Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
The Museum of Tribal Heritage at Bhopal was commissioned by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 2004 since over 30% of the population of the state is tribal. It was important to create an architecture that was informed by their rich culture, evolved over millennia.
The Museum is designed to create a built fabric which the tribal communities could identify with, extend, and evolve, to represent themselves and express their own ideas and way of life with ease and spontaneity. While the architecture of the Museum is inspired by tribal rhythms, geometries, materials, forms, aesthetics and spatial consciousness, these very qualities are now acting as points of inspiration for the display materials being created by tribal artisans, supported by anthropologists, sociologists and social workers.
Built on a site of seven acres, the galleries are raised above the ground on columns, forming a continuous, multileveled veranda, following the contours of the sloping, rocky terrain.
Courtyards puncture the built mass, bringing in light and air, while enabling the roof forms to establish modulated scales and compositions.
The structure is built of steel tubes, castellated girders, and steel rods fabricated into intricate trusses. Steel seemed to be a natural choice in the land & location of ancient Iron Age & Bronze Age civilizations, and the contemporary truck body building industry.
The walls use both local stone left exposed and brick plastered with crushed stone on the outside and mud plaster on the inside. The roofs are made of half-round tiles, galvalume sheets and concrete with a topping of grass and groundcover. The landscape is designed to collect and store rain water, to be used for both cooling and irrigating the green roof, and gardens. The plant material is composed of largely local forest species.
The architecture of the museum, integrates seamlessly into a continuum, the outside with the inside, the natural with the human construct, the tribal with the urban and the viewer with the viewed