Notre dame, a dark Gothic interior lit with thousand candles and the stained glass windows, cannot feel the same by replacing the old roof with clear glass conservatory that the modern architects are proposing today. The paintings in the Gond houses of Bastar were done in dark corners, lit dimly, to ward off evil spirits. Taking that same artwork on a canvas and hanging it in a modern museum flooded with light surely makes the mockery of that art and turns it into a pop graphic than the magical spirit that it originally imbibed.
Surely one can talk of aesthetics, but in today’s 5 second retention span in the instagram generation, only aesthetics are not enough. An architect has a much bigger responsibility than just the visual appeal. 100 years ago architect was the craftsman, in last 100 years, the modern architect killed the craftsman.
Adaptive reuse to me is not limited to the physical space occupied by a building in a given point in time. Reusing a few old buildings for a modern usage is important but, it does not make significant numbers. To me, it lies in altering its DNA, to lead to a mass phenomenon and its DNA lies, in the way it’s been built. With the introduction of in situ concrete, this building practice underwent a certain mutation, that undoubtedly gave a free hand to the architect, but it killed the craft and the traditional building industry. With the freedom to choose any form that could be poured on site, it created a singularity, suppressing and superseding all the other existing building practices.