Following the end of British rule in 1947/48, architects in the territories of today’s India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka embraced the language of modernism as a means of proclaiming their autonomy, articulating their national identities, and enacting social progress. From the concrete governmental complexes of Dhaka to the climate-adapted houses of Colombo, new approaches to architecture offered a break from the British colonial past.
The exhibition highlights such key figures as Indian architect Balkrishna V. Doshi, the only South Asian winner of the Pritzker Prize in Architecture; Minnette de Silva, the first woman architect of Sri Lanka; and Yasmeen Lari, the first woman architect of Pakistan, among many others. Original sketches, plans, photographs, audiovisual materials, and films are featured alongside newly commissioned images by photographer Randhir Singh and models constructed by Cooper Union students.
Image: Raj Rewal, Mahendra Raj. Hall of Nations, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. 1970–72. Demolished 2017. Exterior view. 2015