Some members of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Thiruvananthapuram Centre, are involving themselves in a noble task of mapping city’s is rich in heritage buildings and sites. The project, called My City: Listen to the Walls, involves comprehensive data collection of cultural, social and regional aspects. Sometime back the archaeology department had taken stock of the heritage buildings, but not the local people’s lifestyles, food patterns, music, local dialect, local rivers and wetlands and much more. That’s why some architects and interior designers have come together to document the culture, heritage and social milieu of the capital city.
Unlike some other exercises done in the past, My City: Listen to the Walls project will have pictorial representation with intricate details regarding historical places, old and new constructions, food items, rivers and wetlands. Apart from the IIA Thiruvananthapuram centre of architects and architecture students, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation as well as stakeholders belonging to the local milieu and historians and anyone who can recall the older times will also be included in the project.
The project is time consuming and exhaustive and it may take not less than two years for completion. However, once the documentation is completed it will reveal the history as well as the culture and tradition of Thiruvananthapuram which will also have pictures, maps and sketches.
Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient region with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BCE. Thiruvananthapuram has historically been a cultural hub in South India due to the active interest of the rulers of erstwhile Travancore in the development of arts, architecture and liberal customs. Apart from the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the city’s architecture is championed by the Napier Museum and Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, one of the oldest zoo’s in India. Other architecture landmarks include Kuthira Malika Palace, Kowdiar Palace, Attukal temple, Beemapally Mosque, Connemara Market, and the Mateer Memorial Church. Thiruvananthapuram was the main centre of Laurie Baker’s architecture.