Cholamandel Artist Museum 02

Cholamandal Center for Contemporary Art

The Cholamandal Artists Village

The Cholamandal Artists village named after the ancient Chola kings who were great patrons of Art is acclaimed as among the successful and surviving art communes in the world. In 1965, the Madras Movement of Art crystallized around the legendary KCS Paniker who along with likeminded Artists set up their residences and studios in a rural setting on the sandy beaches of the Bay of Bengal.

Shilpa Architects - Cholamandal Center for Contemporary Art / Madras Art House - Interior

In the beginning there was an Artists Gallery in a modest structure of thatch. With international acclaim and growing stature the Artists wanted to exhibit their signature works in a permanent Museum. An important criterion was to design the structure without affecting the trees, and the sculptures in the landscape. The first design wrapped the volute shaped structures around them.

The team opted for a more contemporary structure in tune with the skills of the local masons and craftsmen. The display areas were maximized in rectilinear shaped galleries with natural daylight and high ceilings. The galleries opened to the gigantic trees and the sculptures blended into the landscape.

The building was treated with exposed brickwork and concrete. No additional plaster or painting was envisaged.