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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bronzed beauty!

By Rutvi Ashar
Photography: Aadit Basu; courtesy Matrika Design Collaborative
Read Time: 2 mins

Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Matrika Design Collaborative designs the Bronze Gallery at the existing National Museum, New Delhi, showcasing Indian Bronzes right from the Harappa Civilisation...

Working closely with Mr John Dawson, Curator at the Bronze Gallery, National Museum, and Padmshri awardee, Dr Sadashiv Gorakshkar, who was instrumental in the master listing process, Abhishek Ray, principal architect leading the Matrika team received invaluable inputs in order to create a user interactive, modern and overall unique design for the Gallery. 

Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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The concept revolving around minimalism alongside diligent technical considerations such as lighting, acoustics and display, has ultimately resulted in a showcase of hundred-odd art pieces sectioned region-wise. 

Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Museum architecture involves not just the optimum display of works of art, but also audience movement, ease of access, viewing angles and lighting, appropriate signage, acoustics and finally, thematic. While all the boxes get ticked in this design, a commendable effort of tying in suitable seating for avid sketchers in close proximity to the exquisite bronze statues and suspended glass boxes that allow for a 360° view of the work displayed, not to mention the minimalist no-fuss palette of colour and material – lend the ambience a chic aura with just the right focus on the exhibits. 

Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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The use of a baffle ceiling instead of a regular false ceiling takes care of lighting and acoustic design and also acts as a continuation of the vertically fluted structural columns; hiding linear light fixtures and HVAC ducts. Shades of the antique gilded metal are continued throughout the gallery and lend a hand in exaggerating the dark tone of the figurines, both, in the peripheral cases and the island glass boxes that highlight special category work from a region,  as the exhibits are highlighted by a dramatic play of lighting.  

Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Bronze Gallery National Museum New Delhi
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Chiselling bespoke cabinetry with the development of advanced hinges and locking mechanisms, add to the technical soundness needed for a new age gallery in the museum.  The gallery has proved to be a great example of how modern galleries can be built in ageing institutions!

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