Jawahar Kala Kendra

Jawahar Kala Kendra,
Jaipur. India. 1986-1990
Architect: Charles Correa 

Maharaja Jai Singh, who built the fabled Pink city of Jaipur was moved by two seemingly conflicting set of mythic ideas and images. On the one hand there was the ancient Navgraha (the mandala of the nine planets) and on the other, the newest myths of Science and Progress.

Thus the city of Jaipur, double coded like Jai Singh himself, is truly astonishing for its synthesis of past and future, of the material and metaphysical f worlds. In this, Jai Singh is indeed analogous to another man, born more than two centuries later, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Guiding the nation after Independence, Nehru wanted to re-discover India’s past whilst simultaneously opening the door to a new future.

The Arts Centre, dedicated to Nehru, is really a metaphor of both men – and for Jaipur itself. Like them, and like the city, it is double-coded: a contemporary building based on an archaic notion of the Cosmos: - the very same Navgraha mandala, with one of the squares moved aside, to recall the gesture that created the original plan for Jaipur.

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