Ahmedabad Textile Mill Owner’s Association
On 146th sketch meet, Urban Sketchers Ahmedabad got permission to sketch at Corbusier’s masterpiece – Ahmedabad Textile Mill Owner’s Association (ATMA). The site was pretty easy to access using BRTS, the nearest stop being MJ Library. This followed by a 5 minute walk on Ashram Road brought me to a curbside Tea Post. A boundary wall showed up after this and there was the entrance gate to ATMA complex.
A long ramp led to the first floor and adjacent to it, a staircase hung out detached from Brise-Soleil façade. Like a fellow sketcher pointed out, the staircase showed a balance of lightness and heaviness the way it was placed out of the structural mass.
The composition of the square-shaped open façade grids with thin angular fins on the sides were beautifully layered with tall plantation at the edge railing. Imagine a floor planter in place of railing! Here, a thin railing and planter complemented each other really well functionally and aesthetically.
Choosing my frame
Being in love with dynamic first view perspectives of a site, I immediately walked around the site trying to find the place where this masterpiece would reveal itself to me the most. And it was the paved area to the right that provided the best view, which eventually many of us sketched (I am sure all architects/architecture students).
First, I drew a thumbnail of the proportions involved in the composition. And it all converged into a 3 X 3 grid overlaid on 2 point perspective, which further had more divisions, but initially I try to see the bigger logic, especially in a complete structure view. Once satisfied with my thumbnail, I drew these grids on full page, drawing the facade plane first. And then I projected it in the second dimension, i.e. towards the back. Next, like in thumbnail, I located the second frame which was the staircase and projected it in its second dimension, i.e., towards the front.
For rendering, I just let the inner areas go dark in order to maximize the façade recognition from all that line work. And the most striking elements that connected all the square grids I feel were – the red door at the top, the staircase and the trees in the façade planters. Later, we were trying to find out the logic behind certain elements on first floor. It was an amazing experience sketching Le Corbusier’s masterpiece!
Nothing is ever final for a sketcher, but here is the so-called final sketch of the site.