Fabien Charuau’s selection of five architectural elements from across the country that have inspired him

FEB 21, 2019 | By Fabien Charuau
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Ini Chatterji – Tropical home in Goa; Dean D’Cruz – Verandah at his home in Saligaon/Goa.
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Le Corbusier – Brise soleil at the Mill Owners’ Association Building; BV Doshi – Atira Guest House – Ahmedabad; BV Doshi – Premabhai Hall – Ahmedabad.

Ace photographer Fabien Charuau shares his pick of five architectural/design elements from some iconic spaces created by the foremost names in the industry. Scroll down for his well-informed and compelling views Ini Chatterji – Tropical home in GoaIn India the notion of Inside and Outside is a blurred border, starting from the verandah and finishing with the patio which is open to the sky and considered an intimate core of the Indian home. Tropical homes often use vernacular solutions to manage heat. Ini’s home does this an elegant and daring way. Lattices made of wood from coconut trees let light and wind enter the home. It is the perfect place to feel connected with Goan nature.Dean D’Cruz – Verandah at his home in Saligaon/GoaFor me, ‘une veranda’ in French culture, is a box made of glass panels, a place where one can sit inside with the feeling of being outside, and enjoy the winter sun. The concept of a verandah in India (the origin of the word) is very different. It is a corridor the home on one flank and a garden on the other. It is the ideal place to sit on a planter chair and sip on a gin and tonic.Le Corbusier – Brise soleil at the Mill Owners’ Association BuildingBesides being a beautiful word, worthy of being the title of a book, the Brise-soleil was a super innovation that kept the Nehruvian office buildings fresh and good-looking!BV Doshi – Atira Guest House – AhmedabadThe arches here were mainly used (if I were to guess) for romance, they connote the ruins of an ancient past. Sadly, this building by BV Doshi has almost been forgotten, and now lies almost delapidated. When I showed him the photographs, he started telling me about it, saying he hadn’t seen it for years. The descriptions of his designs were vivid, and when he spoke of how he wanted to bring a bit of romance to this building, the space came alive for me, and I could envision dancers and musicians in the yard, around a fire, under the night sky.BV Doshi – Premabhai Hall – AhmedabadBrutalist architecture was extremely significant for the non-aligned countries in the 50’s. Both created after decolonization, Chandigarh and Brazilia are examples of this modern outlook of the time on the cities of the future. This building, the Premabhai Hall, was created by BV Doshi in the 70’s, and is not used anymore. Its hollow empty shell is a monumental concrete cave. It is unique for its minimal beauty.

Photographs by Fabien Charuau