The Mill Owner’s Association Building in Ahmedabad was selected as the venue to commemorate Prof BV Doshi as our Guest Editor in Dec 2017
Take a tour of this Le Corbusier wonder in Ahmedabad with its dedicated caretakerELLE DECOR India recently celebrated its 17th anniversary with Prof BV Doshi on board as Guest Editor for a one-of-a-kind issue. The Mill Owner’s Association Building in Ahmedabad was selected as the venue to commemorate this occasion, which coincided with the 90th birthday celebration of Prof Doshi, who worked on the structure himself, together with renowned architect Le Corbusier.
We decided to get in touch with Abhinava Shukla, the Secretary General of the Ahmedabad Textile Mills Association who has been striving hard to keep the glory of this marvel intact. Having completed 19 years of working at the architectural marvel last month, he talks about his surreal experience of the place. Having gone through numerous hurdles in his tenure, he claims that it is his possessiveness for the structure that has enabled him to keep the identity and charm of the edifice intact.
The path from the entrance, further through the ramp and on to the various spaces and their transitions, form a unique choreography of spatial sequences. When asked about his favourite spot, he reveals: “There is a concrete seater outside my office on the first floor, a peculiar design of Corbusier. I just go out and sit there. Whenever I feel low, I don’t take a holiday and go there instead to recharge.”
During his initial years, Abhinava stumbled upon a remark written by Prof Doshi on the upper floor in 1955 and kept wondering what it was. Finally in 2006, exactly 51 years after it was written, he was able to confirm that it was an instruction he had written for the workers on site. This revelation happened on one of his most memorable events, Prof Doshi’s 80th birthday celebration, which was attended by the old mill owners.
After the change in name from Ahmedabad Mill Owners Association to Ahmedabad Textile Mills Association, it became commonly known among the locals as the ATMA building or the ATMA auditorium. He feels this has caused it to lose its characteristic charm and is trying to change this by re-establishing its previous identity. To achieve this, they have designed a logo — which is printed on their stationary — and have also placed a board outside with the title ‘Mill Owners Association of Le Corbusier’ along with the names of the two organisations with offices there.
Also read: A living legend edits our 17th anniversary issue