“If the NDMC is doing something like that on its own building, what will happen to the rest of Delhi?” asked the architect of the building
New Delhi: In what has been seen as the latest attempt to undermine the capital’s ‘modern heritage’, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation building in central Delhi has been covered with LED billboards. The NDMC building is part if the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage’s (INTACH) list of 62 structures that they want designated as ‘modern heritage’ and thereby protected under law, though the government’s Heritage Conversation Committee is yet to take a decision on the matter.
“The INTACH Delhi chapter had recommended to the Heritage Conservation Committee in 2013, that this building, along with 61 other buildings built in Delhi since 1947, should be notified as ‘modern heritage’ under the relevant section of the Building Bye Laws of Delhim,” A.G.K. Menon, architect and former convenor of the INTACH Delhi chapter, told The Wire. “The committee agreed that this was a good idea but could not take the necessary action to date. So, technically speaking, there is no ‘modern heritage’ in Delhi and therefore this building cannot be protected under law.”
According to an India Today report, the decision to turn the 22-storey building into a full LED-display building was taken in August 2015. “While at daytime it would look like an ordinary glass pane building, after dusk, it would transform into a gigantic projection screen flashing pictures, public interest messages and advertisements,” the report said. Work for this is now in progress.
Construction of the building was finished in 1983, designed by architect Kuldip Singh. The original drawings of the building have now been archived at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. “The Museum of Modern Art has also written asking me to give them the models of this building, it’s historically very important,” Singh said