Among the structures that came into existence after independence is the tower in the middle of Gujarat University building with triangular shape that draws our attention. Its architect was Atmaram Gajjar (1900-1960). We recall his memory when we see Gajjar Hall near Law Garden designed by him. ATIRA (1952) and Physical Research Laboratory - PRL (1954) were designed by Achyut Kanvinde. These institutional buildings are the specimens of modern architecture.
A change was marked in the field of architecture when Le Corbusier, a French architect with international fame entered the field. Among the architectural structures he designed, the noteworthy structures are Sanskar Kendra (1954) and Ahmedabad Textile Mill Owners’ Association (ATMA) (1954). These buildings have a long entrance with ramp under the open sky. ATMA structure is strongly disciplined. The facades have sun breakers and fins in exposed concrete. Balkrishna Doshi established School of Architecture in 1962. He designed the buildings of School of Architecture and L.D.Institute of Indology (1962).The round building of District Panchayat is very attractive.
Louis Kahn, an architect from America’s Havard University has designed the structure of Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A-1962). The construction with exposed bricks catches everyone’s attention. Gautam Sarabhai has designed the building of NID (1964) and the geodesic dome of Calico Mill’s Retail Shop. Incidently, the dome is now in a damaged condition.
In the field of theatres, Relief Cinema was built in 1951 and Drive-in Cinema, a noteworthy theatre with novelty came into existence in 1972. After that, revolution in the field of theatre was seen with the advent of Multiplex - Fun Repulic.
Heritage and Modern Bungalows
The oldest society in Ellisbridge area, on the western side of the river, was Pritamnagar Society. Wealthy people of Ahmedabad covered Shahibaug Area. The bungalow of Sir Chinubhai Baronet is unique. Because the construction has mixed Gothic style, the bungalow looks like a palace. At present, the bungalow is saved from being destroyed. It is surrounded by Shilalekh apartments. The bungalow of Sheth Ambalal Sarabhai is called ‘Retreat’. Its design was prepared by a Bengali architect, Surendranath. The bungalow of Sheth Mangaldas Girdhardas Parekh has European style. At present, there is a hotel and restaurant in the bungalow.
The design of Amit Ambalal’s residence and Dave House was made by a French architect Bernard Kohan. The design of Manorama Sarabhai House (1955) and Shodhan House (1956) was made by Le Corbusier. Both these bungalows are well known for their unique architecture.
Claude Bartley made the architectural design of Shalimar Lalbhai House 70 years ago. Charles Correa designed the bungalows of Dilip Parikh and Ramakrishna Harivallabh. The architects of the city, Balkrishna Doshi, Hasmukh Patel and Leo Parera designed the architectural structures of residential houses. These structures are novel and unique in their own way. Achyut Kanvinde prepared the design of Harivallabhdas House (1964) and Leo Parrera prepared the design of Avani Shah’s House. Contemporary Bungalow with heritage charm of Mohit Shah designed by C. Naren. The bungalows of the wealthy people on C.G.Road are remarkable. When C.G. Road became commercial zone, all these bungalows were demolished one after the another and now a grand commercial complex has come into existence. These days the rich people have a craze to make farm houses. We can see numerous farm houses around Ahmedabad.
Charles Correa started blending of the old architecture with the modern one. He designed the new building of museum in 1964 of ‘Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya’, keeping in mind Gandhiji’s residence ‘Hridaykunj’ and other buildings. After the death of Louis Kahn, the new building in IIM campus like Ravi Mathai Centre etc have been designed by Anant Raje by blending the new style and the old one. He has also designed the beautiful building of MICA.
Among the contemporary architectures, our attention is drawn to Balkrishna Doshi’s office studio (1981) and Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute designed by him. Its semicircular ceiling and elevation look impressive at the first sight. Mandela Architects has designed the building of Centre for Environment Education (CEE-1988) conducive to environment, preserving the trees intact. Recently, extension of IIM building is designed by Bimal Patel.
Amdavad-ni-Gufa (1992) is a creation of well known painter M.F. Hussain and architect Padmashri Balkrishna Doshi collaboratively. It is an underground ferrocement structure with optimally structured roof shells in china mosaic protruding over ground.
A 200 feet high sky scrapper, revolving Patang Hotel is a phenomenal and milestone building of Ahmedabad. It is a pride of Ashram Road. Its architect Hasmukh Patel has designed other remarkable buildings like Reserve Bank at the end of Gandhi Bridge, St.Xaviers’ Loyola High School, Dena Bank on Ashram Road and High Court on S.G. Highway.
The architectural structure of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI-1992) designed by Bimal Patel fetched Agakhan Award. Bimal Patel is actively engaged in the Riverfront Development Project.
The structures of Tagore Hall and Premabhai Hall draw our attention for their unique architectural design. The wall column outside the building appears unique. The institutional architecture of Prathama Blood Centre and Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA-1991) is modern. Prathama Blood Centre is designed by architech Gurjit Singh.Gujarat Univercity Convention Centre is the recently developed latest architecture of the city.
The architecture of Torrent Research Centre (TRC) is wonderful as it gives feeling of winter in summer. Its special system is developed for cooling by architects-Nimesh Patel and Parul Zaveri. Again, Nirma University Campus is very different in architecture, designed by Bakul Amin.
The newly constructed pavilions of Science City are unique and they have novel design by architect Rajeev Kathapalia. The I-max 3-D theatre is the first of its kind in India. It gives an appearance of a step well. There are steps leading to basement, and there is a large screen to project films.
The symbolic figures carved on Vinod Kinariwala’s memorial are remarkable. The memorial erected to commemorate Maha Gujarat movement- Shahid Smarak is a fine piece of architecture. Morarji Desai’s Samadhi ‘Abhayghat’ reminds visitors of Rajghat at Delhi.