Spread over 25 acres of land, a visual axis created by the Vindhyanchal Bhawan and Satpura Bhawan on either sides, embraces the modern architecture of the Vallabh Bhawan Secretariat and welcomes the visitors through a central promenade, exquisitely landscaped in traditional chaarbagh style gardens commonly seen during the time of the Nawabs of Madhya Pradesh. The construction was completed within three years and the strategic location which can be seen from far reaches of the city, imagining Vallabh Bhawan to be the “crowning jewel”. The Secretariat imbibes these contextual influences into its own architectural vocabulary to reflect a seat of power which also is able to celebrate the cultural richness of its state. The design frames views of the site through an interplay of scales and proportions. It basis its planning on a rational inter-relationship between the various functions of the building which are primarily segregated into three distinct programme elements within a single, compact and efficient complex – namely, the visitor access zones, the staff access zones and the VIP access zones. Traditional architectural elements like chhatris, jaalis and colonnades were given a contemporary flavour by using restraint and keeping the forms simple. The sweeping form of the turrets, popularly referred to as the ‘beacons of Democracy’, are prominently visible from around the city, reaffirming the citizen’s confidence in a strong and vibrant democratic nation. In addition to this, modern elements such as fins, pergolas and solar panels keep the structure protected from the harsh sunlight. Sustainable landscape practices involve the use of Evergreen Trees to obstruct solar heat gain and the use of indigenous plants that require little water and a zero discharge rainwater system for maximum water conservation on the site. The double glazing is recessed deep in the cavity walls, giving a depth to the building facade and a feeling of strength and dignity to the Secretariat. The stone fins in the façade create shadows that break the flatness of the stone cladding. The stone jaalis provide a much-needed perforated barrier to the glass openings and add to the play of light and shadow seen on the surface. In terms of materials used, the façade consists of a mix of the traditional – sandstone (jaalis, cladding, fins) and the modern (glistening metal). The design of Vallabh Bhawan aims to translate the rich cultural fabric of the state and bring it to the global stage using contemporary styles through architecture. This amalgamation of architectural vocabularies, when married together, binds the glory of the past with the aspirations of a forward-looking community to create a unique identity that embodies the spirit of Madhya Pradesh.