Education

IIM-A plans restoration of Louis Kahn Plaza

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on April 29, 2014 Published on April 29, 2014

Conservation to cost ₹15 crore per annum for 3-5 years



Known for its architectural marvel and considered as a heritage building of the 20th century, the famous Louis Kahn Plaza in the main campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad will under go its first ever restoration and conservation exercise since 1961.

Designed by celebrated American architect Louis Kahn, the complex has developed cracks over the past two decades and has been put on external support.

The management of the institute has decided to rope in Mumbai-based Somaya & Kalappa Consultants as the conservation architect for the Louis Kahn Buildings and London-based architect consultant, Peter Inskip + Peter Jenkins Architect Ltd have been appointed as the conservation consultants for the restoration study.

CSR activity

According to IIM-A Director, Ashish Nanda, the institute would require roughly around ₹15 crore per annum for the next 3-5 years to meet the expenses of restoration and conservation of the Louis Kahn Plaza. “This construction falls under the CSR activity. So, we plan to raise funds from the donors. We are open for naming rights if the donors want to explore that option,” he said.

“There were some elements that required urgent attention at the complex. We split that into two parts of conservation and restoration. We want to make it economically meaningful and ecologically sustainable,” said Nanda at a media briefing in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Red brick quality

The architect firm appointed for the task, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, maintained that the main challenge is the exposed-brick structure of the building. “There are many issues in the old building that have to be addressed in the present context considering the user needs evolved over the years. The main challenge is the porosity and quality of the red brick. We have to do the restoration without damaging the soul of the building,” said Brinda Somaya, principal architect, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants. The firm is also taking technical assistance from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Notably, considered as the architectural marvel of the 20th century, Louis Kahn Plaza had aged faster than it was anticipated, as it withstood the earthquake of 2001.

Published on April 29, 2014
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