Constructing Conservation Narratives: The Patel Stadium and Other Modern Buildings
An On My Watch Event
This event is part of the On My Watch series and took place virtually on Friday, February 12, 2021, at 9 AM (EST). See below for more information on the discussion, including the event recording, description, and speaker information.
Designed by renowned architect Charles Correa and structural engineer Mahendra Raj in the 1960s, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad is one of the iconic buildings that established a paradigm for modern India, showcasing cutting-edge engineering alongside a uniquely experimental and delicate structure. Originally built to host international cricket matches, the stadium now welcomes regional tournaments and serves as a much-needed recreational hub in a congested city where open space is hard to come by.
In July 2020, The Getty Foundation announced that Patel Stadium—a 2020 World Monuments Watch site—was among 13 significant twentieth-century buildings that would receive $2.2 million in Keeping It Modern grants. With Getty support, WMF specialists from both the U.S. and India are collaborating with a team of local experts to create a detailed plan to conserve the site and enhance its value as a green space for the local community to enjoy.
Join us on Friday, February 12 at 9:00 AM (EST) // 7:30 PM (India Standard Time) for a discussion on how conservation efforts at Patel Stadium will help assert a new model for the cultural and economic importance of restored modern architecture in India. The conversation will feature Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization at Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Mahendra Raj, Structural Consultant for the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium; Nitin Sangwan, Deputy Commissioner from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation; and Mukesh Kumar, Municipal Commissioner from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The discussion will be moderated by WMF India Executive Director Amita Baig, with a Q&A moderated by WMF Program Manager Javier Ors Ausín.
Date: Friday, 12 February
Time: 9:00 AM (ET) // 7:30 PM (India Standard Time)
About the Speakers
Founder principal of RMA Architects and Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design
Rahul Mehrotra is the founder principal of RMA Architects. He divides his time between working in Mumbai and Boston, where he teaches at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design as Professor of Urban Design and Planning and as the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization.
His most recent book is titled Working in Mumbai (2020) and is a reflection on his practice as it evolved through his work in the city of Bombay/Mumbai.
Nitin Sangwan, IAS
Deputy Municipal Commissioner and CEO Smart City Ahmedabad
The IIT Madras alumnus has a degree in mechanical engineering and a master's in cusiness administration. He is an IAS topper from batch 2016. He started his professional career in Mumbai, and later moved to Infosys and the Chandigarh before joining public service.
As the Deputy Municipal Commissioner, his sights are firmly focused on urbanization and e-governance. he has taken several initiatives to automate many processes that enable citizens to get documents at the click of a mouse. Urbanization is an issue close to his heart. He started a campaign to raise awareness among students about the importance of sustainable development.
Mukesh Kumar, IAS
Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)
Mukesh Kumar graduated in 1993 from IIT Kanpur with a degree in electrical engineering and completed the Executive Programme at Syracuse University, where he obtained a master’s of public administration. He is an IAS officer from the 1996 batch.
Kumar is with the Gujarat State cadre 1998. He has served in several capacities, including District Collector in Ahwa-Dangs, Municipal Commissioner of Bhavnagar and Rajkot, among other roles. He was also Director of the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, a flagship scheme of the government of India.
In his current position as Municipal Commissioner in Ahmedabad - with a focus on ‘city for people’ - he has launched several infrastructure development initiatives such as the affordable Corporate Hospital Facility, Riverfront Development (Phase II), and rehabilitation of deteriorated housing, making optimum use of the Internet of Things (IoT) under the smart city project. He has also initiated a project to make Ahmedabad a zero-waste city by 2025. Ahmedabad’s status as India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City is a major achievement that is very close to his heart.
WMF India Executive Director
Amita Baig has been the regional representative of World Monuments Fund in India for over two decades and has stewarded conservation work across the country, including several award-winning projects. She is a member of the Senate of the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada and serves on the Advisory Board of the Architecture Foundation, India. She has over three decades of experience in managing historic sites in India and the Asia region, working with UNESCO Asia Pacific Office and as a consultant to the Gulbenkian Foundation. She has also served as a member of the India’s Advisory Committee on World Heritage. Amita has published two books: Forts and Palaces of India; and Taj Mahal: Multiple Narratives with Rahul Mehrotra following an eight-year engagement at the site.
About On My Watch
On My Watch is a series of conversations inviting architects, urban planners, preservationists, local stakeholders, and WMF project managers to explore the political, cultural, and technical issues around the preservation of at-risk cultural heritage sites on the World Monuments Watch around the world.
WMF’s project to prepare a conservation management plan for Charles Correa’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation through its Keeping It Modern initiative.
This event is hosted in partnership with the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
This program has been approved for AIA 1.5 LU / HSW credits.