” and most likely one of the
seven architects exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) 1988 Deconstructivist
Architecture show comes to mind (Hill, 2013). MoMA’s deconstructivist exhibition featured seven
participants – Coop Himmelb(l)au (Wolf Prix and Helmut Swiczinsky (Hill, 2013)), Peter Eisenman,
Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind and Bernard Tschumi- all practicing in
different parts of the world. Other than Tschumi and Eisenman, the architects in “Deconstructivist
Architecture” for the most part denied a direct connection to Derrida’s theories and even to one
another. In the case of “Deconstructivist Architecture”, the current of ideas – rather than the
realization of buildings- was of critical importance.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 14

ZAHA HADID

Baghdad- born, Britain based Zaha Hadid, was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize
has also contributed a number of notable Deconstructivist works to international architecture
(Rogers, 2011). Building elements seem to float; the forms of the building are repositioned to
confront each other, twisting and disrupting the traditional parallel planes of modernism. A student
of Koolhaas at the Architecture Association School of Architecture in London, she is renowned for
the drawings and paintings she produces to represent her projects. Of all the work in MoMA
exhibition, Hadid’s is most closely related to the angular cubistic forms and intersecting planes of
Russian Constructivism (Hodge, 2006, p.19-40). Hadid’s first design to ever be built is the 2003
Lois and Richard Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. Known popularly as
the Contemporary Arts Centre (CAC), the building is both blocky and soft, defined by geometric
volumes on the façade and featuring an unusual ‘urban carpet’, with the ground slowly curving
upward from the sidewalk outside into the building and ultimately up the back wall.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 15

A ramp resembling twisted spine draws visitors up to a landing at the entrance to the
galleries (Rogers, 2011). Zaha Hadid’s provocative architectural vision began to take built form with
the completion of her first freestanding building, a fire station (1990- 94) for the Vitra furniture
company’s campus, Germany. The two-storey station is a long narrow building of concrete and
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 16

glass featuring “a linear, layered series of walls” that “puncture, tilt, and break according to
functional requirements.” From the front, the structure appears hermetic and enclosed; its interior
spaces are only visible through windows on the side and back. The building’s dynamic cantilevered
planes seem suspended in motion, evoking the tension of firemen constantly on alert (Hodge,
2006).

FRANK GEHRY

Frank Gehry’s buildings confound traditional notions of architectural space and form. His
approach is rooted in a deep respect for art and artmaking as well as a desire to explore the potential
of new technology and materials. In 1977, Gehry began an ongoing renovation (1977-78) (1991-
94) of his family’s 1920s two-storey bungalow in Santa Monica, California. He appropriated off-the-
shelf industrial materials such as chain- link fencing, corrugated metal and plywood and used them
to loosely wrap the north and east facades. The bold volumetric assemblage of the exterior was
matched in the interior, where select walls and ceilings were stripped to reveal lathing and/or the
house’s wood-frame construction. For the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (1987- 2003),
Gehry wrapped the complex billowing structure with stainless steel to create a shimmering
curvaceous building reminiscent of a ship’s sails or a flower’s petals.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 17

The architectclad the floors, walls and ceilings of the 2,265- seat auditorium with Douglas
fir, creating the sense of being inside a basket or a musical instrument. Designed well before the
opening of Gehry’s groundbreaking building for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1991-
97), Disney Hall marks his adoption of Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application
(CATIA), a software program originally developed for the aerospace industry. By applying software
like CATIA to architectural design, Gehry has been able to transform his fluid sketches and
sculptural paper models into lyrical and complex built forms (Hodge, 2006). By the time he got to
the Guggenheim, completed in 1997, Gehry had perfected a shocking new style that dazzled critics
and the public alike, although many in the architectural community may disagree on such points as
creativity versus functionality. While Gehry himself shirks the Deconstructivist label, his work –
particularly the Guggenheim- hasbeen strongly associated with the architectural style that has been
carried forth by a number of other architects around the world. Luminous and shape-shifting, the
Guggenheim is hard to pin down, seeming almost to undulate in the sunlight and the dappled
reflection of the Nervion River upon which it sits (Rogers, 2011). The museum’s spaces are
organized around a large central atrium, a sort of futuristic cavern filled with daylight entering from
an array of large glazed opening and skylights. The museum’s 20 galleries are interconnected by
a number of bridges, corridors, elevators and stairs. While the building exterior, the atrium and
some of the galleries on the ground floor are characterized by complex geometries, curvilinear
forms, and a large use of daylight, the galleries are rather simple ”white boxes” without openings.
While the exterior is boldly clad with sheets of shiny titanium, the interior makes a large use of
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 18

cardboard partitions (Bianchini, 2017). The wildly original design, as well as construction of the
building, was aided to a large degree by the use of CATIA. The many organic volumes that make
up the whole are covered in titanium panels that resemble fish scales, a tribute to the museum’s
location (Rogers, 2011). Opened to the public on October 18, 1997, the museum became a sort of
“hallmark” of the private organization the Solomon R.Guggenheim foundation. The result was so
positive that the new term “Bilbao Effect” was coined to indicate the capability to positively influence
a debilitated local economy through the creation of a major cultural institution (Bianchini, 2017).
According to the Bilbao City Report of 2007 compiled by Jörg Plöger, commissioned by Centre for
Analysis of Social Exclusion, An ESRC Research Centre, the chapter of ‘What Has Changed: Signs
of Recovery?’ holds a separate subheading about the ‘Guggenheim Effect’. It enumerates that there
were several studies that attempted to evaluate the effects of the tourist sector which received a
strong boost from the inauguration of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997 (Roderiguez et al, 2001,
Gonzalez, 2006, Plaza, 2007). Opinions about the so-called ‘Guggenheim effect’ on Bilbao’s and
the regions economy are however divided. From one perspective, it is a fact that the tourism in
Bilbao has increased sharply. The Guggenheim alone has attracted an average of 1 million visitors
per year since its opening (Plaza, 2007). Some voices criticize the large amount of public money
that went in to the building of the museum and the public subsidies that are required for financing
its liabilities. However, the sheer scale of added tourist numbers seems certain to have created
many smaller service outlets. The indirect knock-on effects in the city are extremely wide if
immeasurable (J.Alayo, interview).

PETER EISENMAN

New Jersey- based architect Peter Eisenman designed the first major public
Deconstructivist building in America, the 1989 Wexner Centre for the Arts at Ohio State University.
The Wexner Centre was something of an experiment in Deconstructivism; it’s certainly not a blank,
passive space for the display of art but meant to be a dynamic work of art within itself. It’s a
fivestorey, open- air structure featuring a prominent white gridwork that resembles scaffolding in
order to appear intentionally incomplete, in a permanent state of limbo. These very design ideas
have caused significant controversy because, insome cases, they interfere with the function of the
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 19

building, such as fine art exhibition spaces where direct sunlight could potentially damage sensitive
works of art. Furthermore, the centre has no recognizable entry, with most of the sculptural
ornamentation on the sides where no doors exist. The interior spaces are no less eccentric; some
visitors even report feeling nauseous because of the ‘colliding planes’ of the design. Controversial
as it may be, Eisenman’s Wexner Centre remains among the most important examples of
Deconstructivism, bringing abstract ideas and theories to the fore and perhaps elevating them
above purpose and practicality (Rogers, 2011).

In the MoMA exhibition, Eisenman was represented by his proposed design for the
Biocenter for the University of Frankfurt, Germany (unbuilt, 1987). The design, for a centre for
advanced biological research, organizes the distribution of laboratories along a central spine. The
units branching out from the spine were initially based on basic modernist blocks, the shape of
which was derived from those of the four nucleotides that constitute DNA and RNA (Hodge, 2006).
Eisenman describes his objective as “architecture as independent discourse, free of external
valuesclassical or any other; that is, the intersection of the meaning-free, the arbitrary, the timeless
in the artificial (Eisenman, 1984 as iterated in McLeod, 1989, p.47).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 20

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

The Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au (Wolf Prix and Helmut Swiczinsky (Hill, 2013)) is
often credited with producing the first realizations of Deconstructivist architecture in Europe. The
cooperative’s rooftop law office extension in their home city raised eyebrows when it was erected
in 1988 with its parasitic appearance, and its Funder factory building in St. Veit Glan, Austria was
certainly eye-catching. In 1988, Coop Himmelb(l)au completed the UFACinema Center in Dresden,
Germany, which consists of two volumes: the‘Crystal’, a massive glass lobby and and public square
that seems to lean precariously to one side, and the ‘Cinema Block’, which hold eight cinemas with
seating for 2600. The firm says that with the UFA- Cinema Centre, it aimed to “confront the issue
of public space”, saying “By disintegrating the monofunctionality of these structures and adding
urban functions to them, a new urbanity can arise in the city.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 21

” Independent of Gehry’s influence, Coop Himmelb(l)au and other international architects


who produced important Deconstructivist works were inspired by movements in modern art such
as Cubism and Dada, and Russian avant garde architecture of the 1920s (Rogers, 2011). Coop
Himmelb(l)au’s Rooftop Remodeling (1983/1987-88), a renovation of the attic space of a traditional
apartment building in Vienna, showed another aspect of deconstruction. The addition is a metal
and glass construction whose chaotic form is based on an analysis of the existing building’s
structure much in the way that deconstruction promotes analysis of existing texts to generate new
readings (Hodge, 2006).

BERNARD TSCHUMI

Swiss-born architect Bernard Tschumi was represented by his elaborate plan for the Parc
de Villette in Paris (Hodge, 2006). The Parc de Villette is unlike any other public park, with its
strange network of bright red structures designed, according to architect Bernard Tschumi, not for
ordered relaxation and self- indulgence but interactivity and exploration.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 22

Built from 1984 to 1987 on the grounds of a former meat market, the park contains themed
gardens, playgrounds for children, facilitites dedicated to science and music and 35 architectural
follies, all of which are inspired by the ideas ofDeconstructivism. Visually and intellectually
stimulating, the steel follies provide a frame for activity, in contrast to the idea of a park as open
green space (Rogers, 2011). Comparisons have often been made between the follies and the
fragmented red forms that appear in the Russian Constructivist drawings of El Lissitzsky and
Kasimir Malevich, among others (Hodge, 2006).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 23

REM KOOLHAAS

Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture, based in Rotterdam, The
Netherlands, were represented in the exhibition by a 1982 unbuilt project for an apartment building
and observation tower in Rotterdam. The monolith is distorted by the towers, which tilt and project
from its volume, and the towers are distorted by the monolith, which appears to slice through them
(Hodge, 2006). With famed architect Rem Koolhaas at the helm, architecture firms OMA and LMN
gave Seattle one of the world’s most stunning Deconstructivist buildings in the form of the Seattle
Central Library. This groundbreaking structure consists of eight horizontal layers in varied sizes,
encased within a structural steel and glass skin which defines additional exterior public spaces.
Elevating the library beyond a mere receptacle for books, the design focuses on information as a
whole where all forms of media can be accessed, reflected upon and discussed. Dutch architect
Rem Koolhaas, a founding partner of OMA, has largely defied labels, variously categorized as
Deconstructivist, Modernist and Humanist by critics.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 24

The Pritzker Prize winner may at times be controversial for designs that seem visually
disjointed or difficult to actually use, but in the Seattle Central Library he has helped create one of
America’s most notable structures, and one of the most important Deconstructivist buildings in the
world (Rogers, 2011). Koolhaas’s work has been less about violent fragmentation and sharp forms
than that of some of hiscolleagues in the exhibition. Like Eisenman, Koolhaas has given equal
weight in his practice to writing and theoretical speculation (Hodge, 2006).

DANIEL LIBESKIND

Daniel Libeskind, a Polish-born architect whose practice at the time was based in Milan,
Italy, was represented by City Edge (unbuilt, 1987), an office and residential development project
for the Tiergarten section of Berlin. The major elements of Libeskind’s scheme was a gigantic
horizontal bar, elevated at an angle by slender supports so that at one end it hovers ten stories
above ground, overlooking the Berlin Wall. Libeskind’s drawing and models are jarring and evoke
a sense of conflict and chaos (Hodge, 2006). Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin is
considered the best example of Deconstructivism in the world. This zig-zagging structure, clad in
thin zinc sheeting punctuated by windows in shapes meant to recall wounds and scars, houses two
millennia of German Jewish history. It sits upon a space once occupied by the Berlin Wall, and butts
up to an 18th century appeals court which is also part of the museum. Its shape is said to be inspired
by a warped Star of David, and its jaggedness is likened to the human condition. A huge void cuts
through the form of the museum, symbolizing the absence left by the thousands of Berliners who
were killed or deported in the Holocaust.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 25

The architect says, “I believe that this project joins architecture to questions that are now
relevant to all humanity. To this end, I have sought to create a new Architecture for a time which
would reflect an understanding of history, a new understanding of Museums and a new realization
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 26

of the relationship between program and architectural space. Therefore this Museum is not only a
response to a particular program, but an emblem of Hope” (Rogers, 2011). Hadid’s and Libeskind’s
designs in the MoMA exhibition are arcane, almost precious, space-age displays of refinement;
others, particularly of Frank Gehry, gain power from their matter-of-factness- their rough joints and
inexpensive materials(McLeod, 1989, p.48).

2.6 DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN INDIAN CONTEXT

Architectural deconstruction in India seems to have been superficially borrowed inspired by


the novelty of form in its western counterpart but not its theoretical paradigm. Sensitivity to context
and indigenous identity are not the sole objectives of all contemporary Indian architecture. In some
cases, the forms are induced with Indian symbols, making them appear less exotic and the resultant
complexity communicates different values to a wider audience (Mukerji & Basu, 2013). “It is not that
the question of how to be both modern [contemporary] and Indian has been resolved” (Brown, 2009,
p.162 as cited from Mukerji & Basu, 2011), the search for an Indian identity continues. The continual
demands for distinct cultural recognition from all corners of the nation bear witness to the failure of
reconciliation to a unified identity of Indian-ness (Mukerji & Basu, 2013). There is an instigation that
in a country like India with varied cultures and customs, this kind of architecture could be common
to all. A design, to appeal to a larger audience generally needs to either have the regional contexts
or a common one that is devoid of any signifiers as such. Deconstructivism can be considered to
be among the latter. Frampton recommends a concern for nature over culture, and the tactile over
the visual (Frampton, 1983/2002, p.22 as cited from Mukerji & Basu, 2011, p.4).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 27

2.7 INDIAN ARCHITECTS WHO MAY HAVE USED IT

None of the internationally acclaimed Deconstructivist architects acknowledge the title


themselves except Eisenman and Tschumi. They call it their way of expressing. Similarly, rather
than a “style” of architecture, deconstruction is an architectural trope much like juxtaposition or
ornamentation from the Postmodern era. The Indian architects may also not be willing to call
themselves “deconstructivist”; rather they use it as an inspiration or a tool of expression. Charles
Correa’s Hindustan Lever Pavilion is an early example displaying a striking fragmentation of space,
and the Tillany Museum, Bangalore, by Inform Architects, may be cited as a conscious effort at
deconstruction (Mukerji & Basu,2011, p. 14). In the Infosys Mysore campus, Hafeez Contractor
employs the formal hermeticism of deconstruction, by constructing gravity-defying structures, with
an approach of dissolution of all meaning for the Software Development Block-4 (Mukerji & Basu,
2013). Sanjay Puri, the Mumbai based architect subtly utilizes this concept in most of his works,
AVLC Building, Lonavala being an example for its design of interior spaces (Mukerji & Basu, 2011,
p.14). Built examples of deconstructivist architecture in India is not as vividly spotted as other styles.
Mukerji & Basu, (2011) speculates that building technology and skill available in India is probably
not favourable to such architecture. It may be conjectured the absence indicates that the ideals of
deconstruction are yet to become noticeable realities of the Indian society. He also states that
several unfinished design competition entries and students’ project reveal the contemporary Indian
architect’s fancy for this strain of post modernism.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 28

Charles Correa

Charles Correa’s creation of the pavilion for Hindustan Lever at the Industrial Trade Fair
(1961) stands as the early example of deconstructivism in India using the concepts of
fragmentation, warped planes and diagonal elements. These architectural tools have often been
used to generate contemporary designs. This structure can be described as a mass of random,
folded, exposed concrete slabs, creating the image of a huge, warped and crushed packing crate
with broken legends of Hindustan Lever boldly stenciled across. This pavilion was designed as a
deliberate attempt to excite and invite (Grover, 2011). It follows the idea of progression through a
maze, creating a path of ramps and platforms encased by walls. In this instance the space is
enclosed by a random folded reinforced cement concrete sprayed under pressure in-situ. The
platform provides both spatial and visual interest. The toplight “cannon” openings are used to set
up air convection currents (Uddin Khan, 1984, p.30). An exhibition designed by David Adjaye and
curated by Irena Murray, displayed the Hindustan Lever Pavilion model, in tropical hardwood is
spectacular; its design still radical after the building was erected in Delhi in 1961(Jackson, 2014,
p.155). The book of Top Architects- Asia [2] (The Leader of Architecture) published by
Archiword gives a compilation of Charles Correa’s works in which Correa explains how
his design for the pavilion inspired another building of his, a museum, in Winnipeg. He
asserted that the search for the form of the museum was of particular significance, as
it led him back to one of his earliest works, the experimental Hindustan Lever Pavilion
(1961). He explained how the random-plate concrete structure of it was able to
generate an ambience that expressed a heroic theme.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 29

Hafeez Sorabe Contractor

Hafeez Sorabe Contractor was born in Mumbai in 1950 in a closely knit Parsi family. As the
surname suggests, Contractor’s family has deep roots in the building trades. By the early 20th
century, Contractor says, his ancestors were wealthy industrialists, well diversified into power plants
and liquor (Brook, 2014). In the book, ‘Architect Hafeez Contractor- Selected Works (1982-2006)’
written by Prattima Manohar (2006), she quotes Contractor about his style-

"As an architect I have also refused to be bound by one set of beliefs. According to me, the
chase for a singular perspective of architecture (read style) is in conflict with the present era where
belief is often inundated by exponential change”.

As iterated by Mukerji & Basu, 2013, in the Infosys Mysore campus, Hafeez Contractor
employs the formal hermeticism of deconstruction, by constructing gravity-defying structures, with
an approach of dissolution of all meaning for the Software Development Block-4. It started as a
project that aimed at erecting the most employee-friendly work space. Mr. Narayana Murthy asked
Ar. Hafeez Contractor to design an avant-garde workspace that houses 2500 professionals (White
Flag, 2011, p. 27). The building is a composition of jagged facades and lopsided fragments. It was
inspired by the rugged profile of the landscape, to echo the spirit of the site and the tenets of origami
(Manohar, 2006). This elevation is devoid of any concrete walls, solely built with laminated glass,
double glazing and ceramic frit glass for the outer skin.

The signs of distorted contours in all three directions give a sense of visual
rejuvenation. Protrudded, jagged planes of the structure form abstract compositions
with fractured geometry. The striking features of the building that coincides with that
of deconstruction are the various angles & inclinations and skewed atrium pockets
(Manohar, 2006). An open-plan with rectilinear profiles, with an extruding triangle or
“shell” that becomes the primary member of the structure shall be observed. The
glazing of the structure is done at this level. The glass is bound in place using
secondary and tertiary framing support structures. The glass triangles are not merely
aesthetic spaces but also functional in the sense that it has been utilized to create
additional rooms. There has been a confession from the architect’s side about the
immense challenges in the structural work of the building (White Flag, 2011, p. 33).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 30

Another creation of Contractor in lines with deconstruction is the Textile Lab and
Research Institute, Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Eccentric curving shapes, fluid facades,
abrupt angles fashion the façade in to a contemporary instance. The metaphoric
interpretation of this structure is considered to be the flowing fabrics and spinning
wheel (charkha). The entire building is raised on a podium. There are separate blocks
for research combined with admin, conference facilities and guest houses & staff
quarters. The central atrium has a steel frame swathed in Teflon fabric, symbolically
representing the ‘charkha’. Other probable decon works of Contractor may be the
Security Exchange Board of India, Mumbai, Infosys Progeon, Bangalore, Proposed
Reliance Office, Mumbai and Jindal Office, Gurgaon having a common feature that a
one point projection with a vertical member seeping through it.

The Architects Magazine blog (December, 08, 2016) written on the Manoj
Bhavan Highway Restaurant in Maduranthagam designed by Ar. Murali Murugan of
Murali Architects, Chennai. This restaurant owned by Mr. Padmakaran, is situated
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 31

along the 100 feet wide Chennai- Trichy National Highway. The idea behind this project
in this concept is to attract and arrest the attention of fast moving highway vehicles
from a distance. The use of geometry, bold shapes, and sharpness, play of varying
silhouette, material, texture, colour and form is a refreshing attempt in architecture.
The massive structures with irregular angles create three different faces to the
onlookers. It tries to denote that the travelers feel welcome from all directions. The
three faces create a visual axis that at first appears as haphazardness and chaos. The
novel design creates an atmosphere of building mass and slanting walls that is utilised
in the rejuvenating interiors. The use of concrete creates an unfinished look. Exteriors
and interiors of the restaurant make use of exposed concrete and plywood shuttering.
Cantilevers are formed by steel truss framework. Use of exposed concrete and neutral
color scheme of various tones of grey and white denotes balance and uniformity
complimenting the usage of the irregular angles. The director’s room is cantilevered to
overlook processing and flow. The niches formed inside the building due to the
irregular walls, is used for seating along the interior. The tower adjacent to the
restaurant building acts as a focal point till 3 km radius. It can be described as a
structure of verticality, vastness, massiveness and landmark. Another probable decon
creation by Murali Architects may be House of Arunagiri.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 32

Manit and Sonali Rastogi

Manit and Sonali Rastogi are the creators of Morphogenesis, based in Delhi
and Bangalore. They believe in sustainability and try to imbibe it in every design of
theirs. Infosys Campus, Nagpur is a contemporary attempt at that. This on-going
project has a bunch of modules or tubes stacked one on top of another to achieve
column-free spaces in a 4- floor format and vertically connected through an atrium and
staircase. It maintains an angle of ± 22.5° throughout to generate new ground at
elevated levels. The major breakthrough of this project is to attain a net zero discharge
of energy, water and waste. The master plan is radial ideated in accordance to the
topological condition and wind direction at the site. The orientation of the building is
such that 90% of the building shall be daylit and is glare-free. Chettinad Health City
located in Chennai is a centre for research and healthcare. This city is an important
hub for education and the reason for the design choice of a bold and contemporary
aesthetic embodies this youthful and progressive stance. Almost the entire surface
developed from geometric tessellations resulting in a faceted and fluid surface texture
across the entire auditorium. Technically, the surface area was augmented for better
acoustics by creation of 3-D triangulated pattern. Lighting was designed in ribbon-like
coves running within the acoustic board lines. Resource optimization was employed
with the acoustic boards to create a tectonic play. InForm architects is the brain child
of Ar. Kiran Venkatesh based in Bangalore.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 33

The Tillany Museum near Bangalore, by InForm Architects, is considered to be


a conscious effort at deconstruction (Mukerji & Basu, 2011, p. 14). The Tillany Fine
Arts Museum and Gallery is sponsored by a charitable organization and the social
program of the museum is to encourage highly talented artisans and the ones from
poor not been able to promote their work or have the means to create art consistent
with their talents, and display their work in the right environment. Located near the
village of Baliganapalli, Tamil Nadu (about 60 km away from Bangalore), it holds
various paintings and sculptures. On the tabula-rasa site, a regular Cartesian grid is
subjected to local deformations generating three separate bars. The central bar is
manifested as a 40 foot high sky lit atrium with two interlocked flights of stairs and the
floors on the two side bars become galleries for exhibiting artwork (Descroll, 2013).
Other examples with the use of deconstruction by these architects are R Residence,
KS Residence and Clubhouse at VT.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 34

Sanjay Puri Architects (SPA)

Sanjay Puri Architects founded in 1992, is one of the most sought after
architectural and design firms in India. His avant- garde architectural style is truly
unique and a true expression of his creativity. The essence of Sanjay’s design theory
is creating innovative design spaces that are contextual but at the same time
sustainable. “The ways spaces are being perceived and used are constantly evolving
and architectural and design is incorporating these changes of perception based on
demand as well as exploring new possibilities of space dynamics.”

“My work strives to evolve innovative design solution that are contextual and
sustainable and create spaces that are exhilarating to experience while being
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 35

functional.”Sanjay Puri worked under Ar. Hafeez Contractor through his 5 years of
architectural education and 4 years after, too. When asked about his admiration for
works of other architects, he replied the Jewish Museum in Berlin by Daniel Libeskind,
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Frank. O. Gehry and BMW Welt in Munich by
Coop Himmelblau. It can be noticed that all the three architects are deconstructivists
(Interview with Anil Mascarenhas for IIFL). His style resembles deconstructivist
architecture, according to an article in Wallpaper* magazine, which analysed several
Indian architects. Puri’s work is inspired by those who have actively practised
deconstructivism, such as Bernard Tschumi and Rem Koolhaas. Several large
volumes intersect and juxtapose at several points in Puri’s design (Deepali Nandwani,
Verve Magazine, 2017). In one of Puri’s works, called The Street, an educational
institution building, he has used angular windows or the “Fenster windows” which are
used by Frank Gehry in his creation. The fenster windows are groups of tilted windows
which according to Gehry are “like a swarm of bees coming at a wall” (C. M.
Mathewson, 2006). “What’s the point of a house that looks similar to someone else’s?
I prefer the abstract – deviating from the boxes to explore spaces in a different light,”
he says. Sanjay Puri, the Mumbai based architect subtly utilizes this concept in most
of his works, AVLC Building, Lonavala being an example for its design of interior
spaces (Mukerji & Basu, 2011, p.14). The AVLC project was a 4,921 sq. ft. plot of a
leisure centre that would comprise plenty of lounge areas, cafeteria, souvenir

shop, badminton court, table tennis room, squash court, mother care room,
siesta room and children’s room, among others. The basic plan of the place was to
delineate the entire unit into several platforms of varying heights. Cafeteria, library,
office, lounge and internet café are separated only by ground level. The beautiful
natural surroundings shall be visible from each space within the building. The floating
panels in the ceiling are linear trapezoidal planes of varying heights and depths
highlighted with the use of reflective lighting. Irregular- shaped linear platforms in white
sandstone, with rising and falling wood partitions separate the rooms. The floating
ceiling panels and layered walls help in achieving the abstract sculptural feel. The
exterior comprises of 24 ft. high wood and glass exterior skin. Internal lounge platforms
of varying heights extend out in to the landscaped foreground creating continuity
between interior and exterior. The ceiling is adorned with AC ducts and structural
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 36

system & electric cable trays painted in black, the floating panels in wood and shades
of white giving the sculptural effect vividly. The wood partitions are responsible for
privacy to the lounge areas, display spaces, nternet café and library. The rear wall has
i

been fragmented into a series of panels accentuated by reflected light, thus again
giving the perfect sculptural backdrop. Each level consist a number of wooden
partitions that significantly change the direction in plan and vary in height and thickness
simultaneously. This in turn, creates a sense of rhythm and achieves the sculptural
effect. This project is famous for its inspirational designs which can

cohabit peacefully with nature functionally and creatively. There were two major
restrictions before the commencement of the project: the main steel portal frame had
already been ordered. Thus, the design had be worked around the preconceived
rectangular framework Puri managed it by weaving of glass- wood skin in and out of
the rectangular frame and creating angling facades. This constraint would not be
apparent even slightly in the built form and was noted down from the words of the
architect himself. Another restriction was that it had to be completed within 6 months
which meant the designs had to be finalized within a week. In a week, they were ready
with the designs, issued working drawings, appointed contractors and commenced
work, under restricted budget. However, a considerable amount of design was
improvised on site during construction (White Flag, 2011, p. 219-225). “A while ago, I
began exploring the thought of sculpting the entire space; instead of breaking the
project into forms that juxtapose, what if I approach the building more holistically?” he
muses (Deepali Nandwani, Verve Magazine, 2017). The Bombay Art Society has a
design of fluid forms enmeshed together in parts emerging from each other in parts
constitute this small building.

2.8 PARAMETERS TO COMPARE ARCHITECTS

The parameters are based on design considerations inclusive of socio-cultural and


environmental aspects. The justification for selecting the parameters is done on the
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 37

basis of practicality. For analytical study of the architectural designs of the selected
architects, few parameters have been established such as-

Understanding their philosophy, ideas and inspirations

Aspects such as-

Functional

Spatial

Structural

Material

Aesthetics

Economics

User

Socio-cultural

Sustainability

These parameters change with time and technology availability. Each architect
has their own way of interpretation and analyzing various solutions for a single problem
(Khan & Raghuwanshi, 2003, p.5).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 38

According to Frank Gehry, the list of requirements in a project that should be


intending on satisfying-

Functional requirements for current and future programs

For cultural characteristics of the organization

For efficiency of operation

For being a good neighbour

For the context and scale of the environment

For the feelings and emotional reactions to living in or visiting the structure
(Boland, Collopy, Lyytinen, Yoo, 2008).
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 39

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research design of the study is defined as the overall strategy used to consolidate the
data in a logical and coherent manner.

3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN

The study started as an exploratory one and transformed in to a descriptive one. It


predominantly would involve qualitative data and relatively less quantitative, as the scarcity of
influence of the movement has already been established.

This study can be called a descriptive one since it aims at laying out the facts as it is
(by generating case studies), observing the buildings in isolation (observational and
interpretive study) and comparing it among the other chosen architects’ works (comparative
study), analyzing the pros and cons with the help of the primary data collected through
interviews conducted with the architects, the officials/owners, structural engineers and
labourers of those buildings (analytical study) and the observational notes produced by the
researcher. A mixed methodology is considered to be used in the study. It comprises of the above
mentioned strategies- observational, interpretive, comparative, and analytical. The research
methods used in the process are interviews, surveys, observation, interpretation, comparison and
analysis.

3.2 PRIMARY RESEARCH

A conversational interview with these professionals shall open avenues for the problem

Visits to the built spaces which has been done with this as inspiration & semiotic analysis
and validation from the architects

Interviews & surveys with architecture students who are budding shall be asked about
their idea of deconstructivism and if it can have a future.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 40

3.3 SECONDARY RESEARCH

The work that has been done so far in this study is the extensive secondary data collection
from our own library and internet.

about the concept in general

collect images and descriptions built examples abroad and in India

semiotic analysis of the already existing structures and spaces to narrow down to
keywords associated

about architects who practice or have in any one of their works incorporated
Deconstructivism

3.4 METHODS USED

The main objective of this research is to generate case studies of certain unidentified
deconstructivist buildings among us. This has been proposed due to the reason that the secondary
data with a deconstructivist perspective has only been buildings of the West. Thus, generating case
studies of Indian buildings in this viewpoint would be of help to the forthcoming researchers.

These case studies ideally are constructed with primary data but a few details derived
from the secondary data as well.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 41

4. MY CONCEPTS FOR DECONSTRUCTIVISM

REGION - KERALA

4.1 HYPOTHETICAL PROJECT 1

This is an hypothetical residence project in Mukkola, Trivandrum. The concept for this
building is made folding the plane in the shape of the site and reshaping it to make an origami look
alike .The commonly practiced style in Kerala is traditional architecture style with gables and sloping
roofs. This helps to cool down the temperature within the house and also provide protection from
rain. The main function of the gable is to let in air so that the hot air trapped within the roof may
move out of the building, thus providing more thermal comfort within the house. This idea is used
to recreate the same effect but by increasing the air movement within the house also by using the
stack effect.
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DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 43

Fig 1Wet Bulb temperature chart


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4.1.1 Materials for construction

The ideal materials that can be used for these buildings are GFRC (glass fibre reinforced
concrete) slab sandwitched over steel frames so that a void is created within the walls that can
trapp hot air aand provide thermal comfort for the building. And also the voids can be used to fix
the electreical and plumbing for the house.

Another advantage of using such designs are that when the building is demolished no part
of it is wasted because the building can be dessembled and reassembled using skilled labour.
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4.2 HYPOTHETICAL PROJECT 2

The building is a hypothetical project ; library and resource center situated in kovalam,
it is inspired from the courtyars of the kerala tradional house called ettukettu with two couryards .
the functions of these courtyard is to provide the house with light and ventilation and this section is
altered to create a dynamic form and also to improvice this function by redirecting the sunlight which
falls on the panel.
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And also the materials are the same as the above mentioned sandwitching gfrc panels over
steel frames.the panels which redirecting the sunlights are materals that can absorb heat and just
reflect the light to the interiors.
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4.3 HYPOTHETICAL PROJECT 3

This is a appartment project in Jagathy, Trivandrum. This has a plane reactangular


elevation but has a tortured geometrical plan. The concept is to make the building look like a
combination ofperfect squares by breaking the concept og perspective . the evolution of the design
is done by selection the view points around the building and drawing perspective lines to the site
from all view points around and then adjusting the design after zoing. And also these perspective
lines which influenced the building are marked on the exterior ground of the building so that the
build and the environment may merge to one another.
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5. REFERENCES

1. Deconstructivist architecture’ Philip Johnson and mark wigley.


2. Arch daily
3. Form , space and order
4. A visual dictionary of architecture, FRANCIS D K CHING
5. The architecture of deconstruction – Derrida’s Haunt
6. Deconstruction in a nutsghell by JOHN D CAPUTO.
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6. APPENDIX

1. Allison, David B.; Garver, Newton (1973). Speech and Phenomena and
Other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs (5th ed.). Evanston: North western University
Press.. Retrieved 8 September 2017. A decision that did not go through the ordeal of the
undecidable would not be a free decision, it would only be the programmable application
or unfolding of a calculable process...[which] deconstructs from the inside every
assurance of presence, and thus every criteriology that would assure us of the justice of
the decision.

2. Morris, Rosalind C. (September 2007). "Legacies of Derrida:


Anthropology". Annual Review of Anthropology. 36 (1): 355–389.

3. Busch, Brigitta (1 December 2012). "The Linguistic Repertoire


Revisited". Applied Linguistics. 33 (5): 503–523^ Esch, &; Solly, Martin (2012). The
Sociolinguistics of Language Education in International Contexts. Bern: Peter Lang.
pp. 31–46.

4. "Deconstruction – Art Term". Tate. Retrieved 16 September 2017. Since


Derrida’s assertions in the 1970s, the notion of deconstruction has been a dominating
influence on many writers and conceptual artists.

5. Douglas, Christopher (31 March 1997). "Glossary of Literary


Theory". University of Toronto English Library. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 52

6. Kandell, Jonathan (10 October 2004). "Jacques Derrida, Abstruse


Theorist, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2017.

7. Derrida, Jacques; Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1997). Of


Grammatology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University

8. Saussure, Ferdinand de (1959). "Course in General


Linguistics". Southern Methodist University. New York: New York Philosophical Library.
pp. 121–122.. In language there are only differences. Even more important: a difference
generally implies positive terms between which the difference is set up; but in language
there are only differences without positive terms. Whether we take the signified or the
signifier, language has neither ideas nor sounds that existed before the linguistic system,
but only conceptual and phonic differences that have issued from the system.

9. "Deconstructionist Theory". Stanford Presidential Lectures and Symposia


in the Humanities and Arts. 1995. Retrieved 8 September 2017.

10. Derrida, Jacques; Bass, Alan (2001). "7 :Freud and the Scene of
Writing". Writing and Difference (New ed.). London: Routledge. p. 276. ISBN 978-
0203991787. Retrieved8 September 2017. The model of hieroglyphic writing assembles
more strikingly—though we find it in every form of writing—the diversity of the modes and
functions of signs in dreams. Every sign—verbal or otherwise—may be used at different
levels, in configurations and functions which are never prescribed by its "essence," but
emerge from a play of differences.

11. Nietzsche, Friedrich; Clark, Maudemarie; Leiter, Brian; Hollingdale, R.J.


(1997).Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge
University

12. Zuckert, Catherine H. (1996). "7". Postmodern Platos: Nietzsche,


Heidegger, Gadamer, Strauss, Derrida. Chicago: University of Chicago

13. Heidegger, Martin; Macquarrie, John; Robinson, Edward (2006). Being


and Time(1st ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 21–23. .
DECONSTRUCTIVISM IN KERALA 53

14. Foucault, Michel; Howard, Richard; Cooper, David (2001). Madness and
Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (Reprint ed.). London: Routledge.
p. 602.

15. Brooks, Peter (1995). The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: From
Formalism to Poststructuralism (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University ^ Caputo,
John D. (1997). Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (3rd
ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. p. 32.

16. Lucy, Niall (2004). A Derrida DIctionary. Malden, Massachusetts:


Blackwell Publishing^ Klein, Anne Carolyn (1994). Meeting the Great Bliss Queen:
Buddhists, Feminists, and the Art of the Self. Boston: Beacon

17. Jump up to:a b O'Shaughnessy, John; O'Shaughnessy, Nicholas Jackson


(2008). The Undermining of Beliefs in the Autonomy and Rationality of Consumers.
Oxon: Routledge. p. 103.

18. Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play" (1966), as printed/translated by


Macksey & Donato (1970)