A stainless steel canopy wrapped around an existing building, this structure houses the visitors’ centre, ticketing, and security facilities for the Prince of Wales museum. The intention of the project is to allow visitors to enjoy the museum gardens and facilities, having cleared security and all other formalities at the entrance of the complex. The centre also houses a cafeteria and audio-visual show on the history of Mumbai and the collections of the museum.
A lightweight, stainless steel clad elliptical roof creates a covered verandah for circulation, integrating disparate visitor programs into a consolidated and modest, yet contemporary form. Glass and metal surfaces exist as a visual counterpoint to stout basalt stone of local heritage structures. Reflective material planes create a paradoxical visual poetry in which archaic forms of the adjacent museum are recast and distorted in a new perspective. The pre-defined footprint is organically punctured by existing trees that project through openings in the roof, yielding localized deviations in the otherwise low-key scale spaces. Integration of natural textures with modern means and materials further expands the defining narrative of the centre, that of a culturally meaningful intervention within a monumental historic context.
Architecture: Rahul Mehrotra, Siddharth Nadkarny, Robert Stephens; Structural: Vijay K. Patil & Associates; Electrical: J.E. Bapasola & Associates; Interiors: Opolis Architects; Plumbing: Sunil Services