Earstwhile Natural History Museum at FICCI – May, 2016

The FICCI museum burnt down a few days ago, some architects tweeted about their ‘childhood memories’.

I confirmed with SK, it was (probably) a building by Bhuta, a heritage-unlisted building, and therefore ignored by the Delhi architecture circles. Bhuta’s office has some buildings to name in Delhi and erstwhile Bombay. Sometimes landscape architects talk about the office’s memorial to ‘that gujju’ M. K. Gandhi.

The building was declared unsafe after a cursory examination by government engineers. It was in any case going to be gutted, nay, sensitively upgraded to contemporary standards and LEED platinum certification, for much the same reason as that scion of Nehruvian modern architecture at Pragati Maidan.

Not a crocodile shed a tear in media, it was heritage-unlisted, and I am glad it ended without appropriation or privatisation.

Borges has it, somewhere, something about how we always live at an end of time.

Firemen trying to douse the fire at Delhi's Natural History Museum
Firemen trying to douse the fire at Delhi's Natural History Museum Source: Mashable

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(infra)-structured Delhi, around 2004 - the city enroute to Alphaville, via Liberalization (1992) JNNURM (2004) and CWG (2004-2010) programmes, the city is currently experiencing a mission-oriented 'smart cities' (2015- cont'd) state.