June 26, 2014
Shri Anand Mahindra
India Design Council
Sub: Proposal for National Museum of Contemporary Design
Dear Shri Mahindra,
I am writing this to request you to kindly consider the setting up of a National Museum of Contemporary Design in Delhi at the Pragati Maidan. There is a cluster of exhibition structures called the ‘Hall of Nations Complex’ where the annual automobile shows are normally held. The location is very central and highly accessible by public transport and other modes. This Pragati Maidan site is in danger of being razed to the ground to give way to some international commercial projects. The Hall of Nations complex was designed in 1972 by Mr. Raj Rewal (whose exhibition is currently running at the National Gallery of Modern Art) and the unique structural design was done by the doyen of Indian structural design, Mr. Mahedra Raj. The architects of Delhi have been raising their voice against the demolition of this modern iconic structure.
This structure is eminently suitable for a new Museum of Contemporary Design. It has 12714 m2 (136852.3 sq. feet) of Exhibition space and is large enough to hold a permanent exhibition of Indian design from architecture to automobiles or furniture and multiple forms of designed objects from India. India at present has no such Museum for contemporary objects and the reuse of the ‘Hall of Nations Complex’ as a permanent museum will help save the structures as well. One could also designate spaces for regular short term exhibitions of contemporary design from India and abroad. The India Design Council awardees, NID, other institution’s annual exhibitions etc. can become events that engage Indian Design fraternity on a regular basis with this Museum. The Director NID, Architect Raj Rewal, Engineer Mahendra Raj are all excited at the prospect of the reuse of this building into a National Museum of Contemporary Design.
If you find this idea acceptable, under your guidance and with the backing of India Design Council and the NID, this can be taken forward, through the Ministry of Commerce, to whom the building belongs.
This is to request you Sir, for your kind support of this idea, which will save a contemporary architectural heritage, as well as give India, it’s first Museum of Contemporary Design.
Member Governing Council of NID