Iwan is finishing up a book with Dutch architect Bjarne Mastenbroek. For the last several years they’ve explored the role and responsibility of contemporary architecture with regard to its surroundings, either in nature or urban nature through grounded architecture. The step wells clustered in the north of India were one of the last typologies to document for the book.
Of course, the step wells of India amazed us in both their architecture and use as social-communal spaces. But they also left us dumbfounded by their modern, yet bizarre relevance as the most epic selfie backdrop ever.
Local tourists flock to these structures, peering down into the wells of wonder while chatting about their amazing selfie snap. Excavation and architecture flips their ideas of building. As visitors to the wells scroll through a surplus of selfies, they’re simultaneously drawn to the notion that less is more, and the abundant beauty in architecture by abstraction.
by Iwan Baan
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