Why do we design perfect elevations for mass housings?! This is a building next to my house completed about 6 months back. Some of the families have settled well now. Today I noticed these clothes hanging outside one terrace. A dish antennae sticking out at another point.

The builder has taken pains to get good plastering finish. The combination of colours, the efforts to hide ducts, make boxed windows, match lines,….ah the perfect ae-love-ae-son ( a very gujarati way of saying elevation :)) These will be perceived as eyes sores in the near perfect elevation designed by the architect. I pity him.

The Indian lifestyle does not support subordinance of rules and regulations in lifestyle. Each family will have a touch of their own.We are too diverse, and now united and mixed. One cannot expect even an upper middle class family to follow rules so that the building looks prettier for the person on the road. I mean really, is that so important? Trust me, if i was living in in an apartment like hiranandani alongwith 400 other identical balconies around mine, I would surely want to colour mine a bright orange and tell my friend standing below,” hey girl look up to the orange balcony!”. An idea to change. A DIY way of improving the apartment. Isnt that justifiable?

A bunch of us photographers and friends have been roaming and documenting the streets of pune. The area now called as the core city. Sadashiv peth ( सदाशिव पेठ) is an example. Or take any village or old street for example. The house owner would do up his house in his choice of colours, blue, pink, a balcony in white, maybe a door in red. It was diverse. Some people enclosed balconies, others put grills on them. Some put plants, and others put notices. This is diversity reflected in architecture. It gives a slap back to the aesthetics of international style architecture.
Why the heck should the world appear to be the same? Why shall buildings in mumbai look like those in shanghai? Dont we have any individuality? and that individuality will reflect when ‘masters of aesthetics’ as we call us architects will take a step back and let the owner adapt and build that home. A series of movies on world architecture featured dharavi slums. It is the perfect example of architecture without architects. kudos to the innovativeness there.

Im not saying architects are totally dispensable, ( though thats very much on my mind) .Think of an elevation which actually reflects diversity. Maybe a colour maze. Give the apartment owner a choice. The right to make his own home. Design an elevation which will allow for increment, change and yet make for good aesthetics. Shouldn’t mass housing have a say from the masses afterall?

Coming back to the neighbouring apartment building, Im expecting more surprises soon 🙂

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