Harivansh Rai Bachchan (27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003) was a noted Indian poet of the literary movement of early 20th century Hindi literature. He is best known for his early work Madhushala. He is also the father of the noted Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan.
Architect: Rajesh Shukla
In 1976, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan- the second highest civilian award of India, for his immense contribution to Hindi literature. Bachchan died at the age of 96, as a result of various respiratory ailments.
Bachchan’s early years left a deep impression on his young mind, when he juggled between school and giving tuitions to make a living. He did most of the creative writing late in the evenings on the ghats (river banks) of Ganges river in Allahabad. Walking along the river edge on moonlit nights was his favorite pass time in which his creative mind took roots.
The Noida Development Authority (NDA) proposes to set up an Academy of Arts in memory of late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan with a view to developing the city as a cultural and literary center. The site is spread over an area of 20 Acres on the eastern bank of River Yamuna. The site is generally flat with alluvial soil and high water table. Large water reservoir of Okhla Barrage along the river is towards its North-West which contains the Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
The concept development tries to capture the Ghat settings with the informal placing of buildings, stepped seating for social interaction along water edge and an artificial lake creating hierarchy of enclosed and open spaces. The design explores the highly developed sense of urban spaces in traditional Indian cities which evolved along the riverfronts.
Since the site is adjacent to river Yamuna, effort is made to integrate buildings and landscape so that they tend to grow out of the place, by drawing meaning from the surroundings. Integration of built form and open spaces with circulation network would help to make the place culturally inspiring, visually strong and ecologically responsive.