Client: Delhi Art Gallery
Size: 7,000 sq ft
The Delhi Art Gallery, Mumbai is a four level gallery that sits in a century old building in Kala Ghoda, a very important, lively and historic precinct of Mumbai. It showcases art works on the ground and first floors. The other two levels host the gallery’s permanent collection, a sculpture courtyard cum auditorium, private lounges and gallery offices. The building was abused and defaced beyond recognition, hence we were compelled to treat it like a heritage restoration project, whilst enough cues from well preserved surrounding buildings were available for us to build on. An Art Gallery by its function needs to be minimalist. The challenge was to recreate the heritage value but not imitate in an anachronistic way. Adaptive reuse was adopted to achieve the right balance and was our primary design agenda. Beyond that, the construction itself and the preservation of the original elements were big challenges. The exterior was reconstructed from scratch taking inspiration from the original wrought iron and stucco that remained. In keeping with the heritage spirit, signage, a modern day necessity was deftly interwoven into the details. The half-broken pilasters were recreated to conceal and embed services within them. It was a time consuming and laborious exercise, but well worth the end result. We believe that DAG Mumbai could be the example for rejuvenating other derelict historic districts in Urban India.