Biennale Venues

Aspinwall House

Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi

Aspinwall House is a large sea-facing heritage property in Fort Kochi on the way to Mattancherry. The property was originally the business premises of Aspinwall & Company Ltd. established in 1867 by English trader John H Aspinwall. Under the guidance of Aspinwall the Company traded in coconut oil, pepper, timber, lemon grass oil, ginger, turmeric, spices, hides and later in coir, coffee, tea and rubber. The large compound contains office buildings, a residential bungalow and a number of warehouses and smaller outer-lying structures. Aspinwall House will be a primary venue of the Biennale, hosting numerous artist led projects and events spaces.

Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi

David Hall

David Hall, Fort Kochi

David Hall is a Dutch bungalow built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company, located on the north side of Parade Ground in Fort Kochi. It is believed that during the Dutch occupation it was used to accommodate military personnel. The hall is named after David Koder, a Jewish business man who later resided there with his family. Since 2007 the building has been leased by CNO India to CGH Earth, an ecologically conscious hotel group. David Hall is currently an art gallery and will be an important exhibition venue during the Biennale. The gardens at the rear of the property will also host a variety of collateral events.

David Hall, Fort Kochi

Pepper House

Pepper House

Pepper House is a waterfront heritage property located on the Kalvathi Road in between Fort Kochi and Bazar Road. The building consists of two historic ‘godowns’ (an Indian word for a dockside warehouse), one facing the street and one overlooking the waterfront. These large, two-story buildings with Dutch style clay roofs are separated by a large courtyard which would have once been used for storing goods waiting to be loaded onto ships in the harbour.

The sixteen thousand square feet Pepper House complex is currently undergoing renovations and will eventually house a courtyard cafe, gallery, studios for artist residencies and event spaces.

In the long-term Pepper House is intended as an evolving project to create a multi-purpose space that will host and promote visual arts year round in Kochi.

Pepper House, Fort Kochi

Durbar Hall

Durbar Hall, Ernakulam

The Durbar Hall and its grounds are in the heart of the city, near Kochi’s main railway station Ernakulam South.

Built in the 1850s by the Maharaja of Cochin to host his Royal court, the Durbar Hall has had many incarnations over its 150 year history. Recent extensive renovation works by the Kochi Biennale Foundation have transformed the present Durbar Hall gallery into an international museum quality exhibition venue.

Under the guidance of award winning conservation architect Vikas Dilawari, the venue is now equipped with Erco LED museum lighting, climate control and disability access-the available exhibition space has also increased substantially.

Durbar Hall will be a primary venue for the Biennale.

Durbar Hall, Ernakulam

Parade Ground

Parade Ground, Fort Kochi

Parade Ground is a four acre open space in the heart of Fort Kochi, bordered by Cochin Club, David Hall, VOC Gate and St Francis Church where Vasco de Gama was originally buried in 1524.

Historically, Parade Ground was used by the Portuguese to store their armaments, and by the Dutch and the British to conduct military drills and parades.

Today Parade Ground is considered as a public square, where ceremonial parades are conducted and locals gather to play football, cricket and other sports.

During the Biennale, Parade Ground and other public spaces in Fort Kochi and Ernakulum can potentially host outdoor installations and a variety of cultural events.

Parade Ground, Fort Kochi