German firm bags Tamil Nadu assembly building contract
Berlin-based German architects Gerkan, Marg und Partner has
won international tender for undertaking Tamil Nadu's legislative assembly
building in the port city of Chennai. Unlike the present office of political
power - Fort St George, a 17th century building - the new assembly complex will
blend classic Tamil traditions with urban aesthetics.
When bids were invited last year, about 25 architects had evinced interest. Nine
were shortlisted, and of these, three submitted designs. A five-member
evaluation committee, which included architects, chose the design of GMP, ahead
of Chennai's Burt, Hill & CRN Rao. A GMP team is expected in the city soon to
finalise the design. The planning contract has already been awarded.
The state assembly building, with gross floor area of about 160,000 sq. metres,
is due to be completed by 2010, and will house all institutional functions. The
geometry of the structure is derived from the traditional, round chakra (mandala)
motif, consisting of circles of various sizes inscribed in 36 isosceles
triangles. With its highly visible glass dome over the assembly hall, the design
also echoes the features of Dravidian temple complexes.
There will be an inner courtyard with five round courts creating public,
semi-public and secure areas. A spacious citizens' forum on the south side will
have the largest circle in the mandala. The three other round courtyards will
house assembly hall, legislative assembly chamber and convention hall.
[May 5-11, 2008]