The stunning multi-functional pavilions that form the Indo-German Urban Mela were conceptualised by internationally renowned installation artist, Markus Heinsdorff. His design combines India’s rich textile legacy with state of the art technology.
Precious gems and stones together with traditional Indian shapes and patterns have provided inspiration for the layout and colour of the pavilions with gold, copper, diamond and sapphire all key to the aesthetics of the structures.
Constructed by specialist Indian companies in Delhi and Mumbai, the pavilions are made out of recycled steel tubing covered with state of the art membranes. Sustainability and environmental impact were of great importance in the planning and construction of the pavilions, with materials selected being eco-friendly and easy to repair.
The Indo-German Urban Mela is symbolic of a “discourse between the two cultures” with a legacy that will provide an opportunity for the Indian public to share the beauty and infinite functionality of the pavilions for many years to come.
Q&A Installation Artist Markus Heinsdorff:
What is the central theme of your work and has being in India affected your approach in any way?
The objective of my design for these pavilions has been to retain the traditional aspects of Indian design and mould them into sustainable architectural solutions. While India’s art and architectural history is rich in its use of colourful and precious stones – a striking element of nature, the hand-crafted features of the motifs are also phenomenal! Bringing it all together to be a part of German architectural techniques was an intense process of research and selection.
What have you found especially interesting about mobile architecture in India?
I have been fascinated with the use of tent structures for ceremonies in India. It is a legacy that has inspired my design. As the projects central theme is StadtRaume – City Spaces, one of the chief concerns is envisioning how our cities will appear in the near future. In this light, it is wonderful that two countries are coming together to experiment in architectural design that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. We can learn a lot from traditional methods and construction materials, my endeavour has been to use these in a sustainable way and I have tried to reflect this synthesis of ideas in my design for the pavilions.
How do the pavilions reflect an Indo-German cultural ‘fusion’?
This is not so much a fusion, but simply bringing elements from both cultures into the same space. The idea is to engage dialogue between the two countries in the context of design and architecture. The pavilions will hopefully confront local visitors to reflect on their own design culture and be reminded of the richness that already prevails. The idea is to share the knowledge on architecture and space creating more of a discourse between the two cultures, than a mixture.