Samit Das
Niyogi Books, New Delhi, India, 2013, English
Nonfiction, Architecture
8.7 x 10.8 inches, 180 pages
ISBN: 9789381523384

From the Publisher. This book highlights Tagore's architectural vision through his writings; a product of immense research and emotions gathered over 15 years. Architecture of Santiniketan: Tagore’s Concept of Space extends beyond brick and mortar in an effort to understand the significance of the creation of space. It is an expression of the amalgamation of music, art, literature, poetry, letters and functional ornamentation. The book explains the different levels of this form of architecture and evaluates it in the context of the present artistic and cultural environment, while connecting it with the Bengal Renaissance.

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Norman Weinstein

Rabindranath Tagore is best known as India’s first Nobel Prize–winning poet and hardly known at all as an architect. But if self-taught architects with a lyrically philosophical bent interest you—Heidegger and Wittgenstein were fellow travelers in this rare realm—then this groundbreaking book by Indian artist and Tagore scholar Samit Das will be a highly satisfying read.

Tagore’s sole architectural achievement was Santiniketan, a West Bengal ashram-university incorporating a religiously focused arts curriculum completed in 1921. Through Das’s finely grained black-and-white photography and carefully crafted descriptions, we obtain a vision of a singular architecture compound, all buildings and landscaping intended as objects of meditation on the place of humans in the natural world. What Santiniketan looks like in these pages suggests a blend of Indian vernacular architecture synthesized with Corbusian modernism. Anyone interested in where modernism and Asian vernacular styles intersect will find Das’s book consistently insightful.

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