Project DescriptionThe design for the National war museum is based on intuitive and sympathetic approach to the context and nature of Central Delhi also known as Luyten’s Delhi.
The proposed Museum Design encourages the visitors at India gate and Central Vista / Vijay path as well as from Copenicus Marg and Tilak Marg to flow into building through multiple levels & entries making is truly a public building which offers a mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces. Public spaces are most essential element of any city, which can not only influence the lives of individual but society as a whole. The museum in intended to be belonged to everyone and design incorporates these essential and practical aspects delivering a truly functional pragmatic museum.
The proposed design is influenced by the Delhi’s vivid history, glorious architectural heritage and its vibrant character. The armed forces rich and glorious past, dating back to millennia are assimilated into design by the proposed robust materials( Dholpur Stone and white exposed concrete) , colossal volume (of space signifying the mammoth size) and the symmetrical design approach of the building( which also not only respects the Luytens Delhi’s planning character but also symbolize the regimental character or discipline of armed forces) .
The proposed design constitutes “Two replicated linear concreate blocks connected by a smaller glass box sitting on a large platform / plinth facing India Gate”. The symmetrical volumes and semi-underground volume are juxtaposed in the vernacular architecture pattern of Delhi influenced by earlier Delhi rulers Mughals, Rajput’s andpartially Indo-Saracenic influence.
The symmetrical layout, the singular design approach and the incorporated architecture elements (raised plinth, domes and column) makes it an Iconic building.
The raised Plinth / terrace allows the visitor to walk on all four side of the building at Upper ground level and also on the top floor making the building a intelligent functional space without any rear or front in essence.
On the front side of façade there is a large rectangular free standing concrete wall with a large circular Bronze ‘Ashoka Chakra’ embedded into the wall – depicting the continuity of India and her armed forces rich history and also the country’s emblem & flags element.
The front façade is a huge entrance which is recessed into the largest volumetric space of the building. The massive atrium features a generous common public space; the exposed concrete finish facilitates a low maintenance public building also highlighting the robustness.
Atrium / Public Space
The 20000 square meter of lower exhibit space is connected through various ramps and levelled entry externally as well as connected by series of grand staircases cladded with timber internally. These stairs also connects the upper levels thus representing a prominent architectural element of the building.
The auditorium also features a linear landmark dome half of which will be glass to bring natural light into atrium. The glass curtain wall on the norther edge of atrium brings uninterrupted northern/eastern light.
The central atrium with multiple grand stairs connect various levels, with centralised central core and flexible exhibits spaces on either side minimize the long linear corridors resulting in less walking time to cover the same amount of area.
The rear public garden and landscaped alameda is meant to host many military specific installations along with the possibility of statues of Military heroes. The existing lush tree dominated peaceful setting at rear and an openamphitheatre will play / host nightperformances on the raised plinth / terrace as stage and cladded wall to act as screen.
The design approach takes serious consideration into existing surrounding landscape, the proposed building and the India Gate and offers continuous visitor experience and engaging / outreaching to the community in particular.
Building will be achieved by concrete column as grid and walls cast in-situ. The doe will be metallic frame cladded with stone on western side. Stairs are concrete in-situ cladded with timber.
The proposed building is “Three symmetrical boxes assembled in regimental order on a Larger box semi buried in ground –signifying the innovation of “simplicity, aesthetic, historical, transparency yet mysterious, - and with aim of affirming the harmony between the natural and built, history & future, Men & Machine.