The Chairman and Members of the Board of Governor of IIM-A on Friday withdrew the expression of interest that was put to demolish 14 dormitories in the campus designed by American architect Louis Kahn in the 1960s.
The Chairman – Kumar Mangalam Birla and other members of the IIM-A board in a letter dated January 1 said, “ We are sensitive to the feedback from some stakeholders who are not in agreement with this approach. We are therefore withdrawing the expression of interest that was put out. We will deliberate on the feedback received, re-evaluate
the options, consult the best global conservation and structural experts, and chart out a course of action, which the institute will communicate.”.
The letter said the institute’s expression of interest was to restore the core of the Louis Kahn buildings including the library, the faculty wings, and the classroom complex – and the dorms on the periphery of the complex.
Earlier the institute had said that dormitories have turned “unsafe” due to “dilapidation and structural deterioration”. It said the dormitories have suffered damage beyond repairs over the years, including the 2001 earthquake. Water seepage has also impacted it.
Louis Kahn was commissioned by scientist Vikram Sarabhai to design buildings and IIM-A was one of the iconic buildings built by him in the 1960s.
IIM-A director’s letter
IIM-A director Errol D’Souza in a letter to IIMA alumni also shared photographs to show the condition of the nearly 60-year-old brick structures.
“We felt it necessary to keep you informed as we are the custodians of the Louis Kahn buildings that have the potential to inspire future generations. Over the past couple of decades, the buildings have undergone dilapidation and structural deterioration,” the IIM-A director was quoted by the media as saying.
“The earthquake at the beginning of the millennium and water seepage through ageing and deterioration of the exposed brick walls has resulted in large cracks in the masonry and periodical detachments of it in fragments. They are unsafe for living,” he said in the letter.
In the 11-page letter, the director said they have attempted to restore these buildings.
It said they had brought in the best team of conservation architects and also invited international restoration consultants Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee to advise the institute.
He said the suggestion from the expert was to first restore one building and then based on the findings proceed to take up further work in other buildings.
“After long deliberations, it was decided to commit to doing whatever it takes to restore the core of the Louis Kahn buildings, the library, the faculty wings, and the classroom complex and the dorms on the periphery of the system of buildings,” Errol D’Souza said.
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