The Bungalow in Twentieth-Century India: The Cultural Expression of Changing Ways of Life and Aspirations in the Domestic Architecture of Colonial and Post-colonial Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Bungalow in Twentieth-Century India

The Cultural Expression of Changing Ways of Life and Aspirations in the Domestic Architecture of Colonial and Post-colonial Society, 1st Edition

By Madhavi Desai, Miki Desai


256 pages

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The primary era of this study - the twentieth century - symbolizes the peak of the colonial rule and its total decline, as well as the rise of the new nation state of India. The processes that have been labeled 'westernization' and 'modernization' radically changed middle-class Indian life during the century. This book describes and explains the various technological, political and social developments that shaped one building type - the bungalow - contemporaneous to the development of modern Indian history during the period of British rule and its subsequent aftermath. Drawing on their own physical and photographic documentation, and building on previous work by Anthony King and the Desais, the authors show the evolution of the bungalow's architecture from a one storey building with a verandah to the assortment of house-forms and their regional variants that are derived from the bungalow. Moreover, the study correlates changes in society with architectural consequences in the plans and aesthetics of the bungalow. It also examines more generally what it meant to be modern in Indian society as the twentieth century evolved.


'Though a great deal of lucid writing exists on monumental Indian architecture, few architects today have given scholastic space to domestic buildings. The book is both an amalgamation of the many forms of the Indian house, as well as a distillation of that strange hybrid called the bungalow. Rigorous research expected of the impeccable credentials of the authors, places the once dormant subject squarely on the literary table. A scholarly work, immensely readable.' Gautam Bhatia, Architect, India 'This rich documentation and interpretation of the Bungalow in India propels our understanding of its contemporary and mutated manifestations and establishes its deep influence on our thinking about cities in South Asia - the book is a great handbook for practitioners in India.' Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard University, USA

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: the bungalow: its origins and its evolution in 20th century India; Part I The Family House: A point of departure: residential building types in India in 1900 - indigenous and colonial; The utility of the bungalow as a precedent for 20th century residential architecture. Part II The Evolution of the Bungalow and its Offspring in the 20th Century: Suburbanization, cultural change and building type modifications; Architects, architectural fashions and stylistic shifts; Regional climates and cultures and house form: diversifying and homogenizing factors. Part III Postscripts: Apartments and bungalows, villas and 'farm' houses; Conclusion: the disappearing bungalow?; Bibliography; Index.

About the Authors

Jon Lang, Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia and Director for urban design at ERG/Environmental Research Group, Inc., Philadelphia Pennsylvania,USA

About the Series

Ashgate Studies in Architecture

Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General