Byculla museum to get new wing by ’18

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 07 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Mumbai city is to get a new museum building on international standards by the end of 2018. The city's oldest Dr. Bhau Daji Lad museum in Byculla will have a new addition of the North wing to it which would be built by the Municipal Corporation and private funding. On Saturday evening, Steven Holl architects were chosen to architecturally design this new addition.

The new addition is expected to be 85,000-110,000 sq ft. The selection process of the architects however took almost a year. An international architectural competition was first launched to select the architects in December 2013.

The competition is known to have received over a hundred expressions of interest from all over the world. The jury assessed the design submissions, presentations and selected New York based practice Steven Holl who collaborated with Mumbai based Opolis Architects.

BMC Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said that they are delighted that Dr. Bhau Daji Lad museum will now have a world class addition by the winning team. "It was a tough decision and we have been at it since a long time. However with each presentation that we saw, the choice of selection was getting tougher. But at the end there was a consensus on the decision taken," said Kunte.

The winning design was distinctive for its sculptural and calligraphic qualities. It proposes a simple volume which is enlivened by deep subtracting cuts, creating dramatic effects of light and shade. Its central feature is a reflecting pool in the new courtyard between the old and new building.

The winning architects said that they tried bringing a direct connection between the existing and the new building. "We are excited in proceeding towards the next step after winning this competition. Our design has deep shading cuts in order to allow natural light. We have even focused upon the space in between the buildings," said one of the architects.

Tasneem Mehta, trustee and director of the museum called it as culmination of a 10 year long dream. "We want to create a gallery space which is able to deal with precious objects among other things. There will also be research space, besides a 200 seater auditorium. We have been impressed by the hard work of all the eight teams that were shortlisted. This new building will change the cultural conservation in Mumbai and wider museum world. The scheme integrates sustainability into the design and is ambitious to set new standards of environmental performance and energy conservation," said Mehta.

The approximate cost of the new building is said to be around 200 crores.

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