Started in 1993, India Habitat Centre is a building with multipurpose functions, situated in New Delhi. Blending social spaces with commercial aspects, India Habitat Centre aims to provide a platform that would help to enhance the relationship between institutions and individuals having a common interest in issues related to habitat and environment.
The India Habitat Centre was started when several non-profit organizations concerned with habitat related issues were invited to share workspace with the workers of the public agency for Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO). India Habitat Centre along with the Urban Habitats Forum hosted the first Habitat Summit in 2009. It was a civil society initiative whose primary aim is to provide an educational and multi-disciplinary platform that would help to bring a positive transformation in the urban parts of India and that would be achieved by involving the major stakeholders of society in an attempt to work towards developing India’s built environment.
Covering nine acres of land, India Habitat Centre was the first step taken in the transformation of a traditional office building into an urban design project. Chairman of HUDCO, Joseph Allen Stein was the architect of India Habitat Centre and he made the building planning in such a way that members of IHC could easily access various services and amenities in and out of the building through multiple courtyards, shared parking area, common meeting rooms, museum, library and restaurants.
Although based on a radical idea, India Habitat Centre was build employing traditional building techniques and materials. Today, India Habitat Centre acts as the most intelligent building in India with its extraordinary building management systems, communication systems, conference systems and energy conservation systems that use new technologies to help in their effective functioning.
The principal objective of India Habitat Centre is to conserve and maintain an improved, balanced and sustainable way of life at every level and sphere of the environment and ecology. Making this their common objective, several non-profit organizations and leading corporate houses have come forward. Their aim is to conserve the habitat through the process of institution building and by working together as a single entity. Some of these organizations and corporate houses are HUDCO, CII, ILO, The Energy and Resources Institute and NHB.
India Habitat Centre also takes an active part in the promotion of several contemporary cultural, social, business and economic events. The IHC building has a space of about 5000 square foot that serves as a space for art exhibitions. The sculptural park that is adjacent to this space is dedicated towards showcasing the huge amount of potential this country possesses in the field of art and culture.
The exhibition space projects the work of artists under the high art genre, through regular exhibitions held over the last two years. The India Habitat Centre Visual Art Gallery focuses more on the process in which a piece of art is created rather than the piece of art itself. So it is quite obvious to say that IHC Visual Art Gallery lets us see artists in the making.
The space for exhibition not only exhibits various forms of art but it also acts as an interactive space where artists and viewers can come in contact and interact. Besides exhibitions, this place also organises seminars, regular talks, informal discussions and music and dance performances in order to bridge the gap between the artist and the viewer.