The convergence of scientific innovation and socio-economic progress is a global pursuit, with nations leveraging Science and Technology for comprehensive development. In 1986, Gujarat established the Council of Science and Technology (GUJCOST) to address regional challenges within an international context. Dedicated to mitigating backwardness, rural unemployment, and poverty, GUJCOST is establishing community science centers across the state through public-private partnerships. The goal is to 'Bring Science to People's Doorstep,' creating top-notch facilities that educate, entertain, and integrate modernity with cultural heritage, embodying the state's forward-looking approach to science, education and community engagement.

The Regional Science Centre in Bhuj city, in the Kutch region of Gujarat state, is situated to the north of a hillock known locally as Bhujiyo Dungar. The North-South axis acts as a pedestrian path and connects with the East-West axis along which all the galleries are located. The design philosophy draws inspiration from the immediate context of Smriti Van, a memorial to the devastating 2001 earthquake, thus creating a meeting point of science, culture and social interface.

Characterized by their mud plastered, bamboo-framed cylindrical traditional forms, the Bhunga houses of this desert region, represent a way of life deeply rooted in the local culture. Their adaption to the climate and time-tested structural stability makes them well-suited for this earthquake-prone, desert region, with its sandstorms and cyclonic winds. Governed by the Venturi effect and Bernoulli’s principle of pressure differences, Bhungas allow for easy flow of cool breezes within, and divert strong winds around their curvilinear walls, preventing structural destabilization. Built on platforms and placed close together, the residual spaces act as shaded spaces for circulation and community engagement.

Inspired by this traditional architecture, the exhibition galleries of the Centre are designed as cylindrical envelopes. Clustered around common spaces, they allow for fluid transition for visitors, offering a dynamic and interconnected journey through the exhibits. Elliptical in plan, each of these six galleries rise up six-eight meters, casting cooling shadows. Landscaped spaces for outdoor exhibits and step-down courtyards get carved out of the curved intermittent niches. The dry-clad system using locally available stone, harmonizes with the regional context and reduces cooling loads. Seismic resilience is optimized, and economic viability influences exhibit planning, functionality, and long-term operational sustainability.

The Centre's programmatic arrangement aligns galleries’ themes that are focused on Space, Nanotechnology, Energy, and Marine Navigation along the east-west 'science' axis. Administration and library/workshop blocks, along with Noble/Bonsai galleries and a central plaza courtyard, align with a north-south 'cultural' axis. Technological aids such as a 5D theatre, interactive media, and application pods complement the immersive edutainment approach.

Going beyond aesthetics, the design serves as a bridge between tradition and innovation in the realm of science and technology. It resonates with the rich heritage of Kutch, while offering an immersive and interactive space that pushes the boundaries of science and technology, symbolizing Gujarat's commitment to bringing science closer to the people in an engaging and culturally resonant manner that is accessible and inclusive even for remote and rural areas.



Site Area : 10 Acres

Built Area : 5853 m2 / 63000 ft2

Client : Gujarat Council on Science and Technology

Program / Use / Building Function : Science Museum / Science Centre / Edutainment Center

Firm / Consultant:
Architecture Firm - INI Design Studio
Interior Designer - INI Design Studio
Landscape Consultant - INI Design Studio
Construction Company - Cube Construction Engineering Ltd.
Structural Consultant - DUCON Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Plumbing Consultant - INI Infrastructure & Engineering
Lighting Design - INI Infrastructure & Engineering
HVAC Consultant - INI Infrastructure & Engineering
Exhibit Design - Lemon Design
Electrical Consultant - INI Infrastructure & Engineering
AV / IT / Acoustic - INI Infrastructure & Engineering

Jayesh Hariyani, Rakhi Rupani, Saumil Mevada, Bhargav A Bhavsar, Ani Agarkar, Parth Joshi


Karan Gajjar