Image source: Course faculty

This exercise intends to explore the city of Shimla in its present context, by documenting its time lines in order to achieve a basic comprehension of the change and growth that it continues to experience. The study would be based in the beautiful hill station located in the lap of the Himalayas, Shimla, which was the Summer Capital of the country before independence and now is the capital of one of the states (Himachal Pradesh). Through time it has faced various challenges influencing its architectural typology and urban growth. This course intends to understand the factors influencing the growth of a historically prominent town and the challenges faced to retain the value of its heritage. This understanding will be achieved by a documentation exercise at a neighborhood level. Groups of 5 students each will be introduced to a unique cluster in the urban setting of Shimla. The areas chosen for the exercise are the central core area around the Mall Road, the historically important area of Summerhill and the area facing major developmental pressures namely Chhota Shimla. The faculty will introduce and accompany the participants to these areas and provide base maps over which the participants will create various layers relating to the different factors affecting the urban fabric. The learning outcome of this exercise would not only be an understanding of the crucial factors of growth and threats faced by this hill station due to sudden developmental pressures, but also to get introduced to and to learn the technique of creating maps and measured drawings to achieve the same. Note for students: Basic skill of creating architectural drawings and sketches required & a basic camera. Expenses for students: Material cost : Rs.900, food and stay:Rs.15500, local travel:Rs.500/-.

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