The Madurai Club is an architectural master piece by Architect Geoffry Bawa .The huge restored place stands silently in Madurai in atucked away street . Heres the story of how it all began...Martin Henry was appointed general manager of Madurai Mills in 1970. At the time the large thread-making company based in and around Madurai ran two staff clubs: the Madurai Club in the centre of the town was exclusively European , while the Garden Club in the suburb of Kochadai was for Indian staff.Made entirely from materials found within a few kilometres of the site. Bawa rose to the challenge and proposed that the structural columns should be of honey-coloured stone quarried from the local Nagamalai Hill and that stone slabs from an old mill should be used for the floors. Henrys travelled up to Karaikudi where they bought 2 old Chettinad doors, a set of 4 old carved stone columns and a miniature temple cart, all of which were incorporated into the new club. Work finally started on site in January 1973 and the completed building opened in January 1975.Although the design is deceptively simple, it succeeds through the subtlety of its spatial organization, the care with which spatial hierarchies are set up and the connection of exterior, interior and semi-interior spaces through axial views.Restoration of the Madurai Club was fittingly awarded to Bawa’s disciple, Sri Lankan architect and prodigy Vinod Jayasinghe. Maintaining Bawa’s unique style and most of the material he had used, Jayasinghe restored the resort to its former glory.
Some stays are always unprecedented and just like that.A days stay here was also the same way!The town of Madurai and Madurai Meenakshi temple stays close to our minds right from the initial days of marriage.The passenger train which took us to Madurai and together we visited the temple and then took our journey to kodai hills..So madurai is first love and togetherness for us.Any trip to this place can only be celebrated !
|illustrations and images from the book courtesy:David Robson
|the alley and pillars
|this place is a converted lawn
|interiors of the lobby 2013
|interiors in 1970
|the entrance to the office
|shadows and the granite pillars outside the room
|the plunge pool
|coolness of the shadows and breeze from the neem tree
|one door in the restaurant
|the antique chettinad door
|the lobby area
|lotus pools near the entrance
|its alleys are beautiful..
|shadows outside the lobby..lotus
Image and Text Courtesy: Lakshmi Arvind,David Robson,Archnet,Thomas and Hudson
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