Client: Mumbai International Airport Limited
Location: Mumbai, India
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $10,000,000
Terminal T2 at Mumbai International Airport is an excellent example of successful ‘Public-Private Partnership” between the Government and the GVK Group, which designed, built and currently operates the Airport.
The ’Art Wall’ is an integral part of the Terminal building plan. It runs along the entire outer periphery of the central processor building, and measures 300 metres in length, and over 4 levels – 21 metres – in height. Thus, the art wall is seen from all levels throughout the passenger circulation area, to and from the boarding gates.
The main goal was to distinguish Terminal 2, Mumbai, as an Indian Airport, both in terms of design ethos and service with a touch of Indian Hospitality. The objective of the Art Wall was to create the ‘GVK New Museum’, which would showcase the vast collection of commissioned art and Indian craft, besides a curated selection of antiques and other rare objects.
The Art Wall unfolds in several sections, namely India Greets, India Silent Sentinels, India Global, India Ele-ments, India Moves and India Seamless. The composition and its story is the work of eminent art historian and renowned curator, Rajeev Sethi.
While curation, composition and narration formed one aspect of the Art Wall, engineering its display formed another. This, and its integration into the interior architecture of the Terminal building involved various disciplines like restoration, structural design, lighting design, etc. The art pieces had to be converted into ‘construct-able engineering drawings‘ to enable their correct construction and installation.
The entire process took over 5 years.
The Art wall themes and the various types of art – artifacts, sculptures, antiques and constructs – are a collab-orative effort between curator Rajeev Sethi and the artists and craftsmen who were commissioned the pieces.
As Interior Architects of the project, ABM Architects was responsible for the structural design, construction drawings, lighting design and supervision. A design studio was set up near the site, where all the artifacts and antiques were stored and painstakingly restored. Scores of restoration artists, fine artists, curators, architects and engineers worked in the studio to understand each of the works. Full-scale mock-ups – up to 15 metres high – were actually constructed with structural supports to understand the complexities. Structural stability, expansion and lighting were other serious considerations in design. These art compositions were then mapped and made into construction drawings – which in turn helped while actually installing the art at site.
The GVK New Museum is the most exiting Public Art Project, in an Airport with an annual footfall of 40 million passengers, more than any Museum can dream of!. it is the result of extensive collaboration between the Arts.