Skip to content
The Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, designed by Achyut Kanvinde and completed in 1966, was part of a wave of modernist projects across India during the 1960s.  

The Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, designed by Achyut Kanvinde and completed in 1966, was part of a wave of modernist projects across India during the 1960s.  

Source: Kanvinde Archives/MoMA

When Modernism Thrived in South Asia

A wave of modernist architecture swept India, Pakistan and other states after independence. The fate of these post-colonial projects reveals much about the region’s political transformation. 

I spent years growing up in an architectural masterpiece — but had no idea. 

In 1997, my family moved into Delhi’s Asian Games Village, located near a sports club and auditorium in a lush corner of the city. Designed by the Indian architect Raj Rewal and built for athletes at the 1982 Asian Games, the complex was later repurposed as government and private housing. Squat sandstone buildings were arranged like Tetris blocks around, and at the core of, a circular loop of road, with each element organized around a green space — a garden that served as a public courtyard.