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Nari Gandhi, An Icon Remembered

A collection of Indian architects and interior designers of various ages were heard exchanging reminiscences at a special function held at Mumbai’s the Sir JJ College of Architecture to pay tribute to an architect who has left a lasting impression on them.

On his 16th death anniversary, the late architect Nari Gandhi’s family, friends and fans gathered together to celebrate his life (1934-1993) with a new book published by the Foundation for Architecture.

There was not a dry eye in the audience after his brother Jimmy Gandhi spoke at length about the iconic architect.

The elaborate monograph of one of the most original and innovative architects India has known, the talented apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright from 1956 to 1961, features 87 photographs by well-known photographers Bharat Ramamrutham and Uday Bandiwadekar from eight of his built works.

It also includes short analytical essays on Nari’s life and works by Canada-based architect-poet-calligrapher, Prof. H Masud Taj, who was present at the event.

A long and eloquent poem “Domain of Inbetween” that occurred while Prof. Taj stayed in several of Nari’s houses is featured in the book and was performed to a rapt audience. The poem contemplates the unique status that the house occupies in the realm of architecture.

Though recited in several parts of the world, this is the first time it is being published in 25 plates in its original calligraphy. Covered in wood with an engraved title on the front, the book has been elegantly designed by architects Pranav Upasani and Yashwant Pitkar.

“For students of architecture in the last 30 years or so, Nari Gandhi was the architect who was the product of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, who worked without drawings, who was rarely seen but whose architecture was to die for,” said Prof.
Mustansir Dalvi – senior faculty in Architecture, University of Mumbai.
 

“The production values of the book are evident from its unique cover, made of wood veneer with an etched title.”

The Foundation For Architecture (FFA) is a registered not-for-profit organisation with specific interests in publications, exhibitions, conferences and research on topics related to art, design and architecture.

FFA has launched itself as a publisher of art and design books with the publication of Nari Gandhi’s monograph – which is being distributed and sold through: Art & Design Book Press (Mumbai office and website: http://www.forarc.com), Amazon.com and independent bookstores in India, USA, UK and Western Europe (October 2009 onwards).

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