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Heritage weekend by Navrachana university to relive the history of Vadodara

Heritage weekend by Navrachana university to relive the history of Vadodara

Heritage weekend by Navrachana university to relive the history of Vadodara
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The Navrachana University Center for Heritage Research is celebrating the Heritage Weekend from September 17-19th, 2021. The students and invitees will see the the first architecture project of Laurie Baker in Vadodara, Narrow Gauge railway history, mapping of heritage of Banyan trees and also a book launch of students documentation of historic houses of Bundi in Rajasthan.

The Center for Heritage Research was established at SEDA (School of Environmental Design and Architecture), Navrachana University last year with the purpose of conducting research in the area of Architectural and City Heritage. With rapid urbanization and haphazard development, the cities are losing their valuable heritage such as stepwells, old houses, older institutional buildings and even landscape and other infrastructure. Whereas change is inevitable in our society, however some exemplary (finest) examples of our heritage should be protected for future generation.

Faculty members and students of SEDA have worked in the Center for Heritage Research for last one year on some very innovative projects which are being showcased in the exhibition. Walking tours have also been organized to the sites of the heritage projects.

The first project is on the Architecture of Laurie Baker in Vadodara. Laurie Baker was a British Architect who had made India his home after being _ influenced by Gandhian thoughts. He practiced low-cost and sustainable architecture way back in 60s and 70s. He was invited by Nanu bhai Amin, Chairman of Jyoti Ltd. to design buildings in Baroda. The exhibition and. Heritage walk will showcase these unique sustainable buildings that have _ never been seen before by public. These building have excellent natural . climatic control features and aré made using natural material.

The second project is the documentation and research on the "Narrow Gauge Railway History of Baroda". Baroda state was known for its narrow-gauge railways and was at the forefront of these technologies. The old locomotives, carriageways, workshop sheds have been documented by the students and faculty members of SEDA. This will be showcased in the exhibition as well along with a walking tour that is organized at the Pratapnagar Railway station.

The center has also initiated a unique project to map the heritage of Banyan trees in Vadodara with the project titled "Vad of Vadodara". The name of the city Vadodara comes from the Banyan trees itself, but due to urbanization we are slowly losing this unique natural heritage. "Vad of Vadodara" is a public participation geo-tagging project where the citizens of the city can help in creating a map of all the Banyan cities by just using their smart phones. This helps in documentation and also in raising awareness.

During the Heritage weekend a book will also be launched on the Historic Houses of Rajasthan. This book is a result of student documentation of the old houses of Bundi in Rajasthan. The Heritage Weekend Exhibition will be inaugurated by Smt. Tejal Amin, Chairperson, Navrachana Education Society at 4 pm on September 17th, 2021.

Laurie Baker came to Baroda in the 1970s on the invitation of Dr. Nanubhai Amin, industrialist and institution-builder, and his educationist wife, Savitaben Amin. Baker's ideas about sustainable building dovetailed into Dr. Amin's passion for renewable energy, and so Baker designed administration buildings for Dr. Amin's company, Jyoti Ltd. that would not require air-conditioning. He designed a single-storeyed hostel for the physically challenged employees hired by Jyoti Ltd. who needed accommodation. It hada singular design with ramps, Braille-marked fixtures for the visually impaired, easily accessible kitchen platforms for those using wheelchairs. He also designed the Primary School classrooms and administrative block for Savitben's school, Navrachana. While all buildings continue to be used for the purpose they were originally designed for, the hostel has been integrated for cultural activity centre for the ~ students of the Navrachana School in the same campus.

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