Jul '12 - Jan '13
Finished in 1931 and designed by Robert Russell, Connaught Place is a striking contrast to the bazaars surrounding. The buildings are broken radially into two tiers, divided again by 7 bisecting streets, and then labeled a block letter from A to N. The plaster colonnades provide shelter from the relentless sun as shoppers circumambulate the relatively new central park. Here, a striking distinction can be seen between classes. The inner colonnade is filled with western shopping giants, but just outside their guarded glass doors lay the textile sellers, bookmen, and beggars alike. But neither market is ignored, as the markets of both classes may be seen here.
As one regresses from the center into the fringes of Connaught, both the shops and the buildings are inclined to a more precarious quality. Stone promenades are torn away exposing the veins of Connaught, while plaster has cracked and fallen giving light to the stonework underneath.
Central park, the home of lovers, sleepers, and school skippers, is filled with lush green lawns, fountains, and an amphitheater. But of how beautiful and quiet it may be, it seemed strangely underused. However, I believe I found why upon attempting to enter the park. There existed on the perimeter only one entrance. It had been designed quite permeably, but was enclosed with a jagged fence at a later date. The entrance was guarded by- a metal detector, an old man whose job it was to grope all such pockets any entrant should possess, and an old prima Donna who enjoyed a light song as she searched through backpacks.
Connaught Place Plan
Rajiv Chowk, the inner circle street
The tired veins of Connaught
A green trash can
Anil and his collection
An Indo Inquisition is a thirteen-week train expedition across India. The journey will document the influences of international modernism and British occupation, as well as compare the effects of wealth accumulation, culture, religion, and poverty with economic growth and their effect on the built environment.