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Pragati Maidan: The Latest Architecture and News

The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage

09:30 - 23 June, 2017
The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/33834913@N00/409859817'>Flickr CC user Panoramas</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr CC user Panoramas licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

On the morning of April 24th, Delhi’s architecture community reacted in shock and disgust to the news that the city's Hall of Nations and the four Halls of Industries had been demolished. Bulldozers had worked through the previous night at the Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds in central Delhi, where the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) razed the iconic structures to the ground, ignoring pleas from several Indian and international institutions.

The Hall of Nations, the world’s first and largest-span space-frame structure built in reinforced concrete, holds special significance in India’s post-colonial history—it was inaugurated in 1972 to commemorate twenty-five years of the young country’s independence. The demolition was met with widespread condemnation by architects and historians alike, not just because of the loss of an important piece of Delhi's heritage, but also for the clandestine manner in which the demolition was conducted.