Northeast Pavilion at the Surajkund Craft Fair

Institutional / 2nd Quarter 2024

Northeast Pavilion at the Surajkund Craft Fair

June 11, 2024

A ‘TEMPORAL’ SPACE FOR ANNUAL FAIR; MONKEYS, BIRDS AND OTHER WILDLIFE ‘IN BETWEEN’

Can a built space serve more than one purpose? In today’s context, architecture often does. In this case, the Northeast Pavilion not only serves as a venue for an annual three-week-long craft fair since February 2023, it has also become a ‘hang out’ spot for monkeys, birds and other wildlife in the months in between. Of course, the location of the pavilion also plays a part in its non-human occupants. According to Avneesh Tiwari, one half of atArchitecture that created the bamboo pavilion, “the entire fairground is a gated community that remains closed and maintained by the government/authorities”—this means the pavilion is inaccessible to the public when the fair is over. He added: “According to our findings, the monkeys interact with the pavilion twice a day during their daily walk in the forest and usually come closer when there are no humans around.”


CELEBRATING ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND TRADITIONS

The Northeast Pavilion was conceived of as a permanent exhibition space to showcase the eight northeastern states of India as part of the 2023 Surajkund Craft Fair—an annual fair that promotes Indian handicrafts and provides a platform to artisans. North Eastern India, officially North Eastern Region (NER), is both a geographical and political administrative unit of the country. It comprises eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.

Ethnic diversity is high in the NER, and indigenous forms of arts and crafts are widespread. In the region, most households have a loom and wear homemade clothes. This became the main source of inspiration for the pavilion, with eight indigenous looms and their working methods demonstrated by the respective artisans, tying the spaces together and becoming the focus of the exhibition.

The architecture celebrates the tradition of local bamboo construction prevalent in almost all these states, and is built by skilled craftsmen from the region. The details of the bamboo joinery were developed with the help of the artisans, while many design integration decisions were made on-site as the building was being constructed, with an emphasis on local collaboration and craftsmanship.


PROJECT DATA

Project Name
Northeast Pavilion at the Surajkund Craft Fair

Location
Faridabad, Haryana, India

Completion Date
January 2023

Site Area
410 square metres

Gross Floor Area
410 square metres

Building Height
7 metres

Clients/Owners
Government of India, North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMAC); Surajkund Mela Authority in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, External Affairs, Department of Tourism, Government of Haryana and Haryana Tourism

Architecture Firm
atArchitecture

Principal Architects
Avneesh Tiwari; Neha Rane

Main Contractor
Kakoti Associates

Civil & Structural Engineer
Rathi Consortium

Landscape Architect
atArchitecture

Images/Photos
SuryanDang; Avneesh Tiwari


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