The proposed look of the new state Assembly building of Andhra Pradesh has set the social media abuzz. People are coming up with witty comments and creative spins over its look, saying the structure resembles a gigantic idli steamer. The building, designed by British architect Norman Foster’s firm, is set to come up in the new state capital, Amaravati.
Andhra Pradesh currently shares its capital Hyderabad with the newly-formed Telangana state. Amaravati, which was decided as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, is coming up after a Memorandum of Understanding was inked with the Singapore government for the city’s construction, and Norman Foster’s firm, Foster + Partners, was invited to design the capital.
State Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu tweeted the design proposed for the Assembly earlier this month.
The model was posted by the Twitter account set up for the capital as well.
After the news broke, the image of the model — juxtaposed with a stainless steel idli maker — was posted on an architecture-focused Facebook group page. While some praised it for being different from Colonial-era inspired architecture, the resemblance to the utensil used to make the South Indian delicacy amused many.
“How on earth will they cook in this? It will never fit inside a cooker,” said one user while another pointed out that Andhra Pradesh’s Assembly structure would not be the only iconic building that looks like a food item, bringing up UAE’s Burj Al Arab hotel’s uncanny resemblance to a samosa.
The selection of the design, however, did go through public review, with designs put up on the state government’s Facebook page in October.
It drew hundreds of comments, with votes, suggestions, and other design proposals put up by users themselves. The common complaint found in the thread was that designs weren’t in line with plans to build something representative of the ancient heritage.
Saying that all the designs look alien, one user said: “I think all designs are bad because it is not representing Indian culture, especially Telugu culture where Telugu pride should be represented. Take the inspirations from local monuments and forts especially to get some designs..”
Some users cited reports that said that Naidu wanted SS Rajamouli, the Telugu filmmaker behind the blockbuster Baahubali series, to use his design skills for Amaravati’s administrative complex. Indian architects and urban planners also criticized the Andhra Pradesh government for inviting foreign firms to build the city.
Naidu is said to have asked Foster’s architects to meet Rajamouli for his ideas, the Financial Express had earlier reported, quoting a source from AP Capital Region Development Authority. The architects were reportedly given a session on “Dravidian architecture.”