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The Masterplan Exhibition Unveils JNU’s Architectural Evolution

In a captivating fusion of art, architecture, and design, the exhibition “The Masterplan” has taken center stage at India Art Fair 2024, offering a unique journey through the architectural landscape that shaped Modern India. Spearheaded by the CP Kukreja Foundation for Design Excellence (CPKF) in collaboration with Vishal K Dar, the showcase delves into the visionary architect CP Kukreja’s monumental first large-scale commission – the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) – a cornerstone of Indian Modernism.

The exhibition, designed as a studio inside an immersive pavilion, invites visitors to explore the profound intersection between architecture, citizenship, and nation-building. Through intricate drawings and models, “The Masterplan” unfolds the narrative of JNU, positioned as a micro-city within the scenic southern ridge of the Aravalli hills in New Delhi. This architectural marvel, built in the 1970s, stands as a testament to India’s post-independence vision, cultivating students to engage in a global dialogue.

Arunima Kukreja, Director at CPKF and the ideator behind the exhibition, emphasized the significance of this showcase. “This is the first-ever exhibition organized by CP Kukreja Foundation for Design Excellence on the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The university was the first and largest project won by Architect CP Kukreja in 1969 through a national competition,” she stated. “Built on a thousand acres, JNU symbolizes Indian Modernism, encapsulating the values of growth, learning, and innovation through its spatial and earthly design.”

The highlight of the exhibition is a 10-foot-long hybrid exhibit, projecting JNU’s master plan onto it. As visitors traverse different segments of this architectural journey, they witness the meticulous integration of built structures with the local ecology, providing a profound insight into the architect’s vision for the university as a living, breathing entity within its natural context.

“The Masterplan” serves not only as a visual feast for architecture enthusiasts but also as a historical chronicle, capturing the essence of India’s evolution into a modern democracy through the lens of iconic architecture. The exhibition promises to be a time capsule, offering a glimpse into the past while propelling the nation forward into a future where architectural brilliance continues to shape the identity of the nation.

Written by Team TDJI

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