anagram architects constructs 'people's pavilion' for india's kochi-muziris biennale

anagram architects constructs 'people's pavilion' for india's kochi-muziris biennale

the kochi-muziris biennale (KMB) is billed as ‘the largest contemporary art festival in asia’. every two years, a series of abandoned factories and warehouses in the indian state of kerala are repurposed as galleries and cafés that host a variety of activity. additionally, a pavilion is constructed to host performance and cinematic art at fort kochi-mattancherry’s cabral yard — a one acre campus full of large trees. for KMB 2018, curator anita dube commissioned new delhi-based firm anagram architects to design this temporary structure.

anagram architects koodaaram pavilion
all images by suryan//dang



in previous editions of the kochi-muziris biennale, the pavilion served primarily as an auditorium for cinematic and stage performances. however, this year the curatorial brief tasked anagram architects with designing a more intensive and inclusive structure that could host workshops, lectures, social performances, conferences, and book launches. in addition to the pavilion, the campus houses two eateries, a children’s art space, an ATM, public restrooms, and an organic waste recycling plant.

anagram architects koodaaram pavilion



‘unlike the other fort kochi biennale venues, cabral yard carries no architectural vestiges of its past,’ explains the design team. ‘it follows a cycle of natural rejuvenation during its dormancy between biennales. it is simultaneously a gated precinct of profuse verdancy and an important hub for convening people, the beating social heart of a bustling biennale. it is a venue for art, as a process, an event or an incident, with people.’

anagram architects koodaaram pavilion



titled ‘koodaaram’, a name that means ‘tent’ in the local language, the semi-transparent pavilion can accommodate approximately 420 people. the open and transparent structure counters the design of exclusive spaces, instead serving as ‘people’s pavilion’. constructed in just two months, the pavilion sits lightly on the site and, after the event is over, can be completely dismantled and re-used.

anagram architects koodaaram pavilion



project info:


project: KOODAARAM: the kochi-muziris biennale 2018 pavilion
location: cabral yard, fort kochi, kerala, india
architect: anagram architects
design team: madhav raman, vaibhav dimri khyati kohli, abhishek semwal, narkant negi
structural design: B L manjunath
furniture design: studio wood
programming and curation: anita dube
principal contractors: thomas clery infrastructures & developers pvt ltd
steel fabricators: vinton engineering pvt. ltd.
site area: 5,000 sqm
pavilion: 560 sqm
art room: 150 sqm
edible art archive: 50 sqm
kudumbashree kitchen: 50 sqm
toilet: 42 sqm
material: steel, bamboo, composite cement board panel, cement pavers and polycarbonate sheet
initiation of construction: september 2017
completion of construction: december 2018
photography: suryan//dang

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