Designs for a New India

From Harvard Magazine:

IndiaThere are two Hyderabads. One, a historic city in the heart of India, established with a hilltop fort built by Hindu rulers in the fourteenth century, is rich with ancient palaces, tombs, and mosques built by the Muslim rulers who came later. The other is HITEC City, the northwestern suburb booming with industry linked to that acronym: Hyderabad Information Technology Engineering Consultancy. The two worlds rarely mix. Workers from HITEC City’s towering office buildings—emblazoned with their logos: Motorola, Novartis, Deloitte, Tata Consultancy—tend to live in equally monolithic apartment towers near their offices. They rarely come in contact with old Hyderabad, a densely populated district of winding medieval streets, inhabited mostly by poor Muslims. Rahul Mehrotra, M.Arch. ’87, has seen both Hyderabads. His Mumbai-based architecture firm designed a corporate campus in HITEC City and restored a palace in the historic center. In his work, Mehrotra—now professor of urban design and planning at the Graduate School of Design—endeavors to engage disparate worlds with each other, reminding the inhabitants of each to consider the existence of the other. “Softening thresholds” between different sectors of society is one of his guiding principles.

More here.