A decommissioned power station in Delhi, the Indian capital, is to be converted into an art gallery modelled on London’s Tate Modern.
The plan has been approved by Delhi municipal authorities, the Times of India newspaper reported , and could be completed in three to five years, depending on how long it takes to dismantle parts of the Indraprastha power plant beside the banks of the Yamuna river.
The cost of the project is currently “fluid”, a municipal planning official told the newspaper, but could run up to more than $100m. “Worldwide there are many examples of adaptive reuse of industrial buildings and power plants. We will retrofit technology to make the museum,” the official said.
The 60-acre site will also be used for offices and will be connected to the city’s new metro, currently in its third phase of expansion. Solar panels will provide power, and other energy-conserving measures, such as a roof garden, are planned to reduce emissions from the new complex in one of the most polluted cities in the world. A sixth of the site will be reserved for a forest.
Quite whether the ambitious plan will be executed is uncertain, reports The Guardian. It was reported in October that the 33-year-old plant, Delhi’s oldest, would be demolished and a vast multi-storey car park built instead. Car use in the city has quadrupled in ten years and parking is a major problem. No mention of an art gallery was made.
The site of the new project, a hundred metres from the river, also brings its own problems. Museum-goers would probably find their enjoyment of the gallery ruined by the infamous stench from the Yamuna, especially during the hot summer months. The river currently receives untreated solid waste from around 9m people – half the population of the city.