Assistant professor of urban planning Ashima Krishna examines adptive use of Hindu temple sites in India.
Adaptive use has long been a sustainable and economically beneficial tool used by preservationists, architects, planners, and developers. It has been most popularly used for civic, industrial, and residential structures in not only the developed world, but increasingly in developing countries as well. In India’s rapidly changing urban and rural areas, abandoned or vacated buildings have been reused in different ways as public and private institutions, offices, museums, and hotels. The reuse of abandoned houses of worship—temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras (the place of worship for followers of Sikhism), and synagogues— however, remains a pertinent yet sensitive issue in India. Can a non-functional liturgical space be more than a repository of our past? Can it also be an essential and utilized part of its community?
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UB