Khoj is an experimental art laboratory in an urban village ghetto in New Delhi; where dialogue, exchange, and transfer of information, energy & skills takes place as an intensely lived experience. The brief was to fuse two adjoining rundown buildings acquired by the Client, into one and provide a series of interactive, flexible spaces by connecting these two units. The project uses recycled architectural elements from the existing structures, as a palette to create volumes of positive and negative space for artists to live and work in. The project actively seeks to question and negotiate the boundaries of private and public space, and the role of art in engaging communities and neighbourhoods.
The early stage of renovation provided the opportunity to bring the users together to create a vision for the spaces with a common question – what does KHOJ want to be? “It must attempt to emulate the very processes, which underline our projects, those of experimentation and exchange while interpreting and responding to them spatially and experientially. It should aim to reflect the organic nature of Khoj’s growth as it constantly morphs; questioning, seeking and searching while being multi-functional and flexible in essence.”
The focus throughout the process was to view the space as a “void”, a skeleton that allows for the artists to create within and over it. A steel framework that combined the two buildings was added as an element that tied together the two otherwise distinct buildings and also allowed an additional layer for the artists to work with.