Nehru Centre, 1985

IMK Architects as Architects

“The achievements and vision of Pandit Nehru, the Architect of Modern India, captured in spirit, space and stone."

The Nehru Centre in Mumbai, a mixed-use commercial-cum-convention centre, has been designed as a living memorial to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. One of our most significant early year projects, the centre, completed in 1985, is designed as a cylindrical tower that rises from the apex of a sloping incline, which also serves as the garden and roof of the auditorium. The sloping garden is a reference to the great Mughal tradition of courtyard gardens and agriculture — the backbone of Indian economy. The spiralling tower symbolises the growing modern nation and the aspirations of Nehru for a free India.

The cylindrical memorial tower, noted for its fretwork – latticed or crosshatched cladding, houses an auditorium that seats 1000 people, a library, an art gallery and other exhibition rooms and office spaces. The sheer largeness of spaces, organised with just a few columns and castellated beams, into multiple exhibition sections, renders a stately volumetric quality.

The building symbolises Nehru’s thoughts and ideology. While the tower represents a new nation’s struggle and aspiration, the jaali surfaces that are inspired in their detail from the rose that Nehru always wore, lends form to the Nehru Centre. Today, it is a premier art and cultural centre in the country with one of the city’s most favoured auditorium.

 

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