Friday, May 30, 2008

Ravindra Bhavan at Margao


The newly completed Ravindra Bhavan stands near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda,Margao. This complex for the performing arts will provide Margaoites and Shasttikars the cultural space required for large events, a need barely fulfilled by the Gomant Vidya Niketan auditorium presently. But does Margao's equivalent of Panjim's Kala Academy reflect an ethos in its architecture as well as Charles Correa's KA does?

The entrance driveway takes us to a waterbody from which images of Indian musical instruments emerge. Tablas, flutes and what looks like a cross between a harp and a Viking boat. Fountain nozzles await the day when they will give their maiden performance.


The main auditorium looks like a warehouse or hangar. Curved precoated metal sheets cover this block while mosaic tiled concrete slabs span the administrative area.

An attempt at minimalism crumbling to a weary industrial ambience. Obscure mediocrity successfully achieved through cliched shapes and images. Could you come up with some better lines?


The interior feels a little better with the mirror finish floor and images of music et al. We will have to walk very carefully here lest we skate across and slam into the walls. Correa was more prudent with his rough cota flooring at Kala Academy. At the trial run at Ravindra Bhavan, the Chief Minister ordered all the seats of the main auditorium to be replaced as they were found defective. Uh oh!

Perhaps Margao will get used to this unhappy building and adopt it lovingly over the years. But what the heck, bring on the dancing girls and let the show begin!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There could not be anything more ugly and offensive.