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Mariposa 1038 (Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects)

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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) tracks housing issues and develops relationships with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote safe, attractive, accessible, and affordable housing for all Americans.

Spatial History of a historic city in South India

  • 1.  Spatial History of a historic city in South India

    Posted 02-14-2018 08:34


    Customs Road in Calicut, Kerala is short, beginning at a T intersection with Beach Road at the Arabian Sea and ending at another T junction just two blocks inland. Its name stems from British colonial times when there must have been secondary custom functions here related to international trade in spices. The local nickname is Kashtam, Malaylam for "what a pity", a not entirely inept description in spite of a promising lighthouse on the foot of the street marking the coastline.
    Calicut (Kozhikode), the 45' lighthouse from 1903 which
    replaced a 90' older lighthouse (Photo: Philipsen)

    Regardless whether one sees the road as one to be pittied, or one that goes back to times when Calicut at the Beypore river was a global port and trade center for spices, it was elevated to being an object for research as part of a project for architecture students from Baltimore's Morgan State University conducted together with students from the local MES architecture school.

    Research isn't necessarily part of the studies of architecture, a field that, in the eyes of many, is more art than science, but this wasn't the only unusual aspect of this architectural project taking shape in Calicut, unusual enough for all three local papers to reporte about the collaboration, each including a group picture of the students and their faculty.

    Morgan State University (MSU) is a historically black college and university (HBCU) in Baltimore and Muslim Education Society (MES) is a system of minority universities in India with an architecture school in Calicut. The two schools signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which they vow exchange and collaboration in education and research between students and faculty.

    We hadn't even time for a proper nap after 15 hours of flight and a 10.5 hr forward time-shift when our somewhat disoriented crew stumbled across the dense traffic of Mini Bypass towards a bright yellow bus marked MES College of Architecture. we barely dared ...

    read full story here

    This is the fourth article in a series about South India

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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