[excerpt] In his MIT seminars in the 1950s, Professor Gyorgy Kepes would discuss the notion of "museum fatigue": those feelings, ranging from ennui to fallen arches, that many museum-goers experience as they trudge through the Louvre or the Prado. He would then emphasize the need for contrapuntal aras, where the eye—and the mind—could rest.
This insight came vividly to mind when, as a young architect back in India, I was asked to design the Smarak Sangrahalaya for Mahatma Gandhi at the sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. This memorial museum, to be located next to Gandhi's own house, would contain his letters, photographs, and other documentary material about his life and the freedom movement he headed. Since more such historic documents were sure to be identified and collected through the years, I realized that the museum itself would have to grow—in the process allowing each generation to pay its own respects to the Mahatma (an idea somewhat influenced by the Ise shrine in Japan).