Come 6th September and the CCA will be home to the prestigious RIBA President’s Medals Exhibition
until 9th October, 2019. Hosted for the first time at CCA, this exhibition celebrates the unique,
collaborative efforts of a dedicated team of students and Alumini, who spent their summer break
designing, planning and executing the RIBA exhibition and associated events. Through this event, the
CCA seeks out Chandigarh’s citizenry to visit the exhibition as a global event as well as enhance its
own capacity building as an institution of academic excellence.
Why RIBA in CCA? The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), established in 1834, in United
Kingdom, is a global professional membership body, driving excellence in architecture. Instituted in
1836, RIBA’s oldest awards for students of architecture are annually awarded in Silver, Bronze,
Sergeant, Dissertation and SOM Foundation – Skidmore Owing & Merrill categories. The Gold award
is awarded for excellence in Architecture to a personality forhis contribution to the discipline, or a
seminal work of Architecture. Approved by none other than Her majesty The Queen, among the
RIBA Gold recipients include Le Corbusier, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Edwin Maxwell Fry, Charles Correa
among others. The notable links between Chandigarh’s key architects Le Corbusier, Maxwell Fry and
Jane Drew and the CCA which was a laboratory to train architects as part of the Chandigarh
Experiment is the reason to host the exhibition. The exhibition would interest one who wants to
champion better buildings, communities and the environment. The richness of projects, the use of
colour, line drawings, and degree of detail would serve as a spectacular display of what one may
describe as ‘the sky is the limit’ to human imagination.
Preparations for the RIBA event include pre exhibition foyers embellished with posters introducing
the awards, jurors and projects, curated by the student and alumini teams. Wall to wall and
sequential semi-circulardisplay systems and lighting for the sixteen winning entry panels housed in a
large studio space along with thirty shortlisted ones. The modernist architectural interiors highlight
the simplicity and starkness of the layout accentuating the truthfulness of exposed concrete surfaces
and white plastered surfaces. The curve of the beton brut ceiling (exposed concrete as we say in
French),rises to guide the eye upwards and outwards,towards the freshly and painstakingly cleaned
north lightundulatory glazing offering a view of the lush green trees and the azure sky. The skyturns
crimson,with thesunset that signals thatit’s time to turn on the delicately hidden LEDluminaires to
accentuate the exhibits. Designed for day and early evening view, the exhibition is an in-house
creation by the CCA team symbolic of a homecoming to the RIBA during the latter’s stay.
Parallel productions to the RIBA curation are an iconic table calendar ‘Elements’ and a CCA RIBA
Booklet. Culled out of a unique collaborative effort,the calendar is a repository of building motifs
and elements celebrating the Chandigarh Style rediscovered from the works ofEdwin Maxwell Fry
and Jane Drew in Chandigarh. The booklet showcases various RIBA awards, their chequered history,
and the key personalities awarded. The booklet also captures the unique ‘Story Telling Sessions’
titled Narratives in Architecture which suggest theengaging stories from two eminent Indian
architects in the historic CCA courtyard, following the launch of the exhibition.The RIBA project
resonates the joy of learning between students, alumni and faculty who with minimal resources and
conservative budgets are hosting a global event and providing an opportunity for students across
borders to engage with.