Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad, and CARE School of Architecture in the city have joined hands to take up a study and map the Rockfort, and the habitations and traditional architecture around the city’s most famous landmark.

A team of 77 architecture students - 36 from CEPT University and 41 from CARE School of Architecture - are currently engaged in mapping and doing sketches of the Rockfort, its Nandavanam, and the heritage structures around them, and a traditional village street and their houses at Nallur near Papanasam. The initiative has been taken up as part of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions to take up collaborative ventures.

“Traditional Indian architecture has not been documented much. The study is to make accurate drawings of the local architecture and document them, complete with their settlement plans. We will bring out a monograph based on the study by January,” N.H. Chhaya, dean, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, told The Hindu.

Prof. Chhaya, who was here to supervise the study recently, explained that the university has been engaged in conducting such studies and documenting traditional Indian architecture for several years now. “Every year, we take up three locations and one of the locations is Tamil Nadu this year, which is being done in association with CARE School,” he said.

The study and the documentation would be useful not only from an academic study point but also possibly help planners and architects incorporate people’s way of life while planning urban development.

Prof. Chhaya described the settlement around the Rockfort as one of the most intelligent layouts for its precise and careful use of land.

The mapping and documentation could help the city retain its cultural identity and planners could pick up lessons while drawing up development projects, said Vijaykumar Sengottuvelan, Director, CARE School of Architecture.

“We could learn lessons on how modern cities could be made more sustainable from the patterns of living in traditional human settlements,” said Vikram C. Bhatt, professor of architecture and director, Minimum Cost Housing Group, McGill University, Quebec, Canada, who was here to observe the study.

Prof. Chhaya said CEPT University and CARE School of Architecture are planning to set up field study centres to study the cultural landscape of the region over the next five years.