The presentation started with an introduction of Prof. Dr. Arunava Singh Gupta and his affiliation with the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in Delhi. Arunava then introduced his insightful projects centered on Shahjahanabad, Delhi. Arunava shared the historical context of Shahjahanabad, highlighting its current standing, demographics, and the vibrant cultural mix that characterizes it.

Presentation by Prof. Dr. Arunava Dasgupta

Arunava then focused on fascinating architectural aspect of Haveli. He explained the unique functions and characteristics of these structures, advocating for their recognition as a distinct building type. The audience got a glimpse of Haveli design and the diverse roles they play within the community. Arunava shared studies conducted with his students, focusing on Haveli-type houses. These studies aimed to unravel the detailed designs and the manifold functions these structures serve in their respective communities.

After sharing his insightful studies on Haveli, Arunava shared the challenges faced by Chandni Chowk, a historical area, and the preservation efforts undertaken to protect its heritage. Arunava also highlighted on the ongoing initiatives, emphasizing the need to maintain the authenticity of this culturally significant site amidst modern urban pressures.

Arunava then explored the potential of Chandni Chowk in providing housing facilities. He elaborated on how repurposing heritage buildings, including the conversion of some into guest houses and hotels, played a vital role in preserving the unique character of the area. This dual function of preservation and adaptive reuse emerged as a key strategy in maintaining the historical integrity of the site.

The presentation became a vibrant platform for the sharing of experiences, insights, and a shared passion for heritage conservation. The audience comprised of artists, architect and faculty members from various architectural schools in and around Kathmandu. Arunava’s efforts resonated with the audience, sparkling a discourse that celebrated the importance of preserving architectural heritages as integral parts of cultural identities.

Time: 40 mins

Location: Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal

Date: 29th November, 2023