The in size and stands 20 feet

The Siddi Saiyyed
w71 Mosque, one of the most famous
mosques of the city is built in this style. It is entirely arched and has ten
stone latticework jallied windows on the side and rear arches. This jailw72  is 16 feet in size and stands 20
feet above the ground, believed to be completed in six years by the continuous
efforts of 45 artistsw73 . The rear wall is filled with square
stone pierced panels in geometrical designs. The two bays flanking the central
aisle have reticulated stone slabs carved in designs of intertwined trees and
foliage with a palm motif.

The old city
of Ahmedabad, is in itself, an example of excellent town planning. Situated in
south of Sabarmati river, a Pol is a typical housing cluster of the old city
established during the divided Mughal-Maratha rule by the residents due to
tension between Hindus and Muslims. The streets were very narrow which helped
them during attacks by the enemy. All the streets had sloping roads which lead
to the riverfront as a measure of natural drainage. Chabutra was a unique pole
like structure for feeding birds, usually found under banyan trees in all the
Pols, which suggested that the people had learnt to live in harmony with nature
and other creatures.

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During the
freedom struggle of India, Ahmedabad served as the home of many prominent
nationalists like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. The Indian independence
movement developed roots in the city when Mahatma Gandhi established two
ashrams – the Kochrab Ashram near Paldi in 1915 and the Satyagraha Ashram (now
Sabarmati Ashram) on the banks of the Sabarmati in 1917. In 1947, Ahmedabad was
the focus for settlement by Hindu migrants from Pakistan, who expanded the
city’s population.

By 1960,
Ahmedabad had become a metropolis with a population of slightly fewer than half
a million people, with classical and colonial European-style buildings lining
the city’s thoroughfares. After independence, modern buildings appeared in
Ahmedabad as it emerged as a mega city, crazy mix of architectural styles, some
bordering on the bizarre, others contemporary and cutting-edge, but all
combining to create a unique urban landscape that included commercial and
residential buildings, from fountains to gardens, under bridges and lakes.

The oldest
society in Ellis bridge area, on the western side of the river, was Pritam nagar
Society. The bungalow of Sir Chinubhai Baronet is unique. Because the construction
has mixed Gothic style, the bungalow looks like a palace. Alongside this, the
bungalow of Seth Mangaldas Girdhardas Parekh has European style.

The city
boasts of having four buildings designed by the legendary architect Le
Corbusier, including the privately commissioned Sarabhai Villa (1955). The
house was sited and designed to catch the winds in summer, but to be penetrated
by the sun in winter, thus minimizing its mechanical needs. The brise-soleil
cuts off the sun in summers, and the roof garden cools the rooms. The roof
gardens were Corbusier’s way of giving back to nature. Another brilliant example
of this climate responsive architecture can be seen in the Mill Owner’s
Association building (1954). It is oriented to catch the prevailing breezes
through its openings on east and west facades with reinforced concrete
brise-soleils and adjustable blinds, while the north and south facades are
blank with exposed brick work.

Later 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. B. V. Doshi returned to the
city from Paris to supervise Le Corbusier’s works. Mahatma Gandhi Labour
Institute designed by him has a semicircular ceiling and elevation, that look
impressive at the first sight. Amdavad-ni-Gufa (1992) is a creation of well-known
painter M.F. Hussain and Doshi collaboratively. It is an underground Ferro
cement structure, with optimally structured roof shells in china mosaic
protruding over ground. Sangath, his office is a passive design which reduces
greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere. Use of diffused sunlight in the
studio, and partly sinking it into the ground assures comfortable temperatures
at all times. Construction of vaults and covering it with broken white china
mosaic, which is insulating and reflective in nature brings the heat gain
through the roof down to zero.

From being Shah Jahan’s inspiration to build the
Taj Mahal, the city has seen its architecture evolve into the post-modernist
form. Take Pelican, a 10-storey tower on Ashram Road, built by N.G. Patel, a
leading city builder.

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