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Noida: Architects turn defunct ‘kattha’ factory into classroom

A group of veteran architects and an award winning photographer have remodelled and set up an exhibition of the erstwhile ‘kattha’ factory outlet, to explore the idea of ‘metamorphosis’ of an abandoned building through innovation and renovation.

noida Updated: Jul 30, 2017 22:26 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
Noida,architect,exhibition
The state government in 2014 had directed that the factory be shut, after receiving complaints of excessive pollution created.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

For the next month, Noida residents will be treated to a beautifully remodelled vision of a defunct, abandoned factory in C block of Sector 8 that was used to produce ‘kattha’ (catechu) — one of the major ingredients in ‘paan’.

A group of veteran architects and an award winning photographer have remodelled and set up an exhibition of the erstwhile ‘kattha’ factory outlet, to explore the idea of ‘metamorphosis’ of an abandoned building through innovation and renovation.

The initiative has been put together by renowned photographer, Andre Jeanpierre Fanthome, and The Design Village Institute. They have transformed the abandoned factory into a refurbished model institute for design students.

A view of the factory premises. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Art enthusiasts and design lovers can enjoy beautiful pictures of the abandoned factory and can also see the refurbished machines that have been made a part of the exhibition.

The state government in 2014 had directed that the factory be shut, after receiving complaints of excessive pollution created. The premises were abandoned and left as is till The Design Village (TDV) Institute acquired it to run its classes after refurbishing it.

Defunct machines have been retained. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

“The basic idea of my work was to show ‘khandhar’, which means an abandoned building. The process of renovating the building and tracing the process of metamorphosis has been depicted through my artwork,” said Fanthome.

There are around 40 photo frames of Fanthome’s work at the exhibition and the defunct machines have been covered a saffron colour, which is synonymous with the colour of ‘kattha’. Footsteps leading to the godown of the factory have also been beautifully decorated.

The institute also intends to run its classes from the refurbished factory outlet for its design students. Regular classes for four-year design course are being run on the premises. A total of 75-80 students will be taught in these unique and interesting classroom spaces.

Sourabh Gupta, an architect and one of the founders of TDV, said he intends to change the methodology of educating students in India.

“Education is about inspiring and not just informing people. We want to change the way students are taught so that they are able to think out of the box. Creativity cannot be inspired in regular classrooms. Students can now better visualise the industrial workspace they are going to work in and their creativity will increase manifold. This is the idea behind running an institute from an abandoned space,” said Gupta.

To demolish, create and recreate structures is a thrill sought by architects and designers. The process has been beautifully portrayed by photographer Fanthome. Until August 25, residents of Noida also have the opportunity to explore the idea of seeking beauty in defunct spaces and to understand how structures are full of life.

First Published: Jul 30, 2017 22:26 IST