The architecture of the museum and for that matter any building is expressed through space and material. Light, natural light, reveals the character of this space. The museum space is a special event in time. The past records passing through the present must direct towards the future which is unknown yet predictable. The architecture of the museum must look for this backdrop, whatever may be its shape, size and form. It should create a kinship both for the objects and the space which enhance the true nature of these objects. Man is a part of the entire record in which only the present is comprehensible for him. The true kinship between the spaces and the object can accelerate and help encompass the full story of which he is part. 

The museum is a realized in the form of a sequence of spaces stepping down from the grade level on the north-west side to almost 24’-0” below grade on the south-east side. The south-west side provides access to the auditorium, workshops, stores, etc. The working of the auditorium, workshop etc. is independent of the functioning of the exhibits in the Museum.

© Anant Raje Foundation
© Anant Raje Foundation

The climate of Nagpur fluctuates between two extremes – very hot in summer and very cold in winter – and can be described as hot and dry. To protect the exhibits from such a climate, the museum spaces are dug in the ground. We have part of our cultural heritage, examples of such buildings in the stepped wells of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The museum spaces and the exhibits are thus protected and at the same time isolated from the other activities on the site. It has also given an opportunity to simulate those conditions which prevail in the underground mines and the experience that is offered is that of participation and discovery. The various insights inside the museum have given a freedom to organize the exhibits which have different scales and sizes. Each floor is a horizontal section, where you go around the periphery to get an introduction to very large exhibition spaces. Inside these are chambers,

  • 2. Adjacent to the site was a horrendous high-rise. With that building so close, what kind of a superstructure could I have designed for the museum? Also, the subject matter suggested that one would have to go deep into the ground. That may not sound convincing, but it helped me to push the entire building down into the ground.