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Lecture on “TRACING THE HISTORY OF MADRAS THROUGH ITS BUILT HERITAGE”

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Chennai Academy of Architecture and Design (CAAD), is a standalone Architecture Institution near Periyapalayam Amman Temple offering B.Arch degree.

CAAD Lecture series is a talk series initiated at CAAD where eminent architects and speakers are invited to address the students constantly bridging the gap between the architecture education and the field expectations of the profession. Students and faculty at CAAD are also afforded soft skills enhancement by qualified trainers through the CAAD Lecture Series.

The eleventh of the CAAD lecture series had renowned conservation architect Ms. Kalpana from Chennai, who deliberated her experiences and memories on the topic “Tracing the history of Madras through built heritage”. This lecture materialised in a time when we all Chennaites geared up to celebrate the existence of its city as ‘Madras Week’ celebrations from August 16-23.

Ar. K Kalpana is a conservation architect with a passion for reinterpreting traditional values and the spirit of building in present day architecture. She has a Master’s degree from the faculty of arts and humanities at University of York in England.

She has played a pivotal role in the renovation of important Indo-Sarasenic buildings in Chennai, such as Senate house, Chepauk palace, High court building to name a few. She co-authored the book, ‘Madras – The Architectural Heritage’ along with the German Architect Frank Schiffer that tries to bring to the forefront the living heritage of the structures still in use. The Indian National Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) published this book in the year 2003. The enormous wealth of heritage buildings in Chennai has been showcased by documenting 254 structures in this book. Her interest in travel, social history and experience in the material science of historical buildings has given the text an interesting flavour.

As a part of the annual ‘Madras Week’ celebrations, Ar K Kalpana enthralled the students on the history of Madras through its built heritage. The lecture focused on creating an awareness among the young minds on the importance of valuing our heritage and the role it plays in shaping our cultural identity. The session stated with one to one interaction with the speaker and travelled along on the various threads that generate the cultural fabric of the city. Ar Kalpana took the students on a visual journey of the evolution of Madras city by tracing the history through rare maps and pictures since its beginning.

Prof Vinodh Vijayakumar, Director, CAAD felicitated the speaker with a memento at the end of the session. Mr. H. Karthiban, Coordinator of the lecture series proposed the vote of thanks. The event concluded with a high tea.

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