Matrimandir under construction 1971 - 1992: Main structure 1. The ribs
For twenty years from 1971 till 1992, beside the design of other buildings, I dedicated my professional skill to Matrimandir. My actitivity started simply as site engineer to guide the many unskilled voluntary Aurovilians and the local workers at the very beginning of the excavation and foundation work. Unexpectedly my work changed to a much greater complexity.
In view of the collaboration with Mr. Santhanam, the young engineer in charge of the static calculations on behalf of the Structural Engineering Research Centre (S.E.R.C) in Chennai, it became urgent and necessary to plan for the whole structure and to define the many important aspects that were still vague or pending.
In the process and especially during the 9 years of absence of Roger Anger from AV, I necessarily assumed alone the responsibility for important choices and basic ideas, mainly concerning the design of the Inner Chamber and the design of the ramps and the outer cover.
When Roger A. came back in 1987 and resumed his role as Chief Architect to complete the MM, he approved all the changes and eventually decided to leave to me the responsibility for the Inner Chamber.
The main work consisted in the project and construction of the solar tracking system (Heliostat), the choice, purchase and fixing of the Marble, the Columns, the Crystal Globe, Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s symbols, the Carpet, the Ari Conditioning plant. All that was completed in 1992.
Note about the architectural design of the Inner Chamber
The Mother recorded with great precision Her Vision of the Inner Chamber.
The transcript of Her 4 Conversations on Matrimandir were later integrally published in “Mother’s Agenda”, Vol. 10-11, December 1969 and January 1970. Moreover She provided or approved most of the basic measurement on a sketchy preliminary drawing made by Udar after Her instructions.
It was my great privilege to fulfill this precious part of the work following and getting constant inspiration from Her precise words.
Note of the photos.
Most of the following photos are of low quality. Digital photography came only after 1990. All the photos made during the construction of Matrimandir are therefore scans of old casual prints or transparent positives (slides), often very small and damaged by the humidity. The images are divided into two main parts:
1) Main structure
2) Inner chamber