Exploring ATMA House: Ahmedabad's first modernist building

Exploring ATMA House: Ahmedabad's first modernist building

A hallmark of Le Corbusier's design genius!

Ahmedabad is swiftly transforming into a modern metropolis boasting contemporary and captivating architecture. However, did you know that the city's first modernist building emerged in 1954, designed by the renowned Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier?! We're referring to ATMA House, also known as the Mill Owner’s Association Building or the Ahmedabad Textile Mill Owners Association House.

This architectural marvel, distinct from its contemporaries, holds a wealth of intriguing historical facts.

The history

In the 1950s, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru invited Le Corbusier to India to design Chandigarh city. Subsequently, Chimulal Chimanlal, the mayor of Ahmedabad, invited the architect to design private villas and the cultural center, Sanskar Kendra, leading to the creation of ATMA House.

Commissioned by Surottam Hutheesing, then president of the Ahmedabad Mill Owners’ Association, ATMA House seamlessly integrates elements of India’s vernacular architecture. Le Corbusier incorporated deep reveals, overhanging ledges, shade screens, and grand, pillared halls, inspired by the local architectural style. He introduced brises-soleil to prevent sun penetration, combined with thickened facades and unfinished concrete in later projects.

Knock Knock!

Set amidst ample open space, the Mill Owners’ Association Building showcases a distinctly modern aesthetic, free from the constraints of existing urban fabric.

A prime example of Brutalist architecture, ATMA House was conceived as a hub for Ahmedabad's bustling textile mill industry. Serving as both a public and private space, it stands as a symbol of the city’s industrial heritage, representing a community space for the age-old industry.

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