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Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

India Architecture News - Feb 16, 2023 - 15:03   2614 views

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

The Museum Of Art and Photography (MAP), known as India's Silicon Valley, will open to the public on 18 February 2023. 

Before the official opening, MAP has been documented with a set of photogrpahs captured by Iwan Baan, showing details and different vistas from the Bangalore streets.

The Museum of Art & Photography, housed in a state-of-the-art building in South India’s capital city, was designed by Bangalore-based architects Mathew & Ghosh Architects

The museum is close to the 296-acre Cubbon Park and the UB City Mall, both visible from the upper levels, and according to the studio, "this created an opportunity to bridge the presence of the city and the forest / park from the museum."

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Street view

The building includes four large galleries, a café and a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views across the city, an auditorium, a library housing extensive research material on Indian art and culture, freely available to students and researchers, and a conservation laboratory to carry out research and care of the collection.

MAP has emerged as the brainchild of philanthropist and collector Abhishek Poddar, who also gifted the founding collection, and is led by its Director Kamini Sawhney.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Exterior view

MAP houses a collection of more than 60,000 works that ranges widely with a particular emphasis on the modern and contemporary, presenting paintings, sculptures and graphics, alongside textiles, tribal art and memorabilia of India’s world-famous Bollywood industry. 

The collection deliberately blurs the boundaries between what is regarded as high art and the everyday creativity of the region’s communities.

"The photography collection is one of the most extensive in India with a particular focus on the period from the mid-nineteenth century, a turning point in the history of Britain’s colonial relationship with the region, right up to the present day," stated in a press release.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Exterior view

The building is drawn on a rectangular-formed geometry, reaching at five levels. While the ground floor is opened up with transparency to accomodate public areas, its attached outdoor sculpture courtyard and the lobby opens these public spaces up.

At upper levels, the studio arranges lobbies to create the break between the galleries / auditorium, conservation laboratory, the library. 

"This is one of the essential features for places for art to dilute museum fatigue intermittently," the studio said.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Street view featuring wall mural by New York based artist/designer Marco Santini

The architects, specifically, aimed to isolate precious art works and artefacts to protect from the exposure to ultraviolet light which necessitated an opaque enclosure for the main galleries, along with required temperature and humidity control.

At lower levels, the team places entrance, interactive screens, experience centres, public outreach classroom, short term/ frequently changing display art gallery, museum shop and a cafe with an open to sky courtyard.

The first floor is partially dedicated to a curated screens gallery, a visual gallery /storage, and an 130-seat auditorium auditorium.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

View of the main staircase

A conservation laboratory, which is open to the public, with the double height rare books library and the MAP team workspace are arranged in the second floor.

The third and fourth floors are dedicated to galleries, including a connected passage gallery at the fourth floor which makes it a large singular gallery when desired. 

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Ground floor reception featuring sculptural commission RockFormationTower and welcome desk designed by the multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Arik Levy

A few public facilities such as the quiet room and an alfresco dining area with a wonderful view of the surrounding of Cubbon Park and the UB City, are designed on the terrace.

The galleries are clad in stainless steel panels embossed with a cross pattern, a structural pattern is created for stiffening the surface of the cladding and reducing the thickness of the stainless-steel panel sheet and its weight onto the structure.

"This pattern is traditionally associated with post-industrial metal panel water tanks," according to the studio.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Sculpture Courtyard: Dialogues in Stone, an installation by British sculptor Stephen Cox

Offering a small footprint on the project plot, the layout is enlarged in the upper levels. The building was envisioned as a box to resemble a "water tank structure". 

The museum was built in mild steel framing (above the basements in reinforced concrete) and its structural elements/ columns shift to the outer surface of the box. 

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Gallery view: Visible/Invisible representation of Women in Art through the MAP Collection

"The simplicity of this thought for the MAP building, the materiality, the transparency, and opacity are part of the journey and the story behind the creation of the most significant new destination and architectural icon of the city of Bengaluru dedicated to the culture of the city, the south, the south asian region," said Soumitro Ghosh, Partner at Mathew & Ghosh Architects.

"An idea deeply embedded into the immediate context, the city, people and place and aware of its responsibility to enable art that is by nature unpredictable," Ghosh added.

Mathew & Ghosh Architects' Museum Of Art and Photography in Bangalore photographed by Iwan Baan

Gallery view: Time and Time Again, the first major retrospective of Indian photographer and artist, Jyoti Bhatt

Mathew & Ghosh Architects previously revealed details about Museum Of Art And Photography in 2022. The official opening of the building was originally planned to open on 11 December 2022. 

Architects Soumitro Ghosh and Nisha Mathew formed Mathew and Ghosh Architects in 1995. 

Their public projects in Bangalore include Freedom Park , the transformation of the Old Central Jail into an Urban Park of Possibilities over 16 acres in central Bangalore; the National Martyrs Memorial, dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives for the country since independence in 1947 (a green over and underground building of the memorial hall of about 14000 sq feet) over 6.5 acres in central Bangalore.

Top image: Elevated street view.

All photographs © Iwan Baan

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