New Building for Tamil nadu Legislative Assembly

New Building for Tamil nadu Legislative Assembly

A modern building for Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. A magnificiant landmark to Chennai. A great achivement to the Tamil Nadu PWD Buildings organisation. A dream project of the Chief Minister M.Karunanithi

The new building for Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly was inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh at Chennai on March 13. The grand function was attended by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chair person of ruling UPA and Dr.M.Karunanithi the Chief Minster of Tamil Nadu

The building is located in Chennai Omandurar Government Estate with Anna Road in the west, Kamaraj Road in the east. Wallajah Road in the south and Sivananda road in the north. There is Anna statue facing the front entrance and Periyar Statue facing the rear entrance of the building.This campus is very close to Marina beach in Bay of Bengal.

Front elevation
Model of Front elevation showing Public Plaza in the first Circle
Back elevation
Model of Back elevation showing the fourth and the smallest circle

The concepts of Plan and design

The design of this building was conceived by German architect GMP selected based on global tender. The building is a seven story structure raised to 198 feet with a plinth area of 9,30,000 Sq.ft The cost of the project is Rs.426 Crore . The geometry of the structure reflects circles and isosceles triangles. Four circular buildings of increasing diameter are interconnected and are wrapped in a great isosceles triangle finished to a shape of oval if seen from outside.

The plan inspired and copied from Nature
The plan inspired and copied from Nature
Nowadays Architects and designers go for structural designs of Nature and adopt them as core concept. For example the structure of honey comb, a spider web, a cross section of a plant stem or a sector of a petal arrangement in a flower can inspire the Architects to adopt them in their plans. The German Architect GMP have adopted such a design in this building.

There is a concept of democracy which is represented in the four circles of the plan of this building. The first biggest circle is called Public Plaza, where public is allowed freely indicating people constitute the largest and first component of democracy. The next biggest circle shall accommodate the Legislative assembly indicating that they are second only to the people. The third biggest circular structure is meant for Law department with library symbolising the importance of Judiciary next only to legislature .The smallest and the last circular building shall be occupied by the office of the Chief Minister and that means the Executive in a democracy should be a modest wing and should obey the people, the Legislature and Judiciary in that order.

The Cultural features in the building

Kolam , the domestic art of Tamil woman
Kolam , the domestic art of Tamil woman
Although the elevation of the building is finished to a modern aesthetic look in the urban context, enough planning is done to reflect the cultural traditions of the Tamils and Dravidian architecture in this building. The four cylinderical buildings have central yards open to sky just like the Muttrams in a typical traditional Tamil house.

The Kolam designs, the traditional curvy drawings are displayed in Façade of the building and in columns. Kolams are intricate geometric patterns of dots and lines drawn by Tamil women every morning at the entrance yard of the homes.

The Dome

Assembly Hall
Model of Assembly Hall in the second circle
Model of The Dome

The dome over the Circular assembly shall resemble the temple car that can be seen in important temples of Tamil nadu. The dome is a grander replication of the one existing in Valluvar kottam, Chennai.The occupants of assembly hall in the ground floor can see direct sunlight from the dome in the seventh floor. The 800 ton dome shall be mounted at 100 feet height atop the seventh floor ceiling. The dome will have eight steel structures with granite cladding. Each of the eight arms, weighing 100 tones, will have aluminium fins (totally 33 of them) or gold-colored anodized aluminium sheets designed to withstand wind force and corrosion.

The first Green Assembly building in the world

On the environmental aspect this building is constructed to cause least disturbance to environment adopting the concepts of Green buildings by engaging a consultant. When compared to conventional buildings this building save 20% reduction in energy consumption by using energy saving electrical appliances including light fixtures. Occupancy sensors can automatically switch off the Air condition and lights. The natural lighting is harvested on all sides through panel façade and through the big dome at the top. The adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings used in the building have less volatile organic compounds and are less harmful to humans. The thermal comfort to the occupants shall be as per international standards and the internal air quality shall be pleasant since the whole area is declared as non smoking zone.

TNLA building a Gold rated  Green Building
TNLA building a Gold rated Green Building
The water consumption is expected to be reduced by 52 % by using low water flush in rest rooms, 100 % grey water recycling and 100% Rain water harvesting. A separate sewage treatment plant shall treat 2.5 lakh litre a day.

The construction debris are recycled for leveling and filling in the site. Local plant species are given preference to beautify the complex. All the old trees at the site of the building are replanted in the same campus.

The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has certified this as Gold rated Green Building and herefore the Tamil Nadu assembly building is getting the honour of the first Green assembly / parliament building in the world. This has also become the largest certified Green government building in India.

The Construction Technology

During the construction many challenges have been met and solved with the help of non conventional and modern methods. Foundation is laid using rotary piling. The methodology of post-tensioning has been used extensively for slabs and beams in place of the conventional method of reinforced cement concrete. Mr.S. Ramasundaram, Principal Secretary to Government (Public Works) claims that time was reduced to seven to 10 days for a floor instead of 21 days. The RCC walls around the structure carry 20000 sq m of structural glazing and 10000 sq m of blue granite cladding

The Labour Material and the Project Management

People of Tamil Nadu should thank the immigrant labours from North Indian states of Bihar, Jharkand and West Bengal. 3000 of them worked hard night and day to see the building to be erected in a record time These migrant labours may extend their stay in Tamil Nadu and even become voters here since the next mega project to construct secretariat block adjacent to Assembly Building has begun. More projects such as Financial city in the southern part of Chennai may employ them.

Engaging labour from northern states shows a deviation from the pattern of labour employment since in the past few centuries mostly Tamil coolie labours migrated from India to many countries. Now skilled tamil labours are in short supply. The New assembly building has been constructed by efficiently engaging the unskilled labours from the north. The Chief Minister is arranging for Big Feast ( Bada Gana) to those poor migrants on the eve of the inauguration of the building

This building has so far consumed 5300 cu m of river sand, 24000 MT of cement14000 MT of steel, 50,00,000 numbers of bricks, 48000 sq m of granite slab and 18000 sq m of Marble slab. About 1.12 crore man hours are spent.

Chief Minister inspects the works during construction
Chief Minister inspects the works during construction

The Chief Minister of Tamil nadu, Dr.M.Karunanidhi took personal interest in monitoring this project almost everyday. Other notable persons in the project administration Mr.S. Ramasundaram, Principal Secretary PWD and Mr. S. Karunagaran the Chief Engineer Buildings, Public Works Department, Buildings Organisation deserve to be honored and remembered for dedicating this building to the people. East Coast Construction and Industries Ltd( ECCI) are the main contractors entrusted with the execution of this project who hold the reputation of constructing the existing landmarks in Chennai such as Light house, Anna Flyover, Valluvar Kottam.

The building has been inaugurated on the scheduled date with some of the interior and exterior works still pending to be finished. This building has been constructed to this level in 15 months and as per contract three more months are available to completely finish this project. This has been criticized in some quarters. Some experts say that the building has to be loaded slowly and the construction activities should not be rushed for inauguration. But this all happen in such big projects and it could not be a reason to under estimate this prestigious building. The Indian conditions are not yet favorable to manage construction of such a building in any other way.

An ambitious target was set and the inauguration is on time. Buidlings organisation of the Tamil nadu public works Department with 150 years of expertise in construction field have enough skill and care to safely bring this building to effective use.

The experience gained in the construction of this Bloak A , Legislative assembly complex is going to help immensely in the construction of Block B, a Rs.210 crore project to construct 7 buildings each having seven stories for a total plinth area of 7,90,000 sq feet for housing various Government departments. Block B shall also be a green building equipped with sophisticated computer controlled building management system. Another futuristic building in making that will take Tamil Nadu to lead in such infrastructure projects.



22 thoughts on “New Building for Tamil nadu Legislative Assembly

  1. Very informative article. Kudos Malar! I know CM Karunanidhi wants to leave a monument proclaiming his names for the years to come..But it is indeed a nice initiative!

  2. Though Karunanidhi could not help the Tamils in any matters whether it is Eelam or Mullai Periyar issue, atleast he get takes pride in constructing iconic structures like the statue of Thiruvalluvar and the new assembly building. He could not do anything more than this to prove that Tamils are the ancient wonder civilisation of the world. He has become one the most powerless Tamil chief minister ever to be on throne of Tamil kingdom. Only during his period Tamil detiorated to the core both in language and also in Tamil identity. Thanks to Karunanidhi. May he continue to construct such wonderful buidings in the future and deconstruct the edifice of Tamil kingdom.

  3. மக்களின் வரி பணம் வீணடிக்கப்பட்டது

    சட்ட சபை கட்டிடம் மேல் கோபுரம் அமைக்க கால அவகாசம் இல்லாததால் மாதிரி அமைப்பிற்கு மட்டும் இரண்டு கோடி ரூபாய் செலவு அரை மணி நேர விழாவிற்கு இத்தாலி சோனியா எடுப்பு
    மன்மோகன் சிங் என்று ஆடம்பராக நடந்த கருணாநிதியின் தற் பெருமை விழா.
    தற்காலிமாக அமைக்கப்படும் சாலை மின் விளக்கு அலங்கார வேலைபாடுகள் என்று பல கோடி ரூபாய் மக்களின் வரி பணம் வீணடிக்கப்பட்டது . விரைவாக முடிக்க வேண்டும் என்பதற்காக கூடுதலாக பல கோடி ரூபாய் செலவிட்டு ஆறு மாதத்திற்குள் நாற்பது சதவிகிதம் வேலை முடிந்தவுடன் அவசர அவசரமாக
    திறக்கப்பட்டது. போக்குவரத்து நெரிசல் மிகுந்த இடத்தில் கருணாநிதியின் சுயநலத்திற்காக கட்டப்பட்ட கட்டிடம்

  4. my name is aravind and iam studing 1st year B.E (civil). so only i like this bilding very much exspecialy i like Mr.dr.karunanithy iam very bigest fans. please try improve the village because my friends wher village peoples they also want to become a good profation

  5. ‘Waited until it is cooked but couldn’t wait a little longer until it sets and cools down’ to relish patiently. It reminds me of a short-story about a parrot – ‘El’lavu Kaath’tha Killi.
    This CM is well known for his notoriety of consistent motivation in ambitious self-glorification. He will stoop, prostrate and dive any depth in stinking sewer anywhere and at anytime. For an average Tamil, it’s so disgusting shame but for him it’s an added feather to glue on his bald. One of such well publicized a week’s long scavenging prostration in Delhi last year is echoing in the minds of Tamils all over the world. Perhaps the restlessness and impatience might have been prompted by fear mongering rumors / gossips about, his rival / contender for guardianship, ViP’s (Very Important Prabaharan’s) story which is still not settled or put to rest.

    Thanks for Mr. Malar, for your lively architectural description of Structure

  6. Dear Raj

    Being a civil Engineer I focussed on the details of this building, its Archtecture and construction. It is unfair to leave out the contribution of the Chief Minister in this project. I have no intention of promoting DMK Chief. We all know only Raja raja Cholan for Big Temple and Shahjahan for Taj Mahal since the details of Architects Engineers and labourers who built those structures are unknown. Now we have the facility to record their contribution. Four days leave was granted and the labourers are happy. They were fed with a good meal and the PWD Secretary danced with the labourers for Hindi tunes. I do not want to spoil the party by highlighting the critical aspects.

    This is a “building” oriented article. This building has no feeling to understand who constructed it.

    Similarly Ealem issue has to be focussed based on the murder of democracy in Srilanka, Massacre and Genocide of people, cilvil liberties, human rights, press freedom, minority rights, war crimes, crimes on women, problems of war widows, orphaned children. Instead if we still continue to look at Ealem through the prisms of Karunanithi or Jeyalalitha or Tamil or Indian, we will fail again and we cannot prevent another disaster.

    I request Raj to contribute more articles on Ealem and Mullaip periyar without mentioning the word Tamil since it is our identity which kills us.


  7. “Four circular buildings of increasing diameter are interconnected and are wrapped in a great isosceles triangle finished to a shape of oval if seen from outside.”

    Do we have a topview of this description?

  8. Malar,
    Thanks for your comment on my comment. To see this article from an engineers perpective, I have to admit that this article is a wonderful piece of in-depth analysis (only on the positive side) of the building. The flow of the article and data collected about the building is mind blowing. We sincerely have to thank you for bringing these details to public. However a building is not just a structure but also it has some emotional background underpinning. Whether it is Taj Mahal or Tanjavore Big Temple, both has some strong background underpinning. Without mentioning the background and just applauding the structural edifice will not give justice to the onlookers. If we have to applaud only the structural edifice, then surely we have to appreciate the victory tomb contructed by Rajapakshe in remembrance of Srilankan forces victory over LTTE in Mullivaikal. This victory tomb in a artistic masterpiece. But can the Tamils appreciate this art work? Whenever we see this victoy tomb we remember the chauvinism of Srilankans. Rather we Tamils can use this place for spitting and urinate in the future when we establish our Tamil Eelam.

    Same way, whenever we see this (building) brain work of Karunanidhi, Tamils tend not to appreciate the architectural aspects of this building and rather Tamils tend to remember the adamant nature of this matured kid who sits as a cheif minister. Personally I could not appreciate this buiding regardless of the marvels surrounding the construction. I would have been more glad, if you have written about the negavite aspects of the building as well. We should always know the other side of the coin too. I presume you are an excellent critic and you have demonstrated your knowledge in your previous articles. But your critical thinking has not reflected in this article, hence my comments. Nextly I request you not to write a detail article praising the opening ceremony of World Tamil Conference, an outcome of our Chief Minister’s self-glorification campaign.

  9. Thanks Raj

    Few weeks back I went to see the interior and outer works in TNLA Building. Therefore I could write about it.
    I have no intention to visit Classsical Tamil Conference. One of the activist asked me to contribute one article about the ancient irrigation methods described in Sangam literature to be presented to Classical Tamil Institute. I declined since I had insufficient study and information on this subject. However I wish to write an article in this forum about the link between Tamil and Indus scripts. Incidentally the Logo for Classical Tamil Conference have Indus scripts around it. I think the latest findings on the possible common origin for Tamil and Indus script shall be discussed in that Conference.

    I understand the deep anguish in you about the role of DMK Chief in the recent phase of Tamil Ealem war. Many people share it. I have been writing in other forums too for many years that the politicians and chief ministers of Tamil Nadu cannot do anything as long as we have no dictating power in the Indian Central Government. At one point in (in 2008) myself and Pandyan were locked in a discussion. Pandyan was critical about my views as favourable to MK. At that time too I had to insist that in India the state chief minister could not go beyond a limit whoever it may be. This is only to confirm the view of Periyar that slaves cannot help slaves.

    with regards


  10. It’s so happened that ‘as the crow sat-down on the leaf the fruit fell-down’ and the crow thought it’s because its weight the fruit fell. In Tamil a saying it’s said ‘Ka’kam iruk’ka Pa’nam pa’lam vilun’th maa’thiri’! Likewise, for betterment or worse for the Tamil, this CM is so happened to be on the seat which is made a frustrating Symbol of Tribute by Prostration’ when the monumental erection and inauguration (House-Warming) of the New Tamil State Assembly Building – ceremoniously declared open. If the Tamils are predestined by their heritage they would have got it anyway – still they will get more under anyone’s patronage.

    Rajarajan. Shahjahan and the present CM are entirely different personalities in their social stature and how they shot up to prominence from different bases and background. They are irrelevant for comparison. Rajaraja Cholan, an illustriously absolute monarch who held preeminent power and ruled over an empire as an indisputable ‘Sovereign Ruler’. He built the Tanjavur Temple with power of solitary authority and economic resources which he derived from his subjects in the form of taxes, tributes and labour. In the case of this CM, he is not a monarch but having a symbolic elected status as a Chief of State, by the process of Democracy and with life tenure as the Head of Political party and having powers by nepotism varying from normal to dictatorial. He didn’t build the monumental Icon of grandeur by his charisma or love for prosperity of the future Tamil generations as Raja Rajan did – but did and doing meticulously for his posterity. He used public money and resources. It’s something like breaking a coconut, found unnoticed on the street, in the Sanctum in-order to wash away the committed sins.

    However, despite how I sense and feel about the article, let me thank once again Mr. Malarthamil for his excellent presentation of architectural description, engineering details, quantified material specifications and landscaping of this Chennai Landmark. I am much inspired by your inviting presentation and earnestly hope that I’ll get a chance to see and enjoy on-the-spot experience of its magnificence. Wishing the People Tamil Nadu all Glory & Prosperity – Truly I am thrilled, Nithy!

  11. Malar,

    Periyar was right on so many things..He had his ears to the ground and was tuned to understand the social psychology of men..But his ideas were not that unique..even 4 yr olds will share his opinion on many stuff nowadays!

    Importantly he did not care for the perception of others about him, as his political survival was not based on votes, nor his self-worth, nor did he wait for collaboration..So he could shoot straight! That is what differentiates him from other leaders of his times..

  12. Raj – The world is what it is. Karunanidhi’s and Jayalalitha’s exist and will flourish in a land like Tamil Nadu and in any democracy for that matter. That is the hard reality. There is a saying that you will realize the pain of a headache only when you have one. There are not many soals blessed with empathy.

    If you follow the recent progress around the world, the Lankan Tamils have started working with people who actually backstabbed them earlier. They are working with groups in UK, USA and Canada. These are the very same players that encouraged Sri Lanka earlier. The Lankan Tamils have to do even more painful things in the near future – like work with India (and Karunandhi/Jayalalitha). Since they are now tasked with a struggle of survival, they have learned that they should be prepared to work with anybody including filthy politicians. I only wish that unlike earlier, they work with China and Pakistan also and keep a channel open with them too.

    Coming to the TNLA – yes, I do appreciate the Engineers and Architects who have delivered this.

  13. Sunderapandyan,
    I do understand that Eelam Tamils have to work with people and politicians who back stabbed them. However they are cleverly moving their coins to achive their target. This was very evident after the formation of Global Tamil Forum and the very inaugration itself was held in the British Parliament buiding and Gordon Brown was the chief guest. This is a giant leap for Tamils and was not expected by Srilankans and Indian politicians. The same way Tamils will make even our Indian goverment to voice for them. This is a tactical move by the Tamils. Even our Tamilnadu politicians are not that tactful and efficient in organising such a wonderful event to mark the unity of Tamils. Next will the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam which will be another milestone for Tamils. Lets wait and see how things unfolds.

    I am extremely delighted to know that you are preparing some article about the link between Indus script and Tamil. I also have studied many books regarding the connection between the two. I am eagerly waiting for such findings which will take our language and culture to the next level. May I request you to involve me as well in this noble project so that I could atleast contribute a smallest portion? I will be happy if you can let me know so that we can meet once and discuss further about various issues underpinning Tamils and their history. I will be glad to work with you and share my thoughts and knowledge. if possible we can also meet the archielogist Iravatham Mahadevan. Please let me know.

  14. Messrs. Raj, Malar, Pandyan & Others!
    Dear Gentlemen!
    Please join hands and work together on this Noble cause. It’s beneficial for all Tamils. May God bless you! Nithy!

  15. Dear Raj

    Writing an article is a simple job. I have to base on the Indus script found in Kandiyur near Mayiladuthurai and the recent finds of indus script in Kerala. Moreover the location of Chera port Musiri in the west coast has been identified only a few days back. Our Government tries to set up Museum in Athichanallur only now. We relied on classical literary works and ignored archeological findings for the past six decades.

    A decade back I collected copy of all Indus Valley symbols available and tried to crack it only to find my head cracked. And all my collections were dead with my old computer (1998). I stopped my research in 2001. Now I have almost forgotten. Iravatham has admitted that he could not decipher it in his life time.

    I have high hopes. We need a project with hundreds of scholars derived from multiple disciplines if we have to establish the continuity of Indus valley civilisation in Tamil civilisation. This is necessary since the liers and frauds are twisting the history. We have to set it right. That is the spirit behind establishing truthdive. I will post a preliminary opinion in the form of article. We will continue discussion and see whether we get connected with interested persons.

    And we will set aside our difference of opinion on other matters since we share a common goal.

    with regards


  16. Is there not a single eminent Indian Architect who could have done this better.
    many people comment,
    bharat prtrolum tanks
    circus tent,
    old basin bridge towers
    An indian architect who has a better knowledge of our conditions would have given a real assembly bldg
    recently constructed assembly bldgs

  17. It is really great to know about the Assembly new building.It is very fine in all aspects whole world TAMIL specking brothers will appreciate the wonderful work of Hon’ble CMs hard work. It is very beautiful and the elevation is something wounderful.

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