the-south-asian.com                                                                                                                                   DECEMBER  2001
about us             contact us                              data bank              past issues             the craft shop                                          the print gallery

Home

 

DECEMBER 2001 Contents

 Architecture

 Joseph Allen Stein
 A tribute by Ram Rahman


 
Art
 
A Spiritual Activist
 Rozalia Radhika Priya


 
Music

 Ghulam Ali

 Prem Joshua
 (Listen to the track
 'Lahore Connection')

 Maharaja
 (Listen to the track
 'Moria Badnawa')


 
Technology

 Telecoms & Software
 - Trends in south Asia

 Value/Wealth Creators

 Narayana Murthy - Infosys

 Sam Pitroda - C-DOT

 Aziz Premji - Wipro

 Sunil Mittal - Bharti Mittal

 Ambanis - Reliance

 Safi Qureshi

 Hassan Ahmed - Sonus

 Atiq Raza - Raza Foundries

 

 Literature/Books

 'It was five past midnight
 in Bhopal' - Lapierre

 
 
Performing Arts

 Simplifying Ramayana
 - Bharatiya Kala Kendra

 
 Viewpoint

 Islam's middle-path


 Mythology

 Sakti - Mother Goddess


 Films

 Nandita Das


Events

 Wharton India Economic
 Forum Conference


 Editor's Note

 

 
the craft shop

the print gallery

Books

Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of
India

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh

 

Page  3  of  3

 

An urban legacy

(cntd.)

Joseph Allen Stein, 1912-2001

A Tribute

by

Ram Rahman

Joseph_Allen_Stein_1986.JPG (40312 bytes) 
Joseph Stein, 1912 - 2001

 

What Stein achieved, in a way, was to bring his 'California Modern' into
an Indian context, altering his design vocabulary by the observation of
Indian life and construction systems. In Delhi, surrounding the IIC he
continued to build a series of buildings, which have become landmarks - the
Ford Foundation, the United Nations, the World Wide Fund for Nature and
most recently the huge India Habitat Centre. If anyone could match the
Lodhis and their architecture, it is this series of buildings built by Joe
through the 1960s and 1970s. The sensitivity to detail, construction,
material and texture of the buildings were matched by Margaret's equally
careful attention to the furniture, the textiles, the plants and the
seasonal flowerings of the bushes and trees. Joe's legacy is that of
living architecture - human in scale with spaces, which soothe and inspire.
It is no surprise that four decades of India's cultural life have been
nurtured at the IIC and at the Triveni Kala Sangam.

Less known is the stunning American School (1960-70) set in the rolling
landscape of Chanakyapuri. Here Stein used the existing landform and rocky
outcrops and designed his buildings to weave in and out of the space,
incorporating the rocks in surprising juxtapositions within the corridors
and classrooms. Not many people have seen the equally remarkable factories
that Joe designed for Escorts. His complex trussed roofs are classics of
20th century architecture and are a testimony to his design discipline and
collaboration with engineers and contractors, as well as his adaptation of
local technologies to highly sophisticated design experiments in what
would otherwise be mundane industrial environments. In Delhi, the huge
domed exhibition hall in the Trade Fair complex was the last of this
series.

Margaret Stein had worked for many years with the Tibetan refugees when
they crossed into India in the 1960s, and Joe had an abiding love for the
mountains, designing buildings in both Kashmir and Bhutan. Joe's interest
in larger environmental issues and the looming crisis of de-forestation in
the Himalayas led him to become an advocate of sustainable development in
ecologically fragile areas of the country. He helped organise a UNESCO
(United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation)
conference on the protection of the world's mountain environments in 1973.

Being an essentially shy man, Stein did not push to publicize his work or
publish as widely as he should have. He preferred to have his work speak
by example, and also showed by example how to live a complete life honest
to one's own beliefs. His old age was marked first by the loss of
Margaret, and then by infirmity, which was very difficult to watch. But
perhaps saddest of all was the collapse of his professional partnership
and the bitter aftermath. But he was well served by an excellent book on
his work, design philosophy, teaching and writing, by Stephen White:
Building in the Garden: The Architecture of Joseph Allen Stein in India
and California published by Oxford University Press in 1993. Stein was
awarded the Padmashri in 1992, was honoured by the JK Cements award and
the University of Madras conferred an honorary degree on him, the only
architect to be so honoured. The enduring impact of Stein is his built
legacy - which embodies the humanist and social idealism of this design
seer. India is the richer for his building in our garden.
 

____________________

 

 

Disclaimer 

Copyright 2000 - 2001 [the-south-asian.com]. Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.

Home