What is the architectural charm of Alliance Francaise Ahmedabad?
For every student at Alliance Francaise d’Ahmedabad (AF), the brick building opposite Gujarat College, amid lush greenery, will always be the way they remember this iconic institution. But the new construction near Shyamal crossroads has already begun to generate new memories for the AF family. Inaugurated in 2013 by Jean-Raphaël Peytregnet, the Consul General of France in Bombay, Pavan Bakeri, Alliance Francaise Ahmedabad president and the AF team, the new building houses several special spaces that were missing earlier. A heritage education center, a French gallery, a café and Ashwini Goyal’s all-French library are added to the expanded number of classrooms.
The etched hanging lamps on the building’s tree-like map, and the colorful cartoon-doodled library, and the murals on the outer wall make Alliance Francaise Ahmedabad truly spectacular. The new Alliance Francaise is packed with the majority of Ahmedabad’s big names. Also inaugurated at the new gallery was a series of images of Gujarat’s port towns, curated by Dr. Sara Keller.
The Alliance Francaise Ahmedabad was defined primarily in terms of the spaces needed to support a variety of diverse activities. Given the fairly restricted amount of space available, this task was made even more difficult. In view of the fact that the Alliance Francaise building had to be a cultural center as well as a student and academic center, they aimed at designing a building that had sufficient versatility to play multiple roles. This had to be done in a building with a very small footprint and across three floors. The resulting architecture is structured to allow the simultaneous use of different spaces, and has the flexibility to construct individual spaces for particular types of activities.
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