The dissertation also describes and analyses the works of Geoffrey Bawa to identify him as a critical regionalist. Kenneth Frampton postulates the theory of critical regionalism – to mediate the impact of universal civilization to elements derived indirectly from the place has been treated as an essential premise for this dissertation. Also the basic understanding of pluralist architecture as discussed by Norberg Schulz and Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre’s paper on ‘Why critical regionalism today? ’, forms a base to understand critical regionalism.
The first chapter helps in understandings a few terms that are related to the dissertation and is necessary to understand them. Thus, it clearly identifies these ‘terms’ and distinguishes them from one another. This chapter describes my understanding of critical regionalism and its features. It also explains how critical regionalism is different from other forms of regionalism and why it is important to us today. The second chapter gives a brief account on Bawa and his architecture. It describes changes and events that are responsible for the contemporary architecture in Sri Lanka. It also puts forth the basis for selection of case studies.
The framework of analysis based on the features of critical regionalism has also been described in this chapter. The third chapter explicitly describes the cases with necessary visual images. It also analyses these cases, based on the framework of analysis supplementing with available visuals and sketches to support the analysis. Finally the above analysis is concluded with a comparative review that would verify Bawa as a critical regionalist. 1 AIM: To study critical regionalism and its features, and analyze the work of Geoffrey Bawa to conclude whether he could be called a critical regionalist.
OBJECTIVES: To understand critical regionalism and its importance today, especially in the developing countries. To create a framework of analysis from the study of feature of critical regionalism. To study the works of Bawa over the period of time and its response to the features of critical regionalism Establish Bawa’s position in today’s context and whether he could be called a critical regionalist. SCOPE & LIMITATIONS Sri Lanka being relatively similar to India in terms of climate, history, socio-cultural setup, politics, etc. , the relevance of study to Indian conditions is possible.
Geoffrey Bawa has done some projects in India, which would help to understand his approach to design in a context more known to us. Since most of Geoffrey Bawa’s work is done on site hence availability of some drawings is difficult. Also most of the information is dependent on secondary sources, some aspects of Sri Lankan culture and parameters of analysis cannot be studied in detail. RESEARCH METHOD The overall research schedule was divided into three phases. The first phase involved the collection of secondary data on concerned issues in the dissertation. This data further analysed created a firm platform proving the susceptibility of his dissertation. The second phase essentially dealt with analysing the literature review for the framework of analysis, selection of cases and furnishing them with necessary building drawings. The literature review became the base for the framework of analysis against which the cases were analysed. The availability of information on the projects accrued from secondary sources was an important parameter for the selection of cases. Also the selection of projects from a different time of the overall time-span of Bawa’s architectural creations was another parameter.
Hence the four decades of Geoffrey Bawa’s work period were chronologically divided into three phases. A case was selected from each. Selecting similar projects would help to compare and study the changes with respect to time in his work. The architect’s residence is also analysed which would create a clearer understanding of his architecture. The final selection of cases was followed by the preparation of building drawings of the respective projects. The last phase was the detailed description and analysis of his projects. The analysis was furnished with necessary sketches to support it.
This phase also included the comparative study of these projects and the final conclusion proving Bawa’s position as a critical regionalist. Western critics have often described Geoffrey Bawa’s architecture as ‘Vernacular’ and ‘Regional’. It therefore becomes inevitable to understand these terms in reference to this dissertation. This chapter deals with understanding such terms i. e. Vernacular Architecture and Regional Architecture. It extensively describes Critical Regionalism, its features and its importance today. It attempts at distinguishing these terms from one another.