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Cardiff architect offers new perspective on India’s ancient temples

23 November 2007

A new book by a Cardiff University academic brings a modern architect’s eye to the centuries-old temples of India.

India saw an extraordinary explosion of temple building between the sixth and thirteenth centuries. Buddhists, Hindus and Jains built elaborate and striking structures across South Asia.

Dr Adam Hardy, of the University’s Welsh School of Architecture, has now published a book which aims to make these complex buildings understandable to the general reader.

Dr Hardy has been studying the structure of Indian temples for 25 years, during which time he has visited hundreds of temple sites all over the subcontinent. His research is brought together in The Temple Architecture of India, which is lavishly illustrated with colour pictures and numerous analytical drawings by Dr Hardy, explaining the elements of temple design.

The book examines why these temples still have such vitality and explores the lessons they have for artists and architects today.

Dr Hardy, who has been involved in the design of several new temples in Britain, said: "I wanted to write something which was comprehensive and definitive, but also accessible. The starting point is to recognise that a temple design is made up of lots of images of smaller temples. It’s a simple point, and once you realise this you see all kinds of self-similar structures, rather like the modern idea of fractals. The patterns that these are arranged in are dynamic ones, like an expanding universe."


Notes to Editors:

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a memberof the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.
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Welsh School of Architecture
The Welsh School of Architecture is one of the most successful and longest established schools of architecture in Britain, founded 75 years ago. It is one of the few schools in Britain where undergraduates have the opportunity to complete the two-tier degree scheme leading to the award of the BArch within five years. The quality of teaching at the school has been assessed as "Excellent" in the latest government review of university teaching. It has also gained a 5 rating in the most recent independent assessment of research in British universities, indicating research of a national standard.

Further Information:

For further information and high-resolution pictures of some of the temples in the book, please contact:
Stephen Rouse,
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University.
029 2087 5596