• Student Jayannti Singh
  • Code UG180224
  • Faculty Architecture
  • Tutor/s Shweta Ranpura
  • TA Milap Salot

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There exists an inherent contrast between the time of construction of heritage buildings and the time in which they are reimagined. Therefore, the chosen strategy, of creating an intervention in contrast to the existing, stemming from the existing architectural approach in adaptive reuse, focuses on design strategies for intervening. Manifested either in the form-form relationship, or the form-space relationship between the old and the new, it is an attempt to clearly demarcate the existing from the new, a gesture done to respect the historic and architectural significance of the host . The Watson Hotel, its exposed iron frame building, sits in stark, albeit unintended contrast to its immediate context . One amongst the first there to be conceived, the industrial, prefabricated design for the building was rejected thrice, for it did not fit into the architectural style of its time. After its realization too, the numerous buildings that came after it to form its context today rejected its ‘industrial’ aesthetic again, by falling back into the Victorian Gothic style more familiar to them . It is this legacy of the Watson Hotel, its unintentional divergence, that appropriates an intervention highlighting this unintended contrast, by itself being in intentional contrast to the existing . This juxtaposition, of heritage and innovation, of materials, of structure, of expression and of form is achieved through contrasting surfaces that work as a frame, fulfilling part of their purpose to make visible that which is retained, its spatial nature, its texture and its qualities. Contrast thus becomes a means, achieved through surgical destruction, as well as addition to produce enough attention to give the existing built form a desired visibility .