Objective– The primary aim for the project was to create awareness amongst people about the effects of War on Nation, on people, on peoples’ lives and to spread the message of Peace. Moreover, it preserved the memory of armed conflicts and the people who sacrificed their lives. It also showcased the journey of courage and glory through tangible narration.
Project Name: National War Museum
By: Saransh Jethva
Looking back to the nuances of political destruction, War seemed like a contrast to the society as well and hence the intention was to develop the building that contrasted from its context. It also must reflect the current time amid echoes of the past. Rather than mimicking the style of context, it should influence the architecture of the surroundings like symmetry, geometry, repetition, grandeur, and many more.
Design– The site of the proposed museum sits in the vicinity of Lutyens Delhi near India Gate. It encompasses a strong context of Neo-classical architectural style with a combined Mughal and Buddhist influence. The orientation of the building was considered to reduce the summer heat. The main idea was to make users feel the horrors and pain of a war. Since war represents destruction, the form of the building looks destroyed and creates a war-like environment inside.
As one enters the precinct of the museum, they can see a huge entrance at the center; where the building divides itself into two major parts. The front part consists of a central welcoming concourse at the center, the admin block on the right and recreational/ educational block on the left. The back part has a corridor at the center which acts as a connecting spine between each gallery. Corridor allows visitors to access the Exhibition gallery, Theatre, Cafeteria and Memorial Hall. The right block contains an exhibition gallery informing about the formation and evolution of Indian Armed forces, a Movie theatre and Cafeteria. The left block is dedicated to Wars fought by Indian armed forces at different times in History.
War gallery is further divided into two sections. The initial section consists of 2D displays and small artifacts, while the other section allows the visitor to encounter real mechanisms/machineries, vehicles, planes, bunkers and many more elements to experience the feel of real warzone with background music of bullet fires and bombs dropping. At the end of the journey, visitors find a refreshment area, memorial hall and an open-air theatre. Overall, the museum provided an opportunity to celebrate the bravery & patriotism of Nations martyrs.
Materials– Concrete and steel were used as a primary material while glass, composite panels, pvc, tensile fabric, etc. were used as secondary materials. There was a conscious effort to maintain the temperature of the building by introducing active cooling mechanisms like Geo-Thermal cooling and mechanically operated umbrellas in the roof structure of the War exhibition gallery. Diagrid structure was used for the construction of the War exhibition gallery.