'CEPT'S ETHOS BEING TAMPERED WITH’
It’s deja vu. This time on CEPT University campus, one of the iconic institutions of the city. The guru-shishya tug of minds between celebrated architect Balkrishna Doshi and his illustrious student Bimal Patel is similar to the one that played out between mentor Vergherse Kurien, the father of White Revolution, and protege Amrita Patel at NDDB about a decade ago at 'milk city' Anand. In both cases the seniors seem to have been hurt by the gen-next that decided to move on, overlooking the veterans.
Breaking his silence, acclaimed architect and co-founder of CEPT University Balkrishna Doshi expressed his displeasure with remodelling of the buildings on campus. He told media on Thursday that he was not averse to changes but was upset that president Bimal Patel and his team did not consult him. Doshi had designed the campus and its first building in 1962.
"Buildings and organisations are not separate from each other. We should talk about buildings while keeping at the centre their values, ethics and cultural nuances. What will be Ahmedabad without landmark like IIMA, NID, Sarkhej Roza and a few others? In the last few years, buildings at CEPT have been changed. I am not against change. But it is being done without consulting me even though I am close to the institute and alive," he said. Doshi said CEPT is a model, both academically as well as architecturally for universities and schools everywhere. Today there are 400 schools in India and they all look to methods at CEPT for inspiration, while CEPT seems to be lapsing into a university bureaucracy.
"I do not wish to be a participant or passive onlooker of this ongoing reductive process," he while emphasising that he had no problem with any person at CEPT. Each building at CEPT is designed keeping elements like natural light, ventilation and elevation, making the campus a landmark. He said Patel knew his concerns. "He has been my student. I was involved in his selection as the president and he is aware of my contention," he said when asked if he plans to communicate issues with CEPT University bosses.