The Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History in Anjaneri, Nashik, India, was redesigned in 2018 by a Nashik-based architectural firm, ‘Cause – an initiative.’ The Institute was founded in the 1980s by the Indian Numismatic, Historical, and Cultural Research Foundation as a research Center, library, and private collection of coins/artefacts and has since been a landmark in the City of Nashik. It was originally known as ‘Nane Sangrahalaya (Coin Museum)’ and was redesigned with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Government of India, by adding an extension of 9000 square feet to be reintroduced as the ‘Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History’. The museum holds 2,500 years of Indian history in terms of numismatics, natural history, archaeology, and anthropology that date back to the 5th century BCE. The Museum is a labyrinth within a structural grid that spans 12 feet in both directions; it is strategic, contextual, and iconic. 

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Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History image_© Megha Butte

Site

The building site covers an area of five acres with pre-existing buildings, which served as a structural framework for the design of the extension for Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History. The site is next to the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar highway, with scenic views of the Brahmagiri hills. The overall landscape is barren and rugged, consisting mostly of farms, resorts, and temples. The site terrain slopes upwards as you approach the building site creating a focus toward the building structure that is profoundly isolated in the vast terrains of Anjaneri, Nashik. The lack of a built environment around the site renders a quality of vagueness and absence which gives identity to the locus. The Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History takes place in a bucolic setting and stands as a significant Landmark that is an integral part of the city of Nashik.

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Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History floor plan_© CAUSE – an initiative

Program

The Museum extension was designed to increase the number of exhibitions by four times. The building design develops through the existing building structure and materialises as a labyrinth of square spaces connected by archways and open courtyards. It follows a typology of a gallery space, a continuous path that is designed to display various exhibitions on numismatics, natural history, archaeology, and anthropology. The ticket counter and visiting exhibition space are on the two sides of the entrance that grows into a double-height central atrium, souvenir shops, information centre, and history of cinema and coin exhibitions spaces define the central axis that extends to the K.G Maheshwor photo gallery. The axis also spreads towards the two sides of the museums as open courtyards that have stone pillars, old artifacts, and sculptures. The right side of the museum has the curator’s office and exhibitions spaces for corals, minerals, Indian rupees, ganjifas, head games, tribal art, musical instruments, bronze statues, copper plate manuscripts, oil paintings, miniature paintings, French furniture, breakout lobbies. The left side of the museum has exhibition spaces for fossils, stone tools, Indus Valley, copper hoards, and terracotta, and is mainly focused on coins and the diorama of coin mints.

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Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History interior image_© Megha Butte

Structure

The reinforced concrete structure of the museum extension was planned by Deltacom – Bhanuvilas Bhavsar and contracted by Charwak Constructions. The redesigned museum extension is of 9,000 square feet, and the overall building covers a total area of around 12,000 square feet. The building façade is a 100-meter arcade wall with arch-like openings that envelops the old and new parts of the structure, creating unity and volume. The building entrance is a structurally framed arch that defines a central axis of a double-height central atrium that spreads into central courtyards and exhibition spaces with varying ceiling heights and bluish-grey interior walls. The axis and open central spaces separate the museum extension into two parts. There are thirty 12 feet by 12 feet square spaces in both flanks of the extension, which are connected by arched entrances which provide an unrestricted and open mode of circulation. There are openings and well-designed ventilation throughout the structure that promotes sustainability and reduce service costs. The overall building structure is monotone and inert, providing initiative to the building program.

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Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History courtyard image_© Megha Butte

A Place for the People

The Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History is an educational and reflective experience that provides a medium to appreciate culture and history. The exhibitions and the building setting provide the visitor with a great sense of connection to the past that defines their identity and origins. It provides the visitor with an ability to communicate with a history that echoes from the various artifacts and scriptures that date back to ancient civilizations. The structure is multilayered with display content and its intricate building design; the museum communicates with the visitor through the exhibition and the spirit of the place. The city of Anjaneri, Nashik, celebrates the Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History as a landmark and a community facility that is engaging and retrospective. 

Reference

  1. Institute (no date) INHCRF. Available at: http://inhcrf.org/museum/ (Accessed: 30 July 2023). 
  2. Matter (2021) Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money & History: Cause – an initiative, MATTER. Available at: https://thinkmatter.in/2021/11/09/coin-museum-cause-an-initiative/ (Accessed: 30 July 2023). 
  3. Coin Museum: All you need to know before you go (with photos) (no date) Tripadvisor. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g303883-d2009092-Reviews-Coin_Museum-Nashik_Nashik_District_Maharashtra.html (Accessed: 30 July 2023). 
  4. Coin Museum | Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money and history nashik (2019) YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EgiuvARxpM (Accessed: 30 July 2023). 
Author

"I am Pravas Onta, writer, thinker and designer. I went to Architecture school in New York and I am currently trying to become a part of the ARB. I have over 5 years’ experience in design, construction and engineering. I believe in hard-work, organization and mutual support."