May 12, 2019 - Kiran Nadar Museum of Art - Adjaye Associates selected to design new building
May 12, 2019

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Photo: Ed Reeve.

Adjaye Associates selected to design new building
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A world-leading center for art got off to a flying start here today when Kiran Nadar, Founder and Chairperson of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, shared the stage at the Venice Biennale with Sir David Adjaye OBE, to announce Sir David’s firm, Adjaye Associates, has been selected, after a competition, to design the upcoming new state-of-the-art building in New Delhi NCR which will house the new museum and cultural center.

Billed as the leading privately-funded institution for the arts in India, the new center will house a public museum of contemporary art and center for dance, music, and creative education. Founder and Chairperson Kiran Nadar has a passion for art and culture and has made it her mission to be an advocate for the arts in India and beyond. Beyond the art world, first and foremost Mrs. Nadar is a professional bridge player, and has represented India on the International stage and brought home the bronze medal from the Asian Games last year.

This center will be a cultural powerhouse open to all, furthering our vision of making art accessible to everyone. It is rooted in the conviction that we need to make protected spaces for the life of the imagination. Just as literacy and education programs open minds, the arts and culture experience stimulates new ways of thinking,” said Mrs. 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.”

Sir David Adjaye OBE is a Ghanaian-born British architect, whose most famous building is the award-winning Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In 2018, Sir David chaired the Stirling Prize jury, Britain’s highest award for excellence in architecture.

“This is our first cultural commission in India but for me personally, it is the culmination of a much longer journey. I first came to India many years ago and immediately felt a profound connection with the life and energy,” said Sir David Adjaye OBE.

“As a practice we are elated and honored to win this competition. The new building will celebrate and foster public interest in contemporary art, culture and creative partnerships, and enable KNMA to continue their admirable pursuit of engaging younger audiences and future generations with one of the finest and most diverse collections of Indian Modern and contemporary art. In a city that is in perpetual motion, we hope this new addition will offer a much-needed place for thinking, observing, reflecting and learning, granting a renewed sense of togetherness and belonging.”

The global search to find an outstanding design team was led by competition specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants of the UK. According to Malcolm Reading, Competition Director and Jury Chair, “The complex brief challenged teams in asking for a charismatic as well as an efficient building. The winning proposal is distinctive and intriguing but also underpinned with organisational logic and clarity: the galleries are skillfully handled, and the programmatic functions are clearly sited and dispersed.”

Adjaye Associates’ “Veil of Triangles” concept is a reference to the sacred geometries of trees and mountains. It was selected for being both elegant and iconic. The jury praised it as “a visually and emotionally engaging building that was alive, dancing and timeless.”

The building unites two cores, a performance wing and an art wing, connected by a courtyard and a dramatic atrium of discovery. Nature and gardens are integral to the design, from the entrance courtyard, moving up through dynamic green spaces and terraces to the lush rooftop pavilion.

Adjaye Associates will partner with local architect S. Ghosh & Associates; engineers WSP; theatre and acoustic design consultancy Charcoalblue; lighting designers Studio Fractal; and management support consultants Plan A.

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
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