The building, scheduled to open in 2010, underwent a half year-long security review
The opening of the Indian Embassy's $10 million compound, which will be formally presided over by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here on Wednesday evening, was delayed by over a year on account of concerns over security, people familiar with the project told The Hindu.
The building, which was scheduled to open in 2010, had to undergo a half- year-long security review in the wake of concerns expressed by some officials over inadequate security arrangements following the 2009 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The building's exteriors were subsequently redesigned, with its walls and gates bolstered to provide greater protection after security officials from New Delhi spent weeks reviewing the structure and combing the compound in several visits to Beijing last year. Concerns over security have cast a shadow over the expansive new embassy compound. Indian officials have also taken precautions to ensure greater information security, amid growing concerns over cyber intrusions by China-based hackers and repeated hacking attacks faced by diplomats in the old Ritan Park embassy compound.
The expansive and modern new home of the mission will be formally inaugurated by Mr. Krishna on Wednesday evening. A Chinese official of vice ministerial rank is expected to attend.
The building, made of sandstone brought in from India, was designed by architect Raj Rewal.
Its unique structure, which is centred around a marble-floored atrium capped by a glass dome, was designed to give Chinese people an immediate sense of an Indian aesthetic that they had been familiar with through shared histories, Mr. Rewal said, pointing to Buddhist art in places such as the Longmen Grottoes in central China that came from India.
“In the design, I wanted to convey that the embassy should not only fulfil the functional aspect, but also go beyond it and even become a symbol of a lost connection between two architectural traditions,” he said.
The atrium structure, for instance, was inspired by the hexagonal designs common to basket weaving in India and China. “Even from the outer periphery, we wanted to come up with a design that would be truly representative of India.”