Roger Anger was a visionary French Architect, sculptor and artist. Nicknamed as “the greatest architect in the world” by the Mother, Roger Anger was commissioned to design the ‘City of Humanity’ Auroville. Pushing the boundaries of design and creating architecture wonderful to behold, marks his style of architecture.
Below is the list of 15 iconic works of Roger Anger:
1. The master plan of Auroville
The Mother envisioned Auroville in 1965 as a city embodying the values of Sri. Aurobindo.
Roger Anger was appointed as the chief architect overseeing the development of the city. The galactic plan of the city comprises several arms diverging from the centre. Auroville was divided into four zones namely, Industrial (north), Cultural (northeast), Residential (south, south-west) and International (west). A Green Belt which had forests and activities related to farming surrounded all the four zones. Matri Mandir crowns the centre of the master plan, also designed by Ar. Roger Anger.
2. Matri Mandir
Matri Mandir is the crowning glory of Auroville, conceived by The Mother. Anger translated her thoughts into a mesmerising design. The temple complex spans across a lush nine-acre site and encloses the main temple and twelve gardens. Shaped like a flattened sphere, the temple holds a meditation chamber inside. The chamber is dodecagonal in plan with a cone-shaped roof and is supported by 8 sickle-shaped piers. Clad with gold-leafed stainless-steel discs, the dome reflects sunlight and radiates a magical aura.
3. After School 1
After School 1 is an educational experiment of creating a sinuous structure with ferrocement. Free-flowing spaces of the school are encased within organic forms. The project consists of two primary spaces that surround a tropical patio. The roof of the school is supported by U-shaped beams that also function as gutters. Circular cut-outs in the roof bring in light within the structure, adding a sense of liveliness. The central garden acts as an interactive node, enabling students to connect with nature while remaining indoors
4. Last School
A unique modular roof system placed over a network of stormwater drains form the essence of ‘Last School’. These V-shaped drains double up as the structural system of the school. The roof is composed of several funnel-shaped modules clad with polyester. This translucent cladding filters in the light and shades the structure from the harsh sunlight. Hidden behind the smooth concrete berm is the school’s amphitheatre that serves as an interactive space. Several iconic sculptures are interspersed around the school and create a visual element of surprise.
5. No School
‘No School’ is a mushroom-shaped structure that presently houses the Language Laboratory. The smooth curves of the structure are achieved through the use of ferrocement, a material widely used by Anger. The roof is marked by four gaps covered by glass to let light into the structure. The space reflects the essence of the Aurovillean lifestyle of imparting knowledge without rigidity.
6. After School 2
Strikingly different from the previous three schools, ‘After School 2’ is a pyramidal structure. The elevation of the structure is marked by horizontal bands that bring in light into the structure. Built using ferrocement, the structure resisted the cyclone that hit Tamil Nadu but suffered damages. After School 2 has still not been restored to its former glory.
7. Roger Anger’s House
Roger Anger’s House is one of the primary houses in Auromodele, a settlement on the outskirts of Auroville. Constructed in situ using ferrocement, the double-curved form of the roof pushed the limits of designing with the flexible material. The Earth berms encircling the house give an impression of continuity and make the structure look like it is rising from the ground itself. These berms form the soul of the structure.
8. Christine Devin’s House
Designed in 1976, the house for Christine Devin resembles a toadstool mushroom. The sleeping space in the house is circular and has movable slats which can be adjusted to bring in light and ventilation. The house has a colour scheme of red-oxide and white, which is a commonality in Roger Anger’s designs.
9. 166, Rue Cardinet 17e, Paris
Built-in 1962, 166 Rue Cardinet 17e is a residential building with seventeen units in Paris. The façade of the building is dotted with strip balconies and double-height balconies dividing the structure into smaller masses.
10. The 3 towers of Grenoble
Designed by Roger Anger and Pierre Puccinelli, L’ILE Vert or the Three Towers were the highest residential towers in Europe when they were constructed in 1959. The floor plan of the residential building is diamond-shaped and has elliptical rings on the ground floor. A cubical module which is rotated alternately and placed one upon another forms the individual apartments. The façade has cantilevered balconies, none of them facing north to maximize heat gain and sunlight.
11. 33-35, RUE SAINT-AMBROISE
33-35, Rue Saint-Ambroise is an apartment building in Paris designed by Roger Anger, Mario Heymann and Pierre Puccinelli in 1969. The building is characterized by south-facing apartments and loggias of differing depths. The building envelope is marked by planters which add a sculptural value. The central courtyard acts as an interactive space for the occupants and provides connectivity with nature.
12. 119–127 avenue de Flandre
This twenty-five-floor residential building was built in 1961. The structure is composed of two basic modules, which are repeated. Anger alternated the modules every three floors generating an interesting facade. A triangle module jutting out from the façade forms a unique identifier of the building.
13. 15-21, Rue Erard Paris 12e
Built-in 1962, 15-21, Rue Erard Paris comprises three interconnected towers, each twenty-storey high. The façade has interspersed balconies which as seen previously are an integral element in all the residential buildings designed by Roger Anger. Connection of the outdoors and the indoors are a common feature in all his designs.
14. Rue de la Colonie et 67
Anger composed this building using cubical modules which he stacked and rotated alternatively, generating privacy for the occupants and creating an interesting façade. The structural system is trabeated and has a cantilevered balcony, a feature repeated in most Anger projects.
15. Residence du Parc
Residence Du Parc was designed by Roger Anger, Mario Heymann and Hugues Jirou in 1970. The façade of the residential building is distinguished by a staggering wave balcony, giving it fluidity and motion. The collective housing is finished in stark grey concrete, making the structure stand out of its surroundings.