In January 1984, French architecture magazine Le Moniteur Architecture announced that Roger Anger was the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix National de l’Architecture for the year 1983. The award was a recognition of Anger’s significant contributions to the field of architecture, including his work on the experimental township of Auroville in India.
Born in 1923 in Marseille, Roger Anger studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He began his career working on various projects in France, but it was his work on Auroville that brought him international recognition. In the late 1960s, Anger was approached by the founder of Auroville, Mirra Alfassa, to help design a township that embodied the principles of harmony, sustainability, and spiritual aspiration.
Anger worked closely with Alfassa and other members of the Auroville community to create a vision for the township that was rooted in the principles of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His designs for Auroville were inspired by the traditional architecture of Tamil Nadu, but also incorporated modernist elements and experimental techniques.
Anger’s most notable contribution to Auroville was the design of the Matrimandir, a spherical temple that serves as the spiritual and physical center of the township. The Matrimandir is a feat of engineering and design, with a massive golden sphere set amidst a complex of curved white buildings and surrounded by gardens and water features. The design reflects Anger’s interest in geometry, light, and space, and has become an iconic symbol of Auroville’s aspirations for a harmonious and sustainable way of life.
In addition to his work on Auroville, Anger designed a number of other notable buildings in India, France, and elsewhere. He was known for his experimental approach to design, his use of innovative materials and techniques, and his interest in incorporating natural elements and sustainable technologies into his projects.
The Grand Prix National de l’Architecture was awarded annually by the French Ministry of Culture to a French architect or firm that had made significant contributions to the field of architecture. Roger Anger’s win in 1983 was a testament to his pioneering work in the field of sustainable and spiritually inspired architecture. His legacy lives on in Auroville and in the many other buildings and projects he designed throughout his long and illustrious career.