Delhi: IGNCA building to take cues from neighbour

The new Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) complex will have a facade reflecting and integrating “the strong geometry and iconic character of the Hyderabad House”, verdant gardens, conservations labs, and other updated features, officials from HCP Design, Planning and Management told The Indian Express.

The old building located at Janpath road is set to be demolished as part of the Central Vista Redevelopment project. It has temporarily been shifted to the Janpath hotel, which has been renovated for the purpose. “The new IGNCA building will be located near India Gate, right opposite Hyderabad House. Hence, its design will reflect and integrate the strong geometry and iconic character of the Hyderabad House,” an official said.

Officials said the new Centre will have “state of the art, purpose-designed facility, modern and upgradeable infrastructure. It will have an auditorium, conservation labs, and environmentally-controlled archival spaces. Comfortable facilities for administration, research, and education will be provided. There will also be flexible multi-purpose spaces for performances and exhibitions. It will also have new public facilities such as verdant gardens, a spectacular rooftop café with vast views across the lush gardens of ‘Hexagon C’ to India Gate”.

The IGNCA has around 3 lakh printed books, more than 1 lakh slides on various cultural traditions, around 3 lakh manuscripts, over 60,000 microfilm rolls, besides thousands of paintings, textiles, and other archival material such as sculptures; and boasts personal collections of 45 artists, as reported by The Indian Express.

In early April, The Indian Express visited the five-floor Janpath hotel. It has four wings that will include a library block, various cultural archive storage centres, meeting rooms, and corporate-style cubicles for offices that will accommodate some of the over 250 staff members of the Centre. A new auditorium with a capacity to seat 160, and a media centre above it with over two studio rooms and four classrooms, is currently under construction. An amphitheatre, overlooked by the library, was also constructed for the IGNCA.

Due to the second Covid wave and the lockdown, the transfer process is at a standstill, IGNCA Lt Col (Retd) R A Rangnekar, director (administration) told The Indian Express. “By late April, we stopped the transfer, and we do not know how long the lockdowns will continue, and how long it will take to re-mobilise the teams. We will have to start everything afresh once things re-open,” he added.

National Archives to get additional building

Officials added that a new building will also be constructed for the National Archives.

“The notified heritage building in the National Archives complex will be refurbished. An additional building, within the campus, is also proposed to accommodate the needs of the National Archives of India. We will know more details about the refurbishment once the building has been studied and surveyed carefully. Refurbishment and extension of the National Archives have been planned in the subsequent phases of the Central Vista project,” said the official.