Hyderabad : The visitors to Hyderabad will now get to see a new architectural marvel along with historic Charminar and Golconda, thanks to the new ₹616-crore secretariat building
The sprawling new structure on the banks of Hussian Sagar is not just a seat of power but also a unique architectural attraction, along with the historic Charminar and the Golconda fort. Designed by the Chennai-based Architects Ponni Concessao and Oscar Concessao, the new secretariat appears to be in the Indo-Sarssenic style that blends the Indo-Islamic architectural features generally with domes.
According to the architectural history of India, the dome, an essential feature of Islamic architecture, came to India during Turkish invasions in the 12th Century AD. The practice of having a double dome began with the Humayun’s Tomb constructed by Akhar in Delhi in the 16th Century., In contrast, the multiple domes are used in the Taj Mahal, built by Shajahan in the first half of the 17th Century. Mughal Architecture, with a fusion of Hindu styles with Islamic architectural traditions, is essentially an Indo-Islamic style. The multiple domes and arches of the new secretariat perfectly fit in this style representing the syncretic and liberal Deccani style.
The designing was not easy. The designers had to sit with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao one to one in a design workshop. “ We had to plan and design the several spatial components and the facades of the Secretariat and we had to discuss the updated drawings,’ says Architect Ponni Concessao in a presentation on the new building.
The overall master plan has been zoned for the Secretariat building, ancillary buildings for visitors, police personnel, fire department, crèche, utility building, temple, mosque and church. Ample space has been planned for landscaping, hardscape with stone pavements, and softscapes consisting of lawns, native trees, fountains, parking for VVIP’s, staff and others. A replica of Asoka’s Four - Lion capital has also been installed on the main dome adding an authoritative look to the structure.
Despite the aesthetics of the new secretariat named after B R Ambekdar, there is room for political controversies too. State BJP has been alleging that the `Islamic’ features were to please the political ally of the ruling TRS (now BRS), the MIM party. But the reality is that the design can be a replica of the cosmopolitan culture of the Deccan.
The inauguration of the secretariat, originally scheduled for February 17, has been postponed in view of the MLC election code and the State Government has not announced the new date.