Kiran Nadar Museum of Art Designs Unveiled in Venice
Designed by Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye, the Delhi art museum is slated for completion in 2026.
Adjaye Associates with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Partition — Partage. 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia. Photo: Andrea Avezzù.
Sir David Adjaye's designs for Delhi's Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) are showing at the Arsenale as part of the 18th International Venice Architecture Biennale (20 May to 26 November).
The project broke ground this month, with construction expected to be completed in 2026.
Adjaye is best known for his designs for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2007), and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture (2017).
His design for the KNMA features permanent and temporary exhibition spaces to showcase over 10,000 modern and contemporary artworks from the collection, as well as performance spaces for music, performance art, and theatre.
'Its location in Delhi–one of the oldest cities in the world with a lineage of habitation that stretches to the 6th century BCE gives new context to its position as a dynamic, living cultural force, and has directly influenced the design of the new building,' Adjaye said.
The KNMA was founded in 2010 by influential Indian collector Kiran Nadar, who has since amassed an expansive collection of modern and contemporary art from across India and the subcontinent.
The museum's new building will occupy a 100,000 square-metre site on the National Highway (NH8) near Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.
'At the heart of KNMA is the notion of giving back to society, preserving treasures of the cultural past and nurturing a young generation of creative practitioners and thinkers', said Kiran Nadar, who founded the museum in 2010.
The model responds to 'Mnemonic', the theme of Curator's Special Projects section in the Arsenale and includes works from the museum's collection by major Indian artists Tyeb Mehta (1925–2009), Zarina (1937–2020), and Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990). This is accompanied by Touch AIR (2023), a film by contemporary filmmaker Amit Dutta.
Alongside Adjaye, more than half of the architects and exhibitors showing at the Biennale this time around are from Africa or the African diaspora. According to the event's curator, Lesley Lokko, this reflects the Biennale's theme as a laboratory for an 'equitable and optimistic future'.
Casting a shadow over the proceedings, the 'ugly rear' of Italian Immigration policy showed, according to Lokko, when three of the Biennale's collaborators invited from Ghana were denied entry to the country.
In a press conference, however, Lokko was adamant that 'it cannot become the defining story of this exhibition'. —[O]