Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, India

Jawahar Kala Kendra is an arts and crafts centre located in the city of Jaipur. The centre is important not because of the nomenclature but its close association with the city of Jaipur itself. The centre was built in the year 1986 and the construction completed in 1991. The centre was launched by the state government to provide space to the cultural and spiritual values of India and display the rich craft heritage. The centre is dedicated to the late prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.

This cultural centre for the city of Jaipur, is dedicated to the memory of India’s great leader Jawaharlal Nehru. Ideas for the building, sited in an open field near the university in a new part of the city, formed in Correa’s mind; but it was not until 1986 that the concept for the building was finalized.
The centre is an analogue of the original city pIan of Jaipur drawn up by the Maharaja, a scholar, mathematician and astronomer, Jai Singh the Second, in the mid-17th century. His city plan, guided by the Shipla Shastras, was based on the ancient Vedic madala of nine squares or houses which represent the nine planets (including two imaginary ones Ketu and Rahu). Due to the presence of a hill one of the squares was transposed to the east and two of the squares were amalgamated to house the palace.
Correa’s plan for the Kendra invokes directly the original navagraha or nine house rnandala. One of the squares is pivoted to recall the original city plan and also to create the entrance. The plan of Jaipur city based on the nine square Yantra in which one square is displaced and two central squares combined. the squares is defined by 8m high wall, symbolic of the fortification wall along the Jaipur old city
The building program has been “disaggregated” into eight separate  groupings corresponding to the myths represented by that particular planet:
  • for instance, the library is located ill the square of the planet Mercury which traditionally represents knowledge,
  • the theatres are in the house of Venus, representing the arts.
  •  The central square, as specified in the Vedic Shastras, is avoid: representing the Nothing which is Everything.  The flooring pattern in this square is a diagram of the lotus representing the sun. City Palace, Jaipur.
The astrological symbol of each planet is directly expressed in a cut-out opening dong its external wall.
The centre has been made in eight blocks housing
  • museums,
  • theatres,
  • library,
  • arts display room,
  •  cafeteria,
  • Hostel,studio

The centre is frequently occupied with artists and arts loving people. Many exhibitions and performances by local artists are displayed at the centre. The annual festivals of classical dance and music are held in the centre. The centre hosts many workshops of dance and music.


  • The buildings in a contemporary metaphorical replication of the basic plan of the city of Jaipur, based on the vastu pursh mandala. The architect in his attempt to create a brand image for the historical city, has tried to get the essence of the existing form but superficially .
  • The critical sustainable aspect of the traditional architecture of Jaipur has not been tackled well.
  • The place has an amazing interplay of light , shadow and colours, evoking emotions in the user and invite him to move further.
  • The spaces flow as an narrative and changes the moods of the user, but the over all circulation lacks of continued covered corridor, which makes the place unusable during summers and  rains.
  • The open air theatre is only good to look at, it is enclosed by the high walls which create acoustic and ventilation problems at the time of crowd.
  • The high walls with no fenestration in the  façade makes the building enclosed and ir does not open up to the city. however within the building the activities are disintegrated  but combine to a heterogeneous mixture of various cultural activities happening individually.

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