Dear Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai,

We have been working on issues of continuity and change of 20th Century heritage (though a period from 1850 to present). With Dr. Kiran Joshi, Council of Architecture and NIASA, we have also had faculty and conservationist training programs to better understand these issues. These programs have been organised by The Council of Architecture and NIASA and hence are authentic and relevant to the discipline of architecture, history and continuity.

Several alumni architects and students from Ahmedabad have requested the Council of Architecture- NIASA to organise similar seminars – to bring awareness on these cogent scientific processes of both respecting 20th Century Heritage as well as adapting it to contemporary needs - evolves. There exist internationally accepted and time-tested guidelines for change/additions/modifications to seminal projects of the Modern era like CEPT, Gandhi Ashram, Chandigarh, etc.

So as suggested by respected academicians and architects from across several nations (Myrto Vitart, Alexander Tzonis, Liane Lefaivre n others) we trust CEPT would show restraint to ad-hoc changes and over the next few months - could evolve a cogent mechanism of change and respecting 20th Century heritage based on these internationally accepted norms, This would be a model of professional ethics for the entire nation and probably SAARC region as well.

Below are some significant references sent to us by ICOMOS and Dr. Kiran Joshi - links to key organizations working on Modern / 20 C heritage.

  1. The earliest group for preservation of 20C heritage is DOCOMOMO (International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings Sites and Neighbourhoods of theModern Movement) and they still have the largest presence. Their website1 offers considerable information.

  2. The next international organisation of importance (and also the official adviser to World Heritage Centre) is ICOMOS's International Committtee on 20C Heritage (ICOMOS- ISC20C). The website2 offers further links345. The toolkit has a section, particularly the Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that have achieved Significance within the Past Fifty Years by the National Park Service, U.S.6 Also, the SECTION 4: SUSTAINABILITY AND ADAPTIVE REUSE OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY HERITAGE and the SECTION 5: CASE STUDIES OF TWENTIETH -CENTURY HERITAGE CONSERVATION PROJECTS can be consulted.

  3. Another important link / resource for raising awareness of the value of Modern Heritage is UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and its Modern Heritage Programme

  4. The Getty Conservation Institute is also very active with its "Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative".7 for their two recent projects, of which the project for conservation of Louis Kahn's Salk Institute should be a best practice - to quote in the case of Ahmedabad.

  5. The Getty gives conservation grants for modern projects8

  6. The UIA also has a Twentieth Century Architectural Heritage Repository.9

  7. The Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW Inc, Australia10

  8. The London-based The Twentieth Century Society11 Could be useful, especially as a reference for 20C Architecture in India.

Would look forward to a positive engagement from CEPT. The immediate appeal would be to show restraint to ad-hoc changes on the CEPT campus and initiate a discussion on the legitimate process of change, modification and additions, on lines similar to Gandhi Ashram.


Durganand Balsavar 8, May 2015

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  • 3. ISC20C Heritage Alerts -; Madrid Document
  • 4. http://icomos-;
  • 5. ISC20C Heritage Toolkit -
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