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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Tagore Theatre to get three new venues

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN. 11. The renovation of the Tagore Theatre at Vazhuthacaud will add 7,000 sq ft of built-up area to the existing 32,000 sq ft complex and provide three additional cultural venues, including two mini-auditoriums and an open-air amphitheatre.

The sprawling premises covering an area of 10.5 acres will be redesigned to accommodate a people's plaza with fountains, water cascades and paved walkways on terraced grounds. It will also feature a multi cuisine food court and retail space for a handicrafts emporium.

Participants in a discussion organised by the Government on the proposed renovation project today expressed divergent views on the architectural style to be adopted for the renewed structure. While some wanted it to reflect the traditional style of Kerala architecture, others preferred a Bengali touch to identify the complex with Tagore's home State.

Explaining the salient features of the Rs.11.58-crore project, the architect consultant N. Mahesh said the cultural venues would be equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, acoustic panels, automatic curtains, mood lighting, drop sheets, aircraft quality seats, projection facilities and reflective ceilings. While the main hall will accommodate 950 seats, the two mini-auditoriums will be of 200-seat capacity each.

An art gallery and a conference hall will be added to the main building. All the indoor halls are to be air-conditioned. The roof of the main building will be replaced with powder coated sheets and a false ceiling beneath.

The designers have taken care to retain the green cover. While 19 of the 367 trees on the premises are slated to come under the axe, another 120 trees will be planted. A parking lot to accommodate 200 cars and a gazebo for poetry reading and Yoga sessions will also be provided at the south- eastern corner of the grounds.

The lobby at the rear entrance to the main hall is to be decked up with glass doors, granite flooring and padded, acoustic doors. The statue of Tagore will be mounted on an elevated pedestal.

Scotching fears about handing over the complex to the private sector, the Chief Secretary, Babu Jacob, said it would remain with the Government. He mooted the idea of a committee comprising elected representatives to monitor the renovation work.

The majority of the participants in the discussion wanted the food court and sales emporium to be relocated away from the front of the premises. The general secretary of the Federation of Residents Associations, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT), said the location of the commercial outlets near the main entrance would eclipse the cultural identity of the complex.

The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad secretary, Padmanabhan, urged the designers to impart a traditional style of architecture to the main structure. Noted cultural activist Soorya Krishnamoorthy said the complex which is a memorial to Tagore should reflect a Bengali style of architecture akin to Santhiniketan. He proposed a mechanism to ensure that the funds generated by the complex are utilised for maintenance.

The former Chief Town Planner Kasthurirangan; the Thiruvananthapuram MP, P.K. Vasudevan Nair; the Mayor, J. Chandra; the Deputy Mayor, M. Sujanapriyan; the TRIDA chairman, P.K. Venugopal, and senior officials participated in the meeting.

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