Architects: gmp Architekten von Gerken, Marg und Partner, Berlin
Client: Public Works Department, Tamil Nadu Government
Approximate Area: 180,000 sq. mt.
Those of you who have not visited Chennai in a while might be surprised to see a huge monolithic building better known as the Secretariat. It was meant to be the local government’s seat of power, but it will now be utilised as Multi-speciality Hospital and a Medical College.
Designed by German Architecture Firm gmp Architekten von Gerken, Marg und Partner, the Secretariat consists of the Assembly, administration building, guest house, convention hall and also a multi-story parking.
The architect has definitely taken inspiration from Hindu culture especially with that of Chakra (Circles) and the hints of Rangoli. The Architect may have kept in mind that historically all parliamentary and senate buildings are circular to promote discussions which is the heart of democracy.
The different blocks of the building are also circular with giant courtyards and water feature including Rangoli pattern tiling. This is typical of a traditional South Indian courtyard where the centre is always is a water pond around which there is always Rangoli.
The circular shape and the courtyards allow natural lighting to reach even the lowest level, the different blocks are also connected through radially arranged footbridges. There is also a circular block around a century old tree.
This is indeed the first Government Assembly building in the world to be designed and built as an Environmentally friendly building.
According to latest information, civilians are not yet allowed inside the courtyards, if you have any pictures or information please email firstname.lastname@example.org