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April 6, 2011
by Jacqueline Pezzillo Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: Special Release: Klaus Herdeg, Formal Structure in Indian Architecture
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.22.11
Speakers: Umberto Dindo, AIA — AIANY Secretary
Introduction: Rick Bell, FAIA — AIANY Executive Director
Organizers: AIANY; Center for Architecture Foundation; India China Institute at The New School; Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC); Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA)
Sponsors: Grants: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Underwriter: Duggal Visual Solutions; Lead Sponsors: Hitachi; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Sponsors: Grapevine Merchants; Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects; Supporters: Bittersweet NYC; CetraRuddy; Kingfisher Lager; Friends: Arup; Benjamin Moore; IBEX Construction; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Perkins Eastman; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Special Thanks: Umberto Dindo, AIA; Lutz Konermann; Catherine Scharf; Donation: folios donated by the Herdeg Family

Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat.

Umberto Dindo, AIA

The indelible legacy of architect and author Klaus Herdeg resonates in the special release to the Center for Architecture of 200 copies of Formal Structure in Indian Architecture, Herdeg’s seminal folio documenting secular and religious monuments in India.

The folio first accompanied Herdeg’s 1967 exhibition that analyzed Indian structures through technical drawings and photographs, bringing neglected Indian stepwells to the attention of practicing Modernists in the age of India’s post independence. During a time of limited travel to India, Herdeg was the first to identify the historic stepwells, utilitarian water collection systems and cultural gathering places, as monuments of architectural significance, according to Umberto Dindo, AIA, a contemporary and friend of Herdeg.

Decades before India became recognized as a global force, Herdeg placed a spotlight on the neglected, albeit paramount, water structures influencing the country’s ritualistic life and culture. Stepwells served a myriad of functions — water collection cisterns, cleansing of bodies and clothing, and places of worship and social gathering. Although many are in ruins today, surviving stepwells in the Indian provinces of Gujarat and Rajasthan still retain magnificence in planning, structure, and ornamentation. Formal Structure in Indian Architecture is permeated with a passion for these structures, and through this special release architects and historians can take a personal tour led by Herdeg himself.

The folio is still on sale while supplies last. Click here to order.

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