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Gurdwara Architecture

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by BhagatSingh, May 24, 2009.

  1. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    SPNer sikhiart.com

    Apr 25, 2006
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    UK Gurdwara Architecture
    by Juga

    Art related to Sikhism has remained stagnate, I love the art photography and architecture of the past but imitating makes a poor replica(you only have to look at the mass production Gurdwara’s in India that have replaced original buildings with marble palaces that lack distinction or originality of the original building or a more closer to home example is the mock Tudor designs in the UK).
    Today we have mock Harmindar Sahibs in the UK, and we have not engaged with contemporary architecture that symbolically connects to Harmindar Sahib. Our Gurdwara in the UK have more in common with churches and mosques than our own concepts of what a place of worship should be. We do not build buildings with four doors, Guru Granth Sahib is no longer in the centre of the room(representing the centre of the universe, we place Guru Granth sahib to one side of the room like a church altar), we do not have gardens(Harmandar Sahib had equal size gardens to the main complex, they have been built over).
    No UK Gurdwara has been praised in Architecture or Design magazines. We have not taken the green issues in the building of our Gurdwaras, nor have we as a community produced any cutting edge design. The multi million pound Gurdwaras are quite dissapointing for they do not engage the sangat, nor are they outstaning design. If these Gurdwara do close down, I can’t see them becoming keen examples that should be preserved for the archtectural merit.
    When Raja Runjeet Singh commissioned the design of Harmindar Sahib, it was of its time, the artist were use to doing that kind of work, it has lasted and is revered today because of its balance and beauty that could only be achieved because the design was understood in its time. The architecture spoke to both Hindu and Muslims, aiding in the visual bridge of understanding. Why are we trying to use architecture lanugage of India within the UK?
    The connection between the Gurus message and the sangat has been stretched and stretched because of the lack of engaging audiences today, but something like Bangra has moved along with contemporary culture and has gained the benefits. What should be done is understand contempary design and apply it to the Gurus message.

    UK Gurdwara Architecture
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