KIA Terminal-2, future projects to get art makeover

Aesthetic treatment

Art historian Suresh Jayaram, urban architect Naresh Narasimhan and Arundhati Ghosh of India Foundation for the Arts at a consultation on public spaces organised by the Bangalore International Airport Limited on Wednesday. DH PHOTO

Ready for a March 2021 take-off, the second terminal (T2) of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will get an artistic makeover, complete with permanent art displays, rotating exhibitions and performing arts.

But this aesthetic treatment will be a continuous process, extending even to the airport’s future projects. Locally flavoured, the Art Programme of the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) will collate ideas through a consultative process combining a series of public discourses.

At the first of these public discourses on Wednesday, the BIAL top brass laid out a master plan for the airport’s future expansion, including an airport city. Over the next 15 years, the plan envisages hotels, knowledge and business parks, a multi-modal transport hub and more.

These facilities are expected to come up in phases. A suburban rail halt station and a Metro rail airport terminal are also part of this plan. The aesthetic art treatment will extend to these projects as well.

The art installations, both static and dynamic, will be designed to create a meaningful experience to share stories linked to the city’s culture, the people and the airport itself.

“The art programme hopes to create lighter moments within T2 and evoke a feeling of pride among people of Bengaluru and Karnataka,” says BIAL.

The airport and the metro stations should be reimagined as cultural hubs of local communities, suggested urban architect Naresh Narasimhan. But art historian Suresh Jayaram hastened to add that the displays should not be static, merely serving as token representations. “Why not use micro-narratives and creatively use technology?” he asked.

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) Executive Director, Arundhati Ghosh, had this to say: “When you land at the airport, can it give a sense of the city, what you are getting into? It could reflect the city’s historical plurality and cultural diversity. Consider these while looking at public art at the airport.”

The airport being too far from the city, Narasimhan had a suggestion to help lay-over passengers at KIA experience at least a part of Bengaluru. “Why can’t BIAL help them experience Devanahalli, Nandi Valley walks? It could even take over the Devanahalli fort and fix it.”

Jayaram liked the T2’s garden-themed design. “Urban forest inside the airport will be a homage to the erstwhile garden city,” he said.

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