We intend to give back the ‘Princess Park’ to the city by restoring its connection with its adjacent roads. An underground tunnel connecting to the grounds of India Gate can be much more than mere function, serving instead as an active space of memory. It can become a memorial promenade whose walls act as a canvas for acts of bravery. This integrated response between the park, the museum and the memorial can forge a new urban connection.
Museum’s central idea
The museum is a floating pavilion, tied together by beams and with the ground plane left free for public movement, gatherings, and displays of military tanks and fighter aircrafts. This porosity serves as a counterpoint to the fortified character of its immediate precincts. We have avoided simply placing “objects” in a park – instead, choosing to situate the museum and its entrance pavilion such that they delineate urban edges along the Copernicus and Tilak Marg. These ‘walls’ are floating and dematerialized through canopies of trees.
Layout and growth system
The military barracks on-site shared certain relationships with their internal streets and trees. These are maintained by a new rhythmic system of parallel bays made of habitable service walls. The dense texture of the old city is abstracted such that one discovers an inner world of courtyards, corridors and inward-facing balconies as one traverses the museum.
The elements of the proposal are organized in a sequential loop – from entrance pavilion to museum, culminating in a memorial tunnel that leads to the India Gate gardens. This urban tension with the India Gate is accentuated by a vertical element that arises from the museum’s horizontal “texture”.