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Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b March 2, 1917).

English architect and writer, active in India . He graduated from the School of Architecture, Birmingham, and after serving as an anaesthetist in South-east Asia in World War II, he settled in India in 1945, first working as an architect/builder for a missionary organization in Pithorgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and from 1963 in Trivandrum, Kerala State. Inspired by the vernacular building of the area, he developed an architecture based only on local materials and stressing low-cost design. Other important influences were his Quaker religious beliefs, the philosophy of his friend Mahatma Gandhi, and his opposition to the architecture of Le Corbusier and the International style. Working as designer, builder and contractor, Baker has executed nearly 1000 works, mainly houses. Improvisation, for example using old building elements in new structures as in the Narayan House (1973), Trivandrum, is a characteristic of his approach. His house for T. N. Krishanan (1971...

Article

E. Errington

(b London, Jan 23, 1814; d London, Nov 28, 1893).

British archaeologist, numismatist and engineer. He obtained an Indian cadetship in 1828 through the patronage of Sir Walter Scott and received his commission as Second Lieutenant, Bengal Engineers, in 1831. After training at Addiscombe and Chatham, he was sent to India in 1833. Friendship with James Prinsep encouraged an immediate interest in Indian antiquities and led to his excavation of the Sarnath stupa (1835–6). After three years with the Sappers at Calcutta, Delhi and Benares (Varanasi), he was appointed an aide-de-camp (1836–40) to Lord Auckland. A geographical mission (July–September 1839) to trace the sources of the Punjab rivers in Kashmir provided access to the antiquities of the region. While Executive Engineer to Muhammad ‛Ali Shah, the ruler of Avadh (1840–42), he discovered the Buddhist site of Sankasya (Sankisa).

As a field engineer, he saw action during the Bundelkund rebellion (1842), at Punniar (...

Article

Tapati Guha-Thakurta

(b Ayr, Scotland, Jan 22, 1808; d London, Jan 9, 1886).

British art historian, active in India. His interest in the study of architecture was formed and developed in India, where he went at an early age to join a merchant firm with which his family had connections. He left this mercantile establishment to begin his own indigo factory in Bengal, and in the course of his career as an indigo merchant began a pioneering survey of Indian architecture. Travelling extensively across India between 1835 and 1842, armed with a draughtsman’s pad and a camera lucida, he acted as a ‘one-man architectural survey’ making drawings and taking notes and measurements. The labours of these years not only produced all his major writings on Indian architecture but also formulated his basic methods on the study of architecture in general.

Although firmly committed to European classical standards of artistic excellence, Fergusson, unlike most Western scholars of his time, did not impose these on Indian architecture. Rather, he applied to European and world architecture a set of analytical principles he had evolved through a direct, detailed study of Indian monuments. For instance, in all his studies, his reliance on pure architectural evidence for his conclusions grew out of his intimate survey of old Indian buildings. His strong criticism of all post-...

Article

Philip Davies

(b Jan 14, 1841; d Weybridge, Dec 4, 1917).

English engineer, architect and writer, active in India. He was educated at Cheam and then at the East India Company Military College at Addiscombe where he was one of the last batch of graduates. He entered the Bombay Artillery in 1858, qualifying five years later as a surveyor and engineer. After initial service in the Public Works Department, and a brief spell with the Aden Field Force in 1865–6, he was appointed Chief Engineer to Jaipur state where he spent his entire working life.

An extremely prolific engineer and architect, he was responsible for a large number of important irrigation schemes but was also a pioneer and one of the most accomplished exponents of eclectic ‘Indo-Saracenic’ architecture. His Jeypore Portfolio of Architectural Details (1890), published for the Maharajah, is a vast, scholarly compendium of architectural details of north Indian buildings that became a recognized pattern book and standard reference work. His principal works include the Anglican church (...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Bangkok, March 30, 1939).

Thai architect, theoretician and writer. He studied at the University of Cambridge (MA and DipArch, 1963), receiving a number of student awards including the Brancusi Travelling Fund, Breezewood Foundation Scholarship and John D. Rockefeller Fund scholarship. He also received a PhD in architectural studies from Cambridge in 1967. From 1965 to 1969 he worked as an architect for the Thailand Department of Town and Country Planning in Bangkok, and in 1969 he went into private practice there. One of the most intellectual architects in South-east Asia, Jumsai was influenced by Le Corbusier, Colin Rowe and Buckminster Fuller, and he applied contemporary European forms and technical innovations to buildings designed within the Thai context. Between 1969 and 1982, when this modernist expression was prevalent, his office, SJA 3D Co. Ltd, was responsible for over one hundred design and planning projects ranging from residences to office buildings, industrial plants and economic feasibility studies. During this period 62 factories were designed and built, the largest being the Nissan Car Assembly Plant (...

Article

(b Paris, Jan 3, 1870; d Phnom Penh, Feb 22, 1949).

French architect, art historian and archaeologist. Born into a family of artists, he attended the Lycée de Reims, where he was taught drawing by his father, and in 1891 entered the architectural faculty of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1896 he was employed by the Public Works Office in Tunis, where he learnt about archaeology and published a plan and reconstruction of a temple at nearby Carthage. In 1900 he joined the Mission Archéologique d’Indochine (later known as the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient) to document Siamese historical monuments. His early career was dominated by the discovery, exploration and study of the monuments of the Champa. During 1902–4 he excavated a Buddhist monastery at Dong Duong, a complex of temples at Mi Son and an important temple at Chanh Lo. When he returned on leave to Paris, he married the writer and poet Jeanne Leuba, who took an active part in his later fieldwork, often undertaken in hazardous circumstances at inaccessible sites. He was appointed head of the archaeological service of the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient in ...

Article

E. Errington

(b Thoby Priory, Essex, Aug 20, 1799; d London, Apr 22, 1840).

English scholar, architect and assayer. He was one of eight brothers (including artists William (1794–1874) and Thomas (1800–30)), several of whom gained prominence in India. James Prinsep began training under the architect A. C. Pugin (see Pugin family §(1)), but eye problems prompted a change to assaying. On arrival in India in September 1819 he was appointed assistant assay-master to Horace Hayman Wilson at the East India Company’s Calcutta Mint. In 1820 he became assay-master of the Benares (now Varanasi) Mint for ten years. During this time he established a literary institution, served on a committee for municipal improvements, restored the mosque of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb (d 1767), was the architect of a new mint and church for the city and built a bridge over the Karamnasa River. He also completed a series of sketches of Benares that were reproduced as lithographs by ...

Article

Tapati Guha-Thakurta

[Raja, Rama]

(b Tanjore, c. 1790; d Mysore, 1833).

Indian writer. His posthumously published work, Essay on the Architecture of the Hindus (published for the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1834), was a pioneering attempt at acquainting the West with the ancient Hindu ‘science’ of architecture, through a translation of some surviving fragments of Sanskrit treatises. Coming from an aristocratic but impoverished family of Karnataka, Ram Raz rose from the position of clerk to that of Head English Master at the College of Fort St George, Madras, eventually becoming a local judge and magistrate at Bangalore. His translation from Marathi into English of an indigenous code of revenue regulations brought him to the attention of Richard Clarke, a British official of the Madras government. It was under Clarke’s initiative that he turned his linguistic skills towards the elucidation of the ancient temple architecture of south India. While the British turned to a ‘Hindu’ to uncode the age-old precepts ‘locked’ in the Sanskrit language, Ram Raz himself had to rely on traditional Brahman scholars and on the practising craftsmen of the ‘Cammata’ clan of Thanjavur in deciphering the abstruse language and technical vocabulary of the texts. Highlighting the difficulties of his study, he noted the gap in communication between the Brahmans, with their closely guarded high knowledge, and the working ‘lower orders’ of artisans; the result was that the original theories were either lost or vastly distorted....