Hareesh Haridasan and Arun Menon

Volume 5, Issue 2, September 2018
pp. 34 – 39

Hareesh Haridasan is a Conservation Architect and a senior project officer with National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures (NCSHS) at IIT Madras. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from University of Mumbai (2010) and Masters in Architecture and Settlement Conservation from CEPT University, Ahmedabad (2012). He has been associated with INTACH Pondicherry Chapter and Development and Research Organisation for Nature, Arts and Heritage (DRONAH), Gurgaon. He has been involved in several conservation projects in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Punjab.

Arun Menon is Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at IIT Madras. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture (2000), masters in civil engineering (2002) and earthquake engineering (2003), and PhD in earthquake engineering (2007). He has over 15 years of experience in the field of seismic engineering and historical monuments and has authored over 60 technical articles. He is a member of ICOMOS, RILEM, ISET and Expert Member of ISCARSAH. He currently coordinates the activities of National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures (NCSHS), an MHRD-supported research centre at IIT-Madras. He has been involved in several conservation projects in India, The Philippines, Bhutan and Myanmar.


The city of Pondicherry located on the Eastern coast of India, is adorned with rich cultural heritage from the pre-historic to modern colonial era. The monuments built during the French colonial rule still exist and are in use. A considerable effort in the field of cultural heritage preservation has been undertaken by the Government of Pondicherry, ably supported by organizations such as INTACH. Programmes such as Asia -Urbs helped in preserving the architectural heritage of Pondicherry. The collapse of La Mairie de Pondicherry on 29 November 2014 brought forth issues related to previous conservation efforts. An overall understanding of the structural typology, material deterioration and distress is essential in understanding the reasons for the collapse of La Mairie de Pondicherry, and is crucial to ensure the structural health of similar structural typologies in Pondicherry and for developing an appropriate structural conservation protocol for these buildings.

Urban Heritage, Structural Health, Conservation, La Mairie de Pondicherry, Wall Morphology