March 4, 2008
GMP is a united venture of Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg, who have planned and realized buildings in almost all major cities in Germany. The duo is famous worldwide for their magnificent designs in countries like Russia and China.
The design of the parliament building takes account of the state's cultural traditions as well as the urban context of the city of Chennai. With its highly visible dome, the design echoes the structural features of Dravidian temple complexes in south India.
The geometry of the complex’s structure is derived from the traditional, round chakra or mandala motif, consisting of circles of various sizes inscribed in 36 isosceles triangles. These basic shapes make up the geometrical structure of the entire design in both ground plan and elevation.
The internal plan features courtyard architecture with five round interior courts that are functionally differentiated, creating public, semi-public and also secure internal areas.
The spacious Citizens' Forum on the south side of the building is created by the largest circle in the mandala. It is both the opening towards the city and the entrance area, with public functional areas.
The three other round courtyards in the interior of the building house the Assembly Hall, the Legislative Assembly Chamber and the Convention Hall.
The state parliament rests on a battered plinth and is landscaped all round. The glass dome over the Assembly Hall marks the seat of the Tamil parliament.
by Swati Sharma
© German Information Centre New Delhi