Art & Design

The Colourful, Asymmetric Houses of South India


The eccentricity of the architecture in the city of Tiruvannamalai in South India is depicted on the photographs of Vincent Leroux. And it is definitely an eye catcher.

Colourful, cheerful, asymmetric. Almost flirting with kitsch. The houses of Tiruvannamalai consist another reason to visit South India. As an ashram, a hermitage for those who want to practice the Hindu religion, Tiruvannamalai attracts tourists since the ‘60s. Ettore Sottsass was also a big fan of India. The Italian architect not only visited it for the first time in 1961, but also came into contact with the philosophy of tantra. Common denominators; Their love for the glaring colourfulness, the use of unusual materials, often conflicting with each other, which was the core of the Memphis movement, founder of which was Ettore Sottsass in 1981.

The same postmodern aesthetics are obvious in the colourful Indian universe of Tiruvannamalai, which seems to have been an inspiration for the famous architect. Considering his regular trips to India, it is likely for the Memphis movement to have been influenced by this mystical city?