Indo Inquisition

13 weeks in India



Jul '12 - Jan '13

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    Spencer Plaza

    By amlocke
    Sep 8, '12 5:46 PM EST

    The original Spencer Plaza, the first department store in India, burnt down in 1983. Its replacement is a massive 8-story block of granite, in which one million plus sqft of retail and office space have been carved.

    Spencer Plaza’s whole is an accumulation of three phases, each phase given in accordance with a naturally lit atrium, and each atrium accreting in size and grandeur. A vast difference in scale may be found between these atriums and the cavities that unite them. Ceilings of no more than 10 feet in height, and at a width of no more than 15 feet, become ever more impenetrable as merchandise overflows from shops and crowds begin to accumulate. There is, I presume, a fine line between an up-scale bazaar and a mall to which Spencer Plaza dangles over.

    Both, the strength and importance to which I deem this mall fit for mention lies in its floor plan, or perhaps site plan would be more suitable. Resemblance is befitting to a butchered L'Enfant than any such shopping mall, as the three atriums become nodes to which this interior cityscape is carved. And like swimming underwater, one can explore these backward caverns only so long before a return to an atrium for fresh air and reorientation is necessary.

    The sizes of most shops are quite demure, giving a density of doors Jacobs herself would find pleasing. There is variety, however, as large international labels about local arts and crafts dealers provide both a sense of scale and value. An interior city of three stories results- illuminating contrast, warranting density, and strangely inviting intrigue.

    The massive demeanor of the second phase 

    The most grand, third atrium

    A common hall

    A great connoisseur and her nesco shoes

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About this Blog

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.

Authored by:

  • amlocke

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