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Heritage in Design is a project by 3rd year students of Interior Architecture & Design, IIAD. Under the mentorship of Prof. Snehanshu Mukherjee, Course Leader for Interior Architecture and Design, Madhu Pandit, Associate Professor, and Mani Sharma, Assistant Professor, the students presented out-of-the-box designs for transforming historical sites into interactive spaces, without altering the existing structures in any manner. Four monuments [The Garden Pavilion, Sunderwala Mahal, Lakkarwala Burj, and Sunder Burj] were selected for this project, all of which are situated within the Sunder Nursery complex.
EXHIBITION AT SUNDER NURSERY
With the collaboration of The Aga Khan Trust for Culture students exhibited their work at Sunder Nursery amidst the monuments. The exhibition displayed architectural designs and ideas of historical monuments reimagined as interactive spaces. On the inauguration day, students demonstrated their concepts to visitors and faculty members. Students also provided them with an informative walk-through of the four monuments explaining the proposed design ideas. This created an interactive and immersive exhibition experience for the visitors.
The Garden Pavilion, located in Sunder Nursery's eastern section amidst lush vegetation, was built in the 18th century with lakhori brick and adorned with floral motifs. Recognizing its secluded microhabitat supporting diverse bird species, including the national bird Peacock, students envisioned a "Peacock Secret Garden." The proposed design encompassed comprehensive panels, architectural drawings, material samples, and 3D models.
The Lakkarwala Burj and its immediate surroundings often go unnoticed, despite the presence of serene and tranquil rose gardens that emanate a soothing atmosphere. Students proposed a pair of koshi chime totems, set on the main vista in such a way that it perfectly framed the Lakkarwala Burj and thereby drew viewers’ attention to the monument. Additionally, they proposed nurturing and harvesting the rose gardens surrounding the Lakkarwala Burj to produce rose water and gulkand, which visitors could purchase.
Yom-e-Mughlai, which translates to "day of Mughlai," was a day-long event held biweekly, transforming the Sunderwala Burj into a venue for Mughlai cuisine-related activities. The students proposed incorporating a food library, food carts, and a spice exhibit to attract more visitors and rekindle their connection with the Burj's rich history. Additionally, they suggested establishing a library featuring books focused on Mughal history and diverse global cuisines. A particular highlight would be books such as Ni'matnama, which contained authentic recipes from the Mughal kitchens.
To highlight the cultural and innovative importance of Sunderwala Mahal, students put forth the concept of 'Quwwat-e-Mann.' Quwwat-e-Mann is a non-visual reasoning experience that invites visitors to walk blindfolded through the maze-like interiors of the Sunderwala Mahal, experiencing the architecture through touch rather than sight. The objective is to foster active participation among visitors rather than them being mere spectators.
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