Story of my architecture
I am the Bihar Museum! I welcome you to explore my treasures and artefacts in my galleries, rooms, corridors and courtyards! I am situated on a 13.5 acre plot on Bailey Road in Patna. The total built-up area is 24,000 square metres and the total gallery spaces add up to an area of 9500 square metre. For this project, Maki and Associates of Japan teamed up with OPOLIS Architects of Mumbai, India.
Life is all about experience. Every second, in fact every nano-second, we are continuously experiencing. Even if we are not consciously thinking about it, we can feel, smell, touch, hear and see. How beautiful it is, this capacity to experience! It is what mothers teach their children and how teachers shape their students. I was built by my architects fundamentally for all visitors to experience history. You will enter the magical worlds of kings, poets, saints and countrymen, the history of times gone and many transformations.
Japanese architects Maki and Associates were selected through a competition. The design they submitted was unique for several reasons. For one, they saw my building as an Expanse. They wanted visitors to feel the sense of time by walking through spaces to understand the context of history in the present moment. They also envisaged travelling through me as in a Journey to show the epic scope of the narratives of history. I have a dispersed plan and I am stretched out long, not high, just two floors. Maki and Associates brought in the concept of ‘Oku’ to enhance your perception. You will move from cloistered spaces to open spaces, alternating between anticipation and contemplation.
More than 2000 years ago people in this region worked with metals and had developed advanced techniques compared to other parts of the world. The architects saw me as a Symbol of pride. The iron pillar in Delhi is estimated to have been made by a Gupta king. The pillar’s mix of metals has retained it rust-free. Hence, Maki and Associates sought to use Cor-ten steel plates as cladding to enhance my building in a permanent way, reminding people of the origins of metallurgy in this region.
Last, but not least, I am a place of Learning. This is my primary function – an institution reflecting Bihar’s pride where people can discover various facts and become informed about the rich history and natural history of this region. It was from here the seed was sown for the Tree of Wisdom to grow. Rulers from this very land once united the greatest empires of ancient India. I am built for people to come and explore, to make many trips to see me again and again and each time to learn or find something different. Through Expanse, Journey, Symbol and Learning Landscape, you will have many experiences of my spaces. Come, visit and explore!