Aditya Prakash 1924 - 2008

Aditya Prakash, Architect

Aditya Prakash studied architecture at the London Regent Street Polytechnic (now University of Westminster), becoming an A.R.I.B.A. in 1951. He joined the team of the Chandigarh Capital Project on 1st November 1952 where he worked with Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. He associated closely with Le Corbusier on the design of the School of Art, Chandigarh in the late-1950s. In 1961-62 he adapted the same design for the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh.

Aditya Prakash helped define the characteristic visual identity of Chandigarh as a modern city by creating the “frame controls” of the several of the markets and housing types. He also designed the petrol pumps and the some of the major cinema theatres of the city (Jagat, Neelam and KC.) Some of his other projects in Chandigarh are the District Courts, Central Scientific Instruments Organization Hostels, the Treasury Building, the Central Bus Stand, Military Rest House, Central Crafts Institute, the Jang Garh, Indo-Swiss Training Center and the Cable Factory. His most significant project in Chandigarh was the Tagore Theatre which was constructed to celebrate Rabindrnath Tagore’s birth centenary in 1961.

From 1963-1968, Aditya Prakash was the Architect of Panjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. At this time he also designed the campuses of the Agricultural Universities in Hissar and Palampur.

Aditya Prakash designed over 60 projects spread throughout North India.

From 1968 to 1982, Aditya Prakash served as Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Panjab University, Chandigarh. As an academic, Aditya Prakash was an early advocate of urban ecological design, or “self-sustaining humansettlements.” He described Chandigarh’s planning as ‘escapist’ and published several papers and three books advocating extensive recycling, mixed use developments, development of the informal sector, integration of agriculture and animal husbandry into the urban system, and rigorous separation of motorized and all forms of non-motorized traffic. He also advocated strongly in favour of the 'Rehri' markets - the mobile shops of India to be integrated into the design of city.

The Indian Institute of Architects awarded Aditya Prakash its Gold Medal in 1996.

Aditya Prakash, Painter

Aditya Prakash painted for two to three hours every morning. Though he studied art at the Glasgow School of Art, Aditya Prakash really began to paint under the influence of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh in the 1950s. An early interest in intersecting the Modulor with free-flowing curves, evolved into a style exploring Indian birds, animals and figures within a modernist idiom. Towards the end of his life Aditya Prakash stopped signing his paintings, questioning the very basis of authorship in art.

Aditya Prakash served two terms as President of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy. He exhibited in several major cities in India. His paintings are in private collections throughout the world. This exhibition features paintings from his last works, and have never before exhibited.

Amongst his diverse interests, notable was a informal discussion group that he anchored, that met once a
month continuously for 36 years in the homes of its members.

Aditya Prakash passed away on 12th August 2008, on his way to Mumbai with a theatre group to perform in a play based on his personal life and philosophy entitled "Life Never Retires". Imagine that !!