Architect’s note

In early 2002, Vijay Darda approached us to create a Memorial in remembrance of his beloved father Jawaharlal Darda. The Brief was simple, defining three essential parameters: to leave the samadhi undisturbed; to create a space that future generations could connect with; and to provide a public space where over a thousand people could congregate annually to pay homage to a man who was a legend in his own time.

The task was daunting – to interpret the spirit and work of someone not known to us personally, and to create a space that is open to varied interpretation while resisting any form of direct representation.

The design solution we arrived at is an attempt at making non-manifest connections, using simple architectural vocabulary and landscape elements. Every moment provides a unique experience, based on the evolving relationship between built and un-built elements. Architectural and landscape elements are used to generate vistas, draw attention, experience varying textures, shield off external distractions, engage with the existing teak plantation, and, most importantly, manipulate the play of light.

Through its numerous elements, devoid of any significant built form, the design attempts to honour what Jawaharlal Darda personified.

The Memorial, christened Prerna Sthal by the Darda family, reinforces this underlying design intent.