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David Adjaye. Photo: Ed Reeve.

David Adjaye to Design New Home for New Delhi’s Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Ghanaian-born, British architect David Adjaye has been selected to design the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art’s new building in New Delhi. The private modern and contemporary art museum—a principal partner and the curator of this year’s Indian pavilion at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale—was established by art collector and philanthropist Kiran Nadar in January 2010 and is currently temporarily housed in a shopping mall in the capital city. The announcement was made during the opening days of the biennial, where Adjaye created the national pavilion for Ghana’s first presentation at the event.

The new facility will be known as the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art & Cultural Center. It will house Nadar’s six-thousand-work collection as well as a complex dedicated to dance, music, and education. “This center will be a cultural powerhouse open to all, furthering our vision of making art accessible to everyone,” Nadar said. “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.”

Known for recent projects such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, Adjaye Associates was selected by the jury of an international architecture design competition that was led by Malcolm Reading Consultants of the UK. Commenting on the design, the jury—which comprised chair Malcolm Reading; Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and curator Chris Dercon, a former director of Tate Modern in London; among others—described it as “a visually and emotionally engaging building that was alive, dancing, and timeless.” The firm was one of forty-seven others bidding to design the museum’s new state-of-the-art building.

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

Adjaye Associates will partner with local architect S. Ghosh & Associates, engineers WSP, theater and acoustic design consultancy Charcoalblue, lighting designers Studio Fractal, and management support consultants Plan A on the project.

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