Alliance Francaise back to all projects
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise
Alliance Francaise

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Project Work Status: Completed Projects

Cost: Rs.75 Crores

Area: 1.5 Acres

Client: Bajaj Auto Limited

In the Alliance Francaise, at Ahmedabad, one can see the same bold sculptural intensions found in Benninger's student work, as well as his strong concern for context. The expression of natural materials not only embodies Benninger's philosophy, but also reflects the materials used in the Theological College of Gujarat where it is situated. As in later works the project develops a strong language of exposed concrete molded into columns, water spouts, window boxes, lintels and skylights, all framed in a bearing wall system of naturally expressed materials. The structural grid of the beams, carried up into the skylights, reflects the system of proportion built on multiples of a 2'-6" rhythm, with 2'-6" square windows; 7'-6" square doors and 15' square floor modules, etc. The combinations within this simple system generate an amazing variety in this small and eloquent structure. Of particular interest are the "plug-in" toilets, which allow the flowing interior spaces to remain free, while adding an interesting visual accent to the elevation. As seen even in recent works, Benninger employs these low 7'-6" heights in juxtaposition with higher spaces to relate to human proportions, and to create "explosions of space" and spatial inter-relationships. The use of a strict square grid pattern characterizes this structure.

The Alliance Francaise at Ahmedabad is a classic modernist statement wherein every component has been worked and reworked, until the final design statement appears unalterable and definitive. Benninger has been able to achieve this while at the same time fusing the structure into an existing Nineteenth Century symmetrical campus plan, through the use of an informal courtyard.

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