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Sir Patrick Geddes and Barra Bazaar: competing visions, ambivalence and contradiction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Beattie



During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries successive British governments in the indigenous parts of Kolkata (Calcutta) imposed European urban solutions, typically involving slum clearance and road building schemes. These colonial attitudes contrast with more ‘hybrid’ visions that Sir Patrick Geddes adopted for proposals for a market area in Calcutta called Barra Bazaar, in 1919. Geddes’ ideas combined an approach that commended ‘traditional’ Indian courtyard houses, street patterns and external space, with more ‘modern’ ideas for business accommodation. In conclusion, I argue that Geddes’ often ambivalent and contradictory outlook on such competing visions of city space echoes notions of ‘hybridity,’ recently developed by Homi K. Bhabha.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beattie M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Architecture

Year: 2004

Volume: 9

Issue: 2

Pages: 131-150

Date deposited: 18/04/2008

ISSN (print): 1360-2365

ISSN (electronic): 1466-4410

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/1360236042000197835


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