The Auroville Architects Monograph Series documents the pioneering work of the architects whose vision shaped Auroville, a unique international township in southeastern India. This monograph, the second in the series, is a comprehensive record of the work of Piero and Gloria Cicionesi, whose architectural legacy translates Auroville's philosophy of community living into built form. In 1968, plunged upon arrival into designing buildings on a barren red plateau, their deep engagement with the philosophy of Auroville resulted in the construction of several communal living spaces, with a spatial sense that is simple, modern and timeless. The Matrimandir, the spiritual heart of Auroville, was built and executed by Piero. Completed in 1992, it shows his mathematical genius and his sense of perfection and material detailing, sharpened in the democratic, collective milieu of Auroville. Gloria's projects such as the residential and community living spaces she designed, display her concerns about the comfort and security of an ageing population, as well as her willingness to experiment with newer, more sustainable materials. This publication, with a Foreword by eminent architect BV Doshi, brings together essays, drawings and photographs to demonstrate the elegant legacy of Piero and Gloria Cicionesi, for whom architecture was not only a search for beauty but also had a deeper social aspiration.
Mona Doctor-Pingel has an independent practice in Auroville since 1995, where she designs and constructs buildings, interiors and landscapes, while aiming to find the right balance between Man - Nature - Economy. She is also the author of Poppo Pingel (Mapin, 2012), the first volume in the Auroville Architects Monograph Series.