From our Desk 

BK&A On Built Heritage

Heritage is to be seen as an asset and as a tool for development. Heritage can bring in a lot of economic benefits, of which tourism is one of them. Many cities are surviving because of their old buildings. People crowd to see these heritage buildings because of their intrinsic value. At the same time, all the so-called "modern structures" are devoid of people. When the historic buildings are pulled down and replaced with characterless buildings, it adds to the problems of the city. Every city in India has already lost quite a bit of its heritage. Perhaps the destruction and loss of our built heritage raised awareness of the heritage. Also, what replaced them would also have made people more aware of what they were losing very fast. When people take pride in their heritage, our historic buildings will be safe.

But much of the heritage that is being lost should be conserved for future generations. One of the important assets that we can pass on to the next generation is our heritage. The conservation of the heritage buildings, which is the most sustainable way and leads towards development, is also the need of the hour. We should see heritage as an economic asset and not as a liability.

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Talk at the National University of Singapore

Dr. Benny Kuriakose presented a talk at the National University of Singapore for the Department of Architecture on September 16, 2022. He shared his expertise on traditional Athangudi tiles, also known as (Chettinad tiles or Karaikudi tiles), which are predominantly utilized in Southern India. For years, he has been utilizing these sustainable tiles in his projects. These tiles might have originated from the West (Victorian/Minton tiles). They were previously used in numerous buildings in Asian nations like India, Malaysia, and Singapore, which were British colonies. These are ecologically friendly tiles, which are manufactured by hand and without fire, and do not require any difficult maintenance. Once in a while, dried 'kopra' (coconut) is used to polish them.

Meet Our Designs

Seetharaman House

The Seetharaman House, designed by Benny Kuriakose and Associates, provides a respite from Chennai's scorching heat and dismal tones. The fundamental goal of the home's design was to employ natural materials to build a spacious, colourful, convenient, and easy-to-maintain traditional Kerala style home. A lovely place to rest is the timber "Charupadi" (inclined step) in the entry verandah. It is designed to include a back yard with a covered sit-out that doubles as extra party space. The lush courtyard, which is laid out like the Tamil word "Pa", is visible from every living space. Beautiful hardwood and Athangudi tiles in vibrant colours are used throughout the home. The traditional atmosphere is heightened by the restored antique furnishings and recovered timber pillars used in the interiors. 

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Newsletter Issue 07 - October 2022

Recent Newsletters

Workshop on Muziris Museum

Muziris Projects Limited has conducted a five-day workshop on Muziris Museums. Architect Femke Bijlsma, a specialist in museum design for the leading firm 'Kossmanndejong’, presented sessions on "how to rethink museum architecture in India rather than following a conventional approach". Professionals of different backgrounds, expertise and museum teams attended sessions where unexpected and new ways of thinking and doing museum design were stimulated. Five of our team members participated in the workshop. A two-day site visit to the proposed Muziris and Alappuzha Museums was also undertaken by team members along with Mrs. Femke as a part of the workshop.

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Recent Highlights​

INTACH National Convenors’ Convention 2022

Dr. Benny Kuriakose, Chairman, Advisory Committee, INTACH Architectural Heritage Division, presented the first session at the National Convenors' Convention organized by INTACH. It has been conducted to mark and celebrate 75 years of India’s independence, and 38 years of INTACH existence. More than 220 Chapter Convenors' attended the meeting in Delhi from 10th September to 12th September 2022 to reaffirm the commitment to conserve our heritage. In the session, Dr. Benny Kuriakose explored on the topic “Conserving Architectural Heritage and Use of Traditional Building Materials”. In the presentation, he addressed the long-term implications of embracing concrete and steel disregarding our heritage buildings, traditional materials, techniques, craftsmanship and our culture. He also emphasized the need to preserve our heritage buildings and cited them as a way to achieve sustainable development. He has also been the moderator for the first session on "Heritage : An asset for sustainable development".

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