Architecture firm Adjaye Associates has been announced as the winner of a competition out of 47 participating studios across 15 countries by London-based Malcolm Reading Consultants to design an upcoming building for arts in India’s capital, New Delhi. Led by award-winning Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, the firm is known for their artistic variations, use of wide-ranging materials and selection of colours.
The new cultural centre and a public museum for contemporary art will become the leading privately-funded institution for arts in the country. It will host a range of activities from creative education to dance and music. Avid art collector and advocate for arts in India, Kiran Nadar, founder of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, made the announcement at the 58th Venice Biennale.
“This centre will be a cultural powerhouse open to all, furthering our vision of making art accessible to everyone,” said Nadar. “It is rooted in the conviction that we need to make protected spaces for the life of the imagination.” Established in 2010, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is the first private museum dedicated to 20th-century Indian painters and contemporary art in the region. “Just as literacy and education programmes open minds, the arts and culture experience stimulates new ways of thinking,” she stated.
Sir David Adjaye OBE- Adjaye Associates
Courtesy of Kiran Nader and David Adjaye Associates
Inspired by the geometry of mountains and trees, Adjaye Associates was selected for their Veil of Triangles concept, described as “dancing and timeless” by the jury. Adjaye has previously designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture building in Washington, D.C, claiming the Stirling Prize jury award in 2018 for excellence in architecture.
“As a practice we are elated and honoured to win this competition,” said Adjaye. “I first came to India many years ago and immediately felt a profound connection with the life and energy. The new building will foster public interest in contemporary art, culture and creative partnerships, and enable Kiran Nadar Museum of Art to continue their pursuit of engaging younger audiences and future generations with one of the finest and most diverse collections of Indian Modern and contemporary art.”
Added Nadar: “Sir David’s design incorporates a series of thresholds to art and performance. It creates a cinematic experience for visitors, who encounter artworks and artists as they move from the street through the atrium and up through the building to the lush rooftop garden.”
“This is our first cultural commission in India but for me personally, it is the culmination of a much longer journey,” said Adjaye. “In a city that is in perpetual motion, we hope this new addition will offer a place for thinking, observing, reflecting and learning, granting a renewed sense of belonging.” The building completion date is yet to be announced.