|Photo © André J Fanthome|
Snapshot: Dilli Haat
Paris has its famed Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen; Seattle has its Pike Place; Brooklyn has Smorgasburg. The New Delhi version of these are their three Dilli Haats (“Delhi Markets”), the latest of which was completed last year. Located in the Indian capital's affluent Janakpuri district, the six-acre bazaar's hook-shaped site is flanked by a bus terminal, a busy street, and South Asia's largest prison. The architects, Archohm Consults of nearby Noida, wanted to distinguish their market from the city's two existing Dilli Haats with diverse programming and a contemporary design. “Haat Beat” (a pun on “heartbeat”), as the scheme is called, includes an auditorium, amphitheater, craft stalls, and gardens. For a small fee, tourists and city dwellers can enter the Dilli Haat to browse local handicrafts—ranging from sandalwood carvings to camel-skin loafers—and sample regional cuisine from nearly 50 food stands. Basket-like bamboo structures contain space for exhibitions and retail. Clusters of tensile canopies, seen here, glow above the artisans' shops, which are clad in a mix of warm Agra stone, slate, and local quartz. At dusk, the humid subtropical air is filled with music, the aroma of food, and twinkling lights.