Beauty of Ugliness

The street consists of a thousand different buildings, but we have got used to the beauty of ugliness for that has meant making the best of our misfortune. Those thousand houses are dingy and utterly discordant with one another. It is appalling  but we pass on our way. On Sundays, when they are empty, the streets reveal their full horror. But except during those dismal hours men and women are elbowing their way along them, the shops ablaze and every aspect of human life pullulates throughout their length. Those who have eyes in their heads can find plenty to amuse them in the sea of lusts and faces. It is better than the theater, better than what we read in novels. Nothing of all this exalts us with the joy that architecture provokes. There is neither the pride which results from order, nor the spirit of initiative which is engendered by wide spaces…” (Le Corbusier, The Street, 1929)

There once was a time when we designed cities for man’s convenience but over time, this paved way (pardon the expression) for man’s automobiles which eventually displaced man. Man is an alien to this junction and has no place there on a day to day basis. If we removed vehicles like what I attempted to do in this rudimentary sketch of this important junction in Bangalore, it almost looks desolate.

It feels almost as if the congestion of these roads for pedestrians where men and women elbow their way through buses and cars is more acceptable than this empty road with just a few pedestrians.


P.S. I got the scale wrong and this is just a rough sketch of the junction.

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