he Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology is an Administrative and Academic campus of the A.S.I. Conceptualised under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, ithas been built on a 25-acre plot, which also has the distinction of being the first sites to be seen as one enters Greater Noida after the Taj expressway entrance loop.
The project housesa large museum of archaeology and attendant facilities such asarchival sections, restoration laboratories, cafeterias etc. An Auditorium of 900-people capacity with an independent entrance, a library for researchers and officials, amini-convention Centre for events and discussions of upto 300 persons and the Offices of Directorate General of ASI as well as Academic and Training facilities for ASI officials. The total built-up area of phase 1 is 5.6 lakh square feet.
The campus also has a residential district with staff quarters for Type 1,2,3, 4 as well as a residence for the Director General. It has a guest house-cum-hostel facility for visiting dignitaries as well as ASI officials undergoing an academic program training.ONTEXTUAL ARCHITECTURE: The central objective of the external vocabulary was to establish a strong connection with archaeology — the large stepped building was conceived with grand outdoor steps and Traditional Indianchattris. Sandstone and Delhi quartzite plinth were chosen as cladding materials and the whole scale is orchestrated to mimic the imposing nature of a fortress with few windows and mostly solid walls for safety of inhabitants.The dancing chattris and motifs add symbolism and visual drama. Placemaking is a very vital aspect of architecture and even within the museum — the central skylight atrium with its brick walls, stone arches, and geometric patterns on the floors transport the visitor into a themed environment steeped in history.
Nine broken arches have been placed around an arrival plaza, symbolizing one’s commencement of a journey into the past where one has to make sense from the broken pieces of information. The scale of the arches is reminiscent of the glorious ancestors and their construction capabilities to create grandiose, well-articulated buildings. It is a transitory space where one shall pause and mentally align with the exploration of the museum that is to follow.
From the plaza, one enters into a heroic circular atrium set inside a square hallway creating a peripheral gallery around. This five-floor high space with a dome shaped roof serves as the arrival hall where a sense of wonderment and admiration for the past gets invoked.A help desk placed here guides the visitor about the viewing options, contents of the museum, audio guide facility, cloak room services etc. The museum is spread over three floors and has two wings — this essentially allowed for the creation of six sets of galleries, each representing a period of history and comprising of three halls within it. The amateur visitor needs to only view one of the halls per period;however, the more serious inquisitor would want to see two halls per gallery and the serious researcher would want to see all three.
The basements are well-lit with skylights and also have space for restoration of artefacts, and a proper zone for archival.A library and visiting researchers’ office has been placed atop the dome and under the pyramid. Its position offers a fabulous vantage point and opens up views of the central open space and large greens in the front of the campus.
Sandstone and Delhi quartzite plinth have been chosen as cladding materials and the whole scale is orchestrated to mimic the imposing nature of a fortress with few windows and mostly solid walls for safety of inhabitants.Place making is a very vital aspect of architecture and even within the museum — the central skylight atrium with its brick walls, stone arches, and geometric patterns on the floors transport the visitor into a themed environment steeped in history.
SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE:The campus is designed on the principles of green building architecture. It is energy efficient and employs solar energy for common areas and exterior lighting through atriums and skylights. Its water management strategy is based on zero discharge, for which a tertiary STP has been employed to ensure recycling of water for flushing, air-conditioning and horticulture. Rain water harvesting using a lake, the use of double-glazed windows and recycling of waste materials are other green features.A lake has also been created to capture the run-off water; since the water table is high, this green-lined lake with stone pitching alsoacts as a repository.
UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY:The entire campus is pedestrian friendly and all buildings are connected through the vehicle-free central green. All vehicles and parking are limited to the periphery. The basements can accommodate 280 cars plus another 270 on the surface, and place for school buses to park. Above the museum, there’s one floor of administrative offices and training halls. For future developments, fifty percent of the squares on the west and north are left free and converted into lawns for the time being.The entire campus has been designed on the principles of universal accessibility and special parking slots have also been earmarked for disadvantaged persons. The design is cost-effective and space-efficient, in order to optimise the use of the built environment. Safety and security in terms of fire safety, structural safety and digital safety have been inbuilt into the design by providing a security hold area at the site entrance to screen and vet visitors and provide entrance passes.
CAMPUS MASTER PLANNING
Thetwenty-five-acre campus is square in geometry and the ancient principles of Vastu Shastra have been imbibed to create a master plan.The whole site was divided into nine squares — essentially three rows of three squares, each being roughly 100 m by 100 m. The central square has been left open as a large green space (brahmsthan)which connects visually and physically, the whole set of buildings thatare placed along the peripheral squares. In the north-east square, the Director General’s residence has been placed, who shall be the “sanchalak”of the whole campus,the north-east corner being left open as the lawn. The museum building, which is the largest and tallest building in the campus has been placed on the south side and has its entrance placed centrally with a grand dome and stepped pyramidal crown which captures cosmic energy and showers it inside the building.
Goonmeet S. Chauhan, Girish C. Joshi, Vikas Sharma, Vikas Madan, Kanika Gupta, Reena Sharma