Architectural Design

JDCA is envisioned to become an iconic part of Odisha’s cultural landscape. The art centre is being conceived in phases. The first part, an area about 15,500 sq.ft. which includes 5 galleries, will open to the public in 2020. Two artist studios & apartments will welcome national and international artist-in-residence programs.


The architectural design is informed by the undulating topography of the site, the rocks looking onto the Khandagiri caves. The building, scaled at a human level, takes the visitor through intimate galleries that open up into larger open spaces.


JDCA's Master Planner & Principal Architect:

Pritzker Price laureate B V Doshi 

Balkrishna V Doshi, born in 1927, JDCA's principle architect, is India's most distinguished architect. He is the first Indian architect to be granted the Pritzker Prize (2018), referred to as “the Nobel Prize of Architecture” and regarded as the architecture's highest honour. 


The Pritzker Prize jury recognized Doshi’s “exceptional architecture as reflected in over a hundred buildings he has realized, his commitment and his dedication to his country and the communities he has served, his influence as a teacher, and the outstanding example he has set for professionals and students around the world throughout his long career.”


B V Doshi has been a recipient of multiple honours. Awarded the Padma Shree in 1976 by the Indian Government for his contribution to architecture and planning, he has also been honoured by universities and architectural institutions across the world. As a young man he worked closely with Le Corbusier in Paris and India, and later with Louis Kahn. His office ‘Vastu Shilpa’ was established in 1955.


He has been a leading advocate of environmental technology and pioneered low-cost housing and city planning. Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has been his base for more than 40 years, where he has played a major role in the development of several institutions: he has been the first founder Director of School of Architecture, of School of Planning, of Kanoria Centre for Arts; first founder Dean of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, and founder member of Visual Arts Centre. 


As an academician, Dr. Doshi has been visiting the U.S.A. and Europe since 1958 and has held important chairs in American Universities. In recognition of his distinguished contribution as a professional and as an academician, Dr. Doshi has received several international and national awards and honours. He was awarded a Great Gold Medal by the Academy of Architecture, Paris, in 1988, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1996 and the Prime Minister's National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning and Design in 2000. Finally, he was the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2018, considered to be the highest honour for architects.


Balkrishna V Doshi visited Odisha for the first time to design the Centre.

Sustainable Design Principles

  • Double walls provide better insulation

  • Skylights for the upper galleries bring in natural light.

  • Air movement inside the building is stimulated by creating floor cut-outs in the slabs and double height spaces.

  • Air curtains are placed at entry and exit points.

  • Photovoltaic cells installed on the roof to create some of the energy required by the Centre.


Walking Through JDCA: Das & Doshi’s Vision

Sitting high on the hill facing the site are the 2nd Century BC Jain and Buddhist caves of Khandagiri. The same monolithic Kondolite from which they are carved forms the bedrock of JDCA's land. The Centre's layout, a cluster of units around an open performance space and courtyard, will complement the natural contours and give visitors the sense of journey, in a meandering fashion, via organic pathways, encountering successive galleries, each with a distinctive identity.

The blocks will combine the conceptual and pragmatic; each will contain related galleries, facilities and units, offering visitors the option of concentrating on a particular area or progressing through the whole in a series of links.

The built space will be around the outer edges of the land and the central vista will be open, overlooking the historical caves.


The sundial and the free-standing sculptures will be the vertical lines in the core. The permanent display galleries around the outer edges of the land will be devoted to specific subjects from drawing to graphics to photography to architecture. Toys, tools, medium material, brass and bell metal and handlooms, each will have dedicated spaces.


Displays from the collection will rotate thematically. There will be a temporary exhibitions gallery above the sunken administrative block, the focus of which will be eclectic.


As you walk right to the end in the tranquil area, there will be two artists’ studios and residencies. Under these will be the pottery units with the kiln. Visitors can watch the work in the pottery, print workshop and papermaking units. A media, materials and tools gallery with master craftsmen at work demonstrating the craft will complete the block.


The administrative and security offices, together with an in-house publications and design unit and an in-house conservation unit, will be located in a sunken area near the entrance overlooking the amphitheatre. This block will house the temporary exhibitions gallery, alongside front-of-house facilities for visitors such as the emporium, restaurant and café.


The galleries are grouped in such a way that on a complete tour, as well as making a journey from minimal two-dimensional works to complex sculptural forms, the visitor will walk through contemporary expressions to age-old objects.


So, for instance, the "Line gallery", named after the definition of a drawing as taking a line for a walk, will look at drawings by children, the earliest known cave drawings, drawings by contemporary artists, writing as drawing, mechanical / scale drawing, graffiti, tribal drawings and drawings as therapy. In addition, there will be materials for visitors to draw, including ink and quill, Conte, charcoal and graphite, with suggestions for experiment such as drawing with one eye closed, drawing with one's left hand for the right-handed, etc.


Each gallery will be equipped with a computer for in-depth information on any of the works. Audio-visual facilities, including pre-recorded audio tour guides will be made available to the visitors.


Descriptive captions in Odia, Hindi and English will be provided for objects, techniques and all text in the Centre's galleries. The galleries will be designed to maximize natural light and air circulation, to reduce dependence on energy-consuming artificial means of lighting and cooling. Traditional means of minimizing the impact of dust, via recessed, indirect entrances will also be used.

JD Centre of Art

Bhubaneswar 751030 Odisha

Tel (Bhubaneswar): +91 674 2554195

Tel (Delhi): +91 11 40574248

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