23 December 2005

Plate-glass future

From the way things are taking shape here, you'd expect Bangalore is where the future is. The IT and telecom boom is shaping the city's future and, with the rapid influx of highly-paid skilled workforce from all over the country, the city is developing a consumer powerbase envied by most other metros.

This economic explosion is also changing the city's skyline. Bangalore is rapidly evolving from an architectural perspective. Side by side, companies are constructing monstrous building complexes of concrete and plate-glass; only to be mirrored by shopping complexes in similar design and building material.

Old buildings are torn down and in their place you find another concrete and plate-glass structure - a shopping centre, a bank, an office or a restaurant. Beautiful colonial-era bungalows which Bangalore was so proud of are now fewer in number, reducing Bangalore's architectural heritage by a great deal more than just a building. Some of Bangalore's history and heritage are also lost in the process.

When I spoke to several Bangaloreans about this, they indicated something I can only describe as 'mixed feelings'. Some expressed their disappointment, even annoyance, at losing a part of their architectural heritage; but they were fewer in number. Others felt that, if the trees and the gardens and the best of the colonial buildings were not destroyed, they didn't mind the change. After all, Bangalore was the country's IT centre!

Looks like, we're going to see a lot more rubble and plate-glass in Bangalore's future.

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