Kochi | Recent archaeological excavations at Pattanam to study Kerala’s ancient Spice Route links with rest of the world will get a biennale flavour with architecture students from India and Spain jointly building a bamboo roof at the second KochiMuziris Biennale (KMB) for covering the trenches across the heritage site in the Periyar delta. As many as 26 students from Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University in Ahmedabad and University of Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid have started the partner project at the Aspinwall House the main venue of KMB beginning on December 12.
We are building a bamboo roof at the biennale to cover the excavated areas in Pattanam, with an inhabitation believed to trace back to 1000 BC, located near North Paravur in presentday Ernakulam district, said Daniel Garcia Lopez, an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Camilo Jose Cela. The Muziris Wharf Roof Prototype project is headed by Professor Luis Feduchi, Director of the architecture school at varsity. Parth Thacker of the faculty of technology at CEPT University is leading 22 of his students. What we are building at the biennale is a prototype for Pattanam, says Thacker.
The roof being built at the Aspinwall House measures 225 square metres, while 1,000 square metres will be the original roof in Pattanam. The roof will protect the trench where the remains of a wharf were found, said Eugenia Muscio, also a faculty member at University of Camilo Jose Cela, who spent several months in Pattanam earlier this year, studying the requirements of the excavation team.
The research on the bamboo roof project will also lead to another similar structure for a museum to be built in Pattanam, based on the findings of the excavations after the dig began in 2007. Most of the research for the Pattanam prototype was carried out by the students of CEPT and University of Camilo Jose Cela. Kochi Biennale Foundation Secretary Riyas Komu said bamboo has been one of Kerala’s finest indigenous traditions, especially in the area of functional architecture.
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