The CEPT University's new building- CEPT Academic Hubseems to have no takers among its alumni. Many members of the alumni have written a letter to the architect raising concerns over the proposed building. This comes a week after the architect of the project Christopher Benninger, made a presentation before students and alumni elaborating on the design of the new building.
Calling it the 'worst design in Indian architecture' and 'shockingly incompetent' building, many members of the alumni have raised objection to the design. According to them it demeans the legendary architectural building designed by CEPT founder and renowned architect BV Doshi. Benninger first came to the School of Architecture as a Fulbright Fellow in 1968. In late 1971he returned to CEPT, from the Graduate School of Design, where he was teaching, to initiate the School of Planning. The design CEPT officials have stated that the proposed design creates a two-level gathering portico, from which one enters the auditorium, accesses an elevator, and ascends stairs up to the first level.
The letter "I dread to see the internal spaces that connect the compartmentalised class rooms. This is the ethos missing that made and makes what CEPT is. The connection with the plaza is just by proximity and not with any architectural intention that is seen," writes an alumnus of the 1974 batch, a copy of which is with Mirror. Another alumnus, Aniket Bhagwat had also written a letter to Benninger. He noted, "In your explanation, you talk about the movement of people under the existing architecture building through from the New Plaza to the North Lawns.
You say and I quote- "I would like to see more people walking under the school of architecture". Yet in your video a series of what looks like concrete walls and planters (with ridiculous pink flowers) blocks the very movement you talk about. In fact the manner in which the building and ground meet is altered so fundamentally, that your promenade actually closes and seals itself of from the existing icon, far from being responsive to it.
You rant about the additions to the north facade of the existing building made and used by students as part of the inhabitation of the campus and yet your intervention destroys one of the most important relationships of the existing building: the manner in which it meets the ground." Speaking with Mirror, Bhagwat stated, "Doshi's architecture (building that houses the architecture faculty) brings narrative of modern Indian architecture and it is an inspiration to generations of people. The new building proposed lacks understanding (of CEPT) and is a piece of trivial architecture, worst in Indian architecture and shockingly incompetent," he stated.