At the heart of the Bonjour India festival, the ‘Bonjour India Experience’ pavilion was a one-of-its-kind travelling exhibition at the intersection of art, architecture, design and urbanism. The 9-meter-high, 800 square metre and 40 tonne installation travelled approximately 3500 kilometres from the iconic India Gate in Delhi to Cross Maidan Garden behind the historic Churchgate Station in Mumbai to become the star attraction of the world’s largest book fair in Kolkata. It welcomed more than 180,000 visitors over a period of 30 odd days, spread over the 3 cities. As an intervention in public space, the pavilion was designed to integrate itself with the site conditions at each location.
The metal members and mesh provide for varying gradations of visual permeability, allowing the structure to weave into the urban surroundings, both emerging from and merging into the context. The call to locate the pavilion in truly public urban spaces presented countless challenges. It had to be designed to be installed in a week and dismantled in three days in crowded public spaces, with the ease of travelling halfway across the country and adapting to new sites. To reconcile the mobile nature alongside the ambition to leave a memorable mark on the cities it travelled to, the pavilion had to create an iconic visual presence combined with a lightness of being.
In the process, its interaction with the urban context became the defining characteristic of the pavilion and was instrumental to its success. The Bonjour India Experience brought together content and talent from both countries which was presented to a diverse audience. Reaffirming the power of carefully produced and generously accessible space to tell our shared stories, the project embodied the Bonjour India themes of creativity, innovation and partnership between India and France in its process and outcome.
Material Used :
1. Asian Paints - Wall Finishes - Nilaya Wallpaper
2. Philips - Lighting
3. Losberger - Event Tents
4. Daikin - Air Conditioners
5. Samsung - Video Walls