Architecture is an expression of man's faith in his ability to build and develop his surroundings. It has its origin with different generic backgrounds and can be categorised into six fields, namely ecological, religious, civic, need based, saleable and artistic. When we discuss our city's architecture, we are essentially talking about these categories of architecture in whose favour the city has been inclined.

The Traditional Flavour

Pune's architecture has been a combination of most of these categories. Its famous lanes ( Tambat Ali, Gandhi Ali and Shimpi Ali ), which integrated residential and work spaces, are an excellent example of street housing. Economic on spatial use and catering well to community housing, these lanes have been listed for their heritage value. Sadly however, development regulations and architects both seem to be blind to this phenomenon of street housing that has proved its merit all over the world.

Changing Pune

Pune, known as the city of Peshwas where the typology of wada architecture was predominant, has cast away much of its historical look. Today it has evolved into one of the most industrialized cities in the country. Artists and their patrons have begun to view its culture from the viewpoint of sponsorships or aggressive marketing and little is seen of architectural aesthetics.

Price of Saleable Architecture

Faced by better-informed customers and tougher competition to sale, builders today, are forced to address issues of landscaping, recreational facilities, security systems and newer wrappings for their buildings which are usually feasible imitations of European and Japanese architecture. Contemporary saleable architecture, though improved in its design and structural stability, fails in architectural detailing and overlooks the finer aspects of architecture as an art.

Making amends

INTACH Pune, in its endeavor to maintain the Puneri character of the city, surveyed the entire city and drew up a list of Heritage Structures, which has been largely adopted by the city corporation.
Members of this chapter have also been responsible for helping Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani develop their own listings and are actively involved in the conservation and restoration of various city monuments. A survey of monuments on the Konkan Coast has also been carried out. But there's a lot more to be done. Pune has many beautiful buildings and localities ranging in type from Maratha period wadas to British period buildings. In the districts around the city are numerous forts and caves with paintings and carvings. To preserve all of these, we need political will and a lot of public participation.

Our Endeavor

We aim to follow through on the Heritage List and see that it is notified and the structures protected. A photographic record of the structures for reference work is also planned. As 38 Villages are to be added to the city, a survey of their heritage structures is also waiting to be carried out.
Down the Road, a first of its kind in India, Heritage Zone, within which all buildings and landscape correspond to a particular design, is planned. It is hoped that such a zone will act as an example of what can be achieved and will then be emulated elsewhere.

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