Tradition and Raj Rewal’s architecture

This film explores Indian architect Raj Rewal’s philosophy of design through a “promenade” across six of his projects. Images of historic buildings and miniature paintings appear at strategic moments during this exploration, in order to show how modern rationalism, a rigorous sense of function, structure and fabrication, has been reconciled with typologies extracted from the past.

Transitions between the projects are punctuated by images of women workers on a construction site. The intention is to hint at the socio-economic and technological context in which the buildings are built.

An introduction by Raj Rewal and the voice over commentary have been reduced to a minimum to allow the audience to savor the images while hearing traditional north Indian music, each piece of which is supposed to convey the “Rasa” or “character” of the project it accompanies.

Format: 16mm Film
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Language: English

festivals & press


International Architectural film festival,Bordeaux, France.
Bombay International film festival, India.

Screened in

Musée Guimet, Paris
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Montreal University, Canada
Columbia University, New York, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York

press reviews

The film makes interesting parallels between historical structures and Raj Rewal’s work…shots of the mandala, jalis and minarets are interspersed with shots of the historical structures which inspired them…Thankfully, the director has done away with any superfluous narration letting the shots, blend beautifully and unobtrusively with the narration.

Devyani Onial: Indian Express, November 13, 1996

The super imposition and cross fades of Rewal’s modern designs over old ones which had acted as inspiration were particularly well done.



Writer, Director, Producer Manu Rewal
Commentary Barbara Çurda & Manu Rewal
Camera D. Vinod Kumar
Editing A. Madan
Sound Pandu Rangan
Camera Assistant S. Prasad
Opticals M.A. Hafeez & S.A. Azim
Light Boys Bitoo, Madhu,
Vijay Kumar & Duleep Kumar
Workers Ratan Bai, Kamala Bai,
Dhanni & Prabhu Dayal
Architectural Consultants Ram Avtar & Anshu Mahajan
Laboratory Prasad Film Labs, Madras
Production Company Duniya Vision (India) Pvt.Ltd.


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