By Savitha Hira
The growing respect for well evaluated international standards by the Indian government will soon be visible in a comprehensive Museum for Bihar.
After the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link at Mumbai and the ongoing state-of-the-art Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex at Raiberailly, Bihar gets a new museum with multimedia and interactive systems in place.
There are mixed views about Indian building contracts awarded to international designers and architects rather than our home-grown fraternity. While suitability of such practises can rage into a full-blown, perhaps non-solvable debate, we put our hands together for the most recent collaboration of Maki & Associates from Japan with _Opolis Architects from Mumbai, who have emerged winners of the Patna Museum competition.
Held during end November 2011, the competition for the most suited architectural design for a museum that would reverence the heritage of Pataliputra, and etch into posterity the region’s contribution to Indian history, attracted 26 leading Indian and international design firms from around the world.
The iconic museum is being developed by the Department of Art, Culture & Youth (DACY) along with the building Construction Department of the Government of Bihar in association with Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s oldest and largest cultural planning consultancy. The architectural selection process was also directed by the latter as the master planning consultant and was empowered with an eminent jury that comprised the likes of Dr. Martin Roth, Director, V & A Museum, UK; international contemporary artist from Bihar Subodh Gupta among other stalwarts in association with senior government officials.
The winning proposal follows a dispersed campus approach, directed towards innate flexibility in design development and facilitates future expansion plans. A strategic relationship developed through individual components of the museum on the vast 13.9 acre site will effect a well organized and functional museum. The buildings will follow a sequence of differential heights evolving into a holistic, dynamic composition of exhibition galleries, entrance pavilion, administrative buildings, and back-of-house support areas connected via a scenically landscaped circulation path. The museum purports to house world-class standards for display, conservation and environmental sustainability.
It is said that exhibition design will be the subject of a separate international competition that will follow at a future date.
The project is estimated at a whopping INR 350 crore and proposes a 2015 opening.