Built in 1972 to the designs of architect Raj Rewal and engineer Mahendra Raj, these monumental clusters of pyramidal structures comprise the exhibition halls — such as the Hall of Nations and Hall of Industries — that have been the landmarks of the fairground for over 40 years.
The Permanent Exhibition Complex was designed to form the focus of 130 acres of Exhibition ground in New Delhi. The design was evolved to meet the constraints of time, availability of materials and labor, but above all, to reflect symbolically and technologically, India’s intermediate technology in the 25th year of its independence.
“It is not just me who wants these buildings left up,” said Raj Rewal. “The entire architectural profession thinks it is an important part of New Delhi and that it will be in everyone’s best interest if these are not demolished.
Widely known as the venue for the annual India International Trade Fair, Pragati Maidan is undergoing a historic makeover. The venue is set to get an Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) spread over 123 acres, complete with 500-room hotel, large food and beverages complex, pools, moving floors and helipad, besides exhibition halls.
So many petitions signed having more than 3,000 signatures to save the building, The Indian National Trust for Art and Heritage (INTACH), including the architect who designed the structures have raised questions on why buildings of historic significance are being torn down in this manner. We had faced a great loss to the architecture of India as the Hall of Nation at Pragati Maidan was demolished.